B-126674, MAR. 13, 1956

B-126674: Mar 13, 1956

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YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT WASHINGTON. WERE SHIPPED FOR YOU AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM WASHINGTON. 194 POUNDS GROSS WAS SHIPPED FOR YOU AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM WASHINGTON. THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT OF THESE THREE SHIPMENTS WAS 13. YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT SO PAID WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 17. THE MAIN BASIS FOR YOUR CLAIM APPEARS TO BE THAT THE EXCESS COST WHICH RESULTED FROM THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS WAS DUE TO THE EXCESSIVE WEIGHT OF THE PACKING MATERIALS USED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER NET WEIGHT IS INTENDED GENERALLY TO EQUALIZE THE QUANTITY OF EFFECTS WHICH MIGHT BE SHIPPED BY VARIOUS MEMBERS USING THE SEVERAL MODES OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED.

B-126674, MAR. 13, 1956

CAPTAIN WILLIAM P. STEPHENS, USN:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1955, REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 17, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $107.55 CHECKED IN YOUR PAY ACCOUNT FOR EXCESS COST OF PACKING AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO ORDERS ASSIGNING YOU TO DUTY IN THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII.

BY ORDERS DATED MARCH 26, 1953, YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT OAHU, TERRITORY OF HAWAII. INCIDENT TO SUCH ORDERS TWO LOTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHOWN AS WEIGHING 481 AND 6,183 POUNDS GROSS, RESPECTIVELY, WERE SHIPPED FOR YOU AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION. THIRD LOT OF EFFECTS SHOWN AS WEIGHING 7,194 POUNDS GROSS WAS SHIPPED FOR YOU AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR GOVERNMENT STORAGE. THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT OF THESE THREE SHIPMENTS WAS 13,858 POUNDS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU PAID THE GOVERNMENT $107.55 AS EXCESS COST FOR PACKING, HAULING, AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA. YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT SO PAID WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 17, 1955.

THE MAIN BASIS FOR YOUR CLAIM APPEARS TO BE THAT THE EXCESS COST WHICH RESULTED FROM THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS WAS DUE TO THE EXCESSIVE WEIGHT OF THE PACKING MATERIALS USED BY THE GOVERNMENT, ORITS AGENTS, IN PACKING THOSE EFFECTS AND THAT, THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH EXCESS COSTS.

IT WOULD BE OBVIOUSLY IMPRACTICAL TO WEIGH BEFORE PACKING AT ORIGIN OR AFTER UNPACKING AT DESTINATION EACH OF THE MANY SHIPMENTS OF EFFECTS MADE FOR SERVICE PERSONNEL AND TO COMPUTE EXCESS COST ON THE BASIS OF ACTUAL NET WEIGHT SO ASCERTAINED. FOR THIS REASON, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 8001-1) FOR A PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER AUTHORIZED NET WEIGHT AS AN ALLOWANCE FOR MATERIALS USED FOR PACKING AND CRATING FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE NET WEIGHT SHIPPED. THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER NET WEIGHT IS INTENDED GENERALLY TO EQUALIZE THE QUANTITY OF EFFECTS WHICH MIGHT BE SHIPPED BY VARIOUS MEMBERS USING THE SEVERAL MODES OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED, THAT IS, WATER, RAIL, OR VAN. WHILE THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF PACKING MATERIAL NECESSARY TO INSURE SAFE SHIPMENT MIGHT EXCEED THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT SO AUTHORIZED, WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO DETERMINE THAT WITH RESPECT TO A PARTICULAR SHIPMENT EXCESS WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT RESULTED FROM THE MANNER IN WHICH THE EFFECTS WERE PACKED.

THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF EFFECTS PACKED AND SHIPPED FOR YOU AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF MARCH 26, 1953, EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 9,000 POUNDS RESULTING IN EXCESS COST OF $107.55, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY COMPUTED UNDER THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED EXCESS COSTS WERE ERRONEOUS, AS BASED ON THE ACTUAL SHIPPING WEIGHTS, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1955, IS SUSTAINED.