B-115435, JUNE 23, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 567

B-115435: Jun 23, 1953

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TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT BY EMPLOYEE'S TRAILER TOWED BY HIRED MOVER A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHO INCURRED INCREASED COSTS TO HAVE HOUSE TRAILER TOWED TO NEW STATION BY A HIRED MOVER BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONTAINED THEREIN. IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF SAID EFFECTS ON EITHER A COMMUTED OR ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. MAY COMMUTED RATE BE ALLOWED IN CONSIDERATION OF THE FACT THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE HOUSE TRAILER WAS INCREASED BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONTAINED THEREIN? 2. IF REPLY IS IN THE NEGATIVE. SINCE IT WAS INCURRED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING TRANSFER? THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM MOLINE.

B-115435, JUNE 23, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 567

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT BY EMPLOYEE'S TRAILER TOWED BY HIRED MOVER A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHO INCURRED INCREASED COSTS TO HAVE HOUSE TRAILER TOWED TO NEW STATION BY A HIRED MOVER BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONTAINED THEREIN, AND WHO FAILED TO FURNISH THE ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF SUCH EFFECTS AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 10 AND 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, BUT WHO FURNISHED THE WEIGHT OF SUCH EFFECTS BASED ON ESTIMATED CUBIC FOOTAGE OF LOADED VAN, IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF SAID EFFECTS ON EITHER A COMMUTED OR ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO E. FRIEDMAN, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, JUNE 23, 1953:

BY LETTER OF MAY 21, 1953, THE CHIEF, ACCOUNTING DIVISION, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 22, 1953, ENCLOSING A TRAVEL VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION COVERING CLAIM UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE CLAIMANT'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, $229.90, PLUS $6.75 PER DIEM AND COMPARATIVE COMMON CARRIER COST OF $13.97 FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS.

YOU REQUEST A DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. MAY COMMUTED RATE BE ALLOWED IN CONSIDERATION OF THE FACT THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE HOUSE TRAILER WAS INCREASED BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONTAINED THEREIN?

2. IF REPLY IS IN THE NEGATIVE, MAY ALL OR ANY PORTION OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE BE ALLOWED, SINCE IT WAS INCURRED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING TRANSFER?

BY DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TRAVEL ORDER NO. 3-688, DATED JANUARY 16, 1953, THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM MOLINE, ILLINOIS, HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, TO FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, FOR PERMANENT DUTY. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE, PER DIEM OF $9, TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. THE MODES OF TRAVEL DESIGNATED WERE "BY COMMON CARRIER (EXCEPT EXTRA FARE TRAIN) VIA PLANE, TRAIN" AND "PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 7 CENTS PER MILE, REIMBURSABLE COST NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER.' THE NATIONAL TRAILER CONVOY, INC., WAS ENGAGED BY THE EMPLOYEE TO HAUL HIS HOUSE TRAILER, CONTAINING HIS EFFECTS, FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. SHIPMENT OF THE LOADED HOUSE TRAILER WAS ACCOMPLISHED AT A COST OF $81.95, WHICH THE FILE INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE PAID. THE TRAILER COMPANY STATES THAT THE ,TRAILER SHELL" WOULD PROBABLY WEIGH "AROUND 3,620 POUNDS AND THE BULK OF THE ADDITIONAL 4,180 WOULD PROBABLY BE THE REFRIGERATION, STOVE, ETC., AND PERSONAL EFFECTS.' ALSO, THE COMPANY STATES THAT FOR SHIPMENT OF THE 3,620 POUNDS THE RATE WOULD BE 22 CENTS PER MILE RATHER THAN THE 26 CENTS PER MILE CHARGED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE 7,800 POUNDS ACTUALLY HAULED. THE EMPLOYEE IS CLAIMING $229.90 UNDER SCHEDULE A OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, FOR SHIPMENT OF AN ESTIMATED 4,180 POUNDS OF EFFECTS OVER A DISTANCE OF 306 MILES AT THE RATE OF $5.50 PER HUNDRED. WHILE THE EMPLOYEES STATES THAT THE WEIGHT COMPUTED AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT IS 4,180 POUNDS, IT IS NOTED THAT THIS IS THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT SHOWN BY THE TRAILER COMPANY.

SECTIONS 10 AND 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10196, PROVIDE, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) STATEMENT OF WEIGHT. WHEN CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION ARE BASED UPON WEIGHT THE ACTUAL (NOT ESTIMATED) WEIGHT SHALL BE SHOWN.

EVIDENCE OF SHIPMENT. EMPLOYEES SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING, OR A CERTIFIED COPY THEREOF OR IF NO BILL OF LADING IS AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION, AND WEIGHT. IN INSTANCES IN WHICH NO PROPER WEIGHING FACILITIES ARE READILY AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED.

WHILE THE RECORDS SHOW THAT THE CLAIMANT FURNISHED EVIDENCE OF THE POINT OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION, THERE HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATION. NOR IS IT EVIDENT FROM THE RECORD THAT ALL ARTICLES INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF 4,180 POUNDS ARE ITEMS WHICH MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR PERSONAL EFFECTS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE REGULATIONS. MOREOVER, THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT PROVISION MAY BE USED ONLY UPON A SHOWING THAT NO PROPER WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE READILY AVAILABLE AT THE ORIGIN, AND WHERE THE ACTUAL, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM ESTIMATED, CUBIC FOOTAGE OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS FURNISHED. ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AT A COMMUTED RATE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION--- AND ASIDE FROM THE CONSIDERATIONS WHICH MAY PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS--- SINCE THERE IS ONLY AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE TRAILER SHELL, WHICH APPARENTLY DID NOT INCLUDE THE FITTINGS WHICH ARE CONSIDERED AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE TRAILER, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE THE DIFFICULTY OF ESTABLISHING WITH ANY DEGREE OF ACCURACY, WITH RESPECT TO THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS MOVED THEREIN, EXACTLY WHAT ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURE WAS INVOLVED. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE TRAILER ITSELF IS NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE TERMS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AND "PERSONAL EFFECTS" AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, NO PART OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE INCURRED MAY BE ALLOWED. YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.