B-159782, SEP. 13, 1966

B-159782: Sep 13, 1966

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CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SUM OF $169 WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF JULY 7. SUCH SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY YOU INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM ST. THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IS CONTAINED IN SUBSECTION 1/F) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AS ADDED BY SECTION 321 OF PUB.L. 86-707 APPROVED SEPTEMBER 6. FROM AND BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND SUCH POST OF DUTY WHENEVER IT IS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SUCH EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AT HIS POST OF DUTY. THE AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE SUCH REGULATIONS WAS DELEGATED TO THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10530 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10903 OF JANUARY 9.

B-159782, SEP. 13, 1966

TO MR. ROBERT E. BOYD:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SUM OF $169 WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF JULY 7, 1966.

THAT SUM REPRESENTS THE FREIGHT CHARGES YOU PAID FOR THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE ON BILL OF LADING DATED MARCH 18, 1966, FROM CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLANDS, TO MIAMI, FLORIDA. SUCH SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY YOU INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM ST. CROIX TO NOGALES, ARIZONA. HOWEVER, THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PERTAINING TO SUCH CHANGE OF STATION DID NOT PROVIDE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AN AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IS CONTAINED IN SUBSECTION 1/F) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AS ADDED BY SECTION 321 OF PUB.L. 86-707 APPROVED SEPTEMBER 6, 1960, 74 STAT. 797, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1/F). SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE THE LAW PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE THE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE OF ANY EMPLOYEE ASSIGNED TO A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON OTHER THAN TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO, FROM AND BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND SUCH POST OF DUTY WHENEVER IT IS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SUCH EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AT HIS POST OF DUTY. THE AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE SUCH REGULATIONS WAS DELEGATED TO THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10530 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10903 OF JANUARY 9, 1961.

THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET UNDER CIRCULAR NO. A- 4, EFFECTIVE APRIL 17, 1961, WERE CONSOLIDATED INTO CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962. SECTION 8 OF THE REGULATIONS (FORMERLY TITLE XI OF NO. A-4) PRESCRIBES THE CONDITIONS AND CRITERIA GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES OF EMPLOYEES STATIONED AT PERMANENT POSTS OF DUTY OTHER THAN THOSE LOCATED IN THE CONTIGUOUS 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. SUBSECTION 8.2A EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT SUCH PROVISIONS FOR TRANSPORTATION DO NOT APPLY TO PERSONNEL TRANSFERS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEES OR AT THEIR REQUEST. SUBSECTION 8.2B/1) TO (4) AND 8.2E, F AND G SPECIFY OTHER CONDITIONS WHICH WERE REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR REQUEST OF OCTOBER 13, 1965, FOR ADVICE AS TO "THE STEPS NECESSARY TO THE SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FROM ST. CROIX TO THE MAINLAND.'

THE ENCLOSURES WITH YOUR LETTER DUPLICATE VARIOUS COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE WHICH ACCOMPANIED YOUR CLAIM VOUCHER OF MAY 4, 1966. HOWEVER, YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM IN LINE WITH THE REASONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES ENUMERATED IN YOUR LETTER.

YOU SAY THAT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR YOU TO HAVE A PRIVATE VEHICLE WHILE STATIONED AT ST. CROIX AND THAT THE DELAY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IN YOUR CASE RESULTED THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. WE NOTE YOUR SUPERVISORY OFFICE INFORMED YOU ON OCTOBER 15, 1965, "WHEN YOUR REQUEST FOR ROTATION TO THE MAINLAND IS HONORED IT WILL, OF COURSE, BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO SHIP YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE.' IN FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS YOU POINT OUT THAT "IT IS A VIRTUAL NECESSITY TO HAVE, NOT ONE BUT TWO CARS IN ST. CROIX BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF (PUBLIC) TRANSPORTATION FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN.' ALSO, YOU SAID IT IS COMMON PRACTICE FOR OTHER AGENCIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO SHIP PRIVATE AUTOMOBILES TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. FURTHER, ON OCTOBER 28, 1965, YOU SAID YOU HAD PURCHASED A SECOND VEHICLE SO AS TO TRANSPORT YOURSELF FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO THE STATION WHERE AN ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WAS STORED, BUT LATER YOU SAID YOU HAD USED YOUR OWN AUTOMOBILE ON "NUMEROUS OCCASIONS DUE TO REPAIRS AND SERVICE ON THE GOVERNMENT VEHICLE.'

THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN OVERSEAS EMPLOYEE'S VEHICLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER THE ABOVE LAW AND REGULATIONS IS NOT MANDATORY BUT IS A MATTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. THE ABOVE-CITED SUBSECTIONS OF THE CIRCULARS WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AS "EXHIBIT 7" OF PARAGRAPH 562, CHAPTER 4, TITLE 7 (7 AR 562) SINCE APRIL 24, 1961 (AMENDMENT 198).

THUS, BOTH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET REGULATIONS AND EXHIBIT 7 OF PARAGRAPH 562, ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRANSFER TO ST. CROIX IN SEPTEMBER 1961 AND THE PROVISIONS OF THOSE REGULATIONS WERE CONTROLLING DESPITE THE FACT THE PLANT QUARANTINE DIVISION HAD NOT THEN ISSUED SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS ON THE SUBJECT. UNDER THE CONTROLLING REGULATIONS ENTITLEMENT TO SHIPMENT OF AN AUTOMOBILE TO A STATION LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WAS DEPENDENT ON AN ADVANCE DETERMINATION MADE BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY THAT IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE AT THE PERMANENT POST OF DUTY. NO SUCH DETERMINATION WAS MADE IN YOUR CASE. THE REGULATIONS ALSO LIMIT RETURN SHIPMENT OF AN AUTOMOBILE TO CASES IN WHICH THE ADVANCE DETERMINATION HAD BEEN MADE THAT IT WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

IT IS CONCLUDED, THEREFORE, THAT THE CONTROLLING LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR REIMBURSING YOU THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR VEHICLE INCURRED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING IN THE RECORD BEFORE US. ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.