B-112453, NOVEMBER 4, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 223

B-112453: Nov 4, 1952

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EQUIPMENT WHICH ARE CERTIFIED BY A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO BE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 8002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE SHIPPED WITHOUT CHARGE AGAINST THE WEIGHT LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 632 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17. REGULATIONS GOVERNING SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAVE PROVIDED THAT THE WEIGHT OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND PAPERS. EQUIPMENT ARE INCLUDED WITHIN THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 8000-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT ARE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES.

B-112453, NOVEMBER 4, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 223

TRANSPORTATION - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL - PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, ETC. - WEIGHT ALLOWANCE PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT WHICH ARE CERTIFIED BY A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO BE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 8002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE SHIPPED WITHOUT CHARGE AGAINST THE WEIGHT LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 632 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, ON THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS THAT MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, NOVEMBER 4, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1952, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISION IN SECTION 632 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, 66 STAT. 537, PLACING A WEIGHT LIMITATION ON THE AMOUNT OF "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" THAT MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, REQUIRES THAT PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT BE INCLUDED IN SUCH WEIGHT LIMITATION.

FOR YEARS PAST, REGULATIONS GOVERNING SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAVE PROVIDED THAT THE WEIGHT OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND PAPERS--- SOMETIMES WITHIN A WEIGHT LIMITATION AND SOMETIMES WITHOUT SUCH LIMITATION--- SO SHIPPED WOULD NOT BE CHARGED AGAINST THE BASIC WEIGHT LIMITATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE PERSON CONCERNED. WHILE PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT ARE INCLUDED WITHIN THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 8000-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH 8002 PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER CERTIFIES THAT HIS PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT ARE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, SHIPMENT THEREOF MAY BE MADE WITHOUT CHARGE AGAINST THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE. SUCH PROVISION IN THE REGULATIONS APPEARS TO BE FOUNDED ON THE GOVERNMENT'S IMMEDIATE INTEREST IN MAINTAINING READY ACCESSIBILITY OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT FOR PERSONS REQUIRING THEIR USE IN THE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT AN AMENDMENT PLACING A 7,000 POUND (UNPACKED WEIGHT) LIMITATION ON SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, WAS ADDED TO THE THEN PENDING 1953 APPROPRIATION BILL ( H.R. 7391) ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; THAT SUCH AMENDMENT APPEARED IN THAT BILL AS SECTION 632 WHEN IT WAS INTRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE ON APRIL 10, 1952; AND THAT THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS RECOMMENDED THAT IT BE AMENDED TO ITS PRESENT FORM. THE DISCUSSION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WITH RESPECT THERETO REFERS TO THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES FIXED IN PARAGRAPH 8001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND INDICATES AN INTENT TO PLACE A MAXIMUM LIMITATION ON SUCH ALLOWANCES. SEE PAGES 3703 AND 3940 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, APRIL 7 AND 9, 1952. SINCE THOSE ALLOWANCES ARE EXCLUSIVE OF THE PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED UNDER SAID PARAGRAPH 8002, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE LATTER WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE AFFECTED THEREBY. SENATOR O-MAHONEY EXPRESSED THE VIEW "THAT THERE IS A FEELING THAT SO FAR AS TRANSPORTATION OF GOODS IS CONCERNED, PERHAPS WE SHOULD NOT BE OBLIGED TO MAINTAIN THE SAME STANDARD OF LUXURY TO WHICH THE ARMED SERVICES MAY HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED IN THE DAYS OF THE PAST WHEN THEY WERE JUST MOVING FROM ONE STATION IN THE UNITED STATES TO ANOTHER STATION IN THE UNITED STATES.' SEE PAGE 1262 OF THE HEARINGS ON H.R. 7391, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, UNITED STATES SENATE. SUCH "LUXURY" COULD HAVE REFERRED ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION OF THOSE HOUSEHOLD GOODS RELATED TO THE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS OF THE PERSONS CONCERNED, RATHER THAN TO THE PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT WHICH ARE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES. THERE APPEARS NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OR PURPOSE OF THE/LEGISLATION REQUIRING A CONCLUSION THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED TO RESTRICT THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH NECESSARY PROFESSIONAL EFFECTS. THIS OFFICE COULD IMPUTE SUCH AN INTENT TO THE CONGRESS ONLY WHERE REQUIRED BY CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE LANGUAGE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE LEGISLATION HERE CONSIDERED DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE WEIGHT OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT CERTIFIED BY THE MEMBER AS NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND SHIPPED UNDER AUTHORITY OF PARAGRAPH 8002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, BE INCLUDED IN THE WEIGHT LIMITATION FIXED IN SUCH LEGISLATION.