B-134527, JANUARY 16, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 478

B-134527: Jan 16, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SERVICES IN DISCONNECTING ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES TECHNICAL SERVICES WHICH ARE PERFORMED BY MECHANICS BEFORE HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES. - BELONGING TO MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE PREPARED FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO PREVENT DAMAGE IN SHIPMENT ARE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE PACKING AND CRATING SERVICES INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IF THE SERVICES ARE NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE AS PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION. 1958: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27. IT IS STATED THAT THE PRESENT INQUIRY CONCERNS A PROBLEM THAT HAS ARISEN WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN APPLIANCES SUCH AS DEEPFREEZES.

B-134527, JANUARY 16, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 478

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SERVICES IN DISCONNECTING ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES TECHNICAL SERVICES WHICH ARE PERFORMED BY MECHANICS BEFORE HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES--- DEEPFREEZES, REFRIGERATORS, CLOTHES DRYERS, HI-FIDELITY EQUIPMENT, ETC.--- BELONGING TO MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE PREPARED FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO PREVENT DAMAGE IN SHIPMENT ARE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE PACKING AND CRATING SERVICES INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AND PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE PROPER UNDER APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), IF THE SERVICES ARE NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE AS PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, JANUARY 16, 1958:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE ( MANPOWER, PERSONNEL AND RESERVE FORCES), REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UPON CHANGE OF STATION, LEGALLY MAY BE CONSTRUED AS PROVIDING AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF CHARGES OF EXPERIENCED MECHANICS FOR THEIR SPECIALIZED SERVICES IN THE PREPARATION OF GAS AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES FOR SHIPMENT.

IT IS STATED THAT THE PRESENT INQUIRY CONCERNS A PROBLEM THAT HAS ARISEN WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN APPLIANCES SUCH AS DEEPFREEZES, REFRIGERATORS, CLOTHES DRYERS, TELEVISION SETS, AIR CONDITIONERS, DISH WASHERS, RECORD PLAYERS, HI-FIDELITY EQUIPMENT, ETC., INVOLVING THE NEED FOR SPECIAL BOLTING AND SERVICING OF SUCH ITEMS PRIOR TO SHIPMENT REQUIRING THE TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE OF EXPERIENCED SERVICEMEN, IN ORDER TO PREVENT DAMAGE IN TRANSIT AND THUS REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF DAMAGE CLAIMS. SUCH SERVICES ARE NOT OTHERWISE DESCRIBED EXCEPT THAT THEY MUST BE SECURED FROM OTHER THAN THE TRANSPORTING AGENCY BEFORE THE APPLIANCES ARE RELEASED FOR PACKING, CRATING AND SHIPMENT, AND THAT THEY DO NOT INCLUDE NORMAL DISCONNECT OR RECONNECT CHARGES.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF STATION, UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AND FOR SUCH RANKS, GRADES, OR RATINGS AND TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. IN VIEW OF SUCH BROAD AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE SECRETARIES, AND OF THE FACT THAT THE TERM "TRANSPORTATION" FOR THAT PURPOSE IS EXPRESSLY DEFINED TO INCLUDE THE PACKING AND CRATING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE BY REGULATION FOR FURNISHING OR OBTAINING ANY SERVICES WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE PACKING AND CRATING ACTIVITIES NECESSARY IN THE PREPARATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE MEMBER'S EFFECTS AUTHORIZED FOR MOVEMENT ON CHANGE OF STATION.

THE SERVICES IN QUESTION WERE NOT IDENTIFIED SUFFICIENTLY TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER THEY ARE PACKING OR CRATING SERVICES RENDERED IN ANTICIPATION OF SHIPMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CITED STATUTORY PROVISIONS, AND IT WAS INDICATED THAT THEY ARE TO BE OBTAINED BEFORE THE APPLIANCES "ARE RELEASED FOR PACKING.' HOWEVER, SINCE ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR PACKING AND CRATING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR SHIPMENT IS TO PROTECT THEM FROM DAMAGE WHILE IN TRANSIT, IT APPEARS GENERALLY THAT IF TECHNICAL SERVICES BY EXPERIENCED MECHANICS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE APPLIANCES INVOLVED AGAINST DAMAGE WHILE THEY ARE BEING SHIPPED, SUCH SERVICES PROPERLY MAY BE REGARDED AS PART OF AUTHORIZED CRATING AND PACKING ACTIVITIES AND PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHARGES FOR SUCH SERVICES WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER UNDER APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS, IF SERVICES OF THIS TYPE ARE NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE.