B-149000, JUL. 2, 1962

B-149000: Jul 2, 1962

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM ISTANBUL. ALTHOUGH THE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED FROM ISTANBUL TO BRUSSELS THE AMOUNT HERE CLAIMED PERTAINS ONLY TO THE CHARGES INCURRED AFTER THE SHIPMENT ARRIVED AT THE RAILHEAD IN BRUSSELS AND COVERED UNLOADING. FOR THIS SERVICE THE GOVERNMENT WAS BILLED AND PAID THE SUM OF $223.81. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT'S LIABILITY WAS LIMITED TO THE COSTS FOR HANDLING 3. 125 POUNDS THE AGENCY REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT FROM YOU OF THE EXCESS COSTS OF $163.46 WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF THIS CLAIM. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CONTENTION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED LISTS OF EFFECTS ACQUIRED AND TRANSPORTED AT DIFFERENT TIMES. WHICH GOVERNED THE TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES' HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT THE TIME YOUR SHIPMENT WAS MADE.

B-149000, JUL. 2, 1962

TO MRS. VIRGINIA DE GRESS:

ON MAY 10, 1962, YOU REQUESTED REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 20, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $163.46 PREVIOUSLY PAID BY YOU TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO COVER EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

BY SPECIAL ORDER 69-59, DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1959, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM ISTANBUL, TURKEY, TO BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE ORDER ALSO PROVIDED FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS NOT TO EXCEED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF 3,125 POUNDS WHEN PACKED AND CRATED. ALTHOUGH THE EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED FROM ISTANBUL TO BRUSSELS THE AMOUNT HERE CLAIMED PERTAINS ONLY TO THE CHARGES INCURRED AFTER THE SHIPMENT ARRIVED AT THE RAILHEAD IN BRUSSELS AND COVERED UNLOADING, CARTAGE TO WAREHOUSE, CARTAGE FROM WAREHOUSE TO DOMICILE, UNPACKING, PLACING OF FURNITURE AND REMOVAL OF DEBRIS. FOR THIS SERVICE THE GOVERNMENT WAS BILLED AND PAID THE SUM OF $223.81, ON THE BASIS OF THE GROSS WEIGHT OF 11,590 POUNDS. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT'S LIABILITY WAS LIMITED TO THE COSTS FOR HANDLING 3,125 POUNDS THE AGENCY REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT FROM YOU OF THE EXCESS COSTS OF $163.46 WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF THIS CLAIM.

YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ACTUALLY WEIGHED LESS THAN THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AND THAT THE OVERAGE RESULTED FROM THE USE OF HEAVY AND UNNECESSARY CONTAINERS AND OTHER MATERIALS IN PACKING THE EFFECTS FOR SHIPMENT. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CONTENTION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED LISTS OF EFFECTS ACQUIRED AND TRANSPORTED AT DIFFERENT TIMES, AND A LIST OF ITEMS YOU SOLD PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE FROM ISTANBUL. FROM THOSE LISTS YOU CONCLUDE THAT THE ITEMS SHIPPED WEIGHED SOME 1,500 POUNDS.

IN OUR SETTLEMENT WE CITED THE STATUTE, EXECUTIVE ORDER, ETC., WHICH GOVERNED THE TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES' HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT THE TIME YOUR SHIPMENT WAS MADE. THE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT FAMILY WAS 3,125 POUNDS. NO EXCEPTION WAS MADE AND THEREFORE WHEN A SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS EXCEEDED SUCH MAXIMUM WEIGHT THE RESULTING ADDITIONAL COSTS WERE CHARGEABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE.

WHILE, AS YOU CONTEND, EXCESS PACKING AND CRATING MATERIAL MAY HAVE BEEN USED WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO INCREASE THE ESTABLISHED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OR TO WAIVE COLLECTION OF THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT PAID IN YOUR BEHALF. IN VIEW THEREOF WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 20, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM.

THE FORM AFAFC 610-13 DATED APRIL 2, 1962, WAS SENT TO YOU BY THE AIR FORCE. IT WAS NOT INTENDED AS NOTICE TO YOU THAT YOUR CLAIM HAD BEEN OR WOULD BE ALLOWED BUT TO INFORM YOU THAT THE MATTER HAD BEEN REFERRED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION. OUR CERTIFICATION WAS BASED UPON OUR DETERMINATION AFTER AN INDEPENDENT ADJUDICATION OF THE CLAIM.

CONCERNING YOUR FINAL QUESTION, OUR DECISIONS ARE BINDING UPON THE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. AS TO MATTERS COGNIZABLE BY THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS AND THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS, SEE 28 U.S.C. 1346, ID. 1491.