B-142801, JUN. 2, 1960

B-142801: Jun 2, 1960

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YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED IN PARIS. THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT AFTER PACKING AND CRATING IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN 13. THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS AND EFFECTS THAT MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS LIMITED BOTH BY LAW AND SECTIONS 6 AND 17 OF THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER. WHICH UNDER SECTION 17 (A) THEREOF IS FIXED AT 8. PAYMENT OF $628.07 ALSO WAS MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE COVERING THE COST INCURRED FOR CRATING AND PACKING 13. FOR WHICH YOU NOW ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES. THE LIABILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION IS MANDATORY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT AND SECTION 22 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805. AS FOLLOWS: "* * * IF PROPERTY IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS IS SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER.

B-142801, JUN. 2, 1960

TO MR. MELVILLE J. BOUCHER:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, 1960, REFERS TO OUR OFFICE LETTER OF APRIL 6, 1960, WHEREIN WE SET FORTH THE REASONS FOR UPHOLDING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS OF $223.83 TO THE UNITED STATES RESULTING FROM EXCESS COST FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND RELATED SERVICES (OTHER THAN RAIL AND OCEAN TRANSPORTATION) OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FROM YOUR FORMER PERMANENT DUTY STATION OVERSEAS AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY.

THE RECORDS SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL ORDERS NO. 7-59, DATED JUNE 24, 1958, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED IN PARIS, FRANCE, AND SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES, ARRIVING AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, AND FROM THAT PORT TRANSPORTED TO ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND. THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT AFTER PACKING AND CRATING IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN 13,595 POUNDS.

SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10196, PROMULGATED THEREUNDER, GOVERN THE ALLOWANCE AND PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY. THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS AND EFFECTS THAT MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS LIMITED BOTH BY LAW AND SECTIONS 6 AND 17 OF THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER, AS AMENDED, TO 7,000 POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR 8,750 POUNDS IF CRATED. ALSO, SECTION 18 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL COSTS OF PACKING, CRATING, UNPACKING AND UNCRATING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF A MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED WEIGHT, WHICH UNDER SECTION 17 (A) THEREOF IS FIXED AT 8,750 POUNDS.

THE RECORD SHOWS YOU REFUNDED $421.51 TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO COVER THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR RAIL AND OCEAN TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF 4,845 POUNDS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION OF 8,750 POUNDS. HOWEVER, PAYMENT OF $628.07 ALSO WAS MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE COVERING THE COST INCURRED FOR CRATING AND PACKING 13,595 POUNDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT YOUR FORMER OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AT PARIS. THEREFORE, UNDER THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION PROVIDED BY SECTION 18 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, AS AMENDED, THE EXCESS COST ASSESSABLE AGAINST YOU FOR THOSE SERVICES WOULD BE 8750/13595 OF $628.07, OR $223.83, FOR WHICH YOU NOW ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES.

SINCE YOU REFUNDED THE EXCESS COST INCURRED FOR OCEAN AND RAIL TRANSPORTATION YOU SAY YOU SHOULD BE RELIEVED OF ANY ADDITIONAL LIABILITY INCURRED RESULTING FROM THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND YOU BELIEVE THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU SHOULD BE REFUNDED TO YOU BECAUSE OF INEQUITIES RESULTING FROM SUCH PRACTICE TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AT OVERSEAS LOCATIONS.

THE LIABILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION IS MANDATORY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT AND SECTION 22 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, WHICH PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * IF PROPERTY IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS IS SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL IMMEDIATELY UPON COMPLETION OF THE SHIPMENT PAY TO THE PROPER OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CHARGE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH EXCESS COMPUTED FROM THE TOTAL CHARGES ACCORDING TO THE RATION OF EXCESS WEIGHT TO THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT.'

WE HAVE NO INFORMATION HERE SHOWING IMPROPER PACKING AND CRATING OF YOUR EFFECTS. MOREOVER, THE STATUTE LIMITS THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR PAYMENT OF 8,750 POUNDS GROSS WEIGHT AND WE UNDERSTAND THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IN YOUR CASE WAS ON THE GROSS WEIGHT; THEREFORE, NO PROPER BASIS EXISTS FOR COMPUTATION OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS BY USE OF THE NET WEIGHT OF YOUR EFFECTS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING EXPLANATION, WE BELIEVE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE YOU OF THE CHARGES FOR EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS, AND SINCE THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $223.83 IS A VALID OBLIGATION, PAYMENT OF THIS INDEBTEDNESS SHOULD BE MADE BY YOU IN THE MANNER REQUESTED BY THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICE, PARIS, OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.