B-112832, DECEMBER 24, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 301

B-112832: Dec 24, 1952

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IF THE GOODS ARE TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR CARRIER WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER APRIL 28. OR WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF RETIREMENT WHICHEVER IS LATER. ARE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PROVIDED SUCH CHARGES ARE SUPPORTED BY AN ACCEPTABLE CERTIFICATE OF PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT SUCH STORAGE WAS NECESSARY BY REASON OF CONDITIONS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE OFFICER. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED APPEAR TO RELATE TO COMMISSIONED PERSONNEL WHO WERE RETIRED FROM THE SERVICE ON OR BEFORE APRIL 28. THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PRESENTLY IS GOVERNED BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949.

B-112832, DECEMBER 24, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 301

RETIRED COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY OFFICERS - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - TIME LIMITATION - TEMPORARY STORAGE UNDER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RETIRED COMMISSIONED PERSONNEL OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY MAY SHIP HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM LAST STATION OR PLACE OF STORAGE TO SELECTED HOME, IF THE GOODS ARE TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR CARRIER WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER APRIL 28, 1952, OR WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF RETIREMENT WHICHEVER IS LATER, AND THE AUTHORIZED CHARGES MAY INCLUDE CHARGES FOR SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS FROM POINT OF ORIGIN TO DESTINATION, FOR HAULING FROM RAIL TERMINAL TO RESIDENCE, AND FOR NECESSARY UNPACKING AND UNCRATING. CHARGES INCURRED BY RETIRED COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY OFFICER FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED TO SELECTED "HOME" FROM LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION PRIOR TO APRIL 28, 1953, ARE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDED SUCH CHARGES ARE SUPPORTED BY AN ACCEPTABLE CERTIFICATE OF PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT SUCH STORAGE WAS NECESSARY BY REASON OF CONDITIONS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE OFFICER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, DECEMBER 24, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14, 1952, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, REQUESTING DECISION ON VARIOUS MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN CONNECTION WITH THE RETIREMENT OF COMMISSIONED PERSONNEL OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED APPEAR TO RELATE TO COMMISSIONED PERSONNEL WHO WERE RETIRED FROM THE SERVICE ON OR BEFORE APRIL 28, 1952.

QUESTION ONE CONCERNS THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR PAYMENT OF CHARGES FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM POINT OF ORIGIN TO DESTINATION, AND FOR NECESSARY UNPACKING AND UNCRATING, IN CASES WHERE THE OWNER HAS TURNED HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR TO A CARRIER BEFORE APRIL 28, 1953, FOR SHIPMENT TO THE HOME SELECTED BY HIM ON RETIREMENT. THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PRESENTLY IS GOVERNED BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802, AND PUBLISHED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPHS 8009-6 AND 8012-1 OF WHICH AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON RETIREMENT FROM THE LAST STATION OR PLACE OF STORAGE TO THE SELECTED HOME, IF SUCH GOODS ARE TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR TO A CARRIER FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER APRIL 28, 1952, OR WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF RETIREMENT, WHICHEVER IS LATER. HENCE, AS TO SUCH HOUSEHOLD GOODS THE CHARGES ENUMERATED IN YOUR FIRST QUESTION BEING INCLUDED IN THE AUTHORIZED CHARGES LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 8000-11 OF THE SAID REGULATIONS PROPERLY WOULD BE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT.

