B-127176, MAY 29, 1956

B-127176: May 29, 1956

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REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED FOR $48.10 AS A PARTIAL RECLAIM OF $107.20 ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL VOUCHER IN WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS CLAIMED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BETWEEN BISHOP. THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $107.20 WAS COMPUTED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 6. THAT LANGUAGE WAS CHANGED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10507 OF DECEMBER 10. REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTED BASIS AT RATES PER HUNDRED POUNDS AS FIXED BY ZONES IN SCHEDULE A WHICH IS ATTACHED TO AND MADE A PART OF THESE REGULATIONS. INCASE THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED IS LESS THAN THE ONE-THOUSAND-POUND MINIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE CHARGEABLE UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFFS.

B-127176, MAY 29, 1956

TO MR. JOHN T. STEWART, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15, 1956 (A, DISBURSEMENT, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ADVANCE DECISIONS), REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED FOR $48.10 AS A PARTIAL RECLAIM OF $107.20 ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL VOUCHER IN WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS CLAIMED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BETWEEN BISHOP, CALIFORNIA, AND SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA, ON A TRANSFER OF STATION FROM BISHOP TO SAN FRANCISCO.

THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT AN ACTUAL COST OF $514.10 BASED ON A 7,500 POUND MINIMUM WEIGHT, MOVED A DISTANCE OF 420 MILES. THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $107.20 WAS COMPUTED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 6,260 POUNDS FOR 420 MILES AT THE COMMUTED RATE OF $6.50 CWT. OR $406.90.

YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE CONTACTED SEVERAL CARRIERS, ALL OF WHOM STATED A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF FROM 7,500 TO 10,000 POUNDS BECAUSE OF THE ISOLATED LOCATION OF BISHOP, CALIFORNIA, AND HE CONTRACTED WITH THE CARRIER QUOTING THE LOWEST MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 7,500 POUNDS. SPECIFICALLY, YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER THE 7,500 POUNDS SO IMPOSED BY THE CARRIER QUALIFIES AS "THE MINIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE CHARGEABLE UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFF" IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 12A OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10196 OF DECEMBER 22, 1950.

WHILE THE CITED PARAGRAPH OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10196 CONTAINED THE QUOTED LANGUAGE, THAT LANGUAGE WAS CHANGED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10507 OF DECEMBER 10, 1953, TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 12. (A) COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES--- GENERAL. IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN THE CASE OF TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTED BASIS AT RATES PER HUNDRED POUNDS AS FIXED BY ZONES IN SCHEDULE A WHICH IS ATTACHED TO AND MADE A PART OF THESE REGULATIONS. THE AMOUNT PAYABLE SHALL BE THE PRODUCT OF THE APPLICABLE RATE AND THE NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ACTUALLY TRANSPORTED (WITHIN THE WEIGHT LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 16 HEREOF). INCASE THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED IS LESS THAN THE ONE-THOUSAND-POUND MINIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE CHARGEABLE UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFFS, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED TO THE EXTENT OF THE MINIMUM TARIFF REQUIREMENT. GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING SHALL NOT BE USED.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPH, IT NO LONGER IS PERMISSIBLE TO BASE THE COMMUTED RATE UPON THE MINIMUM RATE CHARGEABLE UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFFS UNLESS THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS DOES NOT EXCEED 1,000 POUNDS.

AS THE AMOUNT ALLOWED ON THE PRESENT VOUCHER WAS BASED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS, NO ADDITIONAL PAYMENT IS NOW AUTHORIZED NOTWITHSTANDING THAT CALIFORNIA STATE SCHEDULES PERMIT THE USE OF CERTAIN MINIMUM WEIGHTS CONCERNING INTRASTATE CLAIMS. THE VOUCHERS AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

FURTHER, ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT THE AMOUNT ALLOWED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER IN THIS CASE WAS COMPUTED ON A DISTANCE OF 420 MILES, THE SOURCE OF SUCH MILEAGE NOT BEING STATED. AS THE RAND MCNALLY HIGHWAY GUIDE SHOWS 304 MILES BETWEEN BISHOP AND SAN FRANCISCO, AND AS THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF CLAIMED MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR ONLY 323 MILES, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE ALLOWANCE WAS PROBABLY EXCESSIVE AND SHOULD BE RECOMPUTED ON THE ACTUAL MILEAGE BASIS RATHER THAN UPON ARBITRARY MILEAGE SCHEDULES FOUND IN LOCAL TARIFFS.