B-157879, DEC. 8, 1965

B-157879: Dec 8, 1965

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USNR: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 7. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE RECEIVED FOR SHIPMENT FROM OAK HARBOR. WHERE STORAGE IN TRANSIT WAS AUTHORIZED FOR 180 DAYS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DELIVERED FROM STORAGE IN PHILADELPHIA TO AN ADDRESS IN PHILADELPHIA AND RETURNED TO STORAGE THE SAME DATE SINCE CONSTRUCTION OF AN APARTMENT WAS NOT COMPLETED AND YOU HAD DECIDED NOT TO LIVE THERE. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE DIRECTIVE FOR THIS DELIVERY WAS GIVEN BY THE PHILADELPHIA HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OFFICE AS THE RESULT OF A MUTUAL MISUNDERSTANDING ON MAY 4. SINCE YOU DECIDED NOT TO MOVE TO THE ADDRESS WHERE YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DELIVERED ON MAY 12. A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING.

B-157879, DEC. 8, 1965

TO LIEUTENANT EDWARD L. WEBER, MC, USNR:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 7, 1965, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 5, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF MOVING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM TEMPORARY STORAGE TO RESIDENCE AND RETURN TO STORAGE ON MAY 12, 1965, INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE ON MARCH 27, 1965.

ON MARCH 17, 1965, YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE RECEIVED FOR SHIPMENT FROM OAK HARBOR, WASHINGTON, TO PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, WHERE STORAGE IN TRANSIT WAS AUTHORIZED FOR 180 DAYS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. IN YOUR UNDATED STATEMENT TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES YOU SAY THAT ON MAY 12, 1965, YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DELIVERED FROM STORAGE IN PHILADELPHIA TO AN ADDRESS IN PHILADELPHIA AND RETURNED TO STORAGE THE SAME DATE SINCE CONSTRUCTION OF AN APARTMENT WAS NOT COMPLETED AND YOU HAD DECIDED NOT TO LIVE THERE. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE DIRECTIVE FOR THIS DELIVERY WAS GIVEN BY THE PHILADELPHIA HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OFFICE AS THE RESULT OF A MUTUAL MISUNDERSTANDING ON MAY 4, 1965, WHEN YOU CONTACTED THAT OFFICE. IT APPEARS THAT AS A RESULT OF YOUR INSTRUCTIONS THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OFFICE THOUGHT YOU WANTED DELIVERY OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON MAY 12, 1965, AND YOU BELIEVED THE AGREEMENT TO BE THAT IF YOU WANTED DELIVERY ON THIS DATE YOU SHOULD CALL 3 DAYS PRIOR TO IT TO CONFIRM THE DATE. SINCE YOU DECIDED NOT TO MOVE TO THE ADDRESS WHERE YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DELIVERED ON MAY 12, 1965, YOU WITHHELD THE CONFIRMING CALL AND FELT THAT NO DELIVERY WOULD BE MADE.

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A 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, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH M8259-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY, EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN REASONS NOT APPLICABLE TO YOUR CASE, IS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE MEMBER'S LAST OR ANY PREVIOUS DUTY STATION, FROM A DESIGNATED PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES, OR FROM PLACE OF STORAGE, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF, TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THE MEMBER ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR HIS TRAVEL ON SUCH SEPARATION OR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY. PARAGRAPH M8012 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY SHIPPED OR OTHERWISE UNAVOIDABLY SEPARATED FROM THE MEMBER, THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, THEY MAY BE FORWARDED TO THE PROPER DESTINATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON APPROVAL OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICE CONCERNED.

THUS, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO AUTHORIZED POINTS AT THE REQUEST OF THE MEMBER, BUT IT IS THE OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE PROPER ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE DELIVERY OF HIS GOODS TO THE DESIRED DESTINATION AND FOR THEIR ACCEPTANCE UPON ARRIVAL. THE REGULATIONS TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE FACT THAT GOODS OCCASIONALLY MAY BE IMPROPERLY SHIPPED WITHOUT FAULT ON THE PART OF THE MEMBER AND AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS FOR SUCH SHIPMENT. IN YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, YOU AND THE NAVY HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OFFICE AGREE THAT THE MOVING OF YOUR GOODS TO AND FROM STORAGE ON MAY 12, 1965, WAS THE RESULT OF A MUTUAL MISTAKE. VIEW THEREOF AND SINCE THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS FOR SUCH MOVEMENT ONLY WHEN IT IS MADE WITHOUT FAULT ON THE PART OF THE MEMBER, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 5, 1965, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR REQUEST AS TO THE PROPER METHOD TO APPEAL OUR DECISION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SECTION 74 OF TITLE 31, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES ON THE SETTLEMENT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. ASIDE FROM THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE, HOWEVER, THE COURT OF CLAIMS HAS AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER CERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, IF FILED WITHIN 6 YEARS FROM DATE FIRST ACCRUING. 28 U.S.C. 1491 AND 2501.