B-153372, FEB. 24, 1964

B-153372: Feb 24, 1964

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OR ABOUT APRIL 11. ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY NOVEMBER 1961 FOR BERTHS ON THE S.S. IT WAS INTENDED THAT THE GROSS ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE (1. 800 POUNDS) WAS TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON THE S.S. YOUR RESERVATIONS FROM HONG KONG TO SAN FRANCISCO WERE CANCELLED DUE TO THE MARITIME STRIKE WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME. YOU MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE YOUR BAGGAGE SHIPPED ON THE S.S. PRESIDENT GARFIELD WHICH WAS IN PORT. IT IS REPORTED THAT AT THAT TIME YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE TRAVEL AND SHIPPING SECTION. AS YOU WERE PLANNING TO TRAVEL ALL THE WAY BY SURFACE. USING THE CARRIER'S FREE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WHICH WAS SUFFICIENT TO CARRY YOUR ENTIRE AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE.

B-153372, FEB. 24, 1964

TO MR. GERALD L. CROSBY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1963, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 20, 1963, WHICH FOUND YOU TO BE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $732.94 FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF UNACCOMPANIED SURFACE BAGGAGE FROM SAIGON, TO THE UNITED STATES.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JANUARY 30, 1962, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OR ABOUT APRIL 11, 1962, FROM SAIGON, VIETNAM, TO BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, WITH HOME LEAVE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., EN ROUTE. SINCE SURFACE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS FROM THE ASIAN AREA HAD TO BE MADE IN ADVANCE, ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY NOVEMBER 1961 FOR BERTHS ON THE S.S. VIETNAM TO HONG KONG AND THE S.S. PRESIDENT HOOVER TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, LEAVING SAIGON APRIL 9, 1962. IT WAS INTENDED THAT THE GROSS ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE (1,800 POUNDS) WAS TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON THE S.S. VIETNAM AND THE S.S. PRESIDENT HOOVER AS BEING WITHIN THE FREE WEIGHT ALLOWED BY THE SHIPPING LINES ON YOUR STEAMER TICKETS. ON MARCH 27, 1962, YOUR RESERVATIONS FROM HONG KONG TO SAN FRANCISCO WERE CANCELLED DUE TO THE MARITIME STRIKE WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME. ON MARCH 29, 1962, BECAUSE OF THE SHIPPING STRIKE AND THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE SHIPPING CONDITIONS, YOU MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE YOUR BAGGAGE SHIPPED ON THE S.S. PRESIDENT GARFIELD WHICH WAS IN PORT, AND SAILED FROM SAIGON ON THAT DAY.

IT IS REPORTED THAT AT THAT TIME YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE TRAVEL AND SHIPPING SECTION, U.S. OPERATIONS MISSION TO VIETNAM, THAT, AS YOU WERE PLANNING TO TRAVEL ALL THE WAY BY SURFACE, YOU SHOULD CARRY YOUR ENTIRE BAGGAGE WITH YOU ON BOARD THE SHIPS UPON WHICH YOU SAILED, USING THE CARRIER'S FREE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WHICH WAS SUFFICIENT TO CARRY YOUR ENTIRE AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE. DOUBT WAS EXPRESSED THAT IT COULD BE SHIPPED DIRECT TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. HOWEVER, YOU WERE NOT IN AGREEMENT AND INTERPRETED YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AS INCLUDING ENTITLEMENT TO SHIP YOUR BAGGAGE DIRECT TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON A VESSEL OTHER THAN THE ONE ON WHICH YOU HAD PASSAGE. ON MARCH 30, 1962, YOU RECEIVED CONFIRMATION OF RESERVATIONS ON THE S.S. CHUSAN AND TRAVELED WITH YOUR 5 DEPENDENTS FROM SAIGON TO HONG KONG ON THE S.S. VIETNAM ON APRIL 11, 1962, AND FROM HONG KONG TO THE UNITED STATES ON THE S.S. CHUSAN ON APRIL, 17, 1962.

IT IS NOTED THAT YOUR TRANSPORTATION WAS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 16 OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WHICH READS "AUTHORIZATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AID REGULATIONS AS PROMULGATED IN AID TO CIRCULARS AND OTHERWISE.' AID MANUAL ORDER NO. 561.1 PROVIDES THAT MANUAL ORDER NO. 560.2 SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO AID MISSIONS. MANUAL ORDER NO. 560.2, PAGE 3, DEFINES EFFECTS AS FURNITURE, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR USE OF AN EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY. UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE GENERALLY IS COMPRISED OF PERSONAL EFFECTS. MANUAL ORDER NO. 560.2, C-1, PERTAINING TO THE SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE UPON A TRANSFER PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"A. UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE

"UP TO 300 LBS. (GROSS WEIGHT) PER TRAVELER REGARDLESS OF AGE. UP TO 100 LBS. (GROSS WEIGHT) OF EACH TRAVELER'S 300 LB. ALLOWANCE MAY BE SHIPPED BY AIR FOR PORTIONS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY AIR * * * WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED SOLELY BY SURFACE, AIR SHIPMENTS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED AND THE CARRIER'S FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE MUST BE UTILIZED. IF THE FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE IS LESS THAN 300 LBS. THE DIFFERENCE, IF ANY, BETWEEN THE FREE ALLOWANCE AND 300 LBS. MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT AS UNACCOMPANIED SURFACE BAGGAGE.'

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION IT IS REQUIRED THAT YOU TRANSPORT YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU ON BOARD THE SHIPS ON WHICH YOU HAD PASSAGE, USING THE CARRIER'S FREE ALLOWANCE WHICH THE FILE INDICATES WAS SUFFICIENT TO COVER YOUR ENTIRE AUTHORIZED UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE. IN THE LIGHT OF THE REGULATION, NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES COULD LEGALLY AUTHORIZE ITS SHIPMENT OTHERWISE AT ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

SINCE YOU ELECTED TO SHIP YOUR BAGGAGE ON A SHIP OTHER THAN THE ONE ON WHICH YOU SAILED, THEREBY NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, AND SINCE THE CARRIER HAS BEEN PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, THE AMOUNT SO PAID MUST BE REGARDED AS AN INDEBTEDNESS BY YOU WHICH WE ARE WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO WAIVE.

THEREFORE, PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" AND FORWARDED TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

POST OFFICE BOX 2610

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20013

REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO DW-Z-2235235-WFP-2 IN REMITTING YOUR PAYMENT.