B-140833, NOV. 6, 1959

B-140833: Nov 6, 1959

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SCHNURR: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM FORT MYER. TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING DATED MARCH 9. WAS AUTHORIZED IN "SEATTLE OR GREAT FALLS AREA" AT THE OPTION OF THE ALASKAN LIAISON OFFICER. THE EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT YOUR RESIDENCE ON MARCH 29. WHERE THEY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE FROM APRIL 11 TO 25. WERE NOT READY TO ACCEPT DELIVERY. IN THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE IT WAS STATED THAT YOU HAD NOT FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY FOR STORAGE AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU POINT OUT THAT THE CERTIFICATE CANNOT NOW BE FURNISHED BECAUSE PERTINENT RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.

B-140833, NOV. 6, 1959

TO CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER HAROLD T. SCHNURR:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1959, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 14, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM MAY 19 TO JUNE 10, 1955.

BY ORDERS DATED JANUARY 18, 1955, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM FORT MYER, VIRGINIA, TO ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA, FOR DUTY. THE ORDERS STATED THAT YOU WOULD DEPART FROM YOUR STATION ON MARCH 20, 1955, AUTHORIZED 30 DAYS' LEAVE, AND DIRECTED YOU TO REPORT AT MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, TACOMA, WASHINGTON, NOT LATER THAN MAY 2, 1955, FOR MOVEMENT TO OVERSEAS STATION. TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 2-11, DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1955, AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, TO THE OVERSEAS STATION UPON CALL OF THE PORT COMMANDER, SEATTLE PORT OF EMBARKATION. TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING DATED MARCH 9, 1955, WHICH STATED THAT STORAGE IN TRANSIT NOT TO EXCEED 180 DAYS, WAS AUTHORIZED IN "SEATTLE OR GREAT FALLS AREA" AT THE OPTION OF THE ALASKAN LIAISON OFFICER. THE EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT YOUR RESIDENCE ON MARCH 29, 1955, AND SHIPPED TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, WHERE THEY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE FROM APRIL 11 TO 25, 1955. THE EFFECTS ARRIVED IN ANCHORAGE ON MAY 18, 1955, AND SINCE YOU HAD ARRIVED THERE ON MAY 12, 1955, AND WERE NOT READY TO ACCEPT DELIVERY, YOU PLACED THEM IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE FROM MAY 19 TO JUNE 10, 1955, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. IN THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE IT WAS STATED THAT YOU HAD NOT FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY FOR STORAGE AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU POINT OUT THAT THE CERTIFICATE CANNOT NOW BE FURNISHED BECAUSE PERTINENT RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED; THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE REMOVED FROM IN-TRANSIT STORAGE IN SEATTLE PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL THERE, AND THAT RESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS ERRONEOUSLY SHIPPED THEM ON TO ALASKA WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.

THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), WHICH PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS SHALL BE ENTITLED, IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION, TO "TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS" TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, CONTAINED SEVERAL PERTINENT PARAGRAPHS. PARAGRAPH 8050-6 PROVIDED THAT ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR IMMEDIATE ACCEPTANCE OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE CARRIER AT DESTINATION WAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER AND THAT HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DEMURRAGE, UNAUTHORIZED STORAGE OR OTHER CHARGES INCURRED BECAUSE SHIPMENT IS NOT ACCEPTED PROMPTLY AT DESTINATION. PARAGRAPH 8006-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT WHENEVER NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE MEMBER, INCLUDING ARRIVAL OF SHIPMENT AT DESTINATION BEFORE ARRIVAL OF THE MEMBER, OR NONAVAILABILITY OF HOUSING AT DESTINATION, TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WAS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SUBPARAGRAPH (C) REQUIRED THAT VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE OF PROPERLY DESIGNATED AUTHORITY THAT STORAGE WAS NECESSARY.

IT APPEARS THAT AFTER SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS YOU TOOK YOUR AUTHORIZED LEAVE AND DID NOT MAKE ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF THE GOODS AT DESTINATION AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS. EXCEPT FOR THE TAKING OF LEAVE, IT APPEARS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN ALASKA IN AMPLE TIME TO HAVE SECURED SUITABLE QUARTERS BEFORE MAY 18, 1955, AND THUS BEEN ABLE TO ACCEPT DELIVERY OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON THEIR ARRIVAL. THUS, INSOFAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS, THE STORAGE WAS FOR YOUR PERSONAL REASONS CONNECTED WITH LEAVE AND WAS NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, A CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY FOR STORAGE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN FURNISHED. WHILE THE BILL OF LADING INDICATED THAT YOUR EFFECTS COULD BE STORED IN TRANSIT AT SEATTLE OR GREAT FALLS FOR AS LONG AS 180 DAYS, SUCH STORAGE WAS AUTHORIZED ONLY IF NECESSITATED BY CONDITIONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. EVEN IF IT COULD BE ESTABLISHED THAT THERE WAS AN ERROR IN SHIPPING YOUR EFFECTS ON TO ALASKA PRIOR TO YOUR REQUEST, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BOUND BY THE NEGLIGENT OR ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED. THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1959, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, AS REQUESTED.