B-128292, AUG. 7, 1956

B-128292: Aug 7, 1956

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FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. THE ONLY DAY THE ROAD WAS OPEN FOR TRAFFIC FOR THE TRIP OVER THE MOUNTAINS. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE OFFICIAL WEIGHING STATIONS WERE ALL CLOSED DUE TO SNOW AND ICY CONDITIONS NECESSITATING THE ESTIMATING OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805. EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AS WELL AS HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDERS. YOU SAY YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS WHEN TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE BY PERSONALLY-OWNED TRAILER TOWED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE DRIVEN BY THE EMPLOYEE.

B-128292, AUG. 7, 1956

TO MR. J. E. HUDSON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1956, SUBMITTING A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $129.79 IN FAVOR OF WARREN G. PRATT, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF 1,701 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON FEBRUARY 19, 1956, FROM SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, TO RENO, NEVADA, UPON OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION. YOU ASK WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT THE EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION PERFORMED TRAVEL ON FEBRUARY 2, 1956, IN HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED $7.08 (MILEAGE AT 7 CENTS A MILE--- SAN JOSE TO RENO, 262 MILES, STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE--- REDUCED TO COST OF TRAIN FARE). ON FEBRUARY 19, 1956, THE ONLY DAY THE ROAD WAS OPEN FOR TRAFFIC FOR THE TRIP OVER THE MOUNTAINS, THE EMPLOYEE (ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE) TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED TRAILER PULLED BY HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE OFFICIAL WEIGHING STATIONS WERE ALL CLOSED DUE TO SNOW AND ICY CONDITIONS NECESSITATING THE ESTIMATING OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805. EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AS WELL AS HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDERS. THE EMPLOYEE ALSO HAS BEEN REIMBURSED IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.08 FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL PERFORMED ON FEBRUARY 19, 1956.

YOU SAY YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS WHEN TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE BY PERSONALLY-OWNED TRAILER TOWED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE DRIVEN BY THE EMPLOYEE.

IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 2, 1956, B-125834, WE MADE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"OUR DECISIONS HOLD THAT THE COST OF MOVING HOUSE TRAILERS--- PROPERTY WHICH IS NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE TERMS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AND "PERSONAL EFFECTS" AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805--- CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED. 32 COMP. GEN. 367. NOTHING APPEARS OF RECORD INDICATING THE AMOUNT, IF ANY, THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILER WAS INCREASED BY REASON OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIED THEREIN. WE HAVE CONTACTED VARIOUS SOURCES IN AN EFFORT TO OBTAIN INFORMATION AS TO WHAT INCREASED COSTS MIGHT BE INVOLVED BUT WITHOUT SUCCESS. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH EVIDENCE, ALLOWANCE OF THE COMMUTED RATE FOR SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED.'

THE FOREGOING APPEARS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HERE PRESENTED. ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BUT IF THE EMPLOYEE CAN FURNISH EVIDENCE OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSE CONNECTED WITH THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THE MATTER SHOULD AGAIN BE FORWARDED FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.