B-129384, NOV. 20, 1956

B-129384: Nov 20, 1956

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YOU WERE DETACHED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT BROOKLYN. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AF 4462981 DATED AUGUST 15. THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE DELIVERED AT SAN ANTONIO. YOU NOW CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF THAT AMOUNT ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO FIND SUITABLE HOUSING NEAR LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE AND FOUND IT NECESSARY TO PURCHASE A LOT AND BUILD A HOUSE. THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS AS FOLLOWS: "8006-1 TEMPORARY STORAGE "A.

B-129384, NOV. 20, 1956

TO MAJOR THOMAS F. CRISWELL, JR., USAF:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 7, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 25 TO NOVEMBER 23, 1955.

BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 7, 1955, YOU WERE DETACHED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, AND ORDERED TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, NOT LATER THAN AUGUST 31, 1955. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AF 4462981 DATED AUGUST 15, 1955, WHICH AUTHORIZED 60 DAYS' STORAGE AT DESTINATION IF NECESSARY. ON AUGUST 25, 1955, THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE DELIVERED AT SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, WHERE THEY REMAINED IN STORAGE UNTIL NOVEMBER 23, 1955. THE GOVERNMENT PAID FOR STORAGE FOR 60 DAYS AND YOU PAID THE SUM OF $55.50 FOR THE STORAGE FOR THE REMAINING PERIOD. YOU NOW CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF THAT AMOUNT ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO FIND SUITABLE HOUSING NEAR LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE AND FOUND IT NECESSARY TO PURCHASE A LOT AND BUILD A HOUSE.

THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814. SECTION 303 (C) OF THAT ACT PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED, IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION, TO ,TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS" TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS AS FOLLOWS:

"8006-1 TEMPORARY STORAGE

"A. WHEN AUTHORIZED. WHENEVER NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE MEMBER (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DIRECTED SURRENDER OF QUARTERS, ARRIVAL OF SHIPMENT AT DESTINATION BEFORE ARRIVAL OF MEMBER, OR NONAVAILABILITY OF HOUSING AT DESTINATION) TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. * * *"

UNDER THIS REGULATION A MEMBER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST OF ANY STORAGE AT DESTINATION UNLESS IT APPEARS THAT SUCH STORAGE WAS NECESSARY BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE OWNER. THE RECORD CONTAINS A CERTIFICATE OF JANUARY 23, 1956, BY THE STAFF TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT ONLY 60 DAYS' STORAGE WAS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE CIVILIAN HOUSING IN THE SAN ANTONIO AREA IS CONSIDERED TO BE PLENTIFUL. ALSO, IN THE 3RD INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 30, 1956, FROM HEADQUARTERS, LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TO THE AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, IT IS STATED TO BE THE OPINION OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OF THE BASE THAT PERSONAL NECESSITY FOR THE STORAGE IN QUESTION DID NOT EXIST, AS THERE WAS ADEQUATE HOUSING WITHIN A FIVE MILE RADIUS OF THE BASE. IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 29, 1955, TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, MITCHELL AIR FORCE BASE, IT IS STATED THAT WHEN TRANSFERRED TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE YOU REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION FOR THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF STORAGE FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SINCE YOU INTENDED TO PURCHASE A HOUSE IN SAN ANTONIO UNDER SECTION 222 OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION ACT. SUCH ACTION, YOU EXPECTED, WOULD REQUIRE TWO OR THREE MONTHS. IN YOUR CERTIFICATE DATED DECEMBER 6, 1955, IT IS STATED THAT AFTER YOU ARRIVED AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE AND DETERMINED THAT GOVERNMENT HOUSING WAS NOT AVAILABLE, YOU BEGAN LOOKING FOR A HOUSE FOR PURCHASE UNDER SECTION 222 OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION ACT, AND WHEN YOU DID NOT FIND A SUITABLE HOUSE, YOU PROCEEDED TO HAVE ONE BUILT, NECESSITATING THE STORAGE. THERE IS NO SHOWING, HOWEVER, THAT YOU COULD NOT HAVE RENTED ADEQUATE QUARTERS IN THE VICINITY OF YOUR STATION AND YOUR LETTERS INDICATE YOU MADE NO EFFORT TO DO SO. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT APPEARS THAT THE STORAGE WAS FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY BE REIMBURSED ANY PART OF THE STORAGE COST INCURRED BY YOU AND THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 7, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER THE RULING OF OUR OFFICE IS FINAL AND AS TO HOW YOU MAY PRESENT YOUR CASE TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE ACTION OF OUR OFFICE IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON ALL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NO FURTHER ACTION MAY BE TAKEN ADMINISTRATIVELY ON YOUR CLAIM. HOWEVER, THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF THE UNITED STATES HAS JURISDICTION TO CONSIDER AND DETERMINE CERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IF FILED THERE WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE CLAIMS FIRST ACCRUE. 28 U.S.C. 2501.