B-125277, SEPTEMBER 29, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 165

B-125277: Sep 29, 1955

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TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - WEIGHT ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENCY DETERMINATION AN EMPLOYEE'S STATUS WITH RESPECT TO DEPENDENTS FOR APPLICATION OF THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS PRESCRIBED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 IS FOR DETERMINATION AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRAVEL ORDER. SO THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE MOTHER WAS A DEPENDENT MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING TRAVEL TO ALASKA IS ENTITLED TO THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IF THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENT MOTHER IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD ON DATE OF THE RETURN TRAVEL ORDER HE WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR EMPLOYEES WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

B-125277, SEPTEMBER 29, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 165

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - WEIGHT ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENCY DETERMINATION AN EMPLOYEE'S STATUS WITH RESPECT TO DEPENDENTS FOR APPLICATION OF THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS PRESCRIBED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 IS FOR DETERMINATION AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRAVEL ORDER, SO THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE MOTHER WAS A DEPENDENT MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING TRAVEL TO ALASKA IS ENTITLED TO THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HOWEVER, IF THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENT MOTHER IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD ON DATE OF THE RETURN TRAVEL ORDER HE WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR EMPLOYEES WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, SEPTEMBER 29, 1955:

THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER OF AUGUST 18, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION CONCERNING THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BY AN EMPLOYEE APPOINTED TO A POSITION OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE ARE RELATED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

IN JUNE OF 1954, DR. ROBERT G. MOLES WAS APPOINTED TO A POSITION WITH THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WERE AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDER NO. 54-723, DATED JUNE 14, 1954. PURSUANT TO THIS AUTHORIZATION, THE EMPLOYEE SHIPPED 4,740 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN CALIFORNIA TO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING NOS. IN- 8423 AND GS-338,622.

DR. MILES' MOTHER WAS A MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT AND WAS HIS ONLY DEPENDENT. HOWEVER, SHE DID NOT ACCOMPANY HIM TO HIS POST OF DUTY IN ALASKA, BUT REMAINED IN CALIFORNIA. ALTHOUGH DR. MILES' MOTHER CEASED TO BE A MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD, SHE CONTINUED TO BE DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUPPORT.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1946, PROVIDES IN SUBSTANCE THAT AN EMPLOYEE HAVING AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS NOT IN EXCESS OF 8,750 POUNDS GROSS WEIGHT. AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS SUBJECT TO A LIMITATION OF 3,125 POUNDS. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO WHICH OF THE LIMITATIONS REFERRED TO IS APPLICABLE TO DR. MILES' CASE AND WHETHER THE SAME LIMITATION WOULD APPLY UPON HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1940, CONTAINED A PROVISION SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THAT IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805. IN CONSTRUING THE FORMER ORDER IT WAS DECIDED IN 25 COMP. GEN. 360, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DETERMINATION OF THE GROSS WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO BE TRANSPORTED TO AN EMPLOYEE'S NEW PERMANENT STATION, INSOFAR AS CONCERNS THE 2,500 POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 UPON EMPLOYEES HAVING NO DEPENDENTS, SHOULD BE MADE WITH RESPECT TO THE STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER AUTHORIZING OR DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE. THE TERM "EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER" GENERALLY HAS BEEN CONSTRUED TO BE THE DATE OF THE ORDER ITSELF OR SUCH LATER DATE AS MAY BE FIXED THEREIN FOR BEGINNING COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. 26 COMP. GEN. 293.

ACCORDINGLY, IF DR. MILES' MOTHER WAS A DEPENDENT MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING HIS TRAVEL TO ALASKA--- AS APPARENTLY WAS THE CASE--- THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION OF 8,750 POUNDS GROSS WEIGHT. THE WEIGHT OF GOODS AND EFFECTS WITHIN THAT LIMITATION AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED IN ANY GIVEN CASE IS, OF COURSE, A MATTER FOR THE EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION DEPENDING ON THE FACTS IN THE CASE.

IN ANSWER TO THE SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED, IF THE DEPENDENT MOTHER IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, THE WEIGHT LIMITATION OF 3,125 POUNDS PROVIDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 WOULD BE APPLICABLE.