B-148627, MAY 11, 1962

B-148627: May 11, 1962

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE ABOVE REFERRED TO SETTLEMENT BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF GOODS TRANSPORTED SUBMITTED BY YOU DID NOT MEET STANDARDS OF PROOF REQUIRED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER. IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN. MAY BE USED. * * *" AS ORIGINALLY WORDED THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTEMPLATED SHIPMENT BY COMMON CARRIER AND WHILE ITS PRESENT LANGUAGE DOES NOT PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY A PRIVATE CARRIER OR BY THE EMPLOYEE. THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTEMPLATES THAT THE SCALE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS BE EVIDENCE AND ONLY WHEN ADEQUATE SCALES ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE MAY THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT BASED ON PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE BE ACCEPTED TO ESTABLISH AN EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE.

B-148627, MAY 11, 1962

TO MR. HARRY MORROW:

ON MARCH 28, 1962, YOU REQUESTED FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 9, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE PROVIDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM CARSON TO WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION ON AUGUST 12, 1961.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE ABOVE REFERRED TO SETTLEMENT BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF GOODS TRANSPORTED SUBMITTED BY YOU DID NOT MEET STANDARDS OF PROOF REQUIRED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

SECTION 13 (F) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM EMPLOYEES SHALL SUBMIT * * * (2) IN SUPPORT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR CERTIFIED COPIES, OR, IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION, AND WEIGHT. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED. * * *"

AS ORIGINALLY WORDED THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTEMPLATED SHIPMENT BY COMMON CARRIER AND WHILE ITS PRESENT LANGUAGE DOES NOT PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY A PRIVATE CARRIER OR BY THE EMPLOYEE, THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH CONCURRENTLY WITH THE SHIPMENT THE WEIGHT OF GOODS TRANSPORTED REMAINS UNCHANGED. CLEARLY, THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTEMPLATES THAT THE SCALE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS BE EVIDENCE AND ONLY WHEN ADEQUATE SCALES ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE MAY THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT BASED ON PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE BE ACCEPTED TO ESTABLISH AN EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE. THESE RULES WERE PRESCRIBED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION FOR COMMERCIAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIERS. 17 MCC 467. WE ARE SURE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT A STATEMENT OF ONLY THE CUBIC CAPACITY OF A TRAILER VAN OR OF A TRUCK DOES NOT MEET THE LATTER REQUIREMENT OF THE ORDER SINCE SUCH VEHICLES MAY BE IMPROPERLY OR ONLY PARTIALLY LOADED.

YOU SAY YOU DID NOT HAVE YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WEIGHED BECAUSE PRIOR TO THEIR SHIPMENT YOU HAD BEEN INFORMED BY THE "TRANSFER PAPERS" FROM YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY THAT YOU WOULD BE REQUIRED TO MOVE YOUR GOODS AT YOUR EXPENSE. IT WAS NOT UNTIL AFTER THE SHIPMENT THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR ORDERS NO. 1647 DATED JULY 31, 1961, AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHILE THE STATUTE AND EXECUTIVE ORDER PROVIDE FOR SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION BEFORE THE SHIPMENT OR APPROVAL AFTERWARDS, NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR THE NONUSE OF SCALES TO DETERMINE THE WEIGHT IF THEY ARE AVAILABLE. THE RECORD IN YOUR CASE FAILS TO SHOW WHETHER ADEQUATE WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AND THUS WHETHER THERE IS A BASIS FOR CONSIDERATION OF A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT UNDER THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

IF IT IS FOUND BY YOUR AGENCY THAT WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO YOU OR WERE NOT USED BECAUSE THE INFORMATION ADMINISTRATIVELY FURNISHED YOU IN FACT MISLED YOU CONCERNING THE LIABILITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES, AN ITEMIZED LIST OF THE GOODS AND EFFECTS ACTUALLY SHIPPED TOGETHER WITH THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH--- BASED ON ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS OR ON A UNIFORM TABLE, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER--- MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR OUR OPINION WHETHER ALLOWANCE OF THE COMMUTED RATE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 MAY BE AUTHORIZED.

ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 9, 1962, IS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.