B-136649, AUG 12, 1958

B-136649: Aug 12, 1958

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D.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE. ON WHICH DATE YOUR RESIGNATION WAS TO BE ACCEPTED. STATING THAT YOUR HOME WAS BUFFALO NEW YORK. YOUR EFFECTS WERE PACKED. WAS PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. THEY WERE SHIPPED TO BALTIMORE. UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF $381 FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE THE STORAGE WAS NOT INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT. NO PART OF THE CHARGES WERE PAYABLE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. YOU INDICATE THAT HAD YOU BEEN PROPERLY INFORMED OF YOUR RIGHTS YOU COULD HAVE SHIPPED THE EFFECTS AT AN EARLIER DATE. SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF SERVICE PERSONNEL ARE GOVERNED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303(C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949.

B-136649, AUG 12, 1958

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

DOUGLAS D. WILSON, M. D.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1958, RELATIVE TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $381, ARISING FROM THE STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOLLOWING YOUR SERVICE AS MAJOR, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

BY PARAGRAPH 14, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 142, DATED JULY 23, 1954, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 2, 1954, ON WHICH DATE YOUR RESIGNATION WAS TO BE ACCEPTED. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT YOU WOULD PROCEED TO YOUR HOME OR PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT. ON JULY 26, 1954, YOU EXECUTED AN APPLICATION REQUESTING THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE TO SHIP YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM YOUR RESIDENCE IN FAIRBORN, OHIO, TO STORAGE IN DAYTON, OHIO, STATING THAT YOUR HOME WAS BUFFALO NEW YORK. IN EXECUTING SUCH APPLICATION YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOU WOULD "PAY ALL HANDLING, STORAGE, OR OTHER COSTS, NOT AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS." YOUR EFFECTS WERE PACKED, CRATED AND HAULED TO STORAGE ON JULY 31, 1954. THE COST OF SUCH SERVICES PLUS STORAGE FOR SIX MONTHS, JULY 31, 1954, TO JANUARY 31, 1955, A TOTAL OF $381, WAS PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR EFFECTS REMAINED IN STORAGE UNTIL FEBRUARY 1956, AT WHICH TIME, YOUR RIGHT TO SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAVING EXPIRED, THEY WERE SHIPPED TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF $381 FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE THE STORAGE WAS NOT INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT, NO PART OF THE CHARGES WERE PAYABLE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU REQUEST THAT YOU BE REIMBURSED $386 REPRESENTING THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR EFFECTS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM DAYTON, OHIO, TO BUFFALO, NEW YORK, AND THAT THE CHARGE OF INDEBTEDNESS BE REMOVED. ALSO, YOU INDICATE THAT HAD YOU BEEN PROPERLY INFORMED OF YOUR RIGHTS YOU COULD HAVE SHIPPED THE EFFECTS AT AN EARLIER DATE.

THE PACKING, CRATING, AND SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF SERVICE PERSONNEL ARE GOVERNED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303(C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253(C). PARAGRAPH 8009-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER WHO IS AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WILL ALSO BE ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY STORAGE IN CONJUNCTION WITH SUCH SHIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 8006 OF THOSE REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE LATTER REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDED THAT WHEN NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND DUE TO CONDITIONS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE OWNER, TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS NOT TO EXCEED SIX MONTHS WAS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AFTER PICKUP OF PROPERTY AT QUARTERS AND BEFORE DISPATCH FROM CARRIER'S STATION AT POINT OF ORIGIN, WHILE SHIPMENT WAS IN TRANSIT OR EN ROUTE AND STORAGE WAS NOT FURNISHED FREE BY THE CARRIER, OR AFTER ARRIVAL OF SHIPMENT AT CARRIER'S DESTINATION STATION AND BEFORE DELIVERY OF SHIPMENT INTO QUARTERS. AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, IT WAS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT STORAGE COSTS FOR TIME IN EXCESS OF SIX MONTHS WOULD BE BORNE BY THE OWNER. THE REGULATIONS CLEARLY PROVIDED (PARAGRAPH 8012) THAT ENTITLEMENT TO SHIPMENT UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WOULD TERMINATE IN ANY CASE WHERE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR TO A CARRIER FOR SHIPMENT WITHIN ONE YEAR FOLLOWING SEPARATION.

TEMPORARY STORAGE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AS AN INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION, THAT IS, FOR PERIODS ARISING DURING THE COURSE OF MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BETWEEN AUTHORIZED POINTS. WHERE, AS HERE, THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE NOT SHIPPED INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BUT ARE SIMPLY PLACED IN LOCAL COMMERCIAL STORAGE PENDING SUCH FUTURE DISPOSITION AS THE OWNER MAY DESIRE AND THEN ARE ALLOWED TO REMAIN THERE UNTIL SHIPPING RIGHTS HAVE EXPIRED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS FOR ANY PART OF THE COST INCURRED. WHILE YOUR EFFECTS APPARENTLY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER IN THE BELIEF THAT STORAGE WAS AUTHORIZED (THAT IS, THAT THERE WAS UNAVOIDABLE DELAY NOT TO EXCEED SIX MONTHS IN CONNECTION WITH AN ACTUAL SHIPMENT THEN IN PROCESS), SHIPMENT TO NO PARTICULAR POINT THEN WAS CONTEMPLATED AND SHIPMENT ACTUALLY WAS NOT MADE TO BALTIMORE UNTIL OVER 18 MONTHS LATER.

SINCE YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED MORE THAN A YEAR FOLLOWING YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY PART OF THE COST INCURRED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR CLAIM IS DENIED. ALSO, SINCE THE STORAGE CHARGES DO NOT RELATE TO NECESSARY STORAGE IN CONNECTION WITH AN ACTUAL SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS AFFECTING YOUR SEPARATION FROM RECIPIENTS. UNITED STATES V. BARTRON, 35 F.2D 765; UNITED STATES V. GUDEWIEZ, 45 F. SUPP. 787; UNITED STATES V. BENTLEY, 107 F.2D 382.

YOUR REMITTANCE IN THE FORM OF MONEY ORDERS OR CHECKS PAYABLE TO FROM THE SERVICE, THE AUDIT EXCEPTION WAS CORRECT AND YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $381.

WHILE IT MAY BE THAT YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY ADVISED OF YOUR RIGHTS AT THE TIME OF SEPARATION, IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BOUND BY ACTIONS OF ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN MAKING UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENTS OF PUBLIC FUNDS AND SUCH ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS, WHETHER MADE UNDER MISTAKE OF FACT OR LAW, PROPERLY ARE TO BE RECOVERED "U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D. C. ..END :