B-147168, OCT. 20, 1961

B-147168: Oct 20, 1961

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM DJAKARTA. SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED FROM DJAKARTA TO SAN FRANCISCO. COVERING THE PURCHASE PRICE WAS DRAWN TO ORDER OF VOLKSWAGONWERK GMPH WOLFSBURG AND BEARS THE NOTATION "WOLFSBURG DELIVERY.'. THE CHECK APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED IN A BANK IN THAT CITY. IT WAS PAID BY YOUR BANK IN HOUSTON ON MAY 2. YOU RESIGNED WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR PERSONAL REASONS EFFECTIVE JULY 23 AND YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS AMENDED ACCORDINGLY. THE AUTOMOBILE WAS SHIPPED TO YOU FROM BONN. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS AMOUNT WAS REFERRED HERE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE OF AN EMPLOYEE IS RESTRICTED TO THE COSTS (WITHIN APPLICABLE WEIGHT LIMITS) OF TRANSPORTING THE EFFECTS OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR A MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY WHILE IN AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS AND MAY NOT INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR EFFECTS ACQUIRED EN ROUTE TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

B-147168, OCT. 20, 1961

TO MISS SALLY L. HARMAN:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28, 1961, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 24, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM BONN, GERMANY, TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

BY AUTHORIZATION NO. 0-06038, ISSUED ON APRIL 15, 1960, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM DJAKARTA, INDONESIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR CONSULTATION, THENCE TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, FOR LEAVE AND FROM HOUSTON TO BERLIN, GERMANY, YOUR NEW STATION. SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED FROM DJAKARTA TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, FOR STORAGE AND FROM DJAKARTA TO BERLIN IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU INDICATES THAT ON APRIL 13, OR TWO DAYS PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION YOU PLACED WITH AN INDONESIAN AGENT AN ORDER FOR A VOLKSWAGON AUTOMOBILE TO BE DELIVERED TO YOU IN WOLFSBURG, GERMANY, ON OR ABOUT MAY 25. YOUR CHECK DATED APRIL 13, 1960, COVERING THE PURCHASE PRICE WAS DRAWN TO ORDER OF VOLKSWAGONWERK GMPH WOLFSBURG AND BEARS THE NOTATION "WOLFSBURG DELIVERY.' THE CHECK APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED IN A BANK IN THAT CITY. IT WAS PAID BY YOUR BANK IN HOUSTON ON MAY 2.

SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE, YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED DJAKARTA ON MAY 9, ACCEPTED DELIVERY OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN WOLFSBURG ON MAY 25, AND DEPARTED BONN/COLOGNE AT 9:10 .M., THE FOLLOWING DAY FOR THE UNITED STATES VIA BRUSSELS, PARIS, AND LONDON. YOU ARRIVED IN HOUSTON ON JUNE 9.

YOUR LEAVE EXPIRED ON JULY 7. YOU RESIGNED WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR PERSONAL REASONS EFFECTIVE JULY 23 AND YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS AMENDED ACCORDINGLY. THE AUTOMOBILE WAS SHIPPED TO YOU FROM BONN, GERMANY, IN AUGUST 1960 AT A COST TO YOU OF $194.49 INCLUDING STORAGE, INSURANCE, ETC. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS AMOUNT WAS REFERRED HERE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

AS STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT, 180 FSTR 5.21 PROVIDES THAT A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH INCLUDES AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS SHALL CONSTITUTE AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF ONE AUTOMOBILE OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS STATED THEREIN. HOWEVER, UNDER I FSM III 172.3J REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE RESIGNATION, RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE OF AN EMPLOYEE IS RESTRICTED TO THE COSTS (WITHIN APPLICABLE WEIGHT LIMITS) OF TRANSPORTING THE EFFECTS OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR A MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY WHILE IN AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS AND MAY NOT INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR EFFECTS ACQUIRED EN ROUTE TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE PAYMENT YOU MADE IN DJAKARTA CONSUMMATED THE PURCHASE AND THEREFORE YOU BECAME THE OWNER OF THE AUTOMOBILE AT THAT TIME. IN THAT CONNECTION, WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO 180 FSTR 5.22, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"5.22 EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP

"IN CASE OF NEWLY ACQUIRED AUTOMOBILES, DELIVERY TO A CARRIER FOR SHIPMENT ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR RECEIPT BY THE PURCHASER OR HIS AGENT OF AN INVOICE OR BILL OF SALE, IDENTIFYING A SPECIFIC AUTOMOBILE BY MOTOR AND/OR BODY NUMBER, AND INDICATING THE DATE AND PLACE OF DELIVERY, SHALL BE ACCEPTABLE AS EVIDENCE OF TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP TO THE PURCHASER.'

THE INVOICE WHICH IDENTIFIES THE SPECIFIC CAR AS REQUIRED BY THE QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF THE REGULATION WAS SIGNED BY YOU AT WOLFSBURG ON MAY 25, 1960. THUS, IT APPEARS THAT OWNERSHIP WAS TRANSFERRED TO YOU ON THAT DATE. PRIOR THERETO, YOU MERELY HAD A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE AN AUTOMOBILE OF A SPECIFIED MAKE AND MODEL BUT YOU NEITHER HAD TITLE TO, NOR ACQUIRED OWNERSHIP OF, A SPECIFIC CAR.

UNDER THE FACTS UPON WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS BASED AND THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, WE HOLD THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EFFECTS WAS INCIDENT TO YOUR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE BY RESIGNATION AND THAT THE AUTOMOBILE WAS, IN LEGAL CONTEMPLATION, ACQUIRED BY YOU WHILE ENROUTE TO YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE. HENCE, TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR CAR AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS CLAIMED BY YOU IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.