B-130319, FEB. 26, 1957

B-130319: Feb 26, 1957

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JOHN WILLIAMS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5. WHICH YOU CLAIM WAS INCIDENT TO YOUR RETIREMENT AS CHIEF BOATSWAIN'S MATE. YOU WERE RETIRED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE EFFECTIVE MARCH 1. TO FORT LAUDERDALE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $147.87. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON OCTOBER 15. WAS RETURNED TO YOU ON OCTOBER 17. IT BEING CONSIDERED THAT SUCH CLAIM WAS BARRED BECAUSE IT WAS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MORE THAN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE IT FIRST ACCRUED. THAT YOUR CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SUBMITTED BY YOU TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD WITHIN THE 10 YEAR PERIOD AND THAT THE FAILURE TO FORWARD YOUR CLAIM FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO US WITHIN THE 10-YEAR PERIOD WAS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD.

B-130319, FEB. 26, 1957

TO MR. JOHN WILLIAMS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5, 1956, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY, TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, WHICH YOU CLAIM WAS INCIDENT TO YOUR RETIREMENT AS CHIEF BOATSWAIN'S MATE, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD.

BY ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 27, 1943, YOU WERE RETIRED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1943. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT YOU WOULD PROCEED TO YOUR PERMANENT HOME, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, AND STATED THAT YOU HAD ADVISED COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS THAT SUCH TRAVEL WOULD BE PERFORMED DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 1943. THE ORDERS FURTHER STATED THAT IN ORDER TO BE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE, TRAVEL MUST BE PERFORMED WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF RETIREMENT. YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENT WIFE AND TWO MINOR CHILDREN TRAVELED ON NOVEMBER 1 AND 2, 1946, TO FORT LAUDERDALE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $147.87, BY SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1953, OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON OCTOBER 15, 1947, TO FORT LAUDERDALE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSE, RECEIVED HERE ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1956, WAS RETURNED TO YOU ON OCTOBER 17, 1956, WITH A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, IT BEING CONSIDERED THAT SUCH CLAIM WAS BARRED BECAUSE IT WAS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MORE THAN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE IT FIRST ACCRUED. YOU SAY IN THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1956, THAT YOUR CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SUBMITTED BY YOU TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD WITHIN THE 10 YEAR PERIOD AND THAT THE FAILURE TO FORWARD YOUR CLAIM FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO US WITHIN THE 10-YEAR PERIOD WAS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY PROVISIONS, THE UNITED STATES IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE NEGLIGENT ACTIONS OF ITS OFFICERS, AGENTS, OR EMPLOYEES, EVEN THOUGH COMMITTED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES. HOWEVER, ASIDE FROM THAT, AT THE TIME OF YOUR RETIREMENT, A MEMBER OF THE REGULAR SERVICES WHO WAS RETIRED AND RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO HIS HOME WAS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR HIS TRAVEL AND TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENTS TO A SELECTED HOME, PROVIDED THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF RELEASE. 8 COMP. GEN. 327. CF. 24 COMP. GEN. 291. THE SAME RULE WAS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IN SUCH CONNECTION,

AT THE TIME OF YOUR RETIREMENT ARTICLE 469, COAST GUARD PAY, AND SUPPLY INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDED THAT UPON RETIREMENT, SHIPMENT OF AN OFFICER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS AUTHORIZED FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION OR FROM PLACE OF STORAGE TO A SELECTED HOME, PROVIDED THAT "SHIPMENT SHALL BE MADE WITHIN 1 YEAR FROM THE DATE OF RETIREMENT.'

IN OUR DECISION OF JULY 2, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 6, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IT WAS HELD THAT IN VIEW OF THE THEN EXISTING CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL, HOUSING, ETC., DUE TO WAR CONDITIONS, PAYMENT TO OFFICERS OF MILEAGE, AND THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, OR REIMBURSEMENT COVERING THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION OR SHIPMENT, INCIDENT TO RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OF OFFICERS ENTITLED TO SUCH BENEFITS WOULD BE PROPER, PROVIDED SUCH TRAVEL OR SHIPMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE WAR OR WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WHICHEVER WAS LATER, IF ARMY REGULATIONS WERE AMENDED TO SO PROVIDE. PURSUANT TO THAT DECISION REGULATIONS OF THE VARIOUS SERVICES WERE AMENDED TO PROVIDE THAT AN OFFICER RETIRED OR RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO HIS HOME WOULD RECEIVE MILEAGE FOR HIS TRAVEL AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION WAS PERFORMED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE WAR IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES WAS THEN ENGAGED OR WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WHICHEVER WAS LATER. SUCH AMENDED REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, ARE NOT RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE AND MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS RENEWING OR EXTENDING RIGHTS TO MILEAGE OR TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY EXPIRED. SINCE YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF YOUR RETIREMENT, AND SINCE THE ONE-YEAR PERIOD HAD EXPIRED PRIOR TO THE EXTENSION AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO OUR DECISION OF JULY 2, 1945, THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

FOR THE SAME REASONS THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1953, ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS ON NOVEMBER 1, AND 2, 1946, WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $147.87 AND YOU ARE REQUESTED TO REMIT THAT SUM WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS DECISION OR WITHIN THAT TIME MAKE SUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS FOR LIQUIDATION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS. SUCH SUM SHOULD BE REMITTED TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., BY CHECK, DRAFT, OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.