B-159832, AUG. 26, 1966

B-159832: Aug 26, 1966

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TURNER WAS NOTIFIED THAT EFFECTIVE JUNE 21. HE WAS BEING TRANSFERRED FROM MIAMI. TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED MAY 21. HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON OR ABOUT JUNE 22. HE WAS REIMBURSED AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR 7. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS LIMITED TO THOSE EFFECTS OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. 24 COMP. IT WAS HELD THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING A TRANSFER GENERALLY HAS BEEN HELD TO BE CONSTRUED AS THE DATE OF THE ORDER ITSELF OR SUCH LATER DATE AS MAY BE FIXED THEREIN FOR BEGINNING COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. SINCE THE FURNITURE WAS PURCHASED PRIOR TO THE DATE SET IN THE TRAVEL ORDER FOR COMPLIANCE THEREWITH AND PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF TRAVEL TO THE NEW DUTY STATION THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

B-159832, AUG. 26, 1966

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, SOUTHERN REGION, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE SO-27, FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1966, REFERENCE MS-430, FROM THE ACTING CHIEF, ACCOUNTING PROGRAMS DIVISION, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MR. EDMOND L. TURNER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY.

BY NOTIFICATION OF PERSONNEL ACTION DATED MAY 15, 1964, MR. TURNER WAS NOTIFIED THAT EFFECTIVE JUNE 21, 1964, HE WAS BEING TRANSFERRED FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA. TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED MAY 21, 1964, AUTHORIZING TRAVEL TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JUNE 15 AND END ON OR ABOUT JUNE 29, 1964. MR. TURNER COMMENCED THE TRAVEL ON JUNE 24 AND COMPLETED THE TRIP ON JUNE 25. HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED ON OR ABOUT JUNE 22, 1964, AND HE WAS REIMBURSED AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR 7,000 POUNDS. YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PAYMENT ARISES BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT MR. TURNER ACQUIRED THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AFTER HE HAD BEEN FORMALLY NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED, AND AFTER THE DATE OF HIS TRAVEL ORDERS.

MR. TURNER SAYS THAT HE HAD A LARGE AND EXPENSIVE HOUSE IN MIAMI SPRINGS, FLORIDA. IN ORDER TO EXPEDITE THE SALE OF HIS HOUSE HE FOUND IT NECESSARY TO SELL IT FURNISHED. HE POINTS OUT THAT HE PURCHASED NEW FURNITURE ON OR ABOUT JUNE 1, 1964, AND HAD IT SHIPPED INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF STATION.

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS LIMITED TO THOSE EFFECTS OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. 24 COMP. GEN. 69. IN 26 COMP. GEN. 293, IT WAS HELD THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING A TRANSFER GENERALLY HAS BEEN HELD TO BE CONSTRUED AS THE DATE OF THE ORDER ITSELF OR SUCH LATER DATE AS MAY BE FIXED THEREIN FOR BEGINNING COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. SINCE THE FURNITURE WAS PURCHASED PRIOR TO THE DATE SET IN THE TRAVEL ORDER FOR COMPLIANCE THEREWITH AND PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF TRAVEL TO THE NEW DUTY STATION THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF OTHERWISE PROPER.