B-129988, FEB. 5, 1957

B-129988: Feb 5, 1957

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159966: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29. UPON BEING RETURNED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION YOU WERE ASSIGNED. 090 POUNDS WAS SHIPPED BY COMMERCIAL VAN FROM COVINGTON. A SECOND SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS WEIGHING 370 POUNDS WAS MADE IN MAY 1952 BY COMMERCIAL VAN FROM COVINGTON. YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REFUND THE EXCESS COST AMOUNTING TO $133.78. THE SHIPPER IS CHARGED WITH EXCESS COST ONLY WHEN CERTAIN FACTORS ARE PRESENT INCLUDING EXCESS COSTS RESULTING FROM SHIPMENT IN TWO LOTS. YOU SAY THAT THE SELECTION BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER TO SHIP YOUR SECOND LOT OF EFFECTS BY VAN WAS THE FACTOR WHICH INCURRED THE EXCESS COST AND THAT NO EXCESS COSTS WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF SHIPMENT HAD BEEN BY RAIL.

B-129988, FEB. 5, 1957

TO CAPTAIN WARREN G. BEER, 159966:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29, 1956, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 29, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM COVINGTON, KENTUCKY, TO FORT WORDEN, WASHINGTON, INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 31, 1951.

UPON BEING RETURNED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION YOU WERE ASSIGNED, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 31, 1951, TO DUTY AT FORT WORDEN, WASHINGTON. FEBRUARY 6, 1952, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST, ONE LOT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WEIGHING 3,090 POUNDS WAS SHIPPED BY COMMERCIAL VAN FROM COVINGTON, KENTUCKY, TO FORT WORDEN, WASHINGTON, ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE AMOUNT OF $515.41 PLUS TAX. A SECOND SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS WEIGHING 370 POUNDS WAS MADE IN MAY 1952 BY COMMERCIAL VAN FROM COVINGTON, KENTUCKY, TO FORT WORDEN, WASHINGTON, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE AMOUNT OF $191.60 PLUS TAX. THE COST PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR BOTH SHIPMENTS, INCLUDING TAX, AMOUNTED TO $728.22. SINCE THE SECOND LOT WEIGHED ONLY 370 POUNDS AND SINCE THE VAN LINE BILLED THE GOVERNMENT ON THE BASIS OF 1,000 POUNDS MINIMUM, YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REFUND THE EXCESS COST AMOUNTING TO $133.78, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ACTUAL COST OF BOTH SHIPMENTS ($728.22) AND THE AUTHORIZED COST ($594.44) IF THE SHIPMENT HAD BEEN MADE IN ONE LOT. YOU REFUNDED THE SUM OF $133.78.

IN REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT YOU CONTEND THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8100-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE SHIPPER IS CHARGED WITH EXCESS COST ONLY WHEN CERTAIN FACTORS ARE PRESENT INCLUDING EXCESS COSTS RESULTING FROM SHIPMENT IN TWO LOTS. YOU SAY THAT THE SELECTION BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER TO SHIP YOUR SECOND LOT OF EFFECTS BY VAN WAS THE FACTOR WHICH INCURRED THE EXCESS COST AND THAT NO EXCESS COSTS WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF SHIPMENT HAD BEEN BY RAIL. YOU FURTHER CONTEND THAT IN YOUR CASE THE SHIPPING OFFICER EITHER DID NOT ADEQUATELY VERIFY THE NATURE OF THE SHIPMENT OF HE FAILED TO SELECT THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH WOULD NOT INCUR EXCESS COST. YOU CONCLUDE BY SAYING THAT THE EXCESS COST RESULTED NOT FROM ANY ACT ON YOUR PART EITHER IN MAKING THE SHIPMENT IN TWO LOTS OR IN FURNISHING THE SHIPPING OFFICER WITH AN ESTIMATE OF WEIGHT OF THE SECOND SHIPMENT.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES THAT, UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION. AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY PROVIDED (PARAGRAPH 8052-2) THAT THE SHIPPING OFFICER WILL SELECT THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH IN HIS JUDGMENT WILL SERVE THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. PARAGRAPH 8100-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT COSTS IN EXCESS OF THOSE AUTHORIZED IN THE REGULATIONS WILL BE PAID BY MEMBERS FOR WHOM SHIPMENTS ARE MADE WHEN SHIPMENTS ARE MADE IN SEPARATE LOTS BETWEEN THE SAME POINTS. WHILE THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER SELECTED AND SHIPPED YOUR EFFECTS BY VAN, THE RECORD CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THAT MODE OF SHIPMENT WAS YOUR PREFERENCE. IN THAT CONNECTION, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR LETTER TO THE CINCINNATI ORDNANCE DISTRICT (THE OFFICE HANDLING THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS AT THAT TIME) DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1952, STATING THAT "ON CHECKING WEIGHTS OF PRIOR SHIPMENTS AND ITEMS ADDED, TOTAL WEIGHT WILL BE ABOUT 4000 LBS; IF AT ALL POSSIBLE ARRANGE FOR MOTOR FREIGHT HANDLING.' ALSO, IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT A REPORT BE FURNISHED IN YOUR CASE WITH PARTICULARS SURROUNDING THE SHIPMENT OF THE SECOND LOT BY COMMERCIAL VAN, THE CINCINNATI ORDNANCE DISTRICT BY SECOND INDORSEMENT DATED AUGUST 18, 1953, REPORTED IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"3. IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT AND BEFORE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PICK-UP WAS MADE, THIS OFFICE CONTACTED CAPT. BEER'S FATHER-IN- LAW, MR. JOHN C. VAUGHAN, TO DETERMINE DEFINITELY THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS THAT WERE TO MOVE. MR. VAUGHAN ADVISED THERE WERE TWO (2) STUDIO COUCHES, TWO (2) CHAIRS, ONE (1) BABY BED (CRATED) AND TWO (2) BOXES OF CLOTHING WITH A WEIGHT OF APPROXIMATELY 1,200 LBS.

"4. AT THAT TIME, THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR PACKING AND CRATING WAS $7.49 CWT. THEREFORE, IT WAS DECIDED THAT VAN SHIPMENT WAS THE MOST ECONOMICAL METHOD TO USE.

"5. THERE IS NO RECORD IN THIS OFFICE OF ANY CHANGE IN THE AMOUNT TO BE SHIPPED AND IT IS NOT KNOWN WHY MR. VAUGHAN INDICATED 1,200 LBS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WOULD BE SHIPPED WHEN AT THE TIME OF PICK-UP ONLY 370 LBS WAS TENDERED TO THE CARRIER.'

UNDER THE REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 8052-2) THE SHIPPING OFFICER SELECTS THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH IN HIS JUDGMENT WILL SERVE THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. IN YOUR CASE, THE ERRONEOUS INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU AND YOUR FATHER IN-LAW TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE SECOND LOT WOULD BE IN EXCESS OF 1,000 POUNDS OBVIOUSLY MISLED THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER IN MAKING HIS DETERMINATION TO SHIP BY VAN. THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER NECESSARILY MUST RELY ON CERTAIN INFORMATION WITHIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SHIPPER WHICH WILL ENABLE HIM TO MAKE THE PROPER DETERMINATION AS TO THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. SINCE THE SECOND SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY VAN ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION AS TO WEIGHT FURNISHED BY YOU AND YOUR FATHER-IN-LAW AND BECAUSE OF YOUR REQUEST THAT THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR GOODS BE BY MOTOR FREIGHT "IF AT ALL POSSIBLE," IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE, AS PROVIDED IN THE REGULATIONS, WITH THE EXCESS COST WHICH RESULTED FROM THE SHIPMENT BEING MADE IN TWO LOTS.