A-87889, AUGUST 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 95

A-87889: Aug 4, 1937

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PROPERTY - PRIVATE - DAMAGES - ARMY OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF ARMY OFFICER WAS DAMAGED IN TRANSIT INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION. REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. AS NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REPAIRING ARTICLES OR FOR PAYMENT FOR AND REPLACEMENT OF THE SAME ARTICLES. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH. THE FACTS ARE REPORTED BY THE BOARD OF OFFICERS CONVENED JUNE 17. WAS RELIEVED FROM FURTHER ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT TIENTSIN. WERE TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER. WHICH WERE PERFORMED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS. WERE STARTED ON APRIL 25. AT WHICH TIME THE PROPERTY WAS TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER.

A-87889, AUGUST 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 95

PROPERTY - PRIVATE - DAMAGES - ARMY OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF ARMY OFFICER WAS DAMAGED IN TRANSIT INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION, REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, EITHER BY PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE ASCERTAINED PURSUANT TO SAID ACT OR, AT THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BY REPLACING THE DAMAGED PROPERTY IN KIND FROM GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ON HAND; BUT AS NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REPAIRING ARTICLES OR FOR PAYMENT FOR AND REPLACEMENT OF THE SAME ARTICLES, THE REPLACEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF DAMAGED PARTS OF FURNITURE PRECLUDES PAYMENT FOR DAMAGES TO THE SAME ARTICLES OF FURNITURE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL E. C. MORTON, UNITED STATES ARMY, AUGUST 4, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1937, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, STATED IN FAVOR OF FIRST LT. PAUL L. FREEMAN, JR., INFANTRY, UNITED STATES ARMY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $34.42, COVERING HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, FOR DAMAGES TO HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY WHICH OCCURRED IN TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM TIENTSIN, CHINA, TO FORT WASHINGTON, MD.

THE FACTS ARE REPORTED BY THE BOARD OF OFFICERS CONVENED JUNE 17, 1937, IN THE OFFICE, CHIEF OF FINANCE, TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT PER PARAGRAPH 3, S.O., 111, HEADQUARTERS, PHILIPPINE DEPARTMENT, DATED MAY 26, 1936, 1ST LT. PAUL L. FREEMAN, INFANTRY, WAS RELIEVED FROM FURTHER ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT TIENTSIN, CHINA,AND ASSIGNED TO THE 12TH INFANTRY, FORT WASHINGTON, MARYLAND. THAT, PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE ORDERS, HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IN GOOD ORDER AND CONDITION, WERE TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER, TIENTSIN, CHINA, FOR PACKING AND CRATING; THAT THE PACKING AND CRATING, WHICH WERE PERFORMED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS, WERE STARTED ON APRIL 25, 1936, AND COMPLETED ON JULY 1, 1936, AT WHICH TIME THE PROPERTY WAS TURNED OVER TO THE QUARTERMASTER, TIENTSIN, CHINA, FOR STORAGE; THAT THE PROPERTY WAS STORED IN THE MARINE GARAGE PENDING SHIPMENT, AND REMAINED IN STORAGE 25 DAYS; THAT THE PROPERTY WAS UNDER MILITARY GUARD AT ALL TIMES AND WAS NOT MOVED ABOUT DURING STORAGE; THAT EVERY PRECAUTION WAS TAKEN IN THE PACKING, CRATING, AND STORAGE OF THE PROPERTY IN ORDER TO PREVENT LOSS OR DAMAGE, AND THAT NO DAMAGE OCCURRED THERETO DURING THE ABOVE PERIOD; THAT ON JULY 26, 1936, THE PROPERTY WAS LOADED IN FREIGHT CARS BY QUARTERMASTER PERSONNEL AND FORWARDED TO CHINWANGTAO, CHINA; THAT EACH RAILROAD CAR WAS UNDER GUARD EN ROUTE TO CHINWANGTAO, CHINA, AND UNTIL THE PROPERTY WAS LOADED INTO TRANSPORT; THAT ON JULY 28, 1936, THE PROPERTY, IN APPARENT GOOD ORDER AND CONDITION, WAS LOADED ABOARD THE U.S.A.T. GRANT AT CHINWANGTAO, CHINA, SAILING FOR THE UNITED STATES ON THAT DATE; THAT ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1936, THE PROPERTY, IN APPARENT GOOD ORDER AND CONDITION, ARRIVED AT THE NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION, BROOKLYN, N.Y., EX U.S.A.T. GRANT, AT WHICH TIME IT WAS PLACED ON THE UPPER LEVEL, PIER 2, AWAITING SHIPMENT, WHERE IT WAS PROTECTED AT ALL TIMES TO PREVENT DAMAGE THERETO, AND THAT NO DAMAGE OCCURRED TO SAID PROPERTY WHILE AT OR IN TRANSIT THROUGH THE NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION; THAT ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1936, THE PROPERTY, IN APPARENT GOOD ORDER AND CONDITION, WAS FORWARDED TO FORT WASHINGTON, MARYLAND, VIA THE EASTERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY AND NORFOLK, WASHINGTON STEAMBOAT COMPANY; THAT THE PROPERTY WAS DELIVERED TO THE QUARTERMASTER AGENT, ARMY WAR COLLEGE WHARF, FORT HUMPHREYS, D.C., ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 26, 1936, BY THE TRANSPORTATION BRANCH, WASHINGTON QUARTERMASTER DEPOT, WASHINGTON, D.C., ON DELIVERY ORDER NUMBER 419, WITH REMARKS AS FOLLOWS: ,CRATE NUMBER 43, WEIGHT 200 LBS., LEG BROKEN ON TABLE.' THAT DELIVERY OF THE PROPERTY FROM THE WAR COLLEGE WHARF WAS MADE ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1936, TO WAREHOUSE NO. 2 BY GOVERNMENT TRUCK; THAT THE PROPERTY WAS STORED IN WAREHOUSE NUMBER 2 UNTIL OCTOBER 5 OR 6, AT WHICH TIME IT WAS DELIVERED, IN THE SAME ORDER AND CONDITION AS RECEIVED, TO THE CLAIMANT'S QUARTERS, AT WHICH TIME THE ARTICLES HEREINAFTER LISTED WERE FOUND DAMAGED; THAT THE DAMAGE WAS NOT DUE TO ANY FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE CLAIMANT; THAT THE DAMAGE WAS NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE; THAT CLAIM HAS BEEN MADE ON THE COMMON CARRIERS INVOLVED, AND THAT THE COMMON CARRIERS HAVE DENIED IABILITY; THAT THE QUARTERMASTER AT FORT WASHINGTON MADE REPAIRS ON SOME OF THE REPAIRABLE ARTICLES, AND THAT AFTER SUCH REPAIRS THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY WAS REDUCED BY 20 PERCENT.

THE TOTAL ORIGINAL PRICE OF THE ARTICLES CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED IS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN $295. CERTAIN ARTICLES COSTING $10 WERE FOUND TO BE DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR. THE APPROVED ALLOWANCE FOR SUCH ARTICLES WAS $8. REPAIRABLE FURNITURE COSTING $37 WAS DETERMINED TO HAVE SUSTAINED DAMAGES AMOUNTING TO $13.60, AND OTHER REPAIRABLE FURNITURE COSTING $248 WAS REPAIRED BY THE POST CARPENTER. CERTAIN OF SUCH ARTICLES THUS REPAIRED BY THE QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT OF THE VALUE OF $116 WERE FOUND TO HAVE DEPRECIATED 20 PERCENT OF ITS VALUE, AND IN ADDITION TO RECEIVING THE REPAIRED ARTICLES, A REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWANCE OF $23.20 WAS APPROVED. THE ESTIMATED COST OF REPAIRS TO SUCH DEPRECIATED ARTICLES BY A COMPETENT CABINETMAKER IS SHOWN TO BE $31. THE ACTUAL COST OF THE REPAIRS AS MADE BY THE POST CARPENTER IS NOT SHOWN.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, PROVIDES:

THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO EXAMINE INTO, ASCERTAIN, AND DETERMINE THE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY, LOST, DESTROYED, CAPTURED, OR ABANDONED AS SPECIFIED IN THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPHS, OR THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE THERETO, AS THE CASE MAY BE; AND THE AMOUNT OF SUCH VALUE OR DAMAGE SO ASCERTAINED AND DETERMINED SHALL BE PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, OR SUCH PROPERTY LOST, DESTROYED, CAPTURED, OR ABANDONED, OR SO DAMAGED AS TO BE UNFIT FOR SERVICE, MAY BE REPLACED IN KIND FROM GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ON HAND WHEN THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHALL SO DIRECT.

THIS LAW PROVIDES FOR ADJUSTMENT OF LOSSES (1) ON THE BASIS OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE VALUE THEREOF, AND (2) ON THE BASIS OF REPLACEMENT IN KIND FROM GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. THERE IS NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR REPAIRING FURNITURE, AND THE REPLACEMENT BY THE QUARTERMASTER OF DAMAGED PARTS, IF AUTHORIZED, MUST NECESSARILY FALL WITHIN THE SECOND MODE OF ADJUSTMENT. PAYMENT BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ARMY IS AUTHORIZED WHEN IT IS DETERMINED TO MAKE ADJUSTMENT ON A REIMBURSEMENT BASIS, BUT NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR AND REPLACEMENT OF THE SAME ARTICLES. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT NO REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE ARTICLES, THE DAMAGES TO WHICH HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED BY REPLACEMENTS MADE BY THE QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT. THE VALUES DETERMINED IN CONNECTION WITH ARTICLES NOT REPLACED BY THE QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT MAY BE REIMBURSED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.