B-135809, APR. 24, 1958

B-135809: Apr 24, 1958

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YOUR CLAIM IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT KOBE WAS ACTUALLY YOUR INITIAL OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. AS YOU HAVE OBSERVED. ADMINISTRATIVELY IT WAS HANDLED BY A SEA VOYAGE FROM SEATTLE TO YOKOHAMA. YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR THIS AMOUNT AND WERE PAID $25.17. THE REMAINING $29 WAS DEDUCTED TO COVER THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF PORT HANDLING INCIDENT TO A SEA VOYAGE FROM YOKOHAMA TO KOBE. YOU WERE PAID $25.17 BECAUSE THIS AMOUNT OF EXCESS COST WAS INCURRED BY REASON OF THE MISTAKE OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AND NOT TO ANY ACTION ON YOUR PART. YOU ARE CORRECT IN YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF A SECOND PORT HANDLING. THERE IS. IT IS A WELL SETTLED RULE OF LAW THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BOUND BY THE ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES.

B-135809, APR. 24, 1958

TO MR. JOHN J. HOLDEN:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1957, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR ACTION OF AUGUST 5, 1957, IN DEDUCTING $29 FOR PORT HANDLING COSTS FROM THE TOTAL AMOUNT CLAIMED, $54.17, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM YOKOHAMA TO KOBE, JAPAN, INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF YOUR CIVILIAN DUTY STATION. YOUR CLAIM IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT KOBE WAS ACTUALLY YOUR INITIAL OVERSEAS DUTY STATION, YOU HAVING SPENT ONLY TWO DAYS IN ORIENTATION IN THE TOKYO- YOKOHAMA AREA AND THEN PROCEEDED TO KOBE WHERE YOU REMAINED FROM OCTOBER 1956 TO MARCH 1957.

AS YOU HAVE OBSERVED, THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO KOBE CONSTITUTED ONE TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT. ADMINISTRATIVELY IT WAS HANDLED BY A SEA VOYAGE FROM SEATTLE TO YOKOHAMA. FROM YOKOHAMA THE MILITARY COMMANDER DIRECTED, BY ORDER CAVTC-TS-A 354 OF OCTOBER 6, 1956, THAT YOUR AUTOMOBILE SHOULD BE MOVED BY SEA TO KOBE: "OVERLAND TRANSPORTATION HAVING BEEN DETERMINED IMPRACTICABLE.' HOWEVER A JAPANESE EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MISTAKENLY HAD YOUR AUTOMOBILE SHIPPED BY COMMERCIAL RAIL WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT AT A COST OF $54.17. YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR THIS AMOUNT AND WERE PAID $25.17. THE REMAINING $29 WAS DEDUCTED TO COVER THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF PORT HANDLING INCIDENT TO A SEA VOYAGE FROM YOKOHAMA TO KOBE. YOU WERE PAID $25.17 BECAUSE THIS AMOUNT OF EXCESS COST WAS INCURRED BY REASON OF THE MISTAKE OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AND NOT TO ANY ACTION ON YOUR PART.

SINCE YOU PAID ONE $29 PORT HANDLING FEE AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, INCIDENT TO THE TRANSOCEANIC MOVEMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE, YOU ARE CORRECT IN YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF A SECOND PORT HANDLING. THERE IS, HOWEVER, NO AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. ALSO, IT IS A WELL SETTLED RULE OF LAW THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BOUND BY THE ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES. THEREFORE, THE ALLOWANCE TO YOU OF $25.17 TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY YOU AS A RESULT OF THE ERROR OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WAS INCORRECT. WE SHALL DEDUCT FROM THE $29 OTHERWISE DUE YOU THE $25.17. CONSEQUENTLY, A SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE IN YOUR FAVOR IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.83.