B-152429, NOV. 8, 1963

B-152429: Nov 8, 1963

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IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT BY COMMERCIAL MEANS OF TWO HOUSE TRAILERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS FROM SPARTANBURG. WHICH IS PARKED ADJACENT TO THE OTHER ONE. IS NECESSARY AS A RESIDENCE FOR HIS DEPENDENT MOTHER WHO LIVES WITH HIM. NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING IF SUCH TRAILER OR DWELLING IS TRANSPORTED BY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. IF SUCH TRAILER OR DWELLING IS NOT SO TRANSPORTED BY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION IS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF "A" HOUSE TRAILER. 1 U.S.C. 1 PROVIDES THAT IN DETERMINING THE MEANING OF ANY ACT OF CONGRESS.

B-152429, NOV. 8, 1963

TO MR. A. M. MARTIN, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

ON AUGUST 27, 1963, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER MR. VERGIL A. ROGERS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT BY COMMERCIAL MEANS OF TWO HOUSE TRAILERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS FROM SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO CHESTER, SOUTH CAROLINA.

THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR MOVING ONE HOUSE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL MEANS. HE SAYS THAT THE SECOND TRAILER, WHICH IS PARKED ADJACENT TO THE OTHER ONE, IS NECESSARY AS A RESIDENCE FOR HIS DEPENDENT MOTHER WHO LIVES WITH HIM.

THE LAST SENTENCE OF SECTION 1 (B) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B--- 1 (B) (SUPP. IV), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSPORTS A HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WITHIN ALASKA, OR BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND ALASKA, FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AND WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE ENTITLED IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION TO WHICH HE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION, TO A REASONABLE ALLOWANCE, NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING IF SUCH TRAILER OR DWELLING IS TRANSPORTED BY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, OR, IF SUCH TRAILER OR DWELLING IS NOT SO TRANSPORTED BY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, TO COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, OR REIMBURSEMENT TO SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE THEREFOR, INCLUDING THE PAYMENT OF NECESSARY TOLLS, CHARGES, AND PERMIT FEES, EXCEPT THAT NO PAYMENT UNDER THIS SENTENCE SHALL EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PAYMENT TO WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED UNDER THIS SECTION FOR TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH THIS TRANSFER.'

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION IS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF "A" HOUSE TRAILER.

1 U.S.C. 1 PROVIDES THAT IN DETERMINING THE MEANING OF ANY ACT OF CONGRESS, UNLESS THE CONTEXT INDICATES OTHERWISE, WORDS IMPORTING THE SINGULAR INCLUDE AND APPLY TO SEVERAL PERSONS, PARTIES, OR THINGS. FIND NOTHING IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS HERE INVOLVED INDICATING THAT THE ARTICLE "A" WAS USED IN A LITERAL, RESTRICTIVE SENSE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTORY RULE OF CONSTRUCTION JUST MENTIONED. WHILE THE REGULATIONS IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AS REVISED (TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 1), DATED DECEMBER 17, 1962, ALSO USE THE ARTICLE "A" IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WORDS "HOUSE TRAILER" IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, WE FIND NOTHING THEREIN EXPRESSLY LIMITING AN EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF ONLY ONE HOUSE TRAILER.

HAVING IN MIND THE ABOVE RULE OF CONSTRUCTION AS WELL AS THE FACT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSE TRAILERS IS IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS COULD BE EXPECTED TO VARY ACCORDING TO THE SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE LAW TO HOLD THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF MORE THAN ONE HOUSE TRAILER WHEN, AS HERE, THE SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY APPEARS TO NECESSITATE THE USE OF MORE THAN ONE TRAILER AS A RESIDENCE. HOWEVER, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE QUESTION OF NEED PRIMARILY IS ONE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. OF COURSE, THE COMBINED AMOUNTS PAYABLE FOR MOVEMENT OF THE TRAILERS MAY NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION IMPOSED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS (SECTION 6.4 OF THE CIRCULAR REFERRED TO ABOVE).

THE SUBJECT EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED AN AUTHORIZATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE RECORD REASONABLY ESTABLISHES THE NECESSITY FOR USE OF THE ADDITIONAL TRAILER AS A RESIDENCE, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE ATTACHMENTS, IS HEREWITH RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, PROVIDED IT IS OTHERWISE CORRECT AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF, WHEN ADDED TO THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY REIMBURSED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE OTHER TRAILER, DOES NOT EXCEED THE LIMITATION REFERRED TO ABOVE.