B-160833, APR. 6, 1967

B-160833: Apr 6, 1967

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SALETTO: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 3. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 5. ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE FOR SHIPMENT OF UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE. FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HAWAII ARE CANCELLED. TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE GOODS AT DESTINATION FOR NOT TO EXCEED 90 DAYS WAS AUTHORIZED. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO HAWAII WAS REAPPROVED AND ON AUGUST 14. 700 POUNDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE IN AUGUST 1963 FROM PENSACOLA. IT IS REPORTED THAT. THIS SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AT ELGIN AIR FORCE BASE. THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE.

B-160833, APR. 6, 1967

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL BIAGIO P. SALETTO:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 3, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $823.50, REPRESENTING THE COST OF UNAUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, TO HAWAII.

BY PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MARCH 12, 1963, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1963, FROM YOUR DUTY STATION, REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO HEADQUARTERS USARPAC (4700) APO 958, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 5, 1963, AND ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE FOR SHIPMENT OF UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE, ONE LOT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AND ONE LOT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR SHIPMENT TO HAWAII. YOU SAY THAT ON MAY 31, 1963, BECAUSE OF THE ILLNESS OF YOUR SISTER-IN-LAW IN PENSACOLA AND THE NEED FOR YOUR WIFE TO CARE FOR HER CHILDREN, IT BECAME NECESSARY TO CANCEL YOUR AUTHORIZATION FOR CONCURRENT TRAVEL AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO HAWAII. ON THAT DATE YOU EXECUTED AN APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO PENSACOLA INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER TO HAWAII.

PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST, THE CONCURRENT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THE ARRANGEMENTS WHICH HAD BEEN MADE BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE, REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HAWAII ARE CANCELLED. ALSO, THAT OFFICE MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, WEIGHING 5,120 POUNDS, TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT PAID THE SUM OF $421.20. TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE GOODS AT DESTINATION FOR NOT TO EXCEED 90 DAYS WAS AUTHORIZED.

SUBSEQUENTLY, PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST, CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO HAWAII WAS REAPPROVED AND ON AUGUST 14, 1963, YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS LEFT FOR HAWAII ON THE USNS PATRICK. ALSO, SHIPMENT OF 2,700 POUNDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE IN AUGUST 1963 FROM PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, TO HAWAII, AT A COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF $823.50. IT IS REPORTED THAT, PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST, THIS SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AT ELGIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, BECAUSE YOU STATED IN ITEM 11 OF YOUR APPLICATION, DD FORM 1299, THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT IF THAT OFFICER HAD KNOWN THE TRUE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT YOUR EFFECTS WERE IN TEMPORARY STORAGE, HAVING BEEN SHIPPED TO PENSACOLA AT YOUR REQUEST, THE SHIPMENT TO HAWAII WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. APPARENTLY, THE BALANCE OF YOUR EFFECTS WAS PLACED IN STORAGE AT YOUR EXPENSE AT PENSACOLA AND YOU SAY YOU HAVE PAID STORAGE CHARGES OF $471.67.

AFTER THE SHIPMENT TO HAWAII, IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR $823.50, REPRESENTING THE COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA, FLORIDA. HOWEVER, THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FORWARDED THE MATTER TO THIS OFFICE AS A DOUBTFUL DEBT AND REQUESTED ADVICE WHETHER WE WOULD OBJECT TO A PROCEDURE WHEREBY YOU WOULD PAY ALL CHARGES INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD RESTORE YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AND SHIPMENT TO HAWAII, SUBJECT TO ANY EXCESS COSTS FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA TO HAWAII AS COMPARED TO SHIPMENT FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL TO HAWAII.

BY OFFICE LETTER DATED APRIL 19, 1966, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ADVISED THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER THAT WHEN YOU ELECTED SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, INCIDENT TO THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF MARCH 12, 1963, YOU EXHAUSTED YOUR RIGHTS TO SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THOSE ORDERS AND THAT THE DEBT CHARGE OF $823.50 FOR THE SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA TO HAWAII WAS CORRECT.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE BOUND TO PAY THE EQUIVALENT COSTS FOR STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND SHIPMENT FROM REDSTONE, ALABAMA, TO HAWAII SINCE THESE ARE COSTS NORMALLY INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT SINCE THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE PAID FOR DIRECT SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO HAWAII AND FOR STORAGE OF GOODS NOT SHIPPED THAT YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED THE COST OF THESE ITEMS IN ADJUSTING THE MATTER AND THAT THE ONLY QUESTION IS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR LIABILITY FOR THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT MADE TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA.

THE AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 406. PARAGRAPH M8253-2E (CHANGE 122 DATED JANUARY 1, 1962) IN EFFECT AT THE TIME PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER IS ORDERED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION AND CONCURRENT OR COORDINATED MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS AND/OR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO SUCH OVERSEAS STATION IS PERMITTED, SHIPMENT IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE LAST DUTY STATION TO THE CURRENT OVERSEAS STATION AND/OR TO THE NEAREST AVAILABLE NONTEMPORARY STORAGE. WHEN A MEMBER SO ORDERED DOES NOT DESIRE TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE OVERSEAS STATION, SHIPMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO THE NEAREST AVAILABLE NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AND/OR TO SUCH LOCATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE MEMBER CONCERNED.

NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS AUTHORIZED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SHIPMENT OF ANY PORTION OR ALL OF A MEMBER'S EFFECTS WHENEVER THE STORAGE IS DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THUS, A MEMBER HAS AN ALTERNATIVE RIGHT TO EITHER SHIPMENT OR NONTEMPORARY STORAGE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE PRESENT LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT AUTHORIZE BOTH NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AND SHIPMENT OF THE SAME EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THE SAME PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. SEE B- 153355, OCTOBER 3, 1966, 46 COMP. GEN. -- COPY ENCLOSED. THEREFORE, SINCE YOUR EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THERE WAS NO FURTHER RIGHT TO PLACE THOSE EFFECTS OR ANY PORTION THEREOF IN NONTEMPORARY STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE SUM OF $471.67, REPRESENTING THE COST OF STORAGE AT PENSACOLA WHICH YOU SAY YOU HAVE PAID.

PARAGRAPH M8011 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE REGULATIONS, AUTHORITY CONTAINED THEREIN FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE EXTENDS ONLY TO THE THROUGH SHIPMENT TO AUTHORIZED ULTIMATE DESTINATION OF THE SAME LOT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR EFFECTS. IT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT SHIPMENT MAY NOT BE MADE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER TO SOME OTHER PLACE FOR RESHIPMENT LATER TO SUCH AUTHORIZED ULTIMATE DESTINATION.

THE EFFECT OF THIS PROVISION IS TO PROHIBIT REIMBURSEMENT OF ANY TRANSPORTATION CHARGES IN EXCESS OF THOSE PRESCRIBED INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION SO AUTHORIZED FOR A THROUGH SHIPMENT TO THE AUTHORIZED ULTIMATE DESTINATION. SUCH TRANSPORTATION CHARGES MAY NOT BE INCREASED BY SHIPPING TO SOME OTHER PLACE FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE WITH SUBSEQUENT RESHIPMENT TO THE AUTHORIZED ULTIMATE DESTINATION. ALSO, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAKE NO PROVISION FOR AN INTERIM SHIPMENT IN THE SITUATION OF A MEMBER WHO IS ASSIGNED OVERSEAS AND CONCURRENT MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS AND/OR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO SUCH OVERSEAS STATION IS PERMITTED. NOR DO THE REGULATIONS PERMIT HIM TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE INTERIM SHIPMENT IF HE SUBSEQUENTLY DECIDES TO MOVE HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION.

RATHER, AS STATED ABOVE, PARAGRAPH M8011 OF THE REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT A SHIPMENT MAY NOT BE MADE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER TO SOME OTHER PLACE FOR RESHIPMENT LATER TO THE AUTHORIZED ULTIMATE DESTINATION. THEREFORE, ON THE BASIS OF THE CITED REGULATIONS, AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SHIPMENT TO PENSACOLA WAS MADE ON YOUR APPLICATION, THERE BEING NOTHING IN THE APPLICATION TO INDICATE THAT ANY FURTHER SHIPMENT WAS CONTEMPLATED, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE SHIPMENT TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, WAS MADE TO A SELECTED PLACE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH M8253-2E OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND EXHAUSTED YOUR SHIPPING RIGHTS OR ANY RIGHT TO NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE GOODS SO SHIPPED.

THE FACT THAT THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, IS LESS THAN THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL TO HAWAII PROVIDES NO BASIS TO CHARGE YOU ONLY THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT TO PENSACOLA AND HAVE THE GOVERNMENT ASSUME THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA TO HAWAII AS WELL AS THE STORAGE CHARGES.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CONTENTIONS THAT THE SHIPMENT TO PENSACOLA WAS MADE BECAUSE OF A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE REGULATIONS AND BECAUSE OF ERRONEOUS ADVICE RECEIVED IN THE REDSTONE ARSENAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ANY MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE REGULATIONS AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS TO WAIVE THEIR PROVISIONS IN YOUR CASE. A REPORT FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AT REDSTONE ARSENAL STATES THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT IF YOU SHIPPED YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO PENSACOLA, YOU WOULD NOT SUBSEQUENTLY BE AUTHORIZED A SHIPMENT TO HAWAII. IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT THE SAME DAY AFTER RECEIVING SUCH ADVICE YOU RETURNED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE AND MADE APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR GOODS TO PENSACOLA. THUS, THE RECORD DOES NOT SHOW THAT YOU RECEIVED ERRONEOUS ADVICE IN THIS RESPECT, BUT EVEN IF IT SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED THAT YOU WERE MISINFORMED, SUCH A MISTAKE BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WOULD NOT, IN OUR OPINION, AFFORD A LEGAL BASIS TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE STORAGE CHARGES OR TO RELIEVE YOU OF LIABILITY FOR THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT TO HAWAII.

THEREFORE, SINCE THE GOVERNMENT HAS PAID THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES FOR THE SHIPMENT FROM PENSACOLA TO HAWAII, WHICH SHIPMENT YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO HAVE MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THE COST IS CHARGEABLE TO YOU AND STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN PROMPTLY TO LIQUIDATE YOUR INDEBTEDNESS OF $823.50.