QUESTIONS TWO AND THREE RELATE TO THE MATTER OF WHETHER THE PLACEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN TEMPORARY STORAGE AT EITHER THE LAST PERMANENT STATION OR THE OFFICER'S SELECTED HOME WITHIN SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO APRIL 28, 1953, WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF EXTENDING THE TIME LIMITATION, FIXED IN PARAGRAPH 8012-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO THE EXTENT OF PERMITTING COMPLETION OF THE MAXIMUM SIX MONTHS' TEMPORARY STORAGE PERIOD AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8006-1D THEREOF, AND SUBSEQUENT SHIPMENT OR HAULING TO THE OFFICER'S DWELLING AND UNPACKING AND UNCRATING THEREAT. THE RIGHT TO TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT TO EXCEED SIX MONTHS, IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE ONE AND SUCH STORAGE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN, AND TO THE EXTENT, FOUND NECESSARY "BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE MEMBER," AND VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT FOR SUCH TEMPORARY STORAGE IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES ARE REQUIRED TO BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE ATTESTING THE NECESSITY THEREFOR EXECUTED BY PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY. AS TO THE TIME WITHIN WHICH TRAVEL TO A SELECTED HOME MUST BE PERFORMED, IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT ORDERS TO PROCEED TO HIS HOME CANNOT BE REGARDED AS OPEN ORDERS FOR TRAVEL TO BE COMPLIED WITH AT ANY FUTURE TIME SUITING THE PLEASURE OR CONVENIENCE OF THE OFFICER TO WHOM ISSUED BUT MUST BE COMPLIED WITH WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, WITH RESPECT TO WHICH IT LONG HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT A DELAY OF ONE YEAR IN PERFORMING SUCH TRAVEL IS NOT UNREASONABLE SINCE, BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES PECULIAR TO THE MILITARY SERVICE, AN OFFICER AT TIME OF RETIREMENT USUALLY DOES NOT HAVE AN ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE WHERE HE DESIRES TO LOCATE HIS HOME IN CIVIL LIFE, AND OCCASIONALLY SOME TIME IS REQUIRED FOR SELECTING A HOME AND ADJUSTING PERSONAL AFFAIRS PREPARATORY TO MOVING THERETO. UPON REPRESENTATIONS BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR THAT DUE TO CROWDED HOUSING CONDITIONS AND AN OVERBURDENED TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM CAUSED BY THE PROSECUTION OF THE WAR MANY RETIRED OFFICERS WERE BEING DEPRIVED OF THEIR RIGHT TO MILEAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BECAUSE OF THE ONE YEAR RULE, SAID RULE WAS RELAXED IN DECISION OF JULY 2, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 6, TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CASES WHERE TRAVEL TO THE SELECTED HOME IS ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER TERMINATION OF WAR--- WHICH OCCURRED APRIL 28, 1952--- OR ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF RETIREMENT, WHICHEVER IS LATER. IN CONSONANCE THEREWITH PARAGRAPH 1150-3 OF THE SAID JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM HOME IN CONNECTION WITH RETIRED OFFICERS AS THE PLACE WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL SELECTS AND TO WHICH HE PERFORMS TRAVEL WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF RETIREMENT OR ONE YEAR FROM APRIL 28, 1952, WHILE, WITH RESPECT TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON RETIREMENT, PARAGRAPH 8000-5B (1), JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DEFINES THE "HOME" TO WHICH SHIPMENT IS AUTHORIZED AS THE PLACE WHICH THE MEMBER, WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT FIXED IN PARAGRAPH 1150-3 SELECTS AS HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING MILEAGE. SINCE PARAGRAPH 8012-1 OF JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRED THAT HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF OFFICERS RETIRED ON OR BEFORE APRIL 28, 1952, BE TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR TO A CARRIER WITHIN A YEAR FROM THAT DATE "FOR SHIPMENT" TO THE HOME AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS 1150-3 AND 8000-5B (1) THEREOF, IT SEEMS EVIDENT THAT THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT EFFECTS TURNED OVER TO A CARRIER WILL BE FORWARDED WITHOUT FURTHER STORAGE CHARGES AND THAT, IF TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, THAT OFFICER WILL PLACE THEM IN TRANSIT WITHOUT DELAY. IT FOLLOWS THAT NO FURTHER STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT POINT OF ORIGIN ON AND AFTER APRIL 28, 1953, IS AUTHORIZED.

WITH RESPECT TO TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH HAVE REACHED THEIR DESTINATION BEFORE APRIL 28, 1953, IN VIEW OF THE REQUIREMENT OF THE REGULATIONS THAT SUCH DESTINATION SHALL BE THE HOME SELECTED BY THE OFFICER AND SUCH SELECTION CONFIRMED BY TRAVEL THERETO PRIOR TO APRIL 28, 1953, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A NEED BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE OWNER FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT DESTINATION ORDINARILY WOULD NOT ARISE. FURTHER, WHILE IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT WHERE AN OFFICER IS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, OR TO MAKE A CHANGE OF DUTY STATION, AND IS TO BE ASSIGNED QUARTERS AT HIS NEW STATION, AN APPROPRIATE CERTIFYING AUTHORITY USUALLY WOULD HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, LOCAL HOUSING CONDITIONS AND OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES UPON WHICH TO PREDICATE A CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE, IT SEEMS DOUBTFUL THAT RETIRED OFFICERS HAVING HAD NOT LESS THAN A YEAR IN WHICH TO TO ESTABLISH A HOME AT ANY POINT OF THEIR OWN CHOOSING WOULD HAVE AVAILABLE TO THEM A CERTIFYING AUTHORITY HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE OWNER WHICH GAVE RISE TO A NEED FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE HOME SO SELECTED. HOWEVER, SHOULD STORAGE CHARGES BE INCURRED FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE AT DESTINATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED THERETO FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION PRIOR TO APRIL 28, 1953, IN/CONNECTION WITH RETIREMENT, AND SHOULD THE VOUCHER COVERING SUCH CHARGES BE SUPPORTED BY AN ACCEPTABLE CERTIFICATE OF PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY COGNIZANT OF THE FACTS THAT SUCH STORAGE WAS NECESSARY BY REASON OF CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE OWNER, SUCH CHARGES, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, TOGETHER WITH THE CHARGES FOR HANDLING OUT OF STORAGE WAREHOUSE, HAULING TO RESIDENCE AND NECESSARY UNPACKING AND UNCRATING, WOULD APPEAR TO BE PAYABLE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF PRESENT REGULATIONS.