A-97811, NOVEMBER 1, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 405

A-97811: Nov 1, 1938

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THE ACCEPTANCE OF A BID FOR VAN SHIPMENT ON A CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE GOODS BASIS IS UNAUTHORIZED AND RESULTS IN NO BINDING CONTRACT. THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEES WAS INCIDENT TO THE CONSOLIDATION. WAS APPROVED BY YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4. WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THESE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED (CANCELED APRIL 30. WILL BE ALLOWED EXPENSES INCURRED FOR PACKING. SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY WILL BE MADE BY FREIGHT. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS WILL BE EFFECTED ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING. WHICH WILL BE RELEASED AT THE LOWEST VALUATION APPLICABLE TO THE CLASSES OF ARTICLES TRANSPORTED TO INSURE THE APPLICATION OF THE LOWEST FREIGHT RATES. THE FOLLOWING NOTATION PLACED ON THE BILLS OF LADING: "THE AGREED OR DECLARED VALUE OF PROPERTY IS HEREBY SPECIFICALLY STATED BY THE SHIPPER TO BE NOT EXCEEDING .

A-97811, NOVEMBER 1, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 405

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - WEIGHT V. CUBIC MEASUREMENT BASIS - QUANTUM MERUIT PAYMENTS INVOLVING CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT COMPUTATIONS AND EXCESS COST COLLECTIONS WHERE THE LAW, REGULATIONS, AND ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION LIMIT THE AUTHORITY TO SHIP EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES ON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION TO A WEIGHT BASIS, THE ACCEPTANCE OF A BID FOR VAN SHIPMENT ON A CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE GOODS BASIS IS UNAUTHORIZED AND RESULTS IN NO BINDING CONTRACT, BUT THE SERVICE HAVING BEEN PERFORMED AND ACCEPTED AS SATISFACTORY BY THE UNITED STATES, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE ACTUAL WEIGHT MOVED UP TO THE WEIGHT LIMITATION FOR EACH EMPLOYEE, AT THE RATE ESTABLISHED FROM THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT IN THE BID, THE EXCESS WEIGHT UNDER THE VAN SHIPMENT RULE TO BE COMPUTED BY INCREASING THE WEIGHT BY 25 PERCENTUM TO DETERMINE THE GROSS CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT (AS PACKED AND CRATED) OF THE UNPACKED AND UNCRATED EFFECTS, AND THE EXCESS COST SO COMPUTED TO BE COLLECTED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY FROM THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED WITHOUT REQUIREMENT THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY MAKE SUCH COLLECTION FOR PAYMENT TO THE COMPANY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, NOVEMBER 1, 1938:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $2,882.76, OF THE WILLIAM STACEY STORAGE CO. UNDER CONTRACT NO. VA24R-122, DATED JUNE 23, 1937, COVERING THE PACKING, CRATING AND HAULING OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY (EXCEPT AUTOMOBILES) OF 40 EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION REGIONAL OFFICE, CINCINNATI, OHIO, TO DAYTON, OHIO.

THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEES WAS INCIDENT TO THE CONSOLIDATION, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1937, OF THE CINCINNATI REGIONAL OFFICE WITH THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT DAYTON, AND WAS APPROVED BY YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1937, WHICH GRANTED AUTHORITY TO THE EMPLOYEES TO SHIP BETWEEN THE STATIONS INVOLVED THEIR HOUSEHOLD AND OTHER PERSONAL EFFECTS, EXCEPT AUTOMOBILES, NOT EXCEEDING 5,000 POUNDS FOR MARRIED PERSONNEL AND 3,500 POUNDS FOR SINGLE PERSONNEL.

THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1938, MAKING THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION 1938," ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, 50 STAT. 346, PROVIDES:

* * * FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PROPERTY, NOT EXCEEDING IN ANY ONE CASE FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS, OF EMPLOYEES WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY AND WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR; * * *

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPHS 9391 TO 9394, WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THESE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED (CANCELED APRIL 30, 1938, AND SUPERSEDED BY PARAGRAPHS 900 TO 945) PROVIDE, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

9391.WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY THE ADMINISTRATOR,EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY, WILL BE ALLOWED EXPENSES INCURRED FOR PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY NOT EXCEEDING IN ALL 5,000 POUNDS FOR MARRIED PERSONS OR PERSONS HAVING DEPENDENTS LIVING WITH THEM, OR 3,500 POUNDS FOR SINGLE PERSONS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS LIVING WITH THEM. (MARCH 9, 1932.)

