A-90466, NOVEMBER 20, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 419

A-90466: Nov 20, 1937

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IS NOT "SHIPMENT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT OF JULY 8. MUST BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT INVOLVED AND IS CHARGEABLE TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT UNDER THE GENERAL RULE THAT. APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PREMIUMS ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED PROPERTY . IS AS FOLLOWS: THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION DESIRES GUIDANCE ON THE REGULATION DATED JULY 16. OR DAMAGE IN SUCH SHIPMENT CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY GUARDED AGAINST BY THE FACILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES OR THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT CANNOT BE PROVIDED UNDER THIS ACT.'.

A-90466, NOVEMBER 20, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 419

INSURANCE - GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT - TRANSPORTATION OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT IN EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE - REPLACEMENT SOURCE IN CASE OF LOSS THE TRANSPORTATION OF DIORAMAS, PROJECTORS, PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT, AND ELECTRICAL DEMONSTRATION MATERIALS IN THE AUTOMOBILE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION IN A TRAVEL STATUS FOR DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES EN ROUTE, IS NOT "SHIPMENT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT OF JULY 8, 1937, 50 STAT. 479, PROVIDING FOR INSURANCE OF VALUABLES IN SHIPMENT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS, ALTHOUGH SUCH ARTICLES WOULD APPEAR TO CONSTITUTE "VALUABLES.' ANY REPLACEMENT OF MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT LOST UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH DO NOT BRING IT UNDER THE TERMS OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT OF JULY 8, 1937, 50 STAT. 479, PROVIDING FOR INSURANCE OF VALUABLES IN SHIPMENT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, MUST BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT INVOLVED AND IS CHARGEABLE TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT UNDER THE GENERAL RULE THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS, APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PREMIUMS ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED PROPERTY -- THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSUMING ITS OWN RISKS AGAINST LOSSES IN THAT RESPECT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION, NOVEMBER 20, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION DESIRES GUIDANCE ON THE REGULATION DATED JULY 16, 1937, PRESCRIBED JOINTLY BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AND THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT, PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 OF THE "GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT," PUBLIC NO. 192, 75TH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION.

OUR ATTENTION HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT:

"ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED UNDER SECTION 1, NO EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, AGENCY, WHOLLY OWNED CORPORATION, OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE SHALL EXPEND ANY MONEY, OR INCUR ANY OBLIGATION, FOR INSURANCE, OR FOR THE PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS ON INSURANCE, AGAINST LOSS, DESTRUCTION, OR DAMAGE IN THE SHIPMENT OF VALUABLES EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY GIVE SUCH AUTHORIZATION IF HE SHALL FIND THAT THE RISK OF LOSS, DESTRUCTION, OR DAMAGE IN SUCH SHIPMENT CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY GUARDED AGAINST BY THE FACILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES OR THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT CANNOT BE PROVIDED UNDER THIS ACT.'

UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 5TH, WE WROTE THE DIVISION OF DEPOSITS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, ASKING THEM TO GRANT US AN EXCEPTION ON CERTAIN ARTICLES WHICH ARE TRANSPORTED FOR USE IN THE FIELD, AND WHICH WE HAVE INSURED IN THE PAST. TO DATE, WE HAVE RECEIVED NO OPINION ON THIS MATTER, BUT HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT IT IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING DETERMINED.

ANOTHER SITUATION HAS ARISEN, THE SOLUTION FOR WHICH WE FEEL LIES WITHIN YOUR POWER: IN CONNECTION WITH THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION'S LOAN BUILDING PROGRAM, MANY OF OUR FIELD EMPLOYEES TRAVEL IN THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES, AND CARRY WITH THEM VALUABLE EQUIPMENT FOR DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES. SINCE THIS EQUIPMENT BELONGS TO OUR AGENCY, WE FEEL THAT SOME STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT OUR PROPERTY IN CASE OF LOSS OR DESTRUCTION.

UNDER THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SHIPMENT OF VALUABLES PURSUANT TO THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT; TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 576 AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. REG 1, DATED JULY 16, 1937, THE TERM "VALUABLES" IS DEFINED AS "ANY ARTICLE OR THING * * * WHICH IS OF OR IS SIMILAR TO A CLASS OR KIND OF ARTICLE OR THING OR REPRESENTATIVE OF VALUE WHICH IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE OF THE UNITED STATES TO INSURE, AS THE INSURED PARTY, * * *" AND THE TERM ,SHIPMENT" IS DEFINED AS "THE TRANSPORTATION OR THE EFFECTING OF TRANSPORTATION OF VALUABLES WITHOUT LIMITATION AS TO THE MEANS OR FACILITIES USED * * *.'

THE QUESTION HEREBY CERTIFIED FOR YOUR OPINION IS AS FOLLOWS: DO SUCH ARTICLES AS DIORAMAS, PROJECTORS, PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT, AND ELECTRICAL DEMONSTRATION MATERIALS CONSTITUTE VALUABLES IN SHIPMENT WHEN CARRIED FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER VIA PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OF FIELD EMPLOYEES, SO AS TO FALL WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT? IF YOUR ANSWER BE IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, TO WHAT FACILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES MAY WE LOOK FOR ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT IN CASE OF LOSS OR DESTRUCTION?

SECTION 7 OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT, APPROVED JULY 8, 1937, PUBLIC, NO. 192, 50 STAT. 479, PROVIDES:

FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT---

(A) THE TERM "VALUABLES" MEANS ANY ARTICLE OR THING OR REPRESENTATIVE OF VALUE IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES HAS ANY INTEREST, OR IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH IT HAS ANY OBLIGATION OR RESPONSIBILITY, DIRECT OR INDIRECT, AND WHICH IS OF, OR IS SIMILAR TO, A CLASS OR KIND OF ARTICLE OR THING OR REPRESENTATIVE OF VALUE WHICH IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE OF THE UNITED STATES TO INSURE AS THE INSURED PARTY, AGAINST LOSS, DESTRUCTION, OR DAMAGE IN SHIPMENT, AND INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, COIN, SPECIE, BULLION, CURRENCY, BONDS, COUPONS, DEBENTURES, BILLS, NOTES, CERTIFICATES OF INDEBTEDNESS, CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT, MORTGAGES, ASSIGNMENTS, CERTIFICATES OF STOCK, WAREHOUSE RECEIPTS, CHECKS, TRUST RECEIPTS, WARRANTS, STAMPS, AND ANY OTHER SECURITIES, PAPERS, OR MATERIALS OF VALUE, WHETHER COMPLETE, INCOMPLETE, MUTILATED, IN DEFINITIVE FORM, OR REPRESENTED BY INTERIM DOCUMENTS; THE TERM "UNITED STATES" AS USED IN THIS SUBSECTION MEANS THE UNITED STATES OR ANY OF ITS EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AGENCIES, WHOLLY OWNED CORPORATIONS, OFFICERS, OR EMPLOYEES;

(B) THE TERM "SHIPMENT" MEANS THE TRANSPORTATION, OR THE EFFECTING OF TRANSPORTATION, OF VALUABLES, WITHOUT LIMITATION AS TO THE MEANS OR FACILITIES USED OR BY WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION IS EFFECTED OR THE PERSON TO WHOM IT IS MADE AND INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, SHIPMENTS MADE TO ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, AGENCY, WHOLLY OR PARTLY OWNED CORPORATION, OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES, OR ANY PERSON ACTING ON HIS OR ITS BEHALF OR AT HIS OR ITS DIRECTION.

WHILE THE MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION WOULD APPEAR TO CONSTITUTE ,VALUABLES," THEIR TRANSPORTATION IN THE AUTOMOBILE OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS FOR DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES EN ROUTE COULD HARDLY BE CONSIDERED AS "IN SHIPMENT" WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS, THE GENERAL RULE FOR YEARS HAS BEEN THAT APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR INSURANCE PREMIUMS ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED PROPERTY, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSUMING ITS OWN RISKS AGAINST LOSSES IN THAT RESPECT. ACCORDINGLY, ANY REPLACEMENT OF EQUIPMENT LOST UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH DO NOT BRING IT UNDER THE TERMS OF THE GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT ACT, MUST BE AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION AND CHARGEABLE TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT.