B-133607, SEP. 26, 1957

B-133607: Sep 26, 1957

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CLAIMS CONTEMPLATED BY THIS REGULATION ARE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AND ARE OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF OUR OFFICE. SINCE YOUR CLAIM IS NOT A PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM. IS ONE PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION BY OUR OFFICE. WE WILL REVIEW YOUR CLAIM UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT LARSON AIR FORCE BASE. YOUR EFFECTS WERE NOT STORED IN A GOVERNMENT FACILITY BUT WERE PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE ON OCTOBER 26. THEY WERE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REPAY THE SUM OF $215.31. THE STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY PARAGRAPH 8006 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303/C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949.

B-133607, SEP. 26, 1957

TO TECHNICAL SERGEANT WILLIAM A. SHAW, USAF:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 12, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $215.39 REPRESENTING THE COST OF STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 26, 1954, TO MARCH 8, 1956. YOU SAY YOUR CLAIM FALLS DIRECTLY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF AIR FORCE REGULATION 112-3 DATED MAY 9, 1951, AS AMENDED, AND YOU REQUEST THAT WE CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM UNDER THIS REGULATION.

AIR FORCE REGULATION 112-3 DATED MAY 9, 1951, AS AMENDED, OUTLINES THE PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS FOR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, REAL OR PERSONAL, OR FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, CAUSED BY AIR FORCE PERSONNEL OR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, OR OTHERWISE INCIDENT TO NONCOMBAT ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, OR OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. CLAIMS CONTEMPLATED BY THIS REGULATION ARE FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AND ARE OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF OUR OFFICE. HOWEVER, SINCE YOUR CLAIM IS NOT A PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM, WHICH WOULD BE COVERED BY THE ABOVE REGULATION, BUT IS ONE PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION BY OUR OFFICE, WE WILL REVIEW YOUR CLAIM UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 19, 1954, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT LARSON AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, TO DUTY OVERSEAS. PRIOR TO LEAVING LARSON AIR FORCE BASE YOU REQUESTED THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THERE TO PLACE YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN PERMANENT STORAGE. HOWEVER, YOUR EFFECTS WERE NOT STORED IN A GOVERNMENT FACILITY BUT WERE PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE ON OCTOBER 26, 1954, AND REMAINED THERE UNTIL MARCH 8, 1956. AT THAT TIME, AND UPON YOUR APPLICATION OF MARCH 9, 1956, THEY WERE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, AT MIRA LOMA AIR FORCE STATION, CALIFORNIA, FOR STORAGE IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES. THE GOVERNMENT PAID THE SUM OF $259.48 FOR THE PACKING, CRATING, AND STORAGE OF YOUR EFFECTS AT MOSES LAKE, WASHINGTON. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REPAY THE SUM OF $215.31, REPRESENTING STORAGE CHARGES ON 2,533 POUNDS OF YOUR EFFECTS AT $0.50 PER MONTH PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 26, 1954, TO MARCH 8, 1956. YOU NOW CLAIM REFUND OF THIS AMOUNT.

THE STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY PARAGRAPH 8006 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303/C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814, AS AMENDED. PARAGRAPH 8006-2, CHANGE 222, APRIL 1, 1954, OF THESE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDED THAT WHERE STORAGE OF EFFECTS WAS DESIRED UPON ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MIGHT BE PLACED IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WHEN SUCH FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. PROVISION WAS MADE, FOR ANY PAYMENT FOR COMMERCIAL STORAGE WHERE, AS IN YOUR CASE, EFFECTS WERE PLACED FIRST IN A COMMERCIAL FACILITY AND THEREAFTER IN GOVERNMENT STORAGE FACILITIES. FURTHER, ANY RIGHT TO STORAGE IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WAS NOT A STATUTORY RIGHT BUT WAS MERELY A PRIVILEGE ACCORDED MEMBERS TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE WHEN STORAGE WAS REQUESTED, AND WAS CONDITIONED UPON ACTUAL ACCEPTANCE AND STORAGE OF THE EFFECTS BY THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS A SERVICE THAT COULD BE RENDERED IN KIND ONLY, AND WHERE THE EFFECTS WERE NOT IN FACT SO STORED THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR COMMERCIAL STORAGE COSTS CLAIMED ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH COSTS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD GOVERNMENT STORAGE BEEN FURNISHED. THIS IS SO EVEN THOUGH THE STORAGE CHARGES MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED AS THE RESULT OF AN ERROR OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A PERTINENT STATUTE SO PROVIDING, THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF IS NOT LIABLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF DUTY OF THE OFFICERS OR AGENTS EMPLOYED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 12, 1957, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.