B-151754, AUG. 21, 1963

B-151754: Aug 21, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29. THE TOTAL PRORATED COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WAS $357.16 OF WHICH $68.41 CONSTITUTED YOUR PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE CHARGES PAID INCIDENT TO THE STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT PLACE OF ORIGIN. YOU DO NOT CONTEST THE FACT THAT THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS OVER YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OR THE CORRECTNESS OF THE STATED AMOUNT OF YOUR LIABILITY FOR PACKING AND TRANSPORTING THE EXTRA WEIGHT. DRAYAGE AND WAREHOUSE HANDLING CHARGES ARE UNJUST FOR THE REASON THAT THE GOODS REMAINED IN THE VAN AND SUCH SERVICES. WERE NOT ACTUALLY PERFORMED. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT ALTHOUGH THE VAN DRIVER'S REQUEST TO REMAIN AT THE ORIGINATING POINT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY WHEN AN OPERATION WAS SCHEDULED TO BE PERFORMED ON HIS CHILD WAS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU.

B-151754, AUG. 21, 1963

TO COLONEL FRANKLIN E. SCHROECK, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29, 1963, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 23, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $68.41 COLLECTED FROM YOU AS YOUR PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF STORAGE, DRAYAGE AND WAREHOUSE HANDLING CHARGES INCIDENT TO EXCESS WEIGHT IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, TO HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK, UPON CHANGE OF YOUR PERMANENT STATION FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE TO MITCHELL AIR FORCE BASE.

AS OUTLINED IN THE SETTLEMENT, THE TOTAL PRORATED COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WAS $357.16 OF WHICH $68.41 CONSTITUTED YOUR PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE CHARGES PAID INCIDENT TO THE STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT PLACE OF ORIGIN. IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU DO NOT CONTEST THE FACT THAT THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS OVER YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OR THE CORRECTNESS OF THE STATED AMOUNT OF YOUR LIABILITY FOR PACKING AND TRANSPORTING THE EXTRA WEIGHT. YOU URGE, HOWEVER, THAT THE STORAGE, DRAYAGE AND WAREHOUSE HANDLING CHARGES ARE UNJUST FOR THE REASON THAT THE GOODS REMAINED IN THE VAN AND SUCH SERVICES, THEREFORE, WERE NOT ACTUALLY PERFORMED. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT ALTHOUGH THE VAN DRIVER'S REQUEST TO REMAIN AT THE ORIGINATING POINT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY WHEN AN OPERATION WAS SCHEDULED TO BE PERFORMED ON HIS CHILD WAS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU, THE DELAY IN SHIPPING YOUR EFFECTS AFTER LOADING WAS SOLELY FOR THE DRIVER'S CONVENIENCE AND NOT BECAUSE OF ANY PREFERENCE ON YOUR PART.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8100 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARIES PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 406, TITLE 37, U.S.C. A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY STORAGE FOR A PERIOD OF 90 DAYS IN CONNECTION WITH AN AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE TERM "STORAGE" IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 8000-5 OF THE REGULATIONS AS "THE PLACE WHERE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE LOCATED, WHETHER IN A STORAGE WAREHOUSE OR RESIDENCE OR AT ANY POINT OTHER THAN THE DUTY STATION.'

THE STATEMENT FURNISHED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM IS AS FOLLOWS:

"IN REFERENCE TO PARAGRAPHS TWO AND THREE, FIRST INDORSEMENT OF LETTER CONCERNING SHIPMENT OF COL. FRANKLIN E. SCHROECK, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS SUBMITTED. THIS SHIPMENT OCCUPIED A COMPLETE VAN, AND PRIOR TO THE TIME OF PICK UP COL. SCHROECK REQUESTED THAT THIS SHIPMENT NOT BE OFFLOADED FROM THE ROAD VAN UNTIL DELIVERY AT HIS QUARTERS AT MITCHELL AIR FORCE BASE APPROXIMATELY 17 AUGUST 1961 (O). THE NORMAL TRANSIT TIME ON THROUGH VANS TO THIS AREA IS APPROXIMATELY THREE OR FOUR DAYS. THE SHIPMENT WAS COMPLETELY LOADED 9 AUGUST, AND DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS A COMPLETE VAN LOAD, THE NORMAL PROCEDURE WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THIS VEHICLE TO PROCEED DIRECTLY TO DESTINATION. HAD THIS OCCURRED, THE SHIPMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN OFFLOADED INTO THE CLOSEST WAREHOUSE BEING UTILIZED AS AN AGENT FOR UNITED VAN LINES. TO PRECLUDE THIS SITUATION OCCURRING, THE VAN REMAINED AT ORIGIN UNTIL IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE DELIVERY DATE COULD BE MADE CONSIDERING NORMAL TRANSIT TIME. THE NORMAL CHARGE FOR UTILIZING THIS ROAD VAN IS $10.00 PER HOUR UNDER MRT-1, AND HAD THIS CHARGE BEEN ASSESSED BY UNITED VAN LINES, IT WOULD HAVE EXCEEDED THE STORAGE-IN-TRANSIT CHARGES BY SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS.'

ALTHOUGH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT STORED IN A WAREHOUSE BUT REMAINED IN THE VAN WHILE AT THE PLACE OF ORIGIN, IT APPEARS THAT THE RETENTION OF THE GOODS IN SUCH MANNER BY THE CARRIER MAY REASONABLY BE VIEWED AS "STORAGE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS IT IS BROADLY DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 8000-5 OF THE REGULATIONS.

REGARDING THE RELATED CHARGES FOR HAULING AND WAREHOUSE HANDLING OF THE GOODS, WE ARE INFORMED THAT WHILE THE MOTOR CARRIER'S TARIFFS PROVIDE FOR A CHARGE OF $10 AN HOUR FOR SHIPPING DELAYS NOT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE DRIVER OR CARRIER, NO SPECIFIC PROVISION IS MADE IN THE TARIFFS AS TO THE CHARGES TO BE ASSESSED FOR IN-TRANSIT STORAGE OF GOODS WHEN THE GOODS ARE RETAINED IN FACILITIES OTHER THAN A WAREHOUSE. HENCE, IT APPEARS THAT THE CHARGES INCIDENT TO THE STORAGE WERE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF WHAT THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD THE GOODS BEEN UNLOADED FROM THE VAN INTO THE CARRIER'S WAREHOUSE AND THE ASSESSMENT OF SUCH TOTAL COMPUTED COST WAS MADE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CHARGING THE $10 PER HOUR RATE WHICH, AS STATED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, WOULD HAVE EXCEEDED THE COMPUTED STORAGE-IN- TRANSIT CHARGES BY SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS. THUS, PAYMENT OF THE LESSER AMOUNT AS CLAIMED BY THE CARRIER IS CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS BEING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE SINCE THE SHIPMENT WAS IN EXCESS OF YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.

CONCERNING YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE DELAY AT ORIGIN WAS AT THE REQUEST OF THE VAN DRIVER AND THAT THE CERTIFICATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE FACTS, IT IS THE LONG-ESTABLISHED RULE OF ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS ON DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF. 3 COMP. GEN. 51, 16 ID. 325, 31 ID. 288, 41 ID. 266, 269. SUCH EVIDENCE HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED IN THIS CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE INFORMATION PRESENTLY OF RECORD, WE MAY NOT CONCLUDE THAT YOU WERE IMPROPERLY CHARGED WITH YOUR PRORATED SHARE OF THE COSTS ASSESSED INCIDENT TO THE STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY THE CARRIER AT PLACE OF ORIGIN, AND THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 23, 1963, IS SUSTAINED. SHOULD YOU BE ABLE, HOWEVER, TO OBTAIN A STATEMENT FROM THE DRIVER ATTESTING THAT THE SHIPPING DELAY INVOLVED WAS SOLELY FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, WE WILL, UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH STATEMENT, GIVE THE MATTER OUR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.