B-158208, JAN. 24, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 442

B-158208: Jan 24, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRANSPORTATION - BAGGAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL - OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA DUTY AS MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ASSIGNED TO AN OVERSEAS RESTRICTED DUTY AREA. WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DISPOSE OF DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE "UNUSUAL AND EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (A). 1966: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 7. WHO ARE ASSIGNED DUTY IN AN OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA. WILL BE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE. NOT TO EXCEED 200 POUNDS WHEN DETERMINED BY THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER CONCERNED THAT SUCH SHIPMENT IS REQUIRED BY EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE OR SERVICE NECESSITY. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 65-37. IT IS NECESSARY AT TIMES FOR MEMBERS TO DISPOSE OF UNAUTHORIZED ARTICLES OF CLOTHING AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHILE EN ROUTE TO.

B-158208, JAN. 24, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 442

TRANSPORTATION - BAGGAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL - OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA DUTY AS MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ASSIGNED TO AN OVERSEAS RESTRICTED DUTY AREA, OR TO DUTY ABOARD A VESSEL OPERATING IN THE AREA WITHOUT A CHANGE-IN-QUARTERS ASSIGNMENT, THE SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF CLOTHING AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, REGARDLESS OF RANK, WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DISPOSE OF DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE "UNUSUAL AND EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (A), AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY NOT BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF THE PERSONAL BAGGAGE OF MEMBERS FROM THE OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA, POINTS EN ROUTE, OR FROM LOCATIONS OF THE SHIP TO A DESIGNATED PLACE, OR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JANUARY 24, 1966:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 7, 1965, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED UNDER THE ,UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (E), TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS, REGARDLESS OF RANK OR GRADE, WHO ARE ASSIGNED DUTY IN AN OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA, OR TO DUTY ABOARD A VESSEL OPERATING IN SUCH AREA, WILL BE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE, NOT TO EXCEED 200 POUNDS WHEN DETERMINED BY THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER CONCERNED THAT SUCH SHIPMENT IS REQUIRED BY EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE OR SERVICE NECESSITY. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 65-37, BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT DUE TO COMMAND RESTRICTIONS PLACED ON ITEMS OF CLOTHING AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY RETAIN WHEN SERVING IN VIETNAM, IT IS NECESSARY AT TIMES FOR MEMBERS TO DISPOSE OF UNAUTHORIZED ARTICLES OF CLOTHING AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHILE EN ROUTE TO, OR UPON ARRIVAL IN THAT AREA. ON THE BASIS THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE FOR SHIPMENT OR STORAGE OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, HE SAYS THAT THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSE FINANCIAL HARDSHIP ON MEMBERS WHO MUST PROVIDE FOR SHIPMENT OR STORAGE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES FURTHER THAT TO ALLEVIATE THIS PROBLEM, IT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BE AMENDED UNDER THE "UNUSUAL AND EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (E) TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS, REGARDLESS OF RANK OR GRADE, WHO ARE ASSIGNED DUTY IN AN OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA, OR TO DUTY ABOARD A VESSEL OPERATING IN SUCH AREA, WILL BE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE, NOT TO EXCEED 200 POUNDS, WHEN DETERMINED BY THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER CONCERNED THAT SHIPMENT IS REQUIRED BY EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE OR SERVICE NECESSITY. UNDER THE RECOMMENDED AMENDMENT SHIPMENT OF SUCH BAGGAGE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED FROM THE OVERSEAS RESTRICTED AREA, POINTS EN ROUTE THERETO, OR FROM LOCATIONS OF THE SHIP WHEN MEMBERS ARE ORDERED TO DISPOSE OF PERSONAL EFFECTS, TO A DESIGNATED PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES, HAWAII, ALASKA, PUERTO RICO, OR A TERRITORY OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES, OR TO NONTEMPORARY STORAGE. THESE SHIPMENTS WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M8009, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND UPON TERMINATION OF THE RESTRICTION NECESSITATING SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE, RESHIPMENT TO THE MEMBER'S DUTY STATION WOULD BE AUTHORIZED. THE VIEW IS EXPRESSED THAT SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF PERSONAL BAGGAGE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PROPOSED WOULD FALL WITHIN THE "UNUSUAL AND EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (E), AND THAT SUCH AUTHORITY MAY BE REGARDED AS SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THE AUTHORITY FOR MOVEMENT AND STORAGE OF DISPLACED HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONSIDERED IN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE, B-127865, DATED JULY 20, 1956, AND B-129019, DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1956.

SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37 OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR THE MOVEMENT WITHIN CERTAIN PRESCRIBED LIMITATIONS OF THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN THE MEMBER IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. AS AN EXCEPTION TO THE ORDERS REQUIREMENT, SUBSECTION (E) OF SECTION 406 PROVIDES THAT WHEN ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR THE MEMBER CONCERNED HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED, OR WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED BUT CANNOT BE USED AS AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE THE MOVEMENT OF THE DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PRESCRIBE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFORE, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE THEREOF, AS AUTHORIZED UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OR (B) OF THAT SECTION, IN CASES INVOLVING UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1955, 69 STAT. 532, 37 U.S.C. 253NOTE (1958 ED.), CONTAINED PROVISIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE OF SUBSECTION (E) OF SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37 OF THE CODE AND, AS THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS, WE HELD IN THE DECISIONS OF JULY 20, 1956, B-127865 AND SEPTEMBER 25, 1956, B-129019, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THEN IN EFFECT, AUTHORIZING THE DRAYAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS, REGARDLESS OF RANK OR GRADE, BETWEEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND CIVILIAN HOUSING OR TO NONTEMPORARY STORAGE WERE PROPER ON THE PREMISE THAT A MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBER IN CONNECTION WITH THE ASSIGNMENT OR TERMINATION OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WAS INVOLVED AND INSTANCES OF DELAYED ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS TO MEMBERS NOT INVOLVING CONCOMITANT CHANGE OF STATION WOULD OCCUR SO INFREQUENTLY AS TO WARRANT CONSIDERING THEM AS "UNUSUAL" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT WORD AS USED IN SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT, AS AMENDED. SEE ALSO B-141427, DATED DECEMBER 31, 1959. IN EACH OF THOSE CASES THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBERS CONCERNED FROM ONE SET OF QUARTERS TO ANOTHER AND WAS SUBJECT TO THE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS FIXED FOR HIS RANK OR GRADE.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HOWEVER, THE QUARTERS ASSIGNMENT OF THE MEMBERS CONCERNED REMAINS UNCHANGED AND, EXCEPT AS MAY ACCRUE IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUTHORIZED MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS, WE FIND NOTHING IN THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OF THE SUBSECTIONS OF SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37 OF THE CODE WHICH MAY BE VIEWED AS AUTHORITY FOR THE MOVEMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE BAGGAGE OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHILE HE CONTINUES TO OCCUPY THE SAME SET OF QUARTERS. SEE 44 COMP. GEN. 574, 577. WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY OTHER STATUTORY PROVISIONS WHICH MAY BE APPLIED AS AUTHORIZING THE MOVEMENT OF BAGGAGE IN SUCH A CASE.