A-98598, NOVEMBER 1, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 408

A-98598: Nov 1, 1938

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THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE SECOND LAST STATION TO THE NEW STATION IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PROVIDED THE COST THEREOF DOES NOT EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE UNITED STATES TO TRANSPORT THE EFFECTS FROM THE LAST STATION TO THE NEW STATION. IS AS FOLLOWS: MR. WAS FORMERLY ASSIGNED TO THE PRAGUE. BLISS IS NOW DESIROUS OF HAVING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED FROM STORAGE IN PRAGUE EITHER TO THE HAGUE OR TO A NEW POST. A RULING IS DESIRED FROM YOUR OFFICE AS TO WHETHER ANY OBJECTION WILL BE INTERPOSED TO THE PAYMENT OF THIS EXPENSE FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IT MUST BE HELD THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM PRAGUE TO THE HAGUE BY REASON OF HIS TRANSFER TO THE LATTER POST IN JANUARY 1934.

A-98598, NOVEMBER 1, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 408

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE - NONPROVISION FOR TIME OF SHIPMENT LIMITATION WHERE THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE DO NOT PROVIDE FOR ANY TIME LIMIT WITHIN WHICH THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED WHEN A CHANGE OF POST OF DUTY OCCURS, IT MUST BE PRESUMED THAT THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISION OTHERWISE, CONTEMPLATE AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ONLY WHEN INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER, AND A DELAY IN SHIPMENT APPROXIMATELY 5 YEARS AFTER TRANSFER MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY, INCIDENT TO, OR BY REASON OF, SUCH TRANSFER, BUT, UPON FUTURE TRANSFER TO A NEW POST OF DUTY, THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE SECOND LAST STATION TO THE NEW STATION IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PROVIDED THE COST THEREOF DOES NOT EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE UNITED STATES TO TRANSPORT THE EFFECTS FROM THE LAST STATION TO THE NEW STATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 1, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

MR. DON C. BLISS, AT PRESENT AMERICAN TRADE COMMISSIONER, ASSIGNED TO THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, OFFICE OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, WAS FORMERLY ASSIGNED TO THE PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, OFFICE AS COMMERCIAL ATTACHE, HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM THAT POST JANUARY 1, 1934. UPON MR. BLISS' TRANSFER FROM PRAGUE TO THE HAGUE HE DID NOT MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BUT STORED THEM IN PRAGUE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

MR. BLISS IS NOW DESIROUS OF HAVING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED FROM STORAGE IN PRAGUE EITHER TO THE HAGUE OR TO A NEW POST, SHOULD A CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT BE MADE IN THE NEAR FUTURE. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THIS OFFICER HAS HAD NO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HIS PRESENT POST OF ASSIGNMENT.

BEFORE AUTHORIZING THIS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, A RULING IS DESIRED FROM YOUR OFFICE AS TO WHETHER ANY OBJECTION WILL BE INTERPOSED TO THE PAYMENT OF THIS EXPENSE FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, ACT OF APRIL 27, 1938, PUBLIC NO. 495, PROVIDES:

TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AND ALLOWANCES FOR LIVING QUARTERS: TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS, OR WHEN TRAVELING UNDER THE ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, * *

WHILE THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, AND THE PRIOR REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 1928, DO NOT PROVIDE FOR ANY TIME LIMIT WITHIN WHICH THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED WHEN A CHANGE OF POST OF DUTY OCCURS, IT MUST BE PRESUMED THAT THE LAW AND THE REGULATIONS, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OTHERWISE, CONTEMPLATE AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ONLY WHEN INCIDENT TO SUCH CHANGE OR TRANSFER. THE SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS OF MR. BLISS IN THE PRESENT CASE AT THIS TIME, NEARLY 5 YEARS AFTER HIS TRANSFER FROM PRAGUE TO THE HAGUE COULD HARDLY BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY, INCIDENT TO, OR BY REASON OF SUCH TRANSFER. THEREFORE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM PRAGUE TO THE HAGUE BY REASON OF HIS TRANSFER TO THE LATTER POST IN JANUARY 1934. IN THE EVENT OF THE TRANSFER OF MR. BLISS IN THE FUTURE TO A NEW POST OF DUTY, THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM PRAGUE TO THE NEW STATION IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, PROVIDED THE COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT DOES NOT EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD COST THE UNITED STATES TO TRANSPORT HIS EFFECTS FROM THE HAGUE TO THE NEW STATION. 5 COMP. GEN. 229.