B-127669, JUN. 13, 1956

B-127669: Jun 13, 1956

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THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS THE STORAGE INSURANCE COSTS WHICH WERE SUSPENDED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM HIS PRIOR CLAIM. THE ABOVE AMOUNT WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON: "RECEIPTS COVERING YOUR PERMANENT STORAGE (180 CU. AT $9.85) INDICATE THAT AN ADDITIONAL $2.10 IS CHARGED YOU EACH MONTH FOR INSURANCE. SINCE THIS OFFICE IS UNAWARE OF ANY SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF INSURANCE IN CONNECTION WITH STORAGE CHARGES. IT IS NECESSARY TO DEDUCT THAT AMOUNT FROM THE AMOUNT OF YOUR VOUCHER ($2.10 EACH MONTH FOR OCT. PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "YOU ARE SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS AND ENTITLED TO ALL APPLICABLE BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES WHICH ARE NOW OR MAY HEREAFTER. TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF EFFECTS OF ITS EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO MISSIONS WHOSE EXPENSES ARE PAID FROM MUTUAL SECURITY FUNDS.

B-127669, JUN. 13, 1956

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN R. WELCH IN THE AMOUNT OF $6.30. THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS THE STORAGE INSURANCE COSTS WHICH WERE SUSPENDED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM HIS PRIOR CLAIM, COVERING THE PERIOD OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 1955, FOR EXPENSES OF PERMANENT STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. WO-ADM-117 DATED MARCH 17, 1955.

THE ABOVE AMOUNT WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:

"RECEIPTS COVERING YOUR PERMANENT STORAGE (180 CU. FT. AT $9.85) INDICATE THAT AN ADDITIONAL $2.10 IS CHARGED YOU EACH MONTH FOR INSURANCE, MAKING A TOTAL COST OF $11.95. SINCE THIS OFFICE IS UNAWARE OF ANY SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF INSURANCE IN CONNECTION WITH STORAGE CHARGES, IT IS NECESSARY TO DEDUCT THAT AMOUNT FROM THE AMOUNT OF YOUR VOUCHER ($2.10 EACH MONTH FOR OCT., NOV., AND DEC.), OR $6.30.'

THE NOTIFICATION OF TRANSFER AND APPOINTMENT OF MR. WELCH AS MINING ENGINEER (FOA-5) AT KATHMANDU, NEPAL, EFFECTIVE JULY 9, 1955, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"YOU ARE SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS AND ENTITLED TO ALL APPLICABLE BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES WHICH ARE NOW OR MAY HEREAFTER, DURING THE TENURE OF YOUR APPOINTMENT, BE PROVIDED FOR FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE AND STAFF EMPLOYEES OF THE POINT IV PROGRAM, INCLUDING THOSE PROVIDED IN THE STANDARDIZED CIVILIAN ALLOWANCE REGULATIONS, THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. * * *"

THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS (180 FSTR 6.2) PROVIDE THAT ALLOWABLE EXPENSES FOR STORAGE OF EFFECTS SHALL INCLUDE THE COST OF PACKING, CARTAGE, WAREHOUSE LABOR CHARGES, COST OF STORING CLOTHING, RUGS AND TAPESTRIES IN SPECIAL CONTROLLED STORAGE FACILITIES APART FROM OTHER EFFECTS, AND THE COST OF UNPACKING UPON OCCUPATION OF RESIDENCE QUARTERS. WE DO NOT FIND IN THAT PROVISION, OR ELSEWHERE IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS, ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSES OF INSURANCE OF HIS EFFECTS WHILE IN STORAGE.

THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION MANUAL, ORDER NO. 560.2, TRANSMITTAL LETTER NO. GENERAL-248, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 16, 1955, PROVIDES REGULATIONS COVERING THE TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF EFFECTS OF ITS EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO MISSIONS WHOSE EXPENSES ARE PAID FROM MUTUAL SECURITY FUNDS, INCLUDING THE POINT IV PROGRAM. THAT ORDER, RELATIVE TO ,ALLOWABLE RELATED EXPENSES" OF TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF EFFECTS, PROVIDES IN SECTION II.J.2.B. "INSURANCE COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH STORAGE ARE NOT ALLOWED.' A SIMILAR EXCLUSION OF INSURANCE COSTS ALSO WAS CONTAINED IN THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION'S ALL MISSION CIRCULAR USFOTO A-60 DATED APRIL 24, 1954.

AS TO EMPLOYEES WHOSE EFFECTS ARE INSURED DURING THE PERIOD OF THEIR STORAGE UNDER AUTHORITY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, WE HAVE HELD THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT SUCH INSURANCE IS REQUIRED BY THE STORAGE COMPANY BEFORE THE GOODS WOULD BE ACCEPTED FOR STORAGE, OR IS REQUIRED BY LAW, THE COST OF SUCH INSURANCE MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A NECESSARY INCIDENTAL COST OF STORAGE. 28 COMP. GEN. 679.

THE LAW OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON REQUIRES WAREHOUSEMEN OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO EXERCISE ONLY SUCH CARE IN REGARD TO SUCH STORED GOODS AS A REASONABLY CAREFUL OWNER OF SIMILAR GOODS WOULD EXERCISE. SEE THE REVISED CODE OF WASHINGTON, SECTION 22.04.220, AND COMPARE 56 AM. JUR., WAREHOUSES, SECS. 139, 144, ET AL. THOSE AUTHORITIES DO NOT INDICATE THAT WAREHOUSEMEN OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE REQUIRED TO PROCURE INSURANCE UPON SUCH EFFECTS. NOR IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE OF RECORD SUGGESTING THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE EFFECTS FOR STORAGE WAS CONDITIONED UPON THE OBTAINING OF STORAGE INSURANCE. THUS, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STORAGE REGULATIONS, THE COST OF THE INSURANCE IN THIS CASE MUST BE CONSIDERED AS A PERSONAL EXPENSE AND NOT AS AN ESSENTIAL ITEM OF STORAGE COSTS CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.