B-142604, APR. 27, 1960

B-142604: Apr 27, 1960

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STEEDLY'S RECLAIM ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: "MR. STEEDLY'S RECLAIM IS FOR MOVING 2. IS THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF A TANK AND 1. STEEDLY'S ORIGINAL CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE AS WE DID NOT CONSIDER THE TANK AND GAS TO BE A PART OF HIS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS.'. STEEDLY HAS SUBMITTED WITH HIS RECLAIM VOUCHER A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT THE TANK WAS PURCHASED BY HIM AND INSTALLED AT HIS RENTED HOME IN GEORGETOWN. THERE IS SOME DOUBT AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THESE ITEMS FALL WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM NOT THESE ITEMS FALL WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805. WHICH WE UNDERSTAND IS BASED ON THE WEIGHT OF THE TANK WHEN ORIGINALLY PURCHASED AND THE ACCEPTED STANDARD WEIGHT USED BY THE COMPANY IN CONVERTING GALLONS OF GAS INTO POUNDS.

B-142604, APR. 27, 1960

TO MR. G. A. MEARES, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11, 1960, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $112.70 IN FAVOR OF WENDELL M. STEEDLY. THE CLAIM REPRESENTS AN AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED FROM MR. STEEDLY'S TRAVEL VOUCHER DATED JANUARY 20, 1960, COVERING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS FROM GEORGETOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA TO DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND FROM DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA TO WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NOS. 113-60 AND 120-60, DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1959, AND DECEMBER 21, 1959, RESPECTIVELY.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF MR. STEEDLY'S RECLAIM ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

"MR. STEEDLY'S RECLAIM IS FOR MOVING 2,300 LBS. FROM GEORGETOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA TO WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA AT THE COMMUTED RATE. THE 2,300 LBS. IS THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF A TANK AND 1,017 LBS. OF GAS OWNED PERSONALLY BY MR. STEEDLY. MR. STEEDLY'S ORIGINAL CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE AS WE DID NOT CONSIDER THE TANK AND GAS TO BE A PART OF HIS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS.' ALTHOUGH MR. STEEDLY HAS SUBMITTED WITH HIS RECLAIM VOUCHER A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT THE TANK WAS PURCHASED BY HIM AND INSTALLED AT HIS RENTED HOME IN GEORGETOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA WITH THE OWNER'S AGREEMENT THAT THE TANK WOULD BE CONSIDERED A PART OF HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY AND NOT BECOME A PART OF THE HOUSE, THERE IS SOME DOUBT AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THESE ITEMS FALL WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM NOT THESE ITEMS FALL WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED.

"AS EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE TANK AND GAS, MR. STEEDLY HAS SUBMITTED A TICKET SIGNED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESSO STANDARD OIL COMPANY SHOWING THE WEIGHT OF THE TANK AND GAS TO BE 2,300 LBS., WHICH WE UNDERSTAND IS BASED ON THE WEIGHT OF THE TANK WHEN ORIGINALLY PURCHASED AND THE ACCEPTED STANDARD WEIGHT USED BY THE COMPANY IN CONVERTING GALLONS OF GAS INTO POUNDS.

"YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE TANK AND GAS MAY BE CONSIDERED A PART OF MR. STEEDLY'S "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" AND IF SO, WHETHER THE EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT FURNISHED SATISFACTORILY SUPPORTS THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED RATE.'

WHILE THE TERMS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AND "PERSONAL EFFECTS" ARE NOT DEFINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, BOTH TERMS REFER TO PARTICULAR KINDS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH HOUSE AND PERSON. GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" REFERS TO FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS OR EQUIPMENT--- ARTICLES OF A PERMANENT NATURE--- USED IN AND ABOUT A PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE COMFORT AND ACCOMMODATIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF A FAMILY, AND THE TERM "PERSONAL EFFECTS" REFERS TO SUCH TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY AS IS WORN OR CARRIED ABOUT THE PERSON, AND IS PERSONALLY USED BY AND ASSOCIATED WITH THE PERSON.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE TANK WAS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE BUTANE GAS FOR COOKING, HOT WATER, AND HEATING AND THAT MR. STEEDLY PURCHASED THE TANK BECAUSE THE LANDLORD WOULD NOT FURNISH A TANK AND THE GAS COMPANY WOULD NOT RENT A TANK. THUS IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE TANK PRIMARILY WAS A NECESSARY COMPONENT OF THE HOUSE SUPPLYING BUTANE TO THOSE APPLIANCES NORMALLY USING PUBLIC UTILITY SUPPLIED GAS. ALSO, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE INSTALLED TANK--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE SMALLER PORTABLE TANKS--- WOULD LIKE A PERMANENTLY INSTALLED FUEL OIL TANK, HAVE BECOME A PART OF THE REAL ESTATE EXCEPT FOR THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE LANDLORD AND MR. STEEDLY THAT THE TANK WOULD REMAIN THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF MR. STEEDLY. UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES THE TANK AND GAS PROPERLY MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS COMING WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE TERMS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" OR ,PERSONAL EFFECTS" AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED. VIEW OF THAT HOLDING AN ANSWER TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS UNNECESSARY.