B-143875, SEP. 15, 1960

B-143875: Sep 15, 1960

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THE FACTS AS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER ARE THAT MR. KEYES WAS ASSIGNED INDEFINITELY TO THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION FOR OVERSEAS DUTY AT HAVANA. HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JANUARY 9. UPON COMPLETION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT AT HAVANA HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 29. 625 POUNDS NET HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS THAT BEING THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT WHICH WAS ACTUALLY MADE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO HAVANA AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. KEYES ELECTED TO SHIP BAGGAGE TOGETHER WITH HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS ONE LOT AND IF BY THEIR INCLUSION THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS INCREASED ABOVE THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION PRESCRIBED THEREFOR IN THE I.C.A.

B-143875, SEP. 15, 1960

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1960, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRANSMITTED VOUCHER, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MR. WILLIAM F. KEYES, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF MINES.

THE FACTS AS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER ARE THAT MR. KEYES WAS ASSIGNED INDEFINITELY TO THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION FOR OVERSEAS DUTY AT HAVANA, CUBA. HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JANUARY 9, 1957, TO SHIP 8,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, 1,200 POUNDS UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE, OF WHICH NOT TO EXCEED 400 POUNDS COULD BE SHIPPED AIR FREIGHT OR AIR EXPRESS PURSUANT TO TABLES I AND II OF I.C.A. MANUAL ORDER 560.2. MR. KEYES ACTUALLY SHIPPED 3,625 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, 585 POUNDS OF UNACCOMPANIED SURFACE BAGGAGE AND 285 POUNDS OF AIR FREIGHT TO HIS OVERSEAS POST AT HAVANA.

UPON COMPLETION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT AT HAVANA HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 29, 1959, TO SHIP TO THE UNITED STATES NOT TO EXCEED 3,625 POUNDS NET HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS THAT BEING THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT WHICH WAS ACTUALLY MADE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO HAVANA AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. THE ORDER ALSO AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF NOT TO EXCEED 1,200 POUNDS OF UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE OF WHICH NOT TO EXCEED 400 POUNDS COULD BE SHIPPED AIR FREIGHT OR AIR EXPRESS. MR. KEYES SHIPPED APPROXIMATELY 6,000 POUNDS NET OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH INCLUDED AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF BAGGAGE. HE NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE TRAVEL VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF $165.89 FOR THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN EXCESS OF 3,625 POUNDS AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER.

YOU REQUEST THAT YOU BE ADVISED WHETHER A FORMULA OR OTHER METHOD MAY BE USED TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT DUE MR. KEYES FOR THE COST OF HOLD BAGGAGE WHICH HAS BEEN INCLUDED AND SHIPPED IN ONE LOT AS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND WHETHER HE SHOULD BE LIMITED UPON HIS RETURN FROM HIS OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED OVERSEAS FROM THE UNITED STATES.

BAGGAGE ORDINARILY FOR STORAGE IN THE HOLD OF THE VESSEL AND CHECKED ON THE TRAVELER'S TICKET MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. HOWEVER, SINCE MR. KEYES ELECTED TO SHIP BAGGAGE TOGETHER WITH HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS ONE LOT AND IF BY THEIR INCLUSION THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS INCREASED ABOVE THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITATION PRESCRIBED THEREFOR IN THE I.C.A. MANUAL OR TRAVEL ORDER, HE WOULD BE LIABLE FOR THE RESULTING EXCESS CHARGE.

ALTHOUGH OUR OFFICE IS NOT AWARE OF ANY STATUTE OR REGULATION WHICH REQUIRES THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO BE LIMITED ON THE RETURN TRIP BY THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THOSE SHIPPED BY THE TRAVELER TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION WHEN THE WEIGHT SHIPPED ON THE RETURN TRIP WAS BELOW THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT LIMITATION, THE FACT REMAINS THAT MR. KEYES' TRAVEL ORDER LIMITED THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED FROM OVERSEAS TO THAT ORIGINALLY SHIPPED BY HIM TO HAVANA. HOWEVER, IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT MR. KEYES' ALLOWABLE WEIGHT FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHOWN ON THE ORDER WAS ERRONEOUS, OR DUE TO A MISUNDERSTANDING OUR OFFICE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO CHANGING THE ALLOWABLE WEIGHT NOT EXCEEDING THE ACTUAL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

THEREFORE, IF THE ALLOWABLE WEIGHT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY INCREASED ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS, IS RETURNED, MAY THEN BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. OTHERWISE, WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO THE FORMULA USED IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED TO THE EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT SPECIFIED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDER.