B-147179, OCT. 24, 1961

B-147179: Oct 24, 1961

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541400/1100: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 13. YOU WERE DIRECTED. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO MAYPORT. TO THESE ORDERS YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE U.S. PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WERE TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. FOR CUSTOMS AND PORT CHARGES ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE SINCE THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED A PART OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED AND THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS IS NOT AUTHORIZED. AT THE TIME YOU WERE SENT TO VENEZUELA IN 1958. 000 WAS PAID DIRECT TO THE MEMBER RATHER THAN TO THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IN CARACAS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA AS WAS DONE WHEN YOU LEFT THAT COUNTRY.

B-147179, OCT. 24, 1961

TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER HENRY S. CONE, JR., USN, 541400/1100:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1961, REQUESTING CANCELLATION OF NOTICE OF EXCEPTION TO PAYMENT OF $58.56 FOR CUSTOMS AND PORT CHARGES ON ACCOUNT OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM VENEZUELA TO YOUR SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 1, 1959, YOU WERE DIRECTED, WHEN RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT THE U.S. NAVAL MISSION, CARACAS, VENEZUELA, TO PROCEED TO THE UNITED STATES, THEN TO THE PORT IN WHICH THE U.S.S. VALLEY FORGE (CVS-45) MIGHT BE, AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER FOR TEMPORARY DUTY LASTING ABOUT TWO WEEKS. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO MAYPORT, FLORIDA, AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. ESSEX (CVA-9) FOR DUTY AS PROSPECTIVE ASW OFFICER. BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 27, 1960, TO THESE ORDERS YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE U.S. NAVAL MISSION AT CARACAS THE SAME DATE AND AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS, AND PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WERE TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. OUR OFFICE TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF $58.56 TO J. H. PARMERTON, LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA, ON VOUCHER NO. 96, FEBRUARY 1960 ACCOUNTS OF F. H. WHITCHURCH, SYMBOL 5864, FOR CUSTOMS AND PORT CHARGES ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE SINCE THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED A PART OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED AND THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS IS NOT AUTHORIZED, THE EXPENSE OF DELIVERING A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO AND REMOVING IT FROM A PORT BEING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER.

YOU CONTEND THAT FEDERAL LAW AS CREATED BY THE INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA AGREED TO PAY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES $2,000 FOR TRANSPORTATION COSTS, INCLUDING PORT AND CUSTOMS FEES, OF EACH REPORTING AND DEPARTING OFFICER MISSION MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TAKES PRECEDENCE AND THE RULE IN 39 COMP. GEN. 713 THAT FEES PAID BY MEMBERS ON THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AT THE PORTS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORTATION COST, CANNOT BE LAWFULLY APPLICABLE IN YOUR CASE. AT THE TIME YOU WERE SENT TO VENEZUELA IN 1958, YOU SAY THAT $2,000 WAS PAID DIRECT TO THE MEMBER RATHER THAN TO THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IN CARACAS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA AS WAS DONE WHEN YOU LEFT THAT COUNTRY.

WHILE THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, DO NOT MAKE PROVISION FOR TRANSPORTATION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES, 10 U.S.C. 6157, 70A STAT. 387, PROVIDES THAT:

"NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 73C OF TITLE 5, WHEN ANY MEMBER OF THE NAVAL SERVICE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM FOR HIS PERSONAL USE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL.'

THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956, 70 STAT. 187, AMENDED SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, AS AMENDED, BY ADDING AT THE END THEREOF A NEW SUBSECTION READING AS FOLLOWS:

"/C) THAT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES MAY BE UTILIZED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WHENEVER TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH VEHICLES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.'

IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES FOR NAVY PERSONNEL ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 58300 TO 58312, VOLUME V, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MANUAL. PARAGRAPH 58300 OF THAT REGULATION PROVIDES THAT TRANSPORTATION OF ONE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO, FROM, OR BETWEEN OVERSEAS AREAS, MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO THE NEW STATION ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSELS OR ON PRIVATELY OWNED UNITED STATES FLAG COMMERCIAL VESSELS, FREE OF LOADING AND OCEAN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES. PARAGRAPH 58305 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN DELIVERING A MOTOR VEHICLE TO AND REMOVING IT FROM A PORT WILL BE PAID BY THE OWNER, EXCEPT THAT NAVAL ACTIVITIES MAY ISSUE A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF GASOLINE WITHOUT CHARGE TO PERMIT THE REMOVAL OF THE AUTOMOBILE TO THE NEAREST SERVICE STATION.

THE CHANGE IN PROCEDURE WHICH YOU SAY HAD BEEN PUT INTO EFFECT AT THE TIME YOU DEPARTED FROM VENEZUELA UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THAT COUNTRY PAID DIRECT TO THE UNITED STATES, RATHER THAN TO THE DEPARTING OFFICER, THE SUM OF $2,000 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF RETURNING HIS EFFECTS TO THIS COUNTRY APPARENTLY WAS MADE BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 527 (E) OF THE MUTUAL SECURITY ACT OF 1954, AS ADDED BY SECTION 401 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1958, 72 STAT. 268 269. THAT SUBSECTION (22 U.S.C. 1787 (E) ( READS AS FOLLOWS:

"NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 712 OF TITLE 10, OR ANY OTHER LAW CONTAINING SIMILAR AUTHORITY, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES PERFORMING FUNCTIONS UNDER THIS CHAPTER SHALL NOT ACCEPT FROM ANY FOREIGN NATION ANY COMPENSATION OR OTHER BENEFITS. ARRANGEMENTS MAY BE MADE BY THE PRESIDENT WITH SUCH NATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO THE UNITED STATES OR OTHER SHARING OF THE COST OF PERFORMING SUCH FUNCTIONS.'

IN VIEW OF SUCH PROVISIONS YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO BE PAID ANY AMOUNT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS, INCLUDING YOUR AUTOMOBILE, TO THE UNITED STATES INCIDENT TO YOUR RETURN TO THIS COUNTRY AND ANY AMOUNT PAID BY VENEZUELA TO THE UNITED STATES HAS NO BEARING ON YOUR RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE CHARGES INVOLVED. RATHER, YOUR RIGHTS ARE FOR DETERMINATION UNDER THE ABOVE MENTIONED LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE GENERALLY TO NAVAL OFFICERS ON OVERSEAS TRANSFERS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE AUDIT EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT MADE FOR THE CUSTOMS AND PORT CHARGES INCURRED FOR YOUR AUTOMOBILE AT LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PROPERLY TAKEN AND MAY NOT BE REMOVED ON THE BASIS OF YOUR STATEMENTS.

THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF THE BILL FROM J. H. PARMERTON, LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA, ITEMIZING THE CUSTOMS AND PORT CHARGES. HOWEVER, SINCE OUR FILE DOES NOT CONTAIN THE REMAINDER OF THE INFORMATION YOU REQUESTED, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.