B-101474, APRIL 4, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 395

B-101474: Apr 4, 1951

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WAS MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO SEPTEMBER 23. THEREFORE THE APPLICATION OF THE INCREASED RATES IS AUTHORIZED IN CASES WHERE THE TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14. YOU STATE THAT THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON DECEMBER 22. THAT THE REVISED RATES SHALL BE USED IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS "IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED" ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23. IT IS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT. WERE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AT THE OLD RATES. - IS IT NECESSARY TO RECOVER OVERPAYMENTS RESULTING FROM CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHERS AT THE OLD RATES PRIOR TO PUBLICATION OF THE REVISED RATES IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER OF DECEMBER 22.

B-101474, APRIL 4, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 395

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - BETWEEN DATES OF PRIOR REGULATIONS AND PROMULGATION OF NEW THE REVISED SCHEDULE OF RATES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES APPEARING IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 10196, APPROVED DECEMBER 20, 1950, WAS MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, SO AS TO ENABLE EMPLOYEES TO BE REIMBURSED THE APPROXIMATE SUM EXPENDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF THEIR EFFECTS AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AND THEREFORE THE APPLICATION OF THE INCREASED RATES IS AUTHORIZED IN CASES WHERE THE TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23, 1950.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY, APRIL 4, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1951, RELATIVE TO THE APPLICATION OF THE REVISED SCHEDULE OF RATES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF CIVILIAN OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES APPEARING IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 10196 APPROVED DECEMBER 20, 1950.

YOU STATE THAT THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON DECEMBER 22, 1950, AND THAT IT PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE REVISED RATES SHALL BE USED IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS "IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED" ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23, 1950. ALSO, IT IS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT, WHILE MOST OF THE REVISED RATES REPRESENT AN INCREASE OVER THE RATES PREVIOUSLY IN EFFECT, IN SOME INSTANCES THERE HAS BEEN A DOWNWARD REVISION OF THE RATES; AND THAT, SINCE CERTIFYING OFFICERS DID NOT RECEIVE NOTICE OF THE NEW RATES UNTIL OVER THREE MONTHS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE, NUMEROUS VOUCHERS FOR TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, WERE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AT THE OLD RATES.

YOU PRESENT FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1.--- IS IT NECESSARY TO RECOVER OVERPAYMENTS RESULTING FROM CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHERS AT THE OLD RATES PRIOR TO PUBLICATION OF THE REVISED RATES IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER OF DECEMBER 22, 1950, ASSUMING THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS WAS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23, 1950?

2.--- IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL THE CERTIFYING OFFICER BE HELD RESPONSIBLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S ACT FOR OVERPAYMENTS WHICH CANNOT BE RECOVERED?

3.--- ARE WE CORRECT IN ASSUMING THAT IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE RATES INCREASED THE REVISED RATES MAY BE ALLOWED IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND COMMENCED ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OR DATES SUCH REIMBURSEMENT IS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT?

IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED IN YOUR FIRST QUESTION, THE PAYMENTS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, NEED NOT BE DISTURBED. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, WHICH CONCLUSION RENDERS UNNECESSARY A REPLY TO QUESTION 2.

THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE IS THAT THE REVISED RATES APPEARING IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 10196 WERE ISSUED AS THE RESULT OF GENERAL TARIFF INCREASES SINCE JULY 1, 1948, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9997. IT FOLLOWS THAT TO ALLOW THE INCREASE IN RATES TO OPERATE FROM SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, WILL ENABLE EMPLOYEES TO BE REIMBURSED THE APPROXIMATE SUM EXPENDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF THEIR EFFECTS, AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE BASIC STATUTE, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE APPLICATION OF THE INCREASED RATES FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE SPECIFIED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 3 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.