B-131312, OCT 8, 1958

B-131312: Oct 8, 1958

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BUCKLEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED REGISTERED LETTER RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON AUGUST 18. 440 POUNDS WERE PACKED AND SHIPPED BY VAN TO OHIO. 170 POUNDS) WERE DELIVERED TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN LAKEWOOD. 270 POUNDS) WERE DELIVERED TO THE NEAL STORAGE COMPANY. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THIS PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IS NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REFUND THE COST OF SUCH STORAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. WHILE SHIPMENT IS IN TRANSIT OR EN ROUTE. STORAGE IS NOT FURNISHED FREE OF CHARGE BY CARRIER CONCERNED. 3. THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR FURNISHING A MEMBER STORAGE FOR SURPLUS EFFECTS AFTER A MOVE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME.

B-131312, OCT 8, 1958

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED REGISTERED LETTER RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON AUGUST 18, 1958, AND YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 19, 1958, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUM OF $237.06. THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS ERRONEOUS PAYMENT MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER CHARGES INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1953.

THE ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1953, DIRECTED THAT YOU BE DETACHED FROM DUTY AS COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL RESERVE TRAINING CENTER, LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS, IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO PERMIT YOUR SEPARATION PROCESSING AND RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY BY JANUARY 31, 1954. PURSUANT TO YOUR APPLICATION DATED MARCH 29, 1954, IN WHICH YOU AGREED TO PAY ALL EXCESS COSTS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WEIGHING 8,440 POUNDS WERE PACKED AND SHIPPED BY VAN TO OHIO. PART OF YOUR EFFECTS (2,170 POUNDS) WERE DELIVERED TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN LAKEWOOD, OHIO. THE REMAINDER (6,270 POUNDS) WERE DELIVERED TO THE NEAL STORAGE COMPANY, CLEVELAND, OHIO, ON APRIL 27, 1954, AND REMAINED THERE UNTIL OCTOBER 6, 1954, FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT PAID THE SUM OF $237.06 FOR STORAGE CHARGES. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THIS PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IS NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REFUND THE COST OF SUCH STORAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. WITH OUR LETTER OF MAY 3, 1957, WE FURNISHED YOU COPIES OF OUR DECISIONS WHICH SHOW THE BASIS FOR THE EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT MADE TO YOU.

SECTION 303(C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT IN LIEU THEREOF, FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES THEN REQUIRED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 8006-1, CHANGE 22 DATED APRIL 1, 1954), IN EFFECT DECEMBER 1954, AUTHORIZED THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, WITIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, WHENEVER NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE MEMBER, PROVIDED TEMPORARY STORAGE ACCRUED DURING ANY ONE OR COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING PERIODS:

1. AFTER PICKUP OF PROPERTY AT QUARTERS AND BEFORE DISPATCH OF SHIPMENT FROM CARRIER'S STATION AT POINT OF ORIGIN.

2. WHILE SHIPMENT IS IN TRANSIT OR EN ROUTE, AND STORAGE IS NOT FURNISHED FREE OF CHARGE BY CARRIER CONCERNED.

3. AFTER ARRIVAL OF SHIPMENT AT CARRIER'S DESTINATION STATION AND BEFORE DELIVERY OF SHIPMENT INTO QUARTERS.

THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT CONTEMPLATE OR PERMIT TEMPORARY COMMERCIAL STORAGE OF HOUSHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SOLELY ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH STORAGE WOULD BE OF ADVANTAGE TO THE MEMBER UNDER ORDERS TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, BUT ONLY WHEN THE NEED FOR SUCH STORAGE ARISES DURING THE COURSE OF THE SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS FROM OLD TO NEW QUARTERS. HENCE, THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR FURNISHING A MEMBER STORAGE FOR SURPLUS EFFECTS AFTER A MOVE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER SUCH SURPLUS RESULTS FROM THE RENTAL OF FURNISHED QUARTERS BY HIM TEMPORARY RESIDENCE WITH RELATIVE OR OTHERWISE. 33 COMP. GEN. 470 AT 473, B-133886, NOVEMBER 1, 1957.

YOU DENY LIABILITY ON THE BASIS THAT THE INDEBTEDNESS RESULTED FROM ACTION INSTIGATED NOT BY YOU BUT BY THE SUPPLY OFFICER, BOSTON NAVAL SHIPYARD AND SUPPOSEDLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING LAWS. THE SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS PROCESSED FOR YOU BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER PURSUANT TO YOUR SIGNED APPLICATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DATED MARCH 29, 1954, IN WHICH YOU AGREED TO PAY ALL EXCESS COSTS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. HENCE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE COMMERCIAL STORAGE OF YOUR EFFECTS WAS PROCURED IN GOOD FAITH AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE REGULATIONS, SINCE THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE ONLY WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WOULD BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR ANY UNAUTHORIZED EXPENSES, WE HAVE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR RELIEVING YOU OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING REFUND OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT. THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE ESTABLISHED THE RULE THAT MONEY PAID OUT ON AN ERRONEOUS DETERMINATION OF LAW BY OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE RECOVERED FROM THE RECIPIENT. SEE 22 COMP. GEN. 952, AND THE AUTHORITIES THEREIN CITED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE AGAIN REQUESTED TO PROMPTLY REMIT TO THIS OFFICE THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS ($237.06). PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO "U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" AND SHOULD BE MAILED TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D. C. ..END :