B-143104, JUN. 27, 1960

B-143104: Jun 27, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

34TH ARTY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 23. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED IN THREE LOTS. THE THIRD SHIPMENT WAS MADE FROM SEATTLE TO AUBURN. AGGREGATED 13407 POUNDS NET WEIGHT WHICH EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 9500 POUNDS BY 3907 POUNDS AND YOU WERE CHARGED THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPMENT OF THIS EXCESS WEIGHT INCLUDED IN THE THIRD SHIPMENT OF YOUR GOODS. ON WHICH THE EXCESS COST WAS ASSESSED. WAS INCORRECT DUE TO EXCESS MATERIALS IN PACKING AND CRATING. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. CERTIFIED THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PACKED IN ACCORDANCE WITH TECHNICAL MANUAL 5-614. THAT THEY WERE INSPECTED AT THE TIME OF PACKING.

B-143104, JUN. 27, 1960

TO MAJOR MAYNARD E. CASTER, HQS. 2D HOW BN, 34TH ARTY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 23, 1960,REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF MAY 7, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF $292.19 PAID BY YOU TO THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTING THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND FROM SEATTLE TO AUBURN, WASHINGTON, INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO GERMANY IN OCTOBER 1957.

PURSUANT TO SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 70, ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., ON APRIL 10, 1957, YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED IN THREE LOTS, TWO MOVED FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND THE THIRD SHIPMENT WAS MADE FROM SEATTLE TO AUBURN, WASHINGTON. FORM DA-1857, DATED OCTOBER 23, 1957, PURSUANT TO WHICH YOU PAID $292.19 EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION, SHOWS THAT THE SHIPMENTS, LESS APPROPRIATE PERCENTAGE ALLOWANCES FOR PACKING, ETC., AGGREGATED 13407 POUNDS NET WEIGHT WHICH EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 9500 POUNDS BY 3907 POUNDS AND YOU WERE CHARGED THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPMENT OF THIS EXCESS WEIGHT INCLUDED IN THE THIRD SHIPMENT OF YOUR GOODS.

IN YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM YOU BASED YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REFUND ON YOUR OWN STATEMENT THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS CONSISTED OF THE NORMAL AMOUNT OF FURNITURE FOR A FAMILY WITH THREE CHILDREN; THAT YOU HAD NO ITEM OF GREAT WEIGHT, SUCH AS A PIANO, AND THAT YOU FELT THAT THE WEIGHT OF SHIPMENT NO. 3, ON WHICH THE EXCESS COST WAS ASSESSED, WAS INCORRECT DUE TO EXCESS MATERIALS IN PACKING AND CRATING. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, CERTIFIED THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PACKED IN ACCORDANCE WITH TECHNICAL MANUAL 5-614; THAT THEY WERE INSPECTED AT THE TIME OF PACKING, AND THAT YOUR GOODS WERE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE OVER PACKED. YOUR LETTER REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM PRESENTS NO EVIDENCE WHICH WAS NOT BEFORE THIS OFFICE WHEN OUR SETTLEMENT WAS MADE; IT MERELY REITERATED THAT IF YOUR CLAIM IS INVESTIGATED IT WILL BE FOUND THAT YOU HAD NO MORE HOUSEHOLD GOODS THAN THE AVERAGE FAMILY OF YOUR RANK.

PARAGRAPH 8001-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT, WITH ORDINARY PACKING AND CRATING METHODS, HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED, MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WEIGHT ALLOWANCES REPRESENTING THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED ARE SET FORTH FOR THE VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR PERCENTAGE INCREASES OF THOSE WEIGHT ALLOWANCES FOR VARYING TYPES OF SHIPMENTS TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT OF ORDINARY PACKING AND CRATING MATERIALS FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION UTILIZED. THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT, AT NOT TO EXCEED AN AGGREGATE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF THE NET WEIGHT PLUS THE AUTHORIZED INCREASE TO COVER PACKING MATERIALS. WHENEVER, AS IN YOUR CASE, SHIPMENT IS BY MIXED METHOD, THE TOTAL NET UNPACKED WEIGHTS ARE REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS TO BE COMPARED WITH THE NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS WEIGHT, IF ANY. THIS IS DONE BY SUBTRACTING FROM THE GROSS WEIGHTS OF THE VARIOUS LOTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS THE APPROPRIATE PERCENTAGE INCREASES ALLOWED FOR PACKING AND CRATING FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION USED FOR EACH LOT.

OBVIOUSLY, IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO WEIGH BEFORE PACKING AT ORIGIN, OR AFTER ARRIVAL AND UNPACKING AT DESTINATION, EACH OF THE MANY SHIPMENTS OF EFFECTS OF SERVICE MEMBERS SO AS TO COMPUTE THE EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS. YOU STATE THAT A CHECK OF YOUR FURNITURE IN STORAGE WILL REVEAL YOU DO NOT HAVE AN EXCESS AMOUNT OF FURNITURE. THIS OFFICE HAS NO FACILITIES TO MAKE SUCH AN INVESTIGATION EVEN IF IT WOULD SERVE ANY USEFUL PURPOSE. THE EXCESS COST WAS CHARGED ON THE SHIPMENT TO STORAGE SINCE IT CHRONOLOGICALLY WAS THE SHIPMENT WHICH WAS NOT COVERED BY A SUFFICIENT BALANCE OF WEIGHT ALLOWANCE TO PERMIT SHIPMENT AT PUBLIC EXPENSE. THE COMPUTATION OF EXCESS COST IN YOUR CLAIM WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS.

OUR OFFICE MUST NECESSARILY RELY UPON THE WRITTEN RECORD IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS, SINCE, GENERALLY, WE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED OTHER THAN THOSE FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMANTS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES. THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS A QUESTION OF FACT. IT IS THE UNBROKEN RULE OF THIS OFFICE WHEN THERE IS A DISAGREEMENT, AS HERE, BETWEEN THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND THOSE STATED BY A CLAIMANT, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THEIR CORRECTNESS, TO ACCEPT THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AS CONTROLLING THE DISPOSITION OF THE CLAIM. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 927, 929; 16 ID. 325, 329; 18 ID. 799; 19 ID. 88, 90; 31 ID. 288; 37 ID. 568; AND 38 ID. 572, 530.