B-126120, DEC. 15, 1955

B-126120: Dec 15, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

BREITENBUCHER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3. AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WHILE YOU WERE SERVING AS CAPTAIN. THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE ON APRIL 24. AT WHICH TIME YOU WERE STATIONED AT ARMY HOSPITAL. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO ARMY HOSPITAL. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THE LATTER PLACE. THE RECORD INDICATES ALSO THAT YOU SENT YOUR FAMILY HOME WHEN THE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED AND THAT YOUR REASON FOR TAKING SUCH ACTION WAS THE HEALTH OF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT PRIOR TO SHIPMENT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE EFFECTS WOULD HAVE TO BE SHIPPED AT YOUR EXPENSE. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY ADVISED AS TO PROCEDURE. SINCE YOUR EFFECTS COULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED TO YOUR HOME AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR SERVICE.

B-126120, DEC. 15, 1955

TO MR. ROBERT B. BREITENBUCHER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3, 1955, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF PACKING, STORAGE AND SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WHILE YOU WERE SERVING AS CAPTAIN, MEDICAL CORPS.

THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE ON APRIL 24, 1954, AT WHICH TIME YOU WERE STATIONED AT ARMY HOSPITAL, FORT JACKSON, SOUTH CAROLINA. SUBSEQUENTLY, BY ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 4, 1955, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO ARMY HOSPITAL, FORT LEONARD WOOD, MISSOURI, WHERE, BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 14, 1955, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THE LATTER PLACE, DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO YOUR HOME, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, AND RELEASED FROM ALL ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1955. THUS, YOU SHIPPED YOUR EFFECTS TO YOUR HOME MORE THAN A YEAR PRIOR TO THE ORDERS EFFECTING YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE RECORD INDICATES ALSO THAT YOU SENT YOUR FAMILY HOME WHEN THE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED AND THAT YOUR REASON FOR TAKING SUCH ACTION WAS THE HEALTH OF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT PRIOR TO SHIPMENT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE EFFECTS WOULD HAVE TO BE SHIPPED AT YOUR EXPENSE, BUT THAT REIMBURSEMENT COULD BE CLAIMED UPON RECEIPT OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY ADVISED AS TO PROCEDURE, AND THAT, REGARDLESS OF PROCEDURE, SINCE YOUR EFFECTS COULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED TO YOUR HOME AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR SERVICE, YOU BELIEVE YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE PAID. ALSO, YOU REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO THE "APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY" WHO COULD HAVE DETERMINED THE NECESSITY FOR SHIPMENT PRIOR TO ORDERS.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF STATION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, PROVIDE FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON CHANGE OF STATION INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME. THOSE REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDE, HOWEVER, THAT SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF ORDERS EXCEPT IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE, OR WHERE REQUIRED BY SERVICE NECESSITY, AS DETERMINED BY THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED. SEE PARAGRAPH 8014-1 OF THOSE REGULATIONS. WHILE THE REGULATIONS DO NOT DEFINE THE TERM "APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY," IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, PARAGRAPH 7000-11, PROVIDES THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER, OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, OF THE HEADQUARTERS ISSUING THE ORDERS, SHALL MAKE DETERMINATIONS WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO ORDERS. THUS, THE DETERMINATION OF CONDITIONS REQUIRING SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PRIOR TO ORDERS APPARENTLY WOULD BE MADE BY AN OFFICIAL AT ORDER ISSUING LEVEL. IN YOUR CASE, SINCE IT WAS CLEAR THAT YOU MADE THE SHIPMENT FOR PERSONAL OR FAMILY REASONS, THERE WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SHIPMENT PRIOR TO ORDERS WAS REQUIRED BY AN EMERGENCY, EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE, OR SERVICE NECESSITY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS. THUS, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE SHIPMENT, AND THE FACT THAT YOU EVENTUALLY COULD HAVE MADE THE SHIPMENT UNDER PROPER ORDERS AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

MOREOVER, EVEN IF THE SHIPMENT WERE AUTHORIZED, THE REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDE THAT WHEN HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE SHIPPED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, REIMBURSEMENT CAN BE MADE ONLY WHEN THE SHIPMENT IS RATIFIED AND PAYMENT DIRECTED BY THE PROPER AUTHORITY. PARAGRAPH 16, ARMY SPECIAL REGULATIONS 35-3260-1, PROVIDES THAT THE COMMANDING GENERALS OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMIES MAY RATIFY SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MADE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE AND DIRECT REIMBURSEMENT IN PROPER CASES. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS REFERRED TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL, FIFTH ARMY, FOR RATIFICATION CONSIDERATION, AND THAT IT WAS NOT RATIFIED.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM AND THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1955, IS SUSTAINED.