B-135192, MAR. 18, 1958

B-135192: Mar 18, 1958

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YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM DUTY AT ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THIS PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT SPECIAL OR ACCESSORIAL SERVICES WHICH MAY INVOLVE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND MUST BE PAID BY THE MEMBER. THAT THESE SERVICES WERE NOT FURNISHED. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU HAVE FURNISHED AFFIDAVITS SIGNED BY YOU AND YOUR WIFE IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT NO REQUEST FOR SPECIAL HANDLING OR PACKING WAS MADE UPON THE CONTRACTOR. IT HAS LONG BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AS TO THE FACTS.

B-135192, MAR. 18, 1958

TO COLONEL WILLIAM A. MARTIN, USAF:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1958, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 27, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU TO THE GOVERNMENT AS EXCESS COST FOR SPECIAL PACKING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THEIR SHIPMENT FROM ALTUS, OKLAHOMA, TO IZMIR, TURKEY.

BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 18, 1956, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM DUTY AT ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA, TO DUTY AT IZMIR, TURKEY. PURSUANT TO YOUR APPLICATION, IN WHICH YOU AGREED TO PAY ALL COSTS NOT AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT. THE GOVERNMENT PAID FOR THIS SERVICE. IT ALSO PAID THE SUM OF $104.75 FOR SPECIAL PACKING AND ADDITIONAL LABOR CHARGES. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THIS PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT SPECIAL OR ACCESSORIAL SERVICES WHICH MAY INVOLVE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND MUST BE PAID BY THE MEMBER. YOU AGREE THAT THE REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT THE MEMBER PAY FOR SPECIAL SERVICES. YOU CONTEND, HOWEVER, THAT THESE SERVICES WERE NOT FURNISHED. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU HAVE FURNISHED AFFIDAVITS SIGNED BY YOU AND YOUR WIFE IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT NO REQUEST FOR SPECIAL HANDLING OR PACKING WAS MADE UPON THE CONTRACTOR.

OUR OFFICE, OF COURSE, HAS NO FIRST-HAND INFORMATION IN THE MATTER AND OF NECESSITY MUST RELY UPON THE FINDINGS OF FACT AS MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT HAS LONG BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AS TO THE FACTS, TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENT OF FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED IN THE ABSENCE OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF. 3 COMP. GEN. 51; 16 ID. 325; ID. 414; 20 ID. 578.

THE CONTRACTOR WAS PAID THE SUM OF $104.75 FOR ADDITIONAL PACKING AND LABOR ON THE BASIS OF HIS INVOICE WHICH HE CERTIFIED WAS TRUE AND JUST IN ALL RESPECTS. THE CHARGES AS SHOWN ON HIS INVOICE WERE VERIFIED BY THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE OFFICER, ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA, WHO REPORTED THAT HE WAS PRESENT DURING PART OF THE PACKING OPERATION. THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CERTIFICATES FURNISHED BY YOU MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE VERIFIED OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THAT ADDITIONAL SERVICES WERE FURNISHED YOU BY THE CONTRACTOR.