B-153525, MAR. 23, 1964

B-153525: Mar 23, 1964

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FREED WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AND TO TRANSPORT HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM MINERAL TO REDDING IN SEPTEMBER 1963 BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 34-66 OF THE WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE. ESTIMATES THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SO TRANSPORTED WAS NOT LESS THAN 3. THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS NOT OBTAINED. PER DIEM IS NOT TO BE PAID FOR TRAVEL OF LESS THAN 10 HOURS DURATION WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BETWEEN 6 A.M. EVEN WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED PURSUANT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. 41 COMP. FREED INDICATES ON HIS VOUCHER THAT THE NECESSARY TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN 11 A.M. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM. WHEN THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IS USED. THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED SERVICES IS COMPUTED BY MULTIPLYING THE NUMBER OF HUNDREDS OF POUNDS SHIPPED (AS SHOWN ON ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT SHIPPED) BY THE APPLICABLE RATE PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE DISTANCE SHIPPED AS SHOWN IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE. * * * "G.

B-153525, MAR. 23, 1964

TO MR. R. H. LEMMONS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR:

ON FEBRUARY 12, 1964, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER ENCLOSED, TO REIMBURSE MR. FRED FREED, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, HIS EXPENSES IN TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF STATION FROM LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK, MINERAL, CALIFORNIA, TO WHISKEYTOWN RECREATION AREA, REDDING, CALIFORNIA.

MR. FREED WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AND TO TRANSPORT HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM MINERAL TO REDDING IN SEPTEMBER 1963 BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 34-66 OF THE WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE, NATURAL PARK SERVICE. PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORIZATION MR. FREED TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PRIVATELY-OWNED PICK-UP TRUCK AND BY TRAILER MAKING 5 TRIPS BETWEEN HIS OLD AND NEW DUTY STATION, A DISTANCE OF 75 MILES. ESTIMATES THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SO TRANSPORTED WAS NOT LESS THAN 3,700 POUNDS; HOWEVER, THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS WAS NOT OBTAINED.

THE VOUCHER ENCLOSED PROPOSES TO PAY MR. FREED $9 MILEAGE (75 MILES TIMES 12 CENTS PER MILE), $8 PER DIEM ( 1/2 DAY TIMES $16 PER DAY) AND $202 COMMUTED RATE FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (3,700 POUNDS TIMES $5.05 PER HUNDRED POUNDS).

INITIALLY WE NOTE THAT UNDER SECTION 6.11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED AUGUST 1, 1959, PER DIEM IS NOT TO BE PAID FOR TRAVEL OF LESS THAN 10 HOURS DURATION WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BETWEEN 6 A.M. AND 8 P.M., EVEN WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED PURSUANT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. 41 COMP. GEN. 646. SINCE MR. FREED INDICATES ON HIS VOUCHER THAT THE NECESSARY TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN 11 A.M. AND 1:30 P.M., ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1963, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM.

SECTION 2.1 OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART:

"D. REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. WHEN THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IS USED, THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED SERVICES IS COMPUTED BY MULTIPLYING THE NUMBER OF HUNDREDS OF POUNDS SHIPPED (AS SHOWN ON ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT SHIPPED) BY THE APPLICABLE RATE PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE DISTANCE SHIPPED AS SHOWN IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE. * * *

"G. DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM EMPLOYEES SHALL SUBMIT * * * THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR CERTIFIED COPIES, OR, IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION, AND WEIGHT. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED. * * *"

UNDER THE REGULATION THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE COMMUTED RATE PAYMENT ALLOWABLE MUST BE DETERMINED EITHER BY THE ACTUAL SCALE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS OR BY THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF SUCH GOODS DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF THE SPACE OCCUPIED WHEN PROPERLY LOADED FOR TRANSPORTATION IN A VAN. SINCE MR. FREED DID NOT OBTAIN THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT THE TIME HE TRANSPORTED THEM HE MAY BE PAID AT THE COMMUTED RATE ONLY IF HE IS ABLE TO SHOW (1) THAT WEIGHING FACILITIES WERE NOT REASONABLY AVAILABLE OVER THE ROUTE AND AT THE TIMES HE TRANSPORTED HIS GOODS, (2) THE AMOUNT OF SPACE OCCUPIED BY THOSE GOODS, AND (3) THAT THE GOODS WERE PROPERLY LOADED IN THE SPACE AVAILABLE OR, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF PROPER LOADING, A LIST OF ITEMS TRANSPORTED TOGETHER WITH THE ACTUAL VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH --- BASED ON ACTUAL MEASUREMENT OR A UNIFORM TABLE, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER.

IF MR. FREED IS UNABLE TO ESTABLISH HIS ENTITLEMENT TO A COMMUTED PAYMENT BY COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS LISTED HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER THE RULE SET OUT IN 38 COMP. GEN. 554, 555, AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN, HOWEVER, AS HERE, THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE AFFORDS A BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED REASONABLY APPROXIMATES THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES TO THE EXTENT THEY DO NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR SUCH ESTIMATED WEIGHT AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATES.'

SPECIFIC ANSWERS TO THE 3 QUESTIONS YOU PRESENT ARE AS FOLLOWS: (1) MR. FREED MAY BE PAID AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT ONLY IF HE FURNISHES THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED ABOVE. (2) IF MR. FREED IS ENTITLED TO A COMMUTED PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON THE SAME TRIP ON WHICH HE TRAVELED AND TRANSPORTED HIS DEPENDENTS TO HIS NEW STATION, PAYMENT OF THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, APPROVED JUNE 9, 1949, CH. 185, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 837. 34 COMP. GEN. 29. (3) IF MR. FREED IS NOT ABLE TO ESTABLISH HIS RIGHT TO PAYMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BUT IS PAID ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES HE INCURRED HE MAY NOT BE PAID AT THE COMMUTED "MILEAGE" RATE FOR THE 5 TRIPS REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT HIS GOODS BUT MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR GAS, OIL, TOLLS, TRAILER RENTAL, ETC.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.