B-126843, FEB. 23, 1956

B-126843: Feb 23, 1956

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GREEN WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A TRANSFER WITHOUT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MOVED FROM MINDEN. WAS NOT THEN AWARE THAT SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 OF AUGUST 2. TO PERMIT RETROACTIVE APPROVAL OF REIMBURSEMENT IN SUCH CASES NO AMENDATORY ORDER WAS ISSUED AT THAT TIME. THE TRANSFER ORDER WAS AMENDED TO SHOW THE OFFICIAL STATION WAS CHANGED FROM MINDEN TO TEXARKANA EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL ORDER. IT APPEARS THAT NO WEIGHT CERTIFICATE WAS SECURED. NO INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF WEIGHING FACILITIES AT THE TIME THE TRANSPORTATION WAS EFFECTED. THE WEIGHT ON WHICH THE CLAIM IS BASED. WAS NOT COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF CUBIC FOOT MEASUREMENT BUT IS AN ESTIMATE FURNISHED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY.

B-126843, FEB. 23, 1956

TO MR. H. E. CONN, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF FINANCE, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 30, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENT OF $271.70 TO HERBERT GREEN AS REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM MINDEN, LOUISIANA, TO TEXARKANA, TEXAS, INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER OF HEADQUARTERS OCTOBER 1, 1951.

BY PERSONAL NOTICE DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1951, AS AMENDED NOVEMBER 14, 1951, MR. GREEN WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A TRANSFER WITHOUT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MOVED FROM MINDEN, LOUISIANA, TO TEXARKANA, TEXAS, OCTOBER 2, AND 3, 1951, AT A COST OF $92.70. AS THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT, POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, NEW ORLEANS, WAS NOT THEN AWARE THAT SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 OF AUGUST 2, 1946, HAD BEEN AMENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 1950, 64 STAT. 985, TO PERMIT RETROACTIVE APPROVAL OF REIMBURSEMENT IN SUCH CASES NO AMENDATORY ORDER WAS ISSUED AT THAT TIME. BY ORDER DATED JANUARY 16, 1956, THE TRANSFER ORDER WAS AMENDED TO SHOW THE OFFICIAL STATION WAS CHANGED FROM MINDEN TO TEXARKANA EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL ORDER. IT APPEARS THAT NO WEIGHT CERTIFICATE WAS SECURED, NO INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF WEIGHING FACILITIES AT THE TIME THE TRANSPORTATION WAS EFFECTED, AND THE WEIGHT ON WHICH THE CLAIM IS BASED, 6,500 POUNDS, WAS NOT COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF CUBIC FOOT MEASUREMENT BUT IS AN ESTIMATE FURNISHED BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY. THE HEAD OF THE COMPANY WHO MADE THE ESTIMATE HAS SINCE DIED BUT HIS WIDOW STATES THAT HE HAD DONE SO MUCH OF THIS WORK THAT HE "COULD ALMOST TELL HOW MUCH A LOAD WOULD BE.' THE VOUCHER HAS BEEN APPROVED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS AUTHORIZED BY THE AMENDMENT TO SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946.

IN A SIMILAR CASE WE HELD IN 28 COMP. GEN. 95 (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

"A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHO FAILED TO FURNISH THE ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE (CUBIC FOOT MEASUREMENT) WEIGHT OF A SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 10 AND 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE COMMUTED (LUMP SUM) ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SECTION 12 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, BUT WHO DID FURNISH AN ACCEPTABLE STATEMENT OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT MAY BE ALLOWED THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED ON ACCOUNT OF THE SHIPMENT, SAID AMOUNT BEING LESS THAN THAT PAYABLE AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER BASED UPON THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS SHIPPED.'

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT FOR $92.70 ONLY.