B-161742, JUL. 7, 1967

B-161742: Jul 7, 1967

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DISALLOWING CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NEW FURNITURE PURCHASED AFTER DATE OF TRAVEL ORDER AND FOR EXPENSE OF CUTTING AND FITTING DRAPERIES THAT WERE NOT MOVED FROM OLD TO NEW RESIDENCE BUT WERE PURCHASED FOR NEW RESIDENCE. 000 POUNDS YOUR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM LIKEWISE WAS BASED ON A WEIGHT OF 8. SUCH FURNITURE WAS NOT DELIVERED TO YOU UNTIL AFTER YOU ARRIVED AT YOUR NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. 660 POUNDS OF NEW FURNITURE WAS DISALLOWED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH FURNITURE WAS ACQUIRED EN ROUTE TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. YOU EMPHASIZE THE FACT THAT THE FURNITURE IN QUESTION WAS ORDERED BY YOU PRIOR TO THE DATE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER AND.

B-161742, JUL. 7, 1967

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - ACQUISITION AFTER ORDERS DECISION TO CLAIMANT, VA EMPLOYEE, DISALLOWING CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NEW FURNITURE PURCHASED AFTER DATE OF TRAVEL ORDER AND FOR EXPENSE OF CUTTING AND FITTING DRAPERIES THAT WERE NOT MOVED FROM OLD TO NEW RESIDENCE BUT WERE PURCHASED FOR NEW RESIDENCE.

TO JOSEPH B. BOUNDS, M.D.:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1, 1967, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 3, 1967, WHICH ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU IN THE SUM OF $15 FOR PER DIEM WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION BUT DISALLOWED THE SUM OF $374.55, REPRESENTING MISCELLANEOUS AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TRAVEL ORDER NO. DM AND S-1128, DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1966, AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF YOU AND YOUR WIFE AND TRANSPORTATION OF 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM SALEM, VIRGINIA, TO WASHINGTON, D. C; YOUR NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. YOU AND YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL ON OