B-117129, NOVEMBER 18, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 228

B-117129: Nov 18, 1953

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- IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE COSTS OF THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21. PURSUANT TO WHICH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 WAS PROMULGATED. IN YOUR LETTER IT IS SUGGESTED. ELIMINATING FROM CONSIDERATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES WHETHER THE GOODS WERE TRANSPORTED BY "CARRIER" OR OTHER METHOD (SEE 32 COMP. THAT IT IS NOW IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE EMPLOY INCURS ANY EXPENSE. THE STATUTORY PROVISION CANNOT OPERATE BECAUSE THE REIMBURSABLE BASIS UPON WHICH THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED DOES NOT EXIST. 28 COMP. SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN EACH CASE SHOWING THAT AN EXPENSE WAS INCURRED FOR MOVEMENT OF THE EFFECTS.

B-117129, NOVEMBER 18, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 228

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - COMMUTATION - EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO, AN EMPLOYEE WHO SHIPS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION AND WHO POSTPONES PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES BY AGREEMENT WITH THE CARRIER--- WHICH PREVENTS HIM FROM SUBMITTING REQUIRED RECEIPTED BILL--- IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE COSTS OF THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO N. A. OLMSTEAD, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 18, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1953, FILE NO. T-- , REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER A TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. JOHN R. BURNS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SO FAR AS IT INVOLVES A CLAIM UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN A COMMUTED AMOUNT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION FROM POSTVILLE, IOWA, TO MASON CITY, IOWA, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED APRIL 7, 1953, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT THE RECEIPT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES REQUIRED BY OFFICE LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1949, B-90247, 29 COMP. GEN. 574, 575--- PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES HAVING BEEN POSTPONED IN THE INSTANT CASE BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CARRIER AND THE EMPLOYEE.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, PURSUANT TO WHICH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 WAS PROMULGATED, PROVIDES IN SECTION 1 (B) AS FOLLOWS:

(B) IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, IN THE CASE OF SUCH TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTED BASIS (NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE FOR THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE) AT SUCH RATES PER ONE HUNDRED POUNDS AS MAY BE FIXED BY ZONES IN REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IN YOUR LETTER IT IS SUGGESTED, IN VIEW OF THE AMENDMENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10196, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, ELIMINATING FROM CONSIDERATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES WHETHER THE GOODS WERE TRANSPORTED BY "CARRIER" OR OTHER METHOD (SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 286), THAT IT IS NOW IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE EMPLOY INCURS ANY EXPENSE, AND THEREFORE THE REQUIREMENT OF A RECEIPT WOULD NO PURPOSE.

SECTION 1 (B), ABOVE, PROVIDES FOR "REIMBURSEMENT" UPON A COMMUTED BASIS IN "LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION," ETC. IF THERE BE NO ACTUAL EXPENSE, THE STATUTORY PROVISION CANNOT OPERATE BECAUSE THE REIMBURSABLE BASIS UPON WHICH THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED DOES NOT EXIST. 28 COMP. GEN. 41, 48; 32 COMP. GEN. 367. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, WHICH GENERALLY WOULD TAKE THE FORM OF A RECEIPTED BILL, SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN EACH CASE SHOWING THAT AN EXPENSE WAS INCURRED FOR MOVEMENT OF THE EFFECTS. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH EVIDENCE, PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING IT MUST BE HELD THAT SINCE PAYMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS HAS NOT BEEN MADE THE CLAIM UNDER CONSIDERATION IS PREMATURE AND NOT FOR PAYMENT UPON THE PRESENT RECORD.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION OF THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED, IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT IN A DECISION OF MARCH 14, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 471, 472, IT WAS STATED:

* * * IN THE CASE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT IF HE SHIPS AT HIS OWN EXPENSE OR WHEN A CARRIER PICKS UP THE GOODS PURSUANT TO A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING IF THEY ARE SHIPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IS THE PROPER APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED.