B-133925, OCT. 25, 1957

B-133925: Oct 25, 1957

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THE RECORD WAS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR AT THE TIME OF THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 22 WHETHER THE $308.23 CLAIMED ON ACCOUNT OF LOCAL HAULING. PLACING THE EFFECTS IN YOUR APARTMENT WAS ENTIRELY SEPARATE. SINCE YOU ALSO FURNISHED RECEIPTS COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR EFFECTS AND HAVE PAID SEPARATELY FOR BOTH SUCH ITEMS. IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT THE CHARGES WERE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND THAT WE NO LONGER NEED SUSPEND PAYMENT OF THE $308.23 IN QUESTION. THAT AMOUNT THEREFORE WILL BE ALLOWED YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THE ACTION DISALLOWING THE $215 ITEM REPRESENTING CHARGES FOR STORAGE OF YOUR EFFECTS CONCURRING SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF YOUR RETIREMENT IS FOUND PROPER. SINCE YOUR SEPARATION FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE STORAGE CHARGES ARE CLAIMED.

B-133925, OCT. 25, 1957

TO MR. HARTWELL JOHNSON:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1957, REQUESTS OUR REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 22, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED THE SUM OF $215 COVERING FIVE MONTHS' STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOLLOWING YOUR SEPARATION (RETIREMENT) FROM THE FOREIGN SERVICE. THE SETTLEMENT ALSO SUSPENDED PAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $308.23 PENDING YOUR FURNISHING OF A COMPLETE ITEMIZED STATEMENT FROM MCALISTER TRANSFER COMPANY, SHOWING THE CHARGES FOR UNLOADING, LOCAL DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

THE RECORD WAS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR AT THE TIME OF THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 22 WHETHER THE $308.23 CLAIMED ON ACCOUNT OF LOCAL HAULING, UNPACKING, AND PLACING THE EFFECTS IN YOUR APARTMENT WAS ENTIRELY SEPARATE, APART, AND IN ADDITION TO THE $308.23 PAID FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EFFECTS FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. SINCE MCALISTER TRANSFER COMPANY HAS NOW ITEMIZED THE CHARGES FOR THE UNPACKING, HAULING, AND PLACING OF EFFECTS IN YOUR HOUSE, AND SINCE YOU ALSO FURNISHED RECEIPTS COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR EFFECTS AND HAVE PAID SEPARATELY FOR BOTH SUCH ITEMS, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT THE CHARGES WERE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND THAT WE NO LONGER NEED SUSPEND PAYMENT OF THE $308.23 IN QUESTION. THAT AMOUNT THEREFORE WILL BE ALLOWED YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE ACTION DISALLOWING THE $215 ITEM REPRESENTING CHARGES FOR STORAGE OF YOUR EFFECTS CONCURRING SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF YOUR RETIREMENT IS FOUND PROPER. BOTH THE LAW (SECTION 911 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 1026) AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF STORAGE CHARGES BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE--- NOT IN THE CASE OF FORMER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THAT SERVICE. SINCE YOUR SEPARATION FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE STORAGE CHARGES ARE CLAIMED, WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH CHARGES. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 68. ANY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES WOULD NOT BE FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER LAWS RELATING TO THE STORAGE OF EFFECTS.

SINCE THE PAID CHECKS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER CONSTITUTE PART OF THE EVIDENCE UPON WHICH OUR ACTION ALLOWING YOU THE $308.23 IS PREDICATED, THEY MUST BE RETAINED AS PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORDS OF OUR OFFICE.

THE FOREGOING WILL SERVE AS A REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16, 1957, INQUIRING AS TO THE STATUS OF YOUR CLAIM.