B-144005, NOV. 10, 1960

B-144005: Nov 10, 1960

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POWELL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 8. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AT LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE. YOU STATE THAT ON THIS CHANGE OF STATION THE BULK OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS WERE SENT TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACT STORAGE IN COLUMBUS. IT IS CONTENDED. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE STORED WITH THE COMPANY THAT HAD THE CONTRACT FOR GOVERNMENT STORAGE. OR IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES WHENEVER SUCH STORAGE IS CONSIDERED TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. THOSE PROVISIONS OF LAW ARE NOT SELF-EXECUTING BUT REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF CONTROLLING REGULATIONS. THAT IS. PROVIDED THAT MEMBERS COULD APPLY FOR STORAGE OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT AN INSTALLATION OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED AND THAT THE GRANTING OF A REQUEST WOULD DEPEND UPON WHETHER FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE.

B-144005, NOV. 10, 1960

TO COLONEL THOMAS E. POWELL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1960, MAILED TO US BY MRS. THOMAS E. POWELL, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 26, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF STORING PART OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM NOVEMBER 16, 1956, TO SEPTEMBER 17, 1959, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 2, 1956, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AT LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VIRGINIA, AND ASSIGNED TO HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE IN EUROPE, A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. YOU STATE THAT ON THIS CHANGE OF STATION THE BULK OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS WERE SENT TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACT STORAGE IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, BUT THAT YOU ELECTED TO STORE YOUR MOST VALUABLE POSSESSIONS WITH A. J. BENINATO AND SONS, WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, RATHER THAN TO ENTRUST THEM TO THE COMPANY THAT HAD THE MOVING AND STORAGE CONTRACT FOR LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE FOR THE REASON THAT THERE HAD BEEN UNFAVORABLE COMMENTS ABOUT THE SERVICES OFFERED BY THAT COMPANY. A. J. BENINATO AND SONS, AGENTS FOR NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES, INC., SIGNED BASIC AGREEMENT NO. 26 FOR GOVERNMENT CONTRACT STORAGE ON DECEMBER 31, 1956. IT IS CONTENDED, THEREFORE, THAT FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN YOUR CLAIM SINCE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 16, 1956, TO DECEMBER 31, 1956, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE STORED WITH THE COMPANY THAT HAD THE CONTRACT FOR GOVERNMENT STORAGE.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UPON CHANGE OF STATION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR. THAT SECTION FURTHER PROVIDES THAT NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE AUTHORIZED IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES, OR IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES WHENEVER SUCH STORAGE IS CONSIDERED TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. THOSE PROVISIONS OF LAW ARE NOT SELF-EXECUTING BUT REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF CONTROLLING REGULATIONS. AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, THAT IS, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1956, THE PROVISION AUTHORIZING NONTEMPORARY COMMERCIAL STORAGE HAD, BY AMENDMENT, BECOME PART OF THE LAW. HOWEVER, THE OPERATIVE REGULATIONS HAD NOT BEEN PROMULGATED. PARAGRAPH 8006-2, CHANGE 45, APRIL 1, 1956, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THEN IN EFFECT, PROVIDED THAT MEMBERS COULD APPLY FOR STORAGE OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT AN INSTALLATION OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED AND THAT THE GRANTING OF A REQUEST WOULD DEPEND UPON WHETHER FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. NO PROVISION HAD BEEN MADE IN THE REGULATIONS FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES OR FOR PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL STORAGE CHARGES INCIDENT TO SUCH STORAGE. THUS, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1956, STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY THE GOVERNMENT WAS A SERVICE THAT COULD BE RENDERED IN KIND ONLY.

IN CHANGE NO. 53 TO PARAGRAPH 8006-2, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 1956, IT WAS FIRST PROVIDED THAT NONTEMPORARY STORAGE MAY BE AUTHORIZED IN EITHER GOVERNMENT OR COMMERCIAL FACILITIES "WHICHEVER IS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR SUCH OTHER OFFICER AS THE SERVICE CONCERNED MAY DESIGNATE.' WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THOSE PROVISIONS CONTEMPLATE THE USE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF COMMERCIAL FACILITIES FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE ONLY IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE MEMBER'S EFFECTS ARE PLACED IN THE FACILITIES AS A RESULT OF AN AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIAL THAT THE USE OF THE FACILITIES WOULD BE OF ECONOMICAL ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND, THEREFORE, THAT NO AUTHORITY CAN BE CONSIDERED TO EXIST UNDER SUCH PROVISIONS FOR THE PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS OF STORAGE COSTS OF EFFECTS PLACED IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES BY THE MEMBER OF HIS OWN VOLITION. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE EFFECTS IN QUESTION WERE NOT PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE FACILITIES BY DETERMINATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER BUT BY YOUR OWN ARRANGEMENT AND DIRECTION, NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU OF THE STORAGE EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THAT ARRANGEMENT REGARDLESS OF A CONTENTION THAT THE FACILITIES USED PROVED TO BE ECONOMICAL OR THAT THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SELECTED HAD THE PROPER OFFICIAL MADE THE INITIAL STORAGE ARRANGEMENTS.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT BECAUSE OF ADVICE RECEIVED FROM A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER YOU WERE LED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU COULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE STORAGE EXPENSES UPON YOUR ULTIMATE RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, THAT CIRCUMSTANCE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.