B-131801, AUG. 13, 1957

B-131801: Aug 13, 1957

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BY THOSE ORDERS YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AT BIGGS AIR FORCE BASE. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM BIGGS AIR FORCE BASE ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 7. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT YOUR RESIDENCE IN EL PASO. THE EFFECTS WERE DELIVERED THERE ON AUGUST 6. THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. THE PERTINENT PARAGRAPHS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INVOLVED ARE AS OLLOWS: "8050-6. ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR IMMEDIATE ACCEPTANCE OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE CARRIER AT DESTINATION ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER.

B-131801, AUG. 13, 1957

TO LEO G. RUFFING, A/1C:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 23, 1957, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 16, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE AND HAULING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF JULY 26, 1956.

BY THOSE ORDERS YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AT BIGGS AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, AND TRANSFERRED TO YOUR DUTY STATION AT KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISSISSIPPI. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM BIGGS AIR FORCE BASE ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 7, 1956, AND TO REPORT TO YOUR NEW STATION NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 10, 1956, THE ORDERS AUTHORIZING 30 DAYS' DELAY EN ROUTE CHARGEABLE AS LEAVE. ON AUGUST 2, 1956, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT YOUR RESIDENCE IN EL PASO, TEXAS, AND SHIPPED BY VAN TO KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISSISSIPPI. THE EFFECTS WERE DELIVERED THERE ON AUGUST 6, 1956, AND PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE NO GOVERNMENT STORAGE FACILITIES BEING AVAILABLE. ON OCTOBER 1, 1956, YOU PAID THE SUM OF $75.85 FOR STORAGE AND DRAYAGE OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI. YOU NOW CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR THIS AMOUNT.

THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY 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. THE PERTINENT PARAGRAPHS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INVOLVED ARE AS OLLOWS:

"8050-6. ACCEPTANCE AT DESTINATION. ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR IMMEDIATE ACCEPTANCE OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE CARRIER AT DESTINATION ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER. THE MEMBER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DEMURRAGE, UNAUTHORIZED STORAGE, OR OTHER CHARGE INCURRED BECAUSE CORRECT DELIVERY ADDRESS WAS NOT FURNISHED OR BECAUSE SHIPMENT WAS NOT ACCEPTED PROMPTLY FROM THE CARRIER BY SUCH MEMBER OR HIS AUTHORIZED AGENT. SHIPMENTS WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE MEMBER OR HIS AUTHORIZED AGENT AS DESIGNATED IN HIS APPLICATION FOR TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS (STANDARD FORM 116).'

"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. * * *"

"C. NOTATION ON PAYMENT VOUCHER. VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WILL BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE OF PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY THAT THE STORAGE IS NECESSARY.'

UNDER THESE REGULATIONS 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. THIS MUST BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY EXECUTED BY PROPER AUTHORITY. YOUR CLAIM IS NOT SUPPORTED BY SUCH A CERTIFICATE. IN FACT WE HAVE IN THE RECORD A REPORT FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AT KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISSISSIPPI, WHICH STATES:

"2. THIS OFFICE IS NOT ABLE TO FURNISH A CERTIFICATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAR 8006-1C, JTR. MEMBER COULD NOT CERTIFY THAT HE PROCEEDED DIRECT TO THIS BASE AFTER PICK UP OF FURNITURE TO ATTEMPT TO SECURE HOUSING.'

ALSO, WE HAVE YOUR SIGNED STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 4, 1956, WHICH IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"I WAS TOLD BY THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICE AT BIGGS, AFB, TEXAS THAT I COULD HAVE UP TO SIX (6) MONTHS STORAGE FOR MY FURNITURE AT THE GOVERNMENTS EXPENSE. BELIEVING THIS I TOOK MY AUTHORIZED LEAVE AND SHIPPED MY FURNITURE.'

IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 23, 1957, SUCH STATEMENT IS SUBSTANTIALLY REPEATED.

ON THE BASIS OF SUCH STATEMENTS IT APPEARS THAT AFTER SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM EL PASO, TEXAS, YOU TOOK YOUR AUTHORIZED LEAVE BEFORE REPORTING TO KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, AND THAT YOU DID NOT PROCEED DIRECTLY TO THAT STATION TO RECEIVE THE GOODS OR MAKE ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ACCEPTANCE FROM THE CARRIER AT DESTINATION AS PROVIDED BY THE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, INSOFAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS, THE STORAGE WAS FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL.

CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED BECAUSE YOU ACTED IN GOOD FAITH ON THE BASIS OF ERRONEOUS INFORMATION YOU RECEIVED FROM THE TRANSPORATION OFFICE AT BIGGS AIR FORCE BASE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BOUND BY THE NEGLIGENT OR ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.