B-148490, MAY 25, 1962

B-148490: May 25, 1962

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FLAHERTY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 15. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 22. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT BAKER. YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL TO TAIWAN BY SURFACE VESSEL COMMENCING MARCH 16. UPON YOUR APPLICATION ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS APPROVED. THEY WERE AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 22. THE ORDERS STATED THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND HOLD BAGGAGE BEYOND PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AFTER ARRIVAL OF DEPENDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES WAS PROHIBITED. YOU APPLIED FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF A PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT AT THE TIME THEY WERE PICKED UP WALL TO WALL CARPETING WAS REMOVED AND THE FLOOR REPAIRED AT AN EXTRA CHARGE OF $45.

B-148490, MAY 25, 1962

TO MAJOR MATTHEW J. FLAHERTY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 15, 1962, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF A PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, IN SEPTEMBER 1959, AND IN THE REMOVAL OF WALL TO WALL CARPETING AND REPAIR OF FLOORS, MARCH 12, 1959. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1961.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY PARAGRAPH 55, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 200, HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DATED OCTOBER 7, 1958, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT BAKER, CALIFORNIA, TO TAIPEI, TAIWAN, WITH FOUR WEEKS' TEMPORARY DUTY AT ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, PRIOR TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL. BY PARAGRAPH 130, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 72, HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, DATED MARCH 12, 1959, YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL TO TAIWAN BY SURFACE VESSEL COMMENCING MARCH 16, 1959. IT APPEARS THAT SUBSEQUENT TO ARRIVAL AT YOUR NEW STATION, YOUR WIFE BECAME TOO ILL TO REMAIN, AND UPON YOUR APPLICATION ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS APPROVED. BY INVITATION TRAVEL ORDER NO. 357, DATED JULY 31, 1959, THEY WERE AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 22, 1959, BY SURFACE TRANSPORTATION FROM TAIWAN TO A CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES PORT OF DEBARKATION ONLY. THE ORDERS STATED THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND HOLD BAGGAGE BEYOND PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AFTER ARRIVAL OF DEPENDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES WAS PROHIBITED.

IT APPEARS THAT INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAVEL OVERSEAS UNDER THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 7, 1958, YOU APPLIED FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF A PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT AT THE TIME THEY WERE PICKED UP WALL TO WALL CARPETING WAS REMOVED AND THE FLOOR REPAIRED AT AN EXTRA CHARGE OF $45, WHICH YOU PAID. THE RECORD SHOWS FURTHER THAT ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1959, IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES, A SHIPMENT OF 2,370 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS DELIVERED FROM NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AT SAN FRANCISCO TO FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, AT A COST TO YOU OF $184.28. ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1959, 273 POUNDS OF HOLD BAGGAGE WAS SHIPPED BY RAILWAY EXPRESS AT A COST OF $6.20. A FURTHER SHIPMENT OF 4,515 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS SHIPPED ON OCTOBER 7, 1959, FROM OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, AT A COST OF $74.85, WHICH INCLUDED RENTAL OF A FORK LIFT AND UNPACKING AND UNCRATING SERVICES. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL SHIPPING COSTS WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR $74.85 ONLY, COVERING THE SHIPMENT MADE ON OCTOBER 7, 1959, THE REMAINING COSTS BEING DENIED FOR THE REASON THAT PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 28, 1959, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS BEYOND THE POINT OF DEBARKATION. ALSO, YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $45 INCURRED IN THE REMOVAL OF THE CARPETING WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISAPPROVED FOR THE REASON THAT SUCH SERVICE IS NOT INCLUDED IN ACCESSORIAL SERVICES AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNTS DISAPPROVED WAS TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION, AND BY THE SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1961, IT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THAT REMOVAL OF CARPETS WAS NOT AN ITEM OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION WERE MADE PROVIDED THAT ADVANCE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEYOND THE POINT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND STORAGE AFTER ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS PROHIBITED. IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE DISAPPROVAL OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE WALL TO WALL CARPETING EXPENSE BUT YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES OF MOVING THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS YOU HAD STORED AT SAN FRANCISCO AND THE HOLD BAGGAGE THAT ACCOMPANIED YOUR WIFE FROM TAIPAN ON THE BASIS OF YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 4, 1960.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C), PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING,CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OF THE MEMBER, AND THAT THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED ALSO MAY AUTHORIZE SUCH TRANSPORTATION IN THE ABSENCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVING UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CONDITIONS. PARAGRAPH 8301 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 28, 1959, WHICH PRESCRIBED REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS PURSUANT TO THAT SUBSECTION, PROVIDED THAT ORDERS AUTHORIZING THE ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS MAY ALSO AUTHORIZE THE ADVANCE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES BUT THAT SUCH ORDERS SHOULD SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT SHIPMENT BEYOND THE POINT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 28, 1959, THAT PARAGRAPH WAS CHANGED TO PROVIDE FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO AN APPROPRIATE DESTINATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

WITH RESPECT TO THE REMOVAL OF THE WALL TO WALL CARPET AND THE REPAIR OF THE FLOOR REQUIRED AS A RESULT OF SUCH REMOVAL, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SUCH SERVICES ARE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE THEY DO NOT INVOLVE FUNCTIONS NECESSARY IN THE PREPARATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. COMPARE 37 COMP. GEN. 478. SINCE THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION INVOLVED TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FURNISHED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 28, 1959, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE CITED REGULATIONS TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED ON THE BASIS OF THE EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION FOR SHIPMENT PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. YOU WERE ENTITLED UNDER THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 4, 1960, TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ONLY TO THE EXTENT MADE NECESSARY BY THE CHANGE OF STATION THEREIN DIRECTED. CONSEQUENTLY, SUCH ORDERS PROVIDE NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE SHIPMENTS HERE INVOLVED SINCE THEY WERE NOT INCIDENT TO YOUR STATION CHANGE, BUT RESULTED FROM THE EARLY RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED AS TO YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO THESE ADVANCE SHIPMENTS. SUCH FACT, HOWEVER, AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM, IT BEING WELL ESTABLISHED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM NEGLIGENT ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF DUTY BY ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515, AND CASES CITED THEREIN. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 22, 1961, IS SUSTAINED.

IN RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST, ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR CLAIM ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.