9393. SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY WILL BE MADE BY FREIGHT, * * *. SHIPMENTS MAY ALSO BE MADE BY MOTOR TRUCK WHEN THE COST OF SHIPMENT BY THIS CARRIER DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST BY FREIGHT, TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION CHARGES FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND DRAYAGE. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS WILL BE EFFECTED ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING, WHICH WILL BE RELEASED AT THE LOWEST VALUATION APPLICABLE TO THE CLASSES OF ARTICLES TRANSPORTED TO INSURE THE APPLICATION OF THE LOWEST FREIGHT RATES, AND THE FOLLOWING NOTATION PLACED ON THE BILLS OF LADING: "THE AGREED OR DECLARED VALUE OF PROPERTY IS HEREBY SPECIFICALLY STATED BY THE SHIPPER TO BE NOT EXCEEDING ----------- PER POUND FOR EACH ARTICLE.' PREPARING BILLS OF LADING FOR SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS THE PRECEDING REQUIREMENTS MUST BE STRICTLY OBSERVED. ADVANTAGE WILL BE TAKEN WHENEVER POSSIBLE OF CARLOAD SHIPMENTS WHEN THE CARLOAD RATE BASED ON THE MINIMUM CARLOAD WEIGHT (ACTUAL WEIGHT WHEN IN EXCESS OF THE CARLOAD MINIMUM) IS CHEAPER THAN THE LESS-THAN-CARLOAD RATE BASED ON ACTUAL WEIGHTS. WHEREVER POSSIBLE, SUCH SHIPMENTS WILL BE MADE IN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTS. (FEBRUARY 8, 1932.)

9394. (VOUCHERS COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND DRAYAGE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE FINANCE SERVICE, CENTRAL OFFICE, VOUCHERS (STANDARD FORM 1012) WILL BE USED IN SUBMITTING REQUESTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES.) REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF CRATING, PACKING, AND DRAYAGE WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN PROPERLY SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS, A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF THE TRAVEL ORDER, AND A COPY OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, WHEN SHIPMENT IS MADE BY FREIGHT: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT CHARGES IN EXCESS OF $1.75 PER 100 POUNDS FOR SUCH PACKING, CRATING, AND DRAYAGE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS THE VOUCHER IS ACCOMPANIED BY A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ESTABLISHING THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH EXCESS. (SEPTEMBER 16, 1936.)

THUS THE LAW (APPROPRIATION ACT) AND REGULATIONS, AS WELL AS THE ADMINISTRATOR'S LETTER OF AUTHORITY, DATED JUNE 4, 1937, LIMIT THE AUTHORITY TO SHIP EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES ON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION TO SHIPMENT ON A WEIGHT BASIS. THEREFORE THE AUTHORITY IN THE PRESENT CASE TO CONTRACT FOR SUCH SHIPMENT WAS LIKEWISE LIMITED TO A WEIGHT BASIS.

THE PROPOSAL OF THE WILLIAM STACEY STORAGE CO., ACCEPTED JUNE 23, 1937, PROVIDED:

FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND HAULING THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY (EXCEPT AUTOMOBILES) OF SIXTY-ONE EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION WHOSE NAMES AND ADDRESSES ARE ATTACHED HERETO, FROM SUCH ADDRESSES IN CINCINNATI, OHIO, OR VICINITY TO ADDRESSES IN DAYTON, OHIO, AS DESIGNATED AT TIME OF MOVEMENT, $4,095.11.

THE "CONTRACT" FURTHER PROVIDED:

3. THE AGGREGATE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY OF EACH EMPLOYEE MUST BE ESTIMATED AND INSERTED OPPOSITE EACH NAME ON THE ATTACHED LIST, WITH THE UNIT BID PRICE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE PROPERTY OF EACH INDIVIDUAL AS SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH 1 * * * ABOVE. INSERTING THE UNIT BID PRICE CONSIDERATION MUST BE GIVEN TO THE NECESSITY, IF CHEAPER, OF TRANSPORTING MORE THAN ONE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE SAME MOVING VAN AT THE SAME TIME WHERE THE QUANTITIES WARRANT.

4. IT MUST BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF EACH EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY MUST BE DETERMINED AND RECORDED AND INDIVIDUALLY SET OUT IN THE VOUCHER WHEN SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT. THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY OF EMPLOYEES WILL BE MOVED ON SUCH DATES AS REQUESTED BY THE EMPLOYEES, BUT NOT LATER THAN AUGUST 31, 1937, UNLESS FURTHER EXTENDED IN INDIVIDUAL CASES.

THIS BID IS SUBMITTED TO COVER AMOUNT OF ROOMS AS PER LIST FURNISHED BY VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION AND ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF ROOMS OR EXTRA GOODS WILL BE CHARGED AT SAME RATE.

THE LIST SHOWING THE NUMBER OF ROOMS FOR EACH EMPLOYEE IS NOT ATTACHED TO THE CONTRACT, BUT THE FILE INDICATES THAT THE CONTRACTOR BASED HIS BID ON A COMPUTATION OF 200 CUBIC FEET PER ROOM PLUS 100 CUBIC FEET FOR BASEMENT AND ATTIC ARTICLES AND ESTIMATED THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IN EACH CASE AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT. THUS IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE CLAIMANT SUBMITTED HIS BID, IN FACT, ON THE BASIS OF CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE GOODS RATHER THAN ON A WEIGHT BASIS. AS THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH A BID WAS NOT AUTHORIZED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BEING WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES EXCEPT ON AN ACTUAL WEIGHT BASES, THE BID AS ACCEPTED WAS NOT IN FACT A CONTRACT BINDING UPON THE UNITED STATES.

HOWEVER, INASMUCH AS THE CLAIMANT HAS PERFORMED THE SERVICE, WHICH WAS ACCEPTED AS SATISFACTORY BY THE UNITED STATES, SETTLEMENT FOR SUCH SERVICE AS WAS RENDERED WILL BE MADE ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS. FOR THIS PURPOSE THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT IN THE BID WILL BE USED ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASCERTAINING THE RATE PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR THE HAULING, SUCH RATE TO BE ALLOWED FOR THE ACTUAL WEIGHT MOVED IN THE CASE OF EACH EMPLOYEE UP TO THE 3,500 POUNDS OR 5,000 POUNDS LIMIT UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION HEREIN REFERRED. SEE A-85046, JUNE 17, 1937, A-88823, OCTOBER 7, 1937, AND A- 92419, MAY 2, 1938. WHERE SUCH ACTUAL WEIGHT DOES NOT AT PRESENT APPEAR FROM THE RECORD, SUCH CASES WILL BE RETURNED TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IN ORDER THAT SUCH ACTUAL WEIGHT MAY BE ASCERTAINED. THE GROSS WEIGHT MOVED IS SHOWN IN EACH CASE THE NET WEIGHT SHOULD BE EASILY ASCERTAINED BY DETERMINING THE ACTUAL TARE WEIGHT IN EACH CASE, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THE NET WEIGHT FOR CONSIDERATION. IN CASES WHERE THE ACTUAL TARE WEIGHT CANNOT BE DETERMINED IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO WEIGH THE GOODS CERTIFIED BY THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED AS HAVING BEEN THOSE ACTUALLY MOVED.

IN MAKING ALLOWANCE ON THIS BASIS THE SETTLEMENTS WILL NOT, IN EACH CASE, PAY THE CONTRACTOR IN FULL FOR THE SERVICES HE PERFORMED. THAT IS TO SAY, THE ALLOWANCE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF MOVING 3,500 POUNDS IN THE CASE OF SINGLE PERSONS OR 5,000 POUNDS IN THE CASE OF MARRIED PERSONS OR PERSONS WITH DEPENDENTS. THE EXCESS IS TO BE COMPUTED BY DETERMINING UNDER THE VAN SHIPMENT RULE, THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS PACKED AND CRATED FOR RAIL SHIPMENT, BY INCREASING THE WEIGHT BY 25 PERCENTUM TO DETERMINE THE GROSS CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT (AS PACKED AND CRATED) OF THE UNPACKED AND UNCRATED EFFECTS. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 116; ID. 273; A-85046, JUNE 17, 1937. THE EXCESS COST COMPUTED ON THIS BASIS MAY NOT BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, BUT IS FOR COLLECTION BY THE CLAIMANT FROM THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED. SEE A-88823, OCTOBER 7, 1937, AND A-92419, MAY 2, 1938. IT IS NOT REQUIRED THAT THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION COLLECT THIS EXCESS FROM THE EMPLOYEES FOR PAYMENT TO THE CLAIMANT.

IT IS NOTED YOU REQUEST THAT THE INVESTIGATOR'S REPORT TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1938, BE RETURNED "WHEN IT HAS SERVED ITS PURPOSE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS.' WHEN ALL OF THE CLAIMS HAVE BEEN SETTLED ON THE BASIS HEREIN SET FORTH THE INVESTIGATOR'S REPORT WILL BE RETURNED AS REQUESTED.