B-131179, OCT. 3, 1957

B-131179: Oct 3, 1957

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USNR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22. WAS NOT CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 1. RATHER FROM ITS CONTENTS IT APPEARED THAT YOU WERE REQUESTING NOTHING MORE THAN A RETURN OF THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM IN ORDER THAT YOU MIGHT REQUEST THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8001-1. WILL BE CONSIDERED A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL STATION. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY WATER FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO BROOKLYN. THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED WAS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF THESE EFFECTS FROM BROOKLYN.

B-131179, OCT. 3, 1957

TO LIEUTENANT (JG) JOHN R. KNOX, USNR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1957, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $57.10 PAID BY YOU TO THE GOVERNMENT AS EXCESS COST INCURRED IN SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN BELOW.

YOUR ORIGINAL LETTER OF FEBRUARY 27, 1957, WAS NOT CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1957, BUT RATHER FROM ITS CONTENTS IT APPEARED THAT YOU WERE REQUESTING NOTHING MORE THAN A RETURN OF THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM IN ORDER THAT YOU MIGHT REQUEST THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8001-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1957, WILL BE CONSIDERED A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION.

BY ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 3, 1954, AND SUBSEQUENT MODIFYING ORDERS, RECEIVED BY YOU ON FEBRUARY 17, 1955, YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL STATION, RODMAN, CANAL ZONE, AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT THE NAVAL ORDNANCE PLANT, YORK, PENNSYLVANIA. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY WATER FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, IN TWO SEPARATE SHIPMENTS. THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED WAS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF THESE EFFECTS FROM BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, TO YORK, PENNSYLVANIA. THE EXCESS COST OF THE SHIPMENTS ORIGINALLY WAS DETERMINED TO BE $57.10, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS THAT THE SHIPMENTS CONTAINED AN EXCESS WEIGHT OF 4,644 POUNDS OVER YOUR NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 7,000 POUNDS AS FOR THE GRADE OF AN ENSIGN. BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1957, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ALLOWED YOU THE SUM OF $8.61 OF THE $57.10 COLLECTED FROM YOU, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF YOUR NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 7,500 POUNDS AS A LIEUTENANT, JUNIOR GRADE, BY REASON OF YOUR APPOINTMENT TO THAT RANK ON JANUARY 20, 1955.

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT THE MATHEMATICAL FORMULA PRESCRIBED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT EXCESS WEIGHT IS INVOLVED HAS APPLICATION ONLY IN INSTANCES WHERE THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF PROPERTY SHIPPED CANNOT BE DETERMINED. YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE IT HAS NOW BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (WITH CREDIT FOR 128 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS) IS 7,546 POUNDS OR 46 POUNDS ABOVE YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, THE CHARGE FOR EXCESS WEIGHT WAS EXCESSIVE AND YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL REFUND OF $47.92.

IT OBVIOUSLY IS NOT PRACTICAL TO WEIGH BEFORE PACKING AT ORIGIN, OR AFTER ARRIVAL AT DESTINATION, EACH OF THE MANY SHIPMENTS OF EFFECTS MADE FOR SERVICE PERSONNEL AND TO COMPUTE EXCESS COST ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT SO OBTAINED. PARAGRAPH 8001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, GOVERNING THE PACKING, CRATING AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE TIME YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED, PROVIDES THAT, WITH ORDINARY PACKING AND CRATING METHODS, HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT LIMITS PRESCRIBED, MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, DESIGNATED AS REPRESENTING ACTUAL NET WEIGHTS AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT, ARE SET FORTH FOR THE VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR PERCENTAGE INCREASES OF THOSE BASIC WEIGHT ALLOWANCES FOR VARYING TYPES OF SHIPMENTS TO ALLOW FOR ADDITIONAL WEIGHT OCCASIONED BY THE USE OF ORDINARY PACKING AND CRATING METHODS. SUCH REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT, AT NOT TO EXCEED AN OVER ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF NET WEIGHT PLUS THE AUTHORIZED INCREASE TO COVER PACKING MATERIALS. SUCH OVER ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, OF WHICH THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS BUT ONE COMPONENT PART, REPRESENTS THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT THAT MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED IS MORE OR LESS THAN THE NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCES SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS. WEIGHTS EXCEEDING THAT MAXIMUM OVER ALL WEIGHT ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE MEMBER.

PARAGRAPH 8001-2 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN SHIPMENT IS MADE IN ESPECIALLY DESIGNED CONTAINERS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GROSS WEIGHT AND THE TARE WEIGHT WILL BE REDUCED BY 15 PERCENT AND THE REMAINING WEIGHT WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE OWNER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT, OF THE 4,533 POUNDS OF EFFECTS SHIPPED BY SHIPMENT NO. 1, 3,604 POUNDS WERE PACKED IN OVERSEAS SHIPPING BOXES (SPECIAL CONTAINERS) THE TARE WEIGHT OF WHICH WAS 954 POUNDS. TO COMPUTE THE PROPER WEIGHT TO BE CHARGED AGAINST YOUR PRESCRIBED NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE THE GROSS WEIGHT OF THE OVERSEAS CONTAINERS, 3,604 POUNDS, WAS REDUCED BY THE ACTUAL TARE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINERS, 954 POUNDS, PLUS 15 PERCENT TO ALLOW FOR WEIGHT OF PACKING MATERIALS WITHIN THE CONTAINERS, 398 POUNDS, PLUS ALLOWANCE OF 128 POUNDS FOR PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, RESULTING IN A NET WEIGHT OF 2,124 POUNDS CHARGEABLE TO YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE. THAT WEIGHT THERE WAS ADDED 664 POUNDS--- THE GROSS WEIGHT OF EFFECTS NOT IN SPECIAL OVERSEAS TYPE BOXES, 929 POUNDS, REDUCED BY 2/7 (265 POUNDS) TO ALLOW FOR THE 40 PERCENT WEIGHT INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 8001-1 OF THE REGULATIONS FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENTS--- RESULTING IN A TOTAL OF 2,788 POUNDS FOR SHIPMENT NO. 1. THE BALANCE OF YOUR WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AFTER SHIPMENT NO. 1 WAS 4,712 POUNDS. THAT BALANCE (4,712 POUNDS) AS INCREASED BY 40 PERCENT TO ALLOW FOR OVERSEAS PACKING WAS 6,597 POUNDS. SINCE THE GROSS WEIGHT OF SHIPMENT NO. 2 WAS 10,541 POUNDS AND SINCE YOU HAD A BALANCE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF ONLY 6,597 POUNDS, YOU EXCEEDED YOUR ALLOWANCE BY 3,944 POUNDS. ON THE BASIS OF THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF $129.60 FOR THE SHIPMENT FROM BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, TO YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, THE EXCESS COST INCURRED PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO YOU WAS 3944/10541 OF THAT AMOUNT OR $48.49. THE COMPUTATION OF EXCESS COST OF $48.49 AS SET OUT ABOVE WAS PROPER UNDER THE REGULATIONS IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 1, 1957, BASED ON AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS PUBLISHED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ALLOWING YOU THE SUM OF $8.61 WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

CONCERNING YOUR STATEMENT,"IT IS STANDARD PROCEDURE WHEN AN ACTIVITY DISBURSING OFFICER HAS NEITHER THE ABILITY NOR THE AUTHORITY TO SETTLE A CLAIM THAT HE FORWARDS THE NECESSARY INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR SETTLEMENT TO THE NEXT HIGHER AUTHORITY WHO CAN SETTLE THE CLAIM. THUS IT IS LOGICAL THAT GAO SHOULD PROCEED IN THE SAME MANNER," YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS AN INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND OUR ACTION ON CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. PARAGRAPH 8001-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, INDICATES THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY CONSIDER CERTAIN CASES INVOLVING EXCESS COST WITH A VIEW TO AUTHORIZING A DEVIATION FROM THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS SET FORTH IN THESE REGULATIONS. YOU ARE ADVISED, HOWEVER, THAT IF YOU DESIRE SUCH CONSIDERATION, A REQUEST THEREFOR MUST BE MADE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY DIRECTLY BY YOU. FURTHER, AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN OUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1957, THE PAPERS PRESENTED IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM HAVE BECOME A PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORDS IN OUR OFFICE AND MAY NOT NOW BE RETURNED TO YOU. THERE ARE ENCLOSED, HOWEVER, COPIES OF ALL PERTINENT PAPERS, EXCEPT LETTER DATED AUGUST 29, 1956, FROM THE SUPPLY OFFICER, U.S. NAVY ORDNANCE PLANT, YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, ADDRESSED TO YOU, WHICH WAS RETURNED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1957.