B-154871, SEP. 24, 1964

B-154871: Sep 24, 1964

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RETIRED: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21. THAT THIS WAS AN ESTIMATE OF THE WEIGHT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL BOOKS. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 8. FOR THE REASON THAT THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND OTHER SHIPPING DOCUMENTS DO NOT SHOW PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT WERE INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT AS REQUIRED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE EXCESS COST WAS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. YOU STATE THAT THOUGH YOU HAD LISTED THE WEIGHTS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHIPMENT TO SHOW WHY THE EXCESS COST WAS UNFAIR AND UNREASONABLE. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT THE DISALLOWANCE DISREGARDED THE 350 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE YOU PRESENTED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND YOU INDICATE THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF SUCH PROFESSIONAL BOOKS WAS 800 POUNDS.

B-154871, SEP. 24, 1964

TO COLONEL HARRY J. LEWIS, U.S. ARMY, RETIRED:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1964, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 8, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF EXCESS COSTS RESULTING FROM THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM FORT MONMOUTH, NEW JERSEY, TO CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA, INCIDENT TO YOUR RETIREMENT EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1962.

BY LETTER DATED MARCH 17, 1964, YOU PROTESTED THE OVERWEIGHT DETERMINATION RELATIVE TO THE SHIPMENT, STATING THAT YOU HAD NOT BEEN GIVEN CREDIT FOR 350 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS; THAT THIS WAS AN ESTIMATE OF THE WEIGHT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, SUBJECT TO BE CORRECTED BY THE SHIPPER WHEN HE WEIGHED THE EFFECTS, SINCE YOU HAD MOVED 800 POUNDS ON A PREVIOUS SHIPMENT, AND THAT WITH RESPECT TO THE TOTAL WEIGHT SHOWN TO BE 14,200 POUNDS, YOU HAD SIGNED A COPY OF THE SHIPPER'S DOCUMENT WHICH STATED THE NET WEIGHT TO BE 11,600 POUNDS AND FURTHERMORE, WHEN YOU MOVED BACK TO NEW JERSEY IN OCTOBER 1963, THE SHIPPER SHOWED THE WEIGHT OF YOUR EFFECTS TO BE 8,790 POUNDS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 8, 1964, FOR THE REASON THAT THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND OTHER SHIPPING DOCUMENTS DO NOT SHOW PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT WERE INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT AS REQUIRED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. FURTHERMORE, THE EXCESS COST WAS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU STATE THAT THOUGH YOU HAD LISTED THE WEIGHTS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHIPMENT TO SHOW WHY THE EXCESS COST WAS UNFAIR AND UNREASONABLE, THE DISALLOWANCE MADE NO MENTION OF THE MATTER. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT THE DISALLOWANCE DISREGARDED THE 350 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE YOU PRESENTED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND YOU INDICATE THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF SUCH PROFESSIONAL BOOKS WAS 800 POUNDS. YOU THEREFORE REQUEST THAT AT LEAST SOME CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO A REDUCTION IN THE EXCESS COST BY REASON OF THE 800 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, 37 U.S.C. 406, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH 8002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, PROVIDES THAT HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN THE SPECIFIED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, DESIGNATED AS ACTUAL NET WEIGHT ARE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT. UNDER THAT PROVISION, WHEN THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF UNPACKED HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS NOT KNOWN AND SHIPMENT IS MADE IN UNCRATED CONDITION BY COMMERCIAL MOTOR VAN, THE NET WEIGHT CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE MEMBER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE IS DETERMINED BY SUBTRACTING 5 PERCENT FROM THE GROSS WEIGHT OF SUCH SHIPMENT. PARAGRAPH 8004 PROVIDES THAT, WHEN CERTIFIED BY THE MEMBER AS NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, SHIPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT UNDER THOSE REGULATIONS SHALL BE IN THE SAME MANNER AND UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS AS OTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS, EXCEPT THAT THE WEIGHT THEREOF SHALL BE WITHOUT CHARGE AGAINST THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE. PARAGRAPH 8007 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT ANY EXCESS COSTS RESULTING FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES SHALL BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER AND THAT THE OFFICER DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE ANY COST IN EXCESS OF THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AND SHALL NOTIFY THE MEMBER OF THE EXCESS PAYABLE, TOGETHER WITH THE METHOD OF PAYMENT. PARAGRAPH 10-2, ARMY REGULATIONS 37- 107, IMPLEMENTING PARAGRAPH 8004 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER MUST SHOW ON HIS APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS (DD FORM 1299) THE APPROXIMATE WEIGHT OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS AND PAPERS WHEN SUCH BOOKS AND PAPERS ARE TO BE INCLUDED IN HIS SHIPMENT.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS CITED ABOVE, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS EXCEEDED THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE IS A MATTER PROPERLY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AND, NOTWITHSTANDING THE INFORMATION WHICH YOU SAY WAS FURNISHED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS, NO ADJUSTMENT WAS MADE IN THE EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGE. IN THIS REGARD THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT TO THE CARRIER FOR THE SHIPMENT SHOWS THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT LISTED BY THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR VAN CARRIER AS 51,640 POUNDS, THE TARE WEIGHT AS 37,440 AND THE SHIPPED WEIGHT AS 14,200 POUNDS. THIS IS EVIDENCED BY WEIGHT CERTIFICATES WHICH SUBSTANTIATE THE TOTALS SHOWN. WE MAY NOT ACCEPT YOUR STATEMENT OF A LOWER TOTAL WEIGHT ON OTHER SHIPMENTS AS OVERCOMING THE CLEAR SHOWING OF THE SCALE WEIGHT CERTIFICATE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT HERE CONCERNED. PRESUMABLY IN COMPUTING THE CHARGES AGAINST YOU FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT AS SHOWN BY THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES, YOU WERE ALLOWED A REDUCTION OF 5 PERCENT AS PROVIDED BY THE REGULATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY DISAGREE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE WEIGHT DETERMINATION.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU STATE WAS INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT THE WEIGHT OF SUCH BOOKS, ETC., WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH LEGAL CERTAINTY AND INDICATED ON THE BILL OF LADING. THE ACTUAL WEIGHT WAS NOT SO ESTABLISHED. HOWEVER, SINCE YOU INDICATED IN YOUR APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCLUDED PROFESSIONAL BOOKS ESTIMATED TO WEIGH 350 POUNDS AND THE SHIPPING OFFICER APPROVED YOUR APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT ON THAT BASIS, WE BELIEVE THE ESTIMATE AS SHOWN IN YOUR APPLICATION MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT PROFESSIONAL BOOKS WEIGHING 350 POUNDS WERE INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT MADE TO YOUR DESIGNATED HOME. WE ARE FORWARDING A COPY OF THIS DECISION TO FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, AND PRESUMABLY YOUR EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGE WILL BE ADJUSTED TO REFLECT CREDIT OF THIS 350 POUNDS. ON THE PRESENT RECORD THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY APPROVE ANY FURTHER ADJUSTMENT ON YOUR CLAIM.