B-142912, JUN. 20, 1960

B-142912: Jun 20, 1960

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THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MARCH 14. THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES. 830 POUNDS AS ESTABLISHED BY A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE SHOWING THAT THE EFFECTS WERE WEIGHED AT NORTHFIELD. YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED PLUS TRANSPORTATION TAX ON THE EXCESS WEIGHT. THAT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THE OTHER SHIPMENT WAS WEIGHED WITH YOURS. THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THERE ARE WEIGHING FACILITIES IN NORTHFIELD. ARE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT. SUCH WEIGHTS ARE SET FORTH FOR VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR A PERCENTAGE INCREASE TO ALLOW FOR PACKING AND CRATING. THE AUTHORIZED NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH MAY BE SHIPPED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE IS INCREASED BY 5 PERCENT FOR SHIPMENT BY VAN.

B-142912, JUN. 20, 1960

TO COLONEL WILLIAM R. PRINCE:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2, 1960, REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 20, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $209.38, REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU AS THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN EXCESS OF YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FROM NORTHFIELD, VERMONT, TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS.

THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MARCH 14, 1958. THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES, INCORPORATED, AT A COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF $1,910.43, BASED ON A PACKED WEIGHT OF 13,830 POUNDS AS ESTABLISHED BY A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE SHOWING THAT THE EFFECTS WERE WEIGHED AT NORTHFIELD, VERMONT, ON JUNE 13, 1958, AFTER HAVING BEEN PICKED UP AT 6 SLATE AVENUE, NORTHFIELD, AND PACKED FOR SHIPMENT BY ANDERSON BROTHERS, INCORPORATED, SINCE THE EFFECTS AS SHIPPED EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 11,000 POUNDS PLUS 5 PERCENT FOR PACKING (550 POUNDS) AND 600 POUNDS FOR PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, OR A TOTAL OF 12,150 POUNDS, YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED PLUS TRANSPORTATION TAX ON THE EXCESS WEIGHT. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU REITERATE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DID NOT ACTUALLY EXCEED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, AND YOU ENCLOSED A LETTER INDICATING THAT THE EFFECTS CAME WITHIN SUCH ALLOWANCE ON A SUBSEQUENT CHANGE OF STATION. ALSO, YOU STATE THE VAN COMPANY'S REPRESENTATIVE INFORMED YOU THAT HE HAD ANOTHER SMALL SHIPMENT TO PICK UPIN NORTHFIELD AFTER LOADING YOURS; THAT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THE OTHER SHIPMENT WAS WEIGHED WITH YOURS; AND THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THERE ARE WEIGHING FACILITIES IN NORTHFIELD, VERMONT.

THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 8001) THAT HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WITHIN SPECIFIED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, DESIGNATED AS NET WEIGHTS, ARE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT. SUCH WEIGHTS ARE SET FORTH FOR VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR A PERCENTAGE INCREASE TO ALLOW FOR PACKING AND CRATING. UNDER THAT PROVISION, THE AUTHORIZED NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH MAY BE SHIPPED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE IS INCREASED BY 5 PERCENT FOR SHIPMENT BY VAN. THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT SUCH SHIPMENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SHALL BE ON THE BASIS OF THE WEIGHT AS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT, AT NOT TO EXCEED AN OVERALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF NET WEIGHT PLUS AN ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING AND CRATING. SUCH OVER-ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, OF WHICH THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS BUT ONE COMPONENT PART, REPRESENTS THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT THAT MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED EXCEEDS THE NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS. THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGED TO PAY THE CARRIER FOR THE TOTAL WEIGHT SHIPPED, AND WEIGHTS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM OVER-ALL WEIGHT FIXED BY THE REGULATIONS PROPERLY ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE SHIPPER. OUR ACTION ON YOUR CLAIM MAY NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE WEIGHT OF PRIOR SHIPMENTS OR OF A SUBSEQUENT SHIPMENT.

THE REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDE (SAME PARAGRAPH) THAT "IN INSTANCES WHERE, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THE OWNER, THE TARE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT IS IN EXCESS OF THE ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED ABOVE, THE CASE MAY BE REFERRED TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED FOR AUTHORITY TO DEVIATE FROM THESE ALLOWANCES.' THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE OFFICE, CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, REFERRED YOUR CASE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE FOR INVESTIGATION OF THE WEIGHT AS SHOWN BY THE CARRIER. ON THE BASIS OF A LETTER FROM THE CARRIER, A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE SHOWING THAT YOUR EFFECTS WERE WEIGHED ON A TRUCK SCALE IN NORTHFIELD, VERMONT, AND A NOTARIZED STATEMENT BY THE CARRIER, THE SAID OFFICE CONCLUDED IT WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND THAT YOU BE RELIEVED OF THE EXCESS COST. THAT IS, IT ACCEPTED THE WEIGHT SHIPPED AS THE CORRECT WEIGHT, AND FOUND NO REASON TO RECOMMEND AN ADJUSTMENT IN THE TARE WEIGHT.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AS THE COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN EXCESS OF YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.

SINCE THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 17, 1959, WHICH WAS ENCLOSED WITH YOUR PRESENT LETTER, RELATES LARGELY TO MATTERS OTHER THAN THE SHIPMENT HERE INVOLVED IT IS RETURNED AS REQUESTED.