B-147473, JAN. 18, 1962

B-147473: Jan 18, 1962

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AF 1241 6065: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10. THE SETTLEMENT STATED THAT UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS YOU WERE ENTITLED TO SHIP 5. THAT SINCE THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT WAS 6. 480 POUNDS THE COST OF SHIPPING THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 705 POUNDS WAS A PERSONAL EXPENSE AND REFUND OF THE $290.72 COLLECTED FROM YOU WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE TOLD AT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE IN JAPAN THAT YOUR WEIGHT ALLOWANCE PLUS 40 PERCENT WOULD BE COUNTED FROM JAPAN TO SEATTLE ONLY. YOU SAY YOU ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE FIVE PERCENT ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING MATERIAL FROM SEATTLE TO GLASGOW AIR FORCE BASE. AS YOU WERE TOLD. YOU WOULD HAVE HAD THE GOODS REWEIGHED AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY.

B-147473, JAN. 18, 1962

TO TECHNICAL SERGEANT ROBERT W. RHOADS, AF 1241 6065:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, 1961, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU AS THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO SPECIAL ORDERS NO. A-175 DATED JUNE 11, 1959, TRANSFERRING YOU FROM YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN, TO GLASGOW AIR FORCE BASE, MONTANA.

THE SETTLEMENT STATED THAT UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS YOU WERE ENTITLED TO SHIP 5,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITH A FIVE PERCENT INCREASE TO COVER PACKING MATERIAL FOR SHIPMENT BY SEA VAN, THUS INCREASING YOUR ALLOWANCE TO 5,775 POUNDS, AND THAT SINCE THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT WAS 6,480 POUNDS THE COST OF SHIPPING THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 705 POUNDS WAS A PERSONAL EXPENSE AND REFUND OF THE $290.72 COLLECTED FROM YOU WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE TOLD AT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE IN JAPAN THAT YOUR WEIGHT ALLOWANCE PLUS 40 PERCENT WOULD BE COUNTED FROM JAPAN TO SEATTLE ONLY, AND THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WOULD BE REPACKED FROM THE SEA VAN TO THE MOVING VAN. YOU SAY YOU ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE FIVE PERCENT ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING MATERIAL FROM SEATTLE TO GLASGOW AIR FORCE BASE. YOU ALSO SAY THAT HAD YOU KNOWN YOU WOULD NOT BE ADVISED OF THE WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS OR RECEIVE A COPY OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AT YOUR NEXT ADDRESS WHEN YOU ARRIVED THERE, AS YOU WERE TOLD, YOU WOULD HAVE HAD THE GOODS REWEIGHED AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY. YOU HAVE FURNISHED INFORMATION PERTAINING TO SHIPMENTS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHIPMENT FROM YOKOTA AIR BASE TO GLASGOW AIR FORCE BASE, AS WELL AS ADDITIONS TO AND DELETIONS FROM THEM, AND REQUEST THAT SUCH INFORMATION BE RECONSIDERED WITH THE POSSIBILITY IN MIND THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE IN DETERMINING THE WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS.

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 AS THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 8001-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 79, APRIL 1, 1959, PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCES SET FORTH FOR SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE INTENDED TO REPRESENT ACTUAL NET WEIGHTS AUTHORIZED TO BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND THAT WHEN ANY PORTION OF THE MOVEMENT IS MADE BY WATER, RAIL, MOTOR FREIGHT, OR COMBINATION THEREOF, THE ALLOWANCE IS INCREASED BY 40 PERCENT TO COVER THE WEIGHT OF MATERIALS USED IN PACKING AND CRATING FOR FREIGHT SHIPMENT, BUT THAT WHEN THE SHIPMENT IS FORWARDED BY VAN WHEN UNPACKED AND UNCRATED THE ALLOWANCE IS INCREASED BY ONLY FIVE PERCENT. PARAGRAPH 8400-5 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE OFFICER DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICES CONCERNED WILL DETERMINE ANY COST IN EXCESS OF AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES FOR WEIGHT, DISTANCE, AND METHOD OF SHIPMENT AND WILL NOTIFY THE MEMBER OF THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AND THE METHOD OF PAYMENT.

THUS, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WAS A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, IN INDORSEMENT DATED AUGUST 18, 1961, ADVISED US THAT THE GOODS YOU SHIPPED FROM YOKOTA AIR BASE TO GLASGOW AIR FORCE BASE BY SEA VAN WEIGHED 6,480 POUNDS UNCRATED. SUCH REPORT APPEARS TO BE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE BASIS USED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF THE EXCESS COSTS CHARGEABLE TO YOU INCIDENT TO THE SHIPMENT IN QUESTION. ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE FURNISHED TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM INDICATES THAT YOUR GOODS ON SIMILAR SHIPMENTS DID NOT WEIGH THAT MUCH, IT DOES NOT CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISH THEIR WEIGHT AT THE TIME OF THE SHIPMENT HERE INVOLVED. IT IS THE UNBROKEN RULE OF THIS OFFICE WHEN THERE IS A DISAGREEMENT, AS HERE, BETWEEN THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND THOSE STATED BY A CLAIMANT, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THEIR CORRECTNESS, TO ACCEPT THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AS CONTROLLING THE DISPOSITION OF THE CLAIM. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 927, 929; 16 COMP. GEN. 325, 329; 18 COMP. GEN. 799; 19 COMP. GEN. 88, 90; 31 COMP. GEN. 288; 37 COMP. GEN. 568; AND 38 COMP. GEN. 527, 530.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS PROPER AND UPON REVIEW IS SUSTAINED.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU WERE NOT ADVISED CORRECTLY AS TO THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR THAT PART OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS THAT INVOLVED OCEANIC TRANSPORTATION, AND THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW THE WEIGHT OF YOUR GOODS UNTIL YOU RECEIVED THE ARMY BILLING, THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY NOT OF THEMSELVES BE CONSIDERED TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.