B-145128, MAR. 16, 1961

B-145128: Mar 16, 1961

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YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE NO RECORD OR RECOLLECTION OF HAVING RECEIVED THIS REFUND BUT THAT YOU DID MAKE TWO PAYMENTS ON THE SHIPMENT. THE FIGURE OF $128.07 AS SHOWN ON THE BACK OF THE SETTLEMENT WAS THE AMOUNT REFUNDED BY YOU TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE LINE HAUL EXCESS BUT THE CORRECT AMOUNT SHOULD HAVE BEEN $69.57. AS A RESULT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED A REFUND BY THE GOVERNMENT OF $58.50 WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE $138.82 AS SHOWN ON THE FRONT OF THE SETTLEMENT AS THE AMOUNT DUE YOU. CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED UNCRATED. THERE IS ON FILE A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 18. THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON AUGUST 19. READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "I WAS AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING CHARGED FOR EXCESSIVE WEIGHT LAST AUGUST WHILE STATIONED AT BOLLING AFB.

B-145128, MAR. 16, 1961

TO MR. ARTHUR J. GIULIANI:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15, 1961, TO THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, U.S. FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA, HAS BEEN REFERRED HERE FOR OUR CONSIDERATION.

YOU SAY THAT THE COPY OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 20, 1960, RECEIVED BY YOU, COVERING SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO RHEIN MAIN AIR FORCE BASE, GERMANY, BEARS AN ITEM READING: "AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY REFUNDED--- $128.07.' YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE NO RECORD OR RECOLLECTION OF HAVING RECEIVED THIS REFUND BUT THAT YOU DID MAKE TWO PAYMENTS ON THE SHIPMENT. THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU MADE TWO PAYMENTS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EXCESS COST OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS--- LINE HAUL EXCESS COST OF $128.07 AND WATER TRANSPORTATION EXCESS COST OF $206.25. THE FIGURE OF $128.07 AS SHOWN ON THE BACK OF THE SETTLEMENT WAS THE AMOUNT REFUNDED BY YOU TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE LINE HAUL EXCESS BUT THE CORRECT AMOUNT SHOULD HAVE BEEN $69.57. AS A RESULT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED A REFUND BY THE GOVERNMENT OF $58.50 WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE $138.82 AS SHOWN ON THE FRONT OF THE SETTLEMENT AS THE AMOUNT DUE YOU.

CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED UNCRATED, THERE IS ON FILE A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 18, 1959, FROM YOUR ADDRESS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HEADQUARTERS, WRIGHT- PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, REQUESTING THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BE SHIPPED UNCRATED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE GRAND PIANO. HOWEVER, THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON AUGUST 19, 1959, OR PRIOR TO THE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER. YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 8, 1960, TO THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA, READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"I WAS AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING CHARGED FOR EXCESSIVE WEIGHT LAST AUGUST WHILE STATIONED AT BOLLING AFB, WASHINGTON, D.C. I DISCUSSED THE MATTER WITH MRS. HAWKINS OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE THERE, AND SHE ADVISED ME THAT I WAS ENTITLED TO HAVE THE GOODS SHIPPED TO AN ADDRESS IN THE VICINITY OF THE POINT AT WHICH THEY HAD BEEN PICKED UP; UNPACKED; AND THEN RESHIPPED TO GERMANY FROM THAT POINT. I HAD NEITHER THE TIME AVAILABLE TO RECEIVE THE GOODS, OR A PLACE AT WHICH TO RECEIVE THEM. TOLD MRS. HAWKINS THIS, AND SHE SAID I WAS ALSO ENTITLED TO HAVE THE GOODS SHIPPED LOOSE, WHICH WOULD SAVE ME THE COST OF SHIPPING THE PACKING MATERIAL. WE AGREED THAT THIS LAST PROCEDURE WOULD RESULT IN A SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND SHE STATED THAT SHE WOULD SEND A LETTER TO THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORATION OFFICER, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OHIO, REQUESTING THAT THE GOODS BE UNCRATED AND SHIPPED TO ME LOOSE. BEFORE I LEFT BOLLING, SHE ASSURED ME THAT THE LETTER HAD BEEN WRITTEN AND DISPATCHED. SHE ADDED THAT THIS SHOULD BRING THE GROSS WEIGHT TO A FIGURE BELOW THAT ALLOWED ME.

"I MAINTAIN THAT THE SHIPMENT OF EXCESSIVE WEIGHT WAS NOT DUE TO ANY LACK OF FORESIGHT ON MY PART OR THE TAKING OF APPROPRIATE MEASURES BY ME TO AVOID THEM. I FURTHER MAINTAIN THAT THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT WAS DUE TO THE FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OR SOME OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENT, TO COMPLY WITH A LEGITIMATE REQUEST MADE BY ME THROUGH THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, .'

YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING ARE USED WHENEVER IT IS KNOWN THAT THE CHARGES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES INVOLVED ARE TO BE PAID AND BORNE BY THE UNITED STATES. SEE 18 COMP. GEN. 354, 361. WHEN SUCH GOODS ARE SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, THE CONTRACT OF THE BILL REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE LEGAL CHARGES INCLUDING THE COSTS FOR EXCESS WEIGHT OR CUBIC MEASUREMENT IF THERE BE ANY. THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HAS ISSUED REGULATIONS FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, THE NAVY AND THE AIR FORCE FOR USE IN THE PREPARATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR SHIPMENT AND STORAGE AND RELATED SERVICES ENTITLED "MILITARY STANDARD 212B," DATED JUNE 11, 1959. THE PURPOSE OF THIS STANDARD IS TO PROVIDE A UNIFORM METHOD OF PREPARING HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR SHIPMENT OR FOR STORAGE AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS. SECTIONS 1.2 AND 1.3 PROVIDE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"1.2 APPLICATION. THIS STANDARD CONTAINS BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE INVENTORY, PACKAGING, PACKING, CRATING, MARKING, LOADING, STORING, UNPACKING AND INSPECTING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. WHEN AN ACTIVITY DETERMINES THAT HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TO BE PACKED AND CRATED FOR SHIPMENT OR STORAGE THIS STANDARD AS WELL AS THE IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED UNDER IT FROM TIME TO TIME SHALL BE FOLLOWED. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS STANDARD SHALL BE FOLLOWED WHETHER THE WORK IS DONE BY A CONTRACTOR OR BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES * * *.

"1.3 COMPLIANCE. COMPLIANCE WITH THIS STANDARD IS MANDATORY. * * *"

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS WHENEVER HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TO BE SHIPPED OR PLACED IN STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IT IS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE ACTIVITY CONCERNED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TO BE PACKED AND CRATED. ONCE THE ACTIVITY DETERMINES THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TO BE PACKED AND CRATED FOR PROTECTION IN TRANSIT OR STORAGE IT IS MANDATORY THAT THEY COMPLY WITH CERTAIN REQUIRED PACKING SPECIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE ACTIVITY CONCERNED DETERMINED THAT IT WAS NECESSARY THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH WERE TO BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, WITHIN THE APPLICABLE MANDATORY REGULATIONS, IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT THE WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A POSITION TO COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST TO SHIP YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNCRATED EVEN IF IT HAD RECEIVED YOUR LETTER PRIOR TO THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

THE LIABILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION RESTS UPON PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806; AND SECTION 22 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, WHICH PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * IF PROPERTY IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS IS SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL IMMEDIATELY UPON COMPLETION OF THE SHIPMENT PAY TO THE PROPER OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CHARGE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH EXCESS COMPUTED FROM THE TOTAL CHARGES ACCORDING TO THE RATIO OF EXCESS WEIGHT TO THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT.'

SINCE THERE WAS EXCESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE EXCESS COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE LIABILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE IN SUCH CASES IS MANDATORY AND CANNOT BE WAIVED EITHER BY THE AIR FORCE OR OUR OFFICE.