B-136201, JULY 9, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 20

B-136201: Jul 9, 1958

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1958: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF MAY 16. REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS ENTITLED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INVOLVING MOVEMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THREE QUESTIONS ARE SUBMITTED AS FOLLOWS: 1. IN VIEW OF CITATIONS (B) AND (C) IS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND SPACE ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL IS NOT AVAILABLE. IS HE ENTITLED TO SHIP ONE PERSONALLY-OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH CITATION (D/? 3.

B-136201, JULY 9, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 20

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRANSPORTATION - AUTOMOBILES - COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY PERSONNEL THE SHIPMENT OVERSEAS ON GOVERNMENT VESSELS OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OF COMMISSIONED PERSONNEL OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A RIGHT TO AN "ALLOWANCE" SO AS TO COME WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 33 U.S.C. 860 (1946 ED.), WHICH ASSIMILATED COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY COMMISSIONED OFFICERS TO THE ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED FOR NAVY OFFICERS; NOR MAY THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES BE ACCOMPLISHED ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS UNDER 46 U.S.C. 1241 (C) WHICH REQUIRES AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT THAT THE TRANSPORTATION BE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JULY 9, 1958:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF MAY 16, 1958, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS ENTITLED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INVOLVING MOVEMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THREE QUESTIONS ARE SUBMITTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. IN VIEW OF CITATIONS (B) AND (C) IS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, INVOLVING MOVEMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, ENTITLED TO SHIP ONE PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL?

2. IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND SPACE ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL IS NOT AVAILABLE, IS HE ENTITLED TO SHIP ONE PERSONALLY-OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH CITATION (D/?

3. IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTIONS 1 OR 2 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, IS THE WEIGHT OF THE AUTOMOBILE A SEPARATE ITEM OVER AND ABOVE THAT WHICH IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE OFFICER IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 8001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS?

SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 601, 603, 33 U.S.C. 860 (1946 USED)., PROVIDES:

THAT IN LIEU OF COMPENSATION NOW PRESCRIBED BY LAW, COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS NOW ARE OR HEREAFTER MAY BE PRESCRIBED FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY WITH WHOM THEY HOLD RELATIVE RANK * * *.

SECTION 30 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 853, 857, 34 U.S.C. 898, PROVIDES THAT:

WHEN PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS, AND COAST GUARD ARE ORDERED TO MAKE ANY PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY THEM FOR THEIR PERSONAL USE NOT TO EXCEED ONE VEHICLE PER PERSON, MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO THEIR NEW POSTS OF DUTY ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSELS.

PUBLIC LAW 538, APPROVED MAY 28, 1956, 70 STAT. 187, 46 U.S.C. 1241 (C), AMENDED SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, AS AMENDED, BY ADDING AT THE END THEREOF A NEW SUBSECTION READING AS FOLLOWS:

(C) THAT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES MAY BE UTILIZED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WHENEVER TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH VEHICLES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

THE TERM "ALLOWANCES" AS USED IN THE 1920 ACT IS CONSTRUED AS INCLUDING ONLY ALLOWANCES MEASURABLE IN MONEY. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR WHICH NO REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED IF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS NOT FURNISHED. THUS SUCH TERM MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS GRANTING AUTHORITY BY ASSIMILATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES OF OFFICERS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ON A GOVERNMENT VESSEL AS IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY UNDER SECTION 30 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946.

THE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF AMERICAN COMMERCIAL VESSELS FOR THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL ONLY IF SHIPMENT IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW. SINCE THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES OF OFFICERS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW, SUCH OFFICERS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956. HENCE, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY MAY BE AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HIS AUTOMOBILE ON A GOVERNMENT VESSEL OR BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS 1 AND 2 ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. IN VIEW OF THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1 AND 2, AN ANSWER TO QUESTION 3 IS NOT NECESSARY.