B-133474, SEP. 3, 1957

B-133474: Sep 3, 1957

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IS ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW. TEMPLETON WAS RECRUITED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS BOTH PARTIES INTENDED AND UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WOULD BE STATIONED IN SAN JOSE. WHICH WAS APPROXIMATELY 90 MILES DISTANT FROM SAN JOSE. TEMPLETON'S ASSIGNMENT TO CENTRAL AMERICA HE DID NOT OWN ANY FURNITURE BUT DID OWN PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH WERE TO BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHEN HE ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT HIS UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT HE WOULD RESIDE IN SAN JOSE FOR THE DURATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT. THE RECORD SHOWS HE WAS ADVISED THAT IN SAN JOSE BOTH FURNISHED AND UNFURNISHED QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AND HIS INTENTION WAS TO OBTAIN FURNISHED QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE.

B-133474, SEP. 3, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

ON AUGUST 15, 1957, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER ROBERT W. TEMPLETON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, IS ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TRAVEL ORDER NO. 703, DATED MAY 15, 1957, AUTHORIZED MR. TEMPLETON TO TRAVEL FROM HELENA, MONTANA, TO SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THAT ORDER AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED. WHEN MR. TEMPLETON WAS RECRUITED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS BOTH PARTIES INTENDED AND UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WOULD BE STATIONED IN SAN JOSE. UPON HIS ARRIVAL IN COSTA RICA THE OFFICER IN CHARGE THERE DECIDED THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE SERVED BY ASSIGNING HIM TO SAN ISIDRO, COSTA RICA, WHICH WAS APPROXIMATELY 90 MILES DISTANT FROM SAN JOSE.

AT THE TIME OF MR. TEMPLETON'S ASSIGNMENT TO CENTRAL AMERICA HE DID NOT OWN ANY FURNITURE BUT DID OWN PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH WERE TO BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHEN HE ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT HIS UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT HE WOULD RESIDE IN SAN JOSE FOR THE DURATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT. THE RECORD SHOWS HE WAS ADVISED THAT IN SAN JOSE BOTH FURNISHED AND UNFURNISHED QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AND HIS INTENTION WAS TO OBTAIN FURNISHED QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE. IN SAN ISIDRO NO FURNISHED QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE. AFTER HIS ASSIGNMENT TO SAN ISIDRO MR. TEMPLETON ATTEMPTED TO PURCHASE FURNITURE LOCALLY NEEDED TO FURNISH HIS RESIDENCE BUT THE PRICE AND QUALITY WAS PROHIBITIVE. HE THEN ORDERED FURNITURE FROM THE LOCAL OFFICE OF SEARS, ROEBUCK AND COMPANY WHICH FORWARDED THE ORDER TO THEIR OFFICE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO HAVE IT FILLED.

IN HIS LETTER THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REFERS TO 10 COMP. GEN. 268, AND 27 ID. 171, AS MAKING EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE AGAINST USING GOVERNMENT FUNDS TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF AFTER-ACQUIRED PROPERTY. IT IS TRUE THAT IN 10 COMP. GEN. 268, FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES WERE PERMITTED TO SHIP AFTER-ACQUIRED PROPERTY PURSUANT TO THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS UNDER WHICH SHIPMENT OF AFTER-ACQUIRED PROPERTY IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE PERMISSIBLE; ALSO, IN 27 COMP. GEN. 171, THE MILITARY SERVICES WERE PERMITTED BECAUSE OF EMERGENCY CONDITIONS TO WAIVE, BY STATUTORY REGULATIONS, AND FOR A LIMITED PERIOD, THE RULE THERETO APPLICABLE TO MILITARY AND NAVAL PERSONNEL PROHIBITING THE SHIPMENT OF AFTER-ACQUIRED PROPERTY. BUT THE REIMBURSEMENT RIGHTS OF THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES GENERALLY, UPON TRANSFER OF STATION ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, WHICH PROHIBIT ALLOWANCES OF EXPENSES ,FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW," AND THE LONG-STANDING RULE AGAINST THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF AFTER-ACQUIRED HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

WHILE IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT ONE OF YOUR EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE CAUGHT IN SUCH A SITUATION, WE KNOW OF NO GROUND WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE A LEGAL BASIS FOR MAKING AN EXCEPTION TO THE AFTER-ACQUIRED PROPERTY RULE IN THE PRESENT CASE.