B-151713, JUL. 1, 1963

B-151713: Jul 1, 1963

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FC: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24. TO OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY LIABILITY ON THE PART OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL CECIL C. YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBER'S AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 842 POUNDS (800 POUNDS PLUS 42 POUNDS FOR PACKING) WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE SAME COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE CHARGES FOR THE SHIPMENT SHOULD BE APPORTIONED BETWEEN THE OWNER AND THE GOVERNMENT. AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS EFFECTS. THE AMOUNT OF GOODS WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO THE WEIGHT DESIGNATED FOR HIS GRADE AND NEITHER THE BASIC STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO CONTEMPLATE THAT A SPECIFIED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE MAY BE INCREASED OR DECREASED ON THE BASIS OF OTHER FACTORS SUCH AS COMPARATIVE COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

B-151713, JUL. 1, 1963

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL A. G. PERRY, FC:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1963, AND ENCLOSURES, TO OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY LIABILITY ON THE PART OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL CECIL C. METZ, USAF, 395TH MISSILE SQUADRON, VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, FOR EXCESS WEIGHT IN THE RETURN SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS, TO VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE MEMBER SHIPPED 968 POUNDS OF UNCRATED HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY MOTOR VAN ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. B 4912313, JUNE 11, 1962, WHICH MOVED UNDER A TARIFF MINIMUM AS 1,000 POUNDS AT A RATE OF $13 PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR A TOTAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF $130. YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBER'S AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 842 POUNDS (800 POUNDS PLUS 42 POUNDS FOR PACKING) WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE SAME COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE CHARGES FOR THE SHIPMENT SHOULD BE APPORTIONED BETWEEN THE OWNER AND THE GOVERNMENT.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR,"WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.' PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY THE SECRETARIES PROMULGATED PARAGRAPHS 8002 AND 8003 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PRESCRIBE TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT CHANGES OF STATION WEIGHT ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS OF THE VARIOUS SERVICES ON THE BASIS OF GRADE, AND PROVIDE THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS "NOT IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT LIMIT IN POUNDS HEREIN PRESCRIBED, MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.' HENCE, THE AMOUNT OF GOODS WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO THE WEIGHT DESIGNATED FOR HIS GRADE AND NEITHER THE BASIC STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO CONTEMPLATE THAT A SPECIFIED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE MAY BE INCREASED OR DECREASED ON THE BASIS OF OTHER FACTORS SUCH AS COMPARATIVE COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON A CHANGE OF STATION, THE MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT IS ESSENTIALLY TO A SERVICE RATHER THAN AN ALLOWANCE WHICH CAN BE COMMUTED IN MONEY, AND UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISIONS THE AMOUNT OF SUCH SERVICE FOR EACH GRADE IS DETERMINED AND LIMITED SOLELY BY WEIGHT. IN THE LIGHT OF SUCH STATUTORY AND REGULATORY RESTRICTIONS, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT WHERE THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS COMPRISING A SHIPMENT INCLUDES AN EXCESS OVER THE MEMBER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE THE CHARGES FOR THE SHIPMENT ARE PROPERLY FOR APPORTIONMENT BETWEEN THE MEMBER AND THE GOVERNMENT, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT INVOLVES ANY EXTRA EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE DECISIONS OF MARCH 18, 1960, B 141941, AND MAY 10, 1961, B-145209, COPIES ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE COLONEL METZ EXCEEDED HIS AUTHORIZED TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION WEIGHT ALLOWANCE IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM WICHITA FALLS TO VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, HE IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE ON A PRORATED BASIS ( 126/968 TIMES $130) FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT SHIPPED. THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED AS REQUESTED.