B-144613, MAR. 21, 1961

B-144613: Mar 21, 1961

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DAVIS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 8. ENDORSEMENTS THEREON YOU WERE DETACHED JANUARY 23. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT BEAUFORT. WHERE THEY WERE PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE DECEMBER 16. THESE EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED FOR OCEAN SHIPMENT AND HAULED TO NEW ORLEANS. WHERE THEY WERE PLACED ABOARD AN OCEAN VESSEL AND SHIPPED TO THE CANAL ZONE. CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PICKED UP AT TROY. SINCE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY WAS LIMITED TO A PACKED WEIGHT OF 8. EXCESS COSTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $342.42 WERE ASSESSED AGAINST YOU BY THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY. WHICH SUM IS BEING COLLECTED FROM YOU BY PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS.

B-144613, MAR. 21, 1961

TO MR. WILLIAM E. DAVIS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1960, RELATIVE TO SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 30, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS LIEUTENANT (JG), UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE, AND AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 29, 1957, AND ENDORSEMENTS THEREON YOU WERE DETACHED JANUARY 23, 1958, FROM MARINE CORPS AUXILIARY AIR STATION, BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA, GRANTED FOUR DAYS TRAVEL TIME AND RELEASED FROM ALL ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE JANUARY 27, 1958. APPARENTLY ON THE BASIS OF YOUR REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE AT PLACE OF ORIGIN, YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PICKED UP AT BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND PACKED AND HAULED TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, WHERE THEY WERE PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE DECEMBER 16, 1957. THEREAFTER, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY, THESE EFFECTS WERE PACKED AND CRATED FOR OCEAN SHIPMENT AND HAULED TO NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, WHERE THEY WERE PLACED ABOARD AN OCEAN VESSEL AND SHIPPED TO THE CANAL ZONE. ADDITION, CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PICKED UP AT TROY, NEW YORK, PACKED FOR OCEAN SHIPMENT, HAULED TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND FROM THERE MOVED TO THE CANAL ZONE BY OCEAN CARRIER. SINCE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY WAS LIMITED TO A PACKED WEIGHT OF 8,750 POUNDS AND A TOTAL MEASUREMENT OF 1,000 CUBIC FEET, AND THE COMBINED SHIPMENTS WEIGHED 11,115 POUNDS AND MEASURED 1,016 CUBIC FEET, EXCESS COSTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $342.42 WERE ASSESSED AGAINST YOU BY THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY, WHICH SUM IS BEING COLLECTED FROM YOU BY PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS. YOUR CLAIM FOR THIS AMOUNT FROM THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 30, 1960, AND IN YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1960, YOU POSE CERTAIN QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO YOUR CLAIM, ONE OF WHICH ASKED HOW YOU MAY APPEAL THIS SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM. YOUR LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT. SINCE YOU SEEM TO BE SATISFIED THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY, WE WILL CONSIDER ONLY THE ALLOWANCE TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED INCIDENT TO YOUR NAVAL SERVICE.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AND FOR SUCH RANKS, GRADES OR RATINGS AND TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AND WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. PARAGRAPH 8009-5A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED UNDER THE ACT AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INVOLVED, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITATIONS, IS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS LAST OR ANY PREVIOUS DUTY STATION, FROM A DESIGNATED PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES, OR FROM PLACE OF STORAGE, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF, TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THE MEMBER ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR HIS TRAVEL, THAT IS TO SAY, TO HIS HOME OF RECORD OF THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, AS HE MAY ELECT. PARAGRAPH 8100-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT COSTS IN EXCESS OF THOSE AUTHORIZED WILL BE PAID BY THE MEMBERS FOR WHOM SHIPMENTS ARE MADE. EXCESS COSTS INCURRED INCIDENT TO SHIPMENTS MADE FROM AND/OR TO POINTS OTHER THAN THOSE AUTHORIZED IN THE REGULATIONS OR FOR SHIPMENTS IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE MEMBER.

THE LIABILITY ASSURED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF A MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENDITURES MADE BY THE MEMBER IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS BETWEEN AUTHORIZED POINTS AND NOT ON A COMMUTATION BASIS. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF LAW AND REGULATIONS CITED, UPON YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY YOU WERE ENTITLED TO HAVE YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED FROM BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO TROY, NEW YORK, THE PLACE TO WHICH YOU ELECTED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR YOUR TRAVEL OR TO SOME OTHER PLACE AT NO GREATER COST. HOWEVER, YOUR GOODS WERE ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN STORAGE IN SAVANNAH UNTIL PICKED UP FOR SHIPMENT TO THE CANAL ZONE PURSUANT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY. THE LIABILITY ASSUMED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENDITURES BY REASON OF SHIPMENT BY COMMERCIAL MEANS AT YOUR OWN DIRECTION AND EXPENSE. THE GOODS PLACED IN COMMERCIAL STORAGE INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE NAVY WERE PICKED UP AND TRANSPORTED TO THE CANAL ZONE BY THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY AND, SINCE THAT SHIPMENT EXCEEDED THE COST OF SHIPMENT TO TROY AND WAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, YOU RECEIVED ALL THAT THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE FOR SUCH SHIPMENT INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE FACT THAT THE GOODS COULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED TO TROY INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND THEN HAVE BEEN RESHIPPED (WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE) TO THE CANAL ZONE MAY NOT OPERATE TO INCREASE YOUR RIGHTS IN THE MATTER. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE ADDITIONAL SHIPMENT FROM TROY, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO EXCESS COST CHARGEABLE TO YOU. THE WEIGHT OF THAT SHIPMENT WAS PROPERLY COMBINED WITH THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT FROM SAVANNAH IN COMPUTING THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED. ACCORDINGLY, DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND THAT ACTION IS SUSTAINED.

AS TO YOUR RIGHT OF APPEAL, DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON MATTERS SUCH AS THIS ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. SUBJECT, HOWEVER, TO A SIX-YEAR LIMITATION ON THE TIME FOR FILING SUIT, THE COURT OF CLAIMS IS AUTHORIZED TO HEAR AND DETERMINE CLAIMS OF THIS NATURE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. SEE 28 U.S.C. 1491; 28 U.S.C. 2501.