B-150433, DEC. 17, 1962

B-150433: Dec 17, 1962

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THAT THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WERE COMPUTED ON AN HOURLY RATE UNDER TARIFF NO. WE ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE CITED TARIFF. AUTHORIZES CHARGES ON AN HOURLY BASIS WHEN THE DISTANCE IS LESS THAN 25 MILES. IT SEEMS THAT THERE WAS NO LEGAL OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE CARRIER TO WEIGHT THE SHIPMENT AND THAT THE QUESTION OF AVAILABILITY OF WEIGHING FACILITIES BECOMES IRRELEVANT. THE ISSUE RAISED BY YOUR LETTER THEREFORE IS WHETHER THE DOCUMENTATION FURNISHED BY THE EMPLOYEE AS THE WEIGHT OF GOODS SHIPPED MEETS THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 2.1G. THE BASIS FOR THAT CONCLUSION WAS THAT THE CAPACITY OF THE VAN DOES NOT ESTABLISH THE CUBIC VOLUME OF PROPERLY OR EXPERTLY LOADED HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED.

B-150433, DEC. 17, 1962

TO MR. W. E. WALDEN, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962, WITH ENCLOSED RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $125.20 IN FAVOR OF MR. JACK BRAUMILLER--- TRANSMITTED HERE UNDER THE FISCAL MANAGEMENT OFFICER'S LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, REFERENCE A:F--- REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER MR. BRAUMILLER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, MAY BE ALLOWED THE COMMUTATED TRANSPORTATION RATE INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON A CHANGE OF STATION.

THE FACTS AS DISCLOSED BY YOUR LETTER SHOW THAT UNDER PROPER AUTHORIZATION MR. BRAUMILLER ENGAGED THE SERVICES OF A COMMON CARRIER TO TRANSPORT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS FROM GASTONIA TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, A DISTANCE OF 21 MILES. WHILE MR. BRAUMILLER SAYS HE ASKED THAT THE SHIPMENT BE WEIGHED, THE CARRIER FAILED TO COMPLY WITH HIS REQUEST. IT APPEARS FROM THE COPY OF THE BILL OF LADING TRANSMITTED WITH THE VOUCHER, THAT THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WERE COMPUTED ON AN HOURLY RATE UNDER TARIFF NO. MC1B, SEC. II, INSTEAD OF THE USUAL WEIGHT AND DISTANCE BASIS. WE ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE CITED TARIFF, BUT FIND THAT NORTH CAROLINA MOTOR CARRIERS ASSOCIATION TARIFF NO. 18A, AUTHORIZES CHARGES ON AN HOURLY BASIS WHEN THE DISTANCE IS LESS THAN 25 MILES. THUS, IT SEEMS THAT THERE WAS NO LEGAL OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE CARRIER TO WEIGHT THE SHIPMENT AND THAT THE QUESTION OF AVAILABILITY OF WEIGHING FACILITIES BECOMES IRRELEVANT.

THE ISSUE RAISED BY YOUR LETTER THEREFORE IS WHETHER THE DOCUMENTATION FURNISHED BY THE EMPLOYEE AS THE WEIGHT OF GOODS SHIPPED MEETS THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 2.1G, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, APRIL 30, 1962, CONCERNING CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT.

IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 16, 1959, B-138252, 38 COMP. GEN. 555, CITED BY YOU, WE RULED THAT A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WHO MOVED HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT THEREOF, THE CUBIC CAPACITY OF THE VAN USED, DID NOT MEET THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR ESTABLISHING THE CUBIC FEET OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE. THE BASIS FOR THAT CONCLUSION WAS THAT THE CAPACITY OF THE VAN DOES NOT ESTABLISH THE CUBIC VOLUME OF PROPERLY OR EXPERTLY LOADED HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED.

MR. BRAUMILLER'S CASE MAY BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION REFERRED TO ABOVE. HE HAS FURNISHED A STATEMENT FROM THE CARRIER THAT VAN DRIVER MOVING HIS GOODS--- PRESUMABLY AN EXPERT IN THE FIELD--- ESTIMATES THE LOAD AS OCCUPYING 700 CUBIC FEET. WHILE THE ESTIMATE WAS NOT MADE CONCURRENTLY WITH THE SHIPMENT, IT WAS MADE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME THEREAFTER. FURTHER, THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT SO ESTIMATED, 4,900 POUNDS, APPROXIMATES THAT OF A PRIOR SHIPMENT OF MR. BRAUMILLER'S GOODS, THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF WHICH, 4,840 POUNDS, IS DOCUMENTED BY A CERTIFIED WEIGHT TICKET. THE LATTER WEIGHT APPARENTLY IS EXCLUSIVE OF SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS OF GOODS SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUIRED BY THE CLAIMANT WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

OUR VIEW IS THAT THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT CLAIMED IS SUFFICIENTLY DOCUMENTED TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, PROPERLY MAYBE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.