B-161255, MAY 29, 1967

B-161255: May 29, 1967

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ARTILLERY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM YOUR OVERSEAS STATION TO FORT KNOX. SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED AND THE ORDERS STATED THAT IT SHOULD BE DELIVERED TO U.S. YOUR CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DENIED JULY 1. FOR THE REASON THAT APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT A SPONSOR IS NOT AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF SHIPPING PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES FROM OVERSEAS TO THE UNITED STATES WHEN HE PERSONALLY ARRANGES FOR SUCH SERVICE. YOU STATED THAT YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS SHIPPED TO GERMANY IN 1963 AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHEN YOU WERE ORDERED TO FORT KNOX. MANY OTHER MEMBERS WERE BEING RETURNED FROM EUROPE AND IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN AT LEAST SIX WEEKS FOR YOUR CAR TO ARRIVE IN NEW YORK IF IT HAD BEEN SHIPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

B-161255, MAY 29, 1967

TO MAJOR CARL M. NESTLER, ARTILLERY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1967, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM GERMANY TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE IN APRIL 1966 INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED APRIL 27, 1966, AS AMENDED.

BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 27, 1966, AS AMENDED MAY 6, 1966, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM YOUR OVERSEAS STATION TO FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY. THE ORDERS DIRECTED YOU TO REPORT WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS AT RHEIN MAIN AIR FORCE BASE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, ON MAY 21, 1966, FOR TRANSPORTATION TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND FOR YOU TO REPORT TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION NO LATER THAN MAY 31, 1966. SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED AND THE ORDERS STATED THAT IT SHOULD BE DELIVERED TO U.S. ARMY TRANSPORT CENTER, EUROPE, BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY, NOT LATER THAN 21 DAYS PRIOR TO PORT CALL DATE.

ON JUNE 21, 1966, YOU PRESENTED A CLAIM FOR $272.65 ON ACCOUNT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE VIA AMERICAN EXPRESS, FROM BREMEN, GERMANY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. YOUR CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DENIED JULY 1, 1966, FOR THE REASON THAT APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT A SPONSOR IS NOT AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF SHIPPING PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES FROM OVERSEAS TO THE UNITED STATES WHEN HE PERSONALLY ARRANGES FOR SUCH SERVICE.

BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1966, YOU REQUESTED REVIEW OF YOUR CLAIM BY OUR OFFICE. YOU STATED THAT YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS SHIPPED TO GERMANY IN 1963 AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT ON APRIL 27, 1966, WHEN YOU WERE ORDERED TO FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY, TO REPORT MAY 31, 1966, MANY OTHER MEMBERS WERE BEING RETURNED FROM EUROPE AND IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN AT LEAST SIX WEEKS FOR YOUR CAR TO ARRIVE IN NEW YORK IF IT HAD BEEN SHIPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT. YOU THEREFORE CONSIDERED IT NECESSARY FOR YOU TO SHIP YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE TO ENABLE YOU TO HAVE TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FOR YOUR FAMILY UPON ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK AND TO PRECLUDE A ROUND TRIP AT YOUR EXPENSE FROM FORT KNOX TO NEW YORK TO PICK UP YOUR AUTOMOBILE. YOU EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT THE EXPENSE WAS INCURRED THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN AND WAS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. YOU THEREFORE CONTENDED THE EXPENSE SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE UNITED STATES.

YOUR LETTER ALSO REFERRED TO A BILL, H.R. 15712, WHICH HAD BEEN INTRODUCED IN THE 89TH CONGRESS, TO PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES UNDER CONDITIONS SIMILAR TO YOURS. YOU STATED THAT YOU HAD NOT BEEN ADVISED OF ITS DISPOSITION, BUT THAT YOU WERE TOLD TO FORWARD YOUR CLAIM TO OUR OFFICE FOR REVIEW AND DECISION.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1967, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THERE STATED. IN YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 29, 1967, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM, YOU STATED THAT YOU WERE AWARE OF THE REGULATIONS CITED AS AUTHORITY FOR DENIAL OF YOUR CLAIM, BUT YOU CONSIDERED THEM APPLICABLE TO TRANSFERS MADE UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS. YOU CONTENDED THAT YOUR NORMAL TOUR IN GERMANY WAS CURTAILED BY SIX MONTHS AND YOU WERE GIVEN ONLY THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDERS TO REPORT TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. THEREFORE, YOU MAINTAINED THAT SINCE AN EXCEPTION TO NORMAL POLICY WAS MADE IN TRANSFERRING YOU WITHOUT SUFFICIENT ADVANCE NOTICE, THERE IS NO REASON WHY AN EXCEPTION SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO ALLOW YOU REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN EXPENSE GENERATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. FINALLY, YOU REQUESTED THAT IF YOUR CLAIM CANNOT BE SATISFACTORILY SETTLED, YOUR FILE BE RETURNED SO THAT YOU MAY SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST THROUGH CONGRESSIONAL CHANNELS FOR FURTHER ACTION.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES IS CONTAINED IN 10 U.S.C. 2634, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 89-101, DATED JULY 30, 1965, 79 STAT. 425. IT PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY THE MEMBER AND FOR HIS PERSONAL USE OR FOR THE USE OF HIS DEPENDENTS MAY BE TRANSPORTED, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, TO HIS NEW STATION OR SUCH OTHER PLACE AS THE SECRETARY CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE VIA GOVERNMENT- PROCURED AMERICAN FLAG SHIPPING FACILITIES, OR VIA GOVERNMENT-PROCURED FOREIGN FLAG SHIPPING FACILITIES IF GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR GOVERNMENT- PROCURED AMERICAN FLAG SHIPPING FACILITIES ARE NOT REASONABLY AVAILABLE.

REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 11 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND CONTEMPLATE THAT THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES TO AND FROM OVERSEAS AREAS FOR MEMBERS OF AN ARMED FORCE WILL BE ARRANGED FOR AND EFFECTED BY THE APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AT NO EXPENSE TO THE MEMBER FOR OCEAN TRANSPORTATION, WITH THE MEMBER BEARING THE COST WHICH MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORTATION COST INVOLVED. PARAGRAPH M11002-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES SPECIFICALLY THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION PROCURED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT IN SITUATIONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M11007, WHICH ARE NOT PERTINENT HERE. SOMEWHAT SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 16-26, ARMY REGULATIONS 55-71, DATED AUGUST 26, 1965.

THE GOVERNING LAW AND REGULATIONS CONTAIN NO PROVISION FOR REIMBURSING MILITARY MEMBERS WHO EFFECT SHIPMENT OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON THEIR OWN VOLITION AND RESPONSIBILITY, REGARDLESS OF THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED. SEE B-159580, DATED AUGUST 19, 1966, COPY ENCLOSED. THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO SETTLE CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF EQUITABLE OR MORAL CONSIDERATIONS. WE MAY AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS ONLY WHEN SUCH PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED BY THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.

THE HOUSE BILL YOU REFERRED TO, H.R. 15712, WAS NOT APPROVED BY THE 89TH CONGRESS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST, WE ARE RETURNING COPIES OF ORDERS AND OTHER SUPPORTING PAPERS. HOWEVER, THE ORIGINAL LETTERS AND OTHER PAPERS WHICH ARE THE BASIS UPON WHICH OUR ACTION WAS TAKEN HAVE BECOME PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORDS OF OUR OFFICE AND THEREFORE MAY NOT BE RETURNED. 8 GAO MANUAL 2010.10.