B-148573, AUG. 14, 1962

B-148573: Aug 14, 1962

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YOU INDICATE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF OUR LETTER TO HONORABLE L. ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER FAILS TO CONTAIN ANY NEW INFORMATION WE HAVE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THE ENTIRE MATTER. THE LIABILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION IS MANDATORY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. AS FOLLOWS: "* * * IF PROPERTY IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS IS SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OR PURCHASE ORDER. SINCE IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT LIABLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE RESULTLNG FROM NEGLIGENT ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. WE ARE.

B-148573, AUG. 14, 1962

TO MISS REBECCA K. CLAYTON:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 17, 1962, REQUESTS FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,053.85, REPRESENTING EXCESS COSTS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT IN TRANSPORTING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT FROM MUNICH, GERMANY, TO RIDGEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, IN JUNE 1959, AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF OUR LETTER TO HONORABLE L. MENDEL RIVERS WHICH SETS FORTH IN DETAIL THE FACTS AND REASONS FOR YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER FAILS TO CONTAIN ANY NEW INFORMATION WE HAVE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THE ENTIRE MATTER; BUT WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR ALTERING OUR PREVIOUS CONCLUSIONS IN YOUR CASE.

THE LIABILITY OF AN EMPLOYEE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION IS MANDATORY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1, AND SECTION 22 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, 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.'

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, IT CAN READILY BE SEEN THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLYING WITH THE LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE LAW RESTS UPON THE EMPLOYEE RATHER THAN UPON THE GOVERNMENT. NOR MAY NEGLIGENCE BE IMPUTED TO THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT LIABLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE RESULTLNG FROM NEGLIGENT ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. SEE GERMAN BANK V. UNITED STATES,148 U.S. 573.

WE ARE, THEREFORE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE YOU OF THE CHARGES FOR EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE MADE BY YOU TO SATISFY THIS INDEBTEDNESS EITHER BY MONTHLY PAYMENTS OR A LUMP SUM PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR LETTER TO YOU OF DECEMBER 16, 1961.