B-138131, JAN 14, 1959

B-138131: Jan 14, 1959

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AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY: YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED FROM NOUASSERU. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS 15. WHICH YOU ALLEGE ARE THE SAME. HAVE BEEN SHIPPED FROM NORFOLK. YOU CONTEND THAT THE EXCESS WEIGHT INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT FROM MOROCCO TO ITALY WAS DUE TO THE TYPE OF PACKING AND CRATING. WHICH WERE USED. THE EXCESS COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT ARE NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO YOU. YOU ALSO CONTEND SUCH COSTS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY ADVISED OF THE CONTENTS OF ARMY CIRCULAR 55-14 DATED APRIL 13. IT PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVELER IS TO BE MADE AWARE OF THE AVERAGE GROSS WEIGHT IN COMPARISON WITH NET WEIGHT AT THE POINT WHERE THE PACKING IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED.

B-138131, JAN 14, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. WALTON A. RHODES, JR.:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1958, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 7, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $218.72 COLLECTED FROM YOU AS EXCESS COSTS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, IN CONNECTION WITH RELOCATION OF HEADQUARTERS, MEDITERRANEAN DIVISION, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, FROM NOUASSERU, MOROCCO, TO LEGHORN, ITALY, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED FROM NOUASSERU, MOROCCO, TO LEGHORN, ITALY, BY TRANSPORT HARPER, ON JULY 30, 1957, PURSUANT TO TRAVEL ORDERS PCS-71-LEGHORN, ITALY, DATED JULY 15, 1957. THOSE ORDERS PROVIDED FOR SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL EFFECTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS NOT IN EXCESS OF GROSS WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 8,750 POUNDS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS 15,688 POUNDS, OR 6,938 POUNDS IN EXCESS OF THE 8,750 POUNDS GROSS WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.

YOU SAY THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WHICH YOU ALLEGE ARE THE SAME, HAVE BEEN SHIPPED FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO TRIPOLI, LIBIA, AND FROM LEGHORN, ITALY, TO JUNEAU, ALASKA, WITHOUT ANY OVERWEIGHT, AND FROM TRIPOLI, LIBIA, TO NOUASSERU, MOROCCO, WITH A MINIMUM OVERWEIGHT OF 3,227 POUNDS. HENCE, YOU CONTEND THAT THE EXCESS WEIGHT INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT FROM MOROCCO TO ITALY WAS DUE TO THE TYPE OF PACKING AND CRATING, NAMELY, CONEX CONTAINERS, WHICH WERE USED, AND THEREFORE, THE EXCESS COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT ARE NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO YOU. YOU ALSO CONTEND SUCH COSTS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY ADVISED OF THE CONTENTS OF ARMY CIRCULAR 55-14 DATED APRIL 13, 1956. IT PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVELER IS TO BE MADE AWARE OF THE AVERAGE GROSS WEIGHT IN COMPARISON WITH NET WEIGHT AT THE POINT WHERE THE PACKING IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED, AND ALSO, OF THE UNIT PRICE WHICH WILL BE CHARGED FOR WEIGHT IN EXCESS OF ALLOWANCE.

SECTION 1(A) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1(A) AND SECTION 17 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED - THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 1(A) OF THE ACT - LIMIT THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS THAT MAY BE TRANSPORTED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO A MAXIMUM OF 8,750 POUNDS GROSS. MOREOVER, SECTION 18 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER STATES THAT "THE ACTUAL COSTS OF PACKING, CRATING, UNPACKING, AND UNCRATING (NOT TO EXCEED THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT) SHALL BE ALLOWED."

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO, TAKE PROCEDENCE OVER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY POLICIES REGARDING PACKING AND CRATING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIANS CONTAINED IN ARMY CIRCULAR 55-14. IT IS APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IS AWARE THAT IN PACKING AND CRATING HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT THE MATERIALS OR CONTAINERS USED IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY FROM DAMAGE MAY CAUSE THE GROSS WEIGHT OF THE GOODS TO EXCEED THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE PRESENT LAW OR REGULATION WHEREBY AN EMPLOYEE CAN BE RELIEVED OF THE COST RESULTING FROM SUCH EXCESS WEIGHT WHETHER IT BE OCCASIONED BY THE ACTION OF A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR OR THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY INVOLVED.

IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, REFERRED TO ABOVE, OUR OFFICE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DENY YOUR CLAIM FOR $218.72. THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 7, 1958, IS SUSTAINED.