A-74518, MAY 12, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 994

A-74518: May 12, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DAMAGES - PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ARMY OFFICER - CHANGE OF STATION - TRANSPORTATION COMPLETED AN ARMY OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAMAGE TO PERSONAL EFFECTS SHIPPED ON CHANGE OF STATION WHERE THE DAMAGE OCCURRED AFTER TRANSPORTATION COMPLETED AND WHILE THE PROPERTY WAS IN STORAGE. FOR DAMAGE CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN TRANSIT INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM OMAHA. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT THEREON. WAS TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER AT OMAHA. THE MOVEMENT OF THIS SHIPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT SHOWN. MANIFEST OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY TRANSPORT GRANT SHOWS THAT THE PACKAGES AS DESCRIBED WERE RECEIPTED FOR OCTOBER 2.

A-74518, MAY 12, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 994

DAMAGES - PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ARMY OFFICER - CHANGE OF STATION - TRANSPORTATION COMPLETED AN ARMY OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAMAGE TO PERSONAL EFFECTS SHIPPED ON CHANGE OF STATION WHERE THE DAMAGE OCCURRED AFTER TRANSPORTATION COMPLETED AND WHILE THE PROPERTY WAS IN STORAGE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IN STORAGE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. E. C. MORTON, UNITED STATES ARMY, MAY 12, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1936, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CAPT. ROBERT E. BURNS, SIGNAL CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $222.50 COVERING HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921 (41 STAT. 1436), FOR DAMAGE CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN TRANSIT INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM OMAHA, NEBR., TO FORT WILLIAM MCKINLEY, P.I., AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT THEREON.

IT APPEARS THAT CAPTAIN (THEN FIRST LIEUTENANT) BURNS' PROPERTY, CONSISTING OF 4 BARRELS, 19 BOXES, AND 16 CRATES WEIGHING 5,047 POUNDS, WAS TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER AT OMAHA, NEBR., FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND SHIPMENT. THE MOVEMENT OF THIS SHIPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT SHOWN. MANIFEST OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY TRANSPORT GRANT SHOWS THAT THE PACKAGES AS DESCRIBED WERE RECEIPTED FOR OCTOBER 2, 1934, IN APPARENT GOOD ORDER AND CONDITION AT MANILA, P.I. IT WOULD APPEAR THIS PROPERTY WAS HELD ON PIER NO. 1 UNTIL OCTOBER 6, 1934, ON WHICH DATE IT WAS STORED IN CITY DELIVERY BUILDING 101, PORT AREA, MANILA. ON OCTOBER 15 AND 16, 1934, A TYPHOON OCCURRED, WHICH RESULTED IN THE FLOODING OF THE FLOOR UNDER THE DUNNAGE ON WHICH OFFICERS' PROPERTY WAS STACKED, BUT IT IS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT IT AROSE ABOVE THE DUNNAGE AT ANY TIME. ON OCTOBER 19, 1934, THIS PROPERTY WAS TRANSFERRED BY MOTOR TRUCK TO FORT MCKINLEY, WHERE IT WAS RECEIPTED FOR BY ONE JAMES W. MEYERS AS IN APPARENT GOOD CONDITION. SHIPPING TICKET OF THE SAME DATE, EXHIBIT F, SIGNED BY THE SAME EMPLOYEE, RECEIPTS FOR A SHIPMENT IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE-DESCRIBED SHIPMENT, CONSISTED OF 10 PACKAGES "EX-U.S.A.T. MEIGS.' Q.M.C. FORM 489, EXHIBIT G, SHOWS THE SHIPMENT FROM PIER NO. 1 "EX-U.S.A.T. GRANT" TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT FORT WILLIAM MCKINELY, P.I., OCTOBER 19, 1935, BY SGT. L. M. TEJADA, WITHOUT NOTING ANY DAMAGES. IT WOULD APPEAR THESE GOODS WERE STORED AT THE QUARTERMASTER DOCK OFFICE, FORT WILLIAM MCKINELY, P.I., FROM OCTOBER 19 TO NOVEMBER 26, 1934. SERGEANT TEJADA, THE NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER WHO RECEIPTED FOR THESE EFFECTS WITHOUT NOTING ANY DAMAGE, TESTIFIED, PAGE 4 OF LOCAL BOARD REPORT, THAT HE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE DETAIL OF ENLISTED MEN WHO HAULED THIS OFFICER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM STORAGE TO HIS QUARTERS, THAT THE FLOOR OF THE DOCK OFFICE WHERE THE EFFECTS WERE STORED HAD DRY MUD ON IT; THAT DRY MUD ON THE WALL SHOWED THAT WATER HAD BEEN NEARLY 2 FEET DEEP; THAT HE BROUGHT THESE FACTS TO THE ATTENTION OF THE MAN IN CHARGE OF THE DOCK OFFICE, WHO DIRECTED HIM TO MAKE NOTE OF THE CRATES AND BOXES WHICH WERE WET AND REPORT THEM TO THE OFFICER; AND THAT SUCH NOTATION WAS MADE IN THE DELIVERY SHEETS. COPIES OF SUCH DELIVERY SHEETS, IF PROCURED BY THE BOARD, ARE NOT IN THE RECORD. THIS MAN FURTHER TESTIFIED THAT WATER WAS DRIPPING FROM THE LARGE BOXES AND CRATES ON NOVEMBER 26, 1934, WHEN THEY WERE PLACED ON THE TRUCK. CORP. OSSIE JACKSON, THE MAN SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN IN CHARGE OF THE DOCK OFFICE AT FORT WILLIAM MCKINLEY, WAS ASKED THE QUESTION, PAGE 3 OF BOARD REPORT,"DO YOU RECALL A TYPHOON ON NOVEMBER 14, 1934? " TO WHICH HE REPLIED,"YES, SIR.'

LIEUTENANT BURNS WAS ASSIGNED AND OCCUPIED QUARTERS NO. 76-1 AT FORT WILLIAM MCKINLEY FROM OCTOBER 8 TO NOVEMBER 26, 1934, AND WAS REASSIGNED QUARTERS NO. 58-A, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 27, 1934. NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERY CONCLUSIVE CHARACTER OF THE EVIDENCE SHOWING THESE EFFECTS TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FOR STORAGE AT FORT WILLIAM MCKINELY OCTOBER 19, 1934, IN APPARENT GOOD CONDITION, AND TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN THEREFROM IN A WET AND DRIPPING CONDITION, THE BOARD FOUND THAT THE PROPERTY BECAME WET DURING THE TYPHOON ON OCTOBER 15 AND 16, 1934, WHILE THEY WERE STORED IN A QUARTERMASTER BUILDING, PORT AREA, MANILA, P.I. THE EVIDENCE TENDS TO SHOW A LATER WETTING WHILE THE EFFECTS WERE IN STORAGE AT FORT WILLIAM MCKINELY. HOWEVER, THE SHIPMENT ARRIVED AT MANILA OCTOBER 2, 1934, AND TRANSIT CEASED AFTER A REASONABLE TIME FOR DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENT TO THE CONSIGNEE, IN THIS CASE OCTOBER 6, 1934, WHEN IT WAS REMOVED FROM PIER 1 FOR STORAGE IN CITY DELIVERY BUILDING 101, PORT AREA, MANILA. THE OFFICER TESTIFIED THAT WHEN ASSIGNED TEMPORARY QUARTERS, OCTOBER 6, 1934, HE WAS INFORMED THAT HE WOULD OCCUPY THEM FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS, AND THAT THE POST QUARTERMASTER, FORT WILLIAM MCKINELY, INFORMED HIM THAT IN ORDER TO AVOID MOVING HIS FURNITURE TWICE IT WOULD NOT BE DELIVERED UNTIL HE WAS ASSIGNED TO PERMANENT QUARTERS. WHETHER, THEREFORE, THE WETTING RESULTED FROM THE TYPHOON OF OCTOBER 15-16 (ALSO REFERRED TO AS OCT. 16-17, P. 2 OF LOCAL BOARD REPORT) OR IN THE TYPHOON OF NOVEMBER 14, THE PROPERTY WAS NO LONGER BEING TRANSPORTED BUT WAS IN STORAGE, AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE INVOLVED IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER IT WAS IN STORAGE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE OWNER OR FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHEN DAMAGED. THE ACT DOES NOT COVER DAMAGE TO PROPERTY IN STORAGE. CURRAN V. UNITED STATES (65 CT.CLS. 26); 3 COMP. GEN. 610. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED.