B-156330, MAY 10, 1965

B-156330: May 10, 1965

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BRANDON: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MARCH 1. THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP 6. IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THERE WERE EXCESS COSTS OF $50.14 CHARGEABLE TO YOU. YOUR WIFE SAYS THAT THE WEIGHT USED IN COMPUTING THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN WAS ESTIMATED AT TIME OF PICKUP. SHE FEELS THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE SINCE THEIR WEIGHT WAS SHOWN TO BE THE SAME AT THE TIME THEY WERE ORIGINALLY WEIGHED AS AT THE TIME THEY WERE REWEIGHED ALTHOUGH SEVERAL ITEMS WERE WITHDRAWN FROM THE SHIPMENT IN THE INTERIM. THE $38.43 WHICH YOU ORIGINALLY PAID AS REFUND OF EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS WAS BASED ON THE ACCESSORIAL CHARGES AND THE COST OF SHIPPING 7.

B-156330, MAY 10, 1965

TO MASTER SERGEANT GEORGE L. BRANDON:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MARCH 1, 1965, FROM YOUR WIFE REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE IN SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1965, IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM YOU AS THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO FORT WORTH, TEXAS.

ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THIS SHIPMENT WEIGHED 7,040 POUNDS, AND THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP 6,616 POUNDS (6,000 POUNDS PLUS 316 POUNDS FOR PACKING AND 300 POUNDS FOR PROFESSIONAL ITEMS), IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THERE WERE EXCESS COSTS OF $50.14 CHARGEABLE TO YOU. IN THE LETTER OF MARCH 1, 1965, YOUR WIFE SAYS THAT THE WEIGHT USED IN COMPUTING THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN WAS ESTIMATED AT TIME OF PICKUP, AND SHE FEELS THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE SINCE THEIR WEIGHT WAS SHOWN TO BE THE SAME AT THE TIME THEY WERE ORIGINALLY WEIGHED AS AT THE TIME THEY WERE REWEIGHED ALTHOUGH SEVERAL ITEMS WERE WITHDRAWN FROM THE SHIPMENT IN THE INTERIM.

THE $38.43 WHICH YOU ORIGINALLY PAID AS REFUND OF EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS WAS BASED ON THE ACCESSORIAL CHARGES AND THE COST OF SHIPPING 7,060 POUNDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE POINT OF STORAGE AS COMPARED TO COSTS FOR THE SAME SERVICES FOR YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT OF 6,616 POUNDS. COSTS OF ENSUING SERVICES INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT, COVERING STORAGE COSTS AND WAREHOUSE HANDLING AND DRAYAGE CHARGES, WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THAT INITIAL COMPUTATION. CONSEQUENTLY, THE EXCESS COSTS WERE RECOMPUTED TO INCLUDE THOSE ON THE SERVICES NOT PREVIOUSLY COVERED, AND ON THE BASIS OF CHARGES FOR 7,040 POUNDS RATHER THAN 7,060 POUNDS AS BEFORE, TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE WEIGHT ESTABLISHED BY THE REWEIGHING OF THE GOODS ON JULY 26, 1962. EXCESS COSTS, TOTALING $50.14, WERE FOUND TO BE DUE THE GOVERNMENT ON THAT BASIS, AND THEREFORE THERE WAS FOUND DUE FROM YOU THE SUM OF $11.71 IN ADDITION TO THE $38.43 YOU PREVIOUSLY HAD PAID.

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AND WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES. PARAGRAPH 8002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT LIMIT IN POUNDS THEREIN PRESCRIBED, MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THOSE REGULATIONS. SUCH WEIGHTS ARE SET FORTH FOR VARIOUS RANKS AND GRADES AND PROVISION IS MADE FOR A PERCENTAGE INCREASE TO ALLOW FOR PACKING AND CRATING. THE COST OF SHIPPING ANY WEIGHT IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM OVER-ALL WEIGHT FIXED BY THE REGULATIONS FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE TO THE MILITARY MEMBER. PARAGRAPH 8007 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, PROVIDED THAT SUCH EXCESS COSTS SHALL BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER AND THAT THE OFFICER DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE ANY COST IN EXCESS OF AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES FOR WEIGHT, DISTANCE, VALUATION, AND MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AND SHALL NOTIFY THE MEMBER OF THE EXCESS PAYABLE, TOGETHER WITH THE METHOD OF PAYMENT.

THUS, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AND THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED ARE MATTERS PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO QUESTION AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION MADE UNDER THAT AUTHORITY IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING IT TO BE CLEARLY IN ERROR. WHILE OUR RECORDS DO NOT SHOW THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND WE DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL WEIGHT CERTIFICATE, WE HAVE A COPY OF WEIGHT CERTIFICATE NO. 23284A DATED JULY 26, 1962, MARKED ,REWEIGH TICKET" WHICH SHOWS THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS PACKED WEIGHED 7,040 POUNDS. ALSO, OUR RECORDS INCLUDE A COPY OF BILL OF LADING NO. B-3677868 DATED MAY 21, 1962, A COPY OF WEIGHT CERTIFICATE NO. 24639A DATED AUGUST 30, 1962 (DATE UNCERTAIN) SHOWING A NET WEIGHT OF 4,220 POUNDS, AND RECEIPT NO. 1725 DATED AUGUST 22, 1962, FROM THE FORT WORTH WAREHOUSE AND STORAGE CO., INC., REFERRING TO TWO RUGS MISSING FROM SHIPMENT ON AN ORDER WHEN DELIVERED FROM STORAGE AND A HANDWRITTEN NOTATION STATING "1 CARTON - (OUT 6-11-1962 TICKET NO. 55).' NOTHING IN THE RECORD, HOWEVER, APPEARS TO CONCLUSIVELY DISPROVE THE FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES ON WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER WAS BASED UNDER THE CITED REGULATIONS.

SINCE IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXCEEDED YOUR AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AND THE PRESENT RECORD DOES NOT AFFORD A BASIS FOR A FINDING THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IS ERRONEOUS, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT YOU WERE PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1965, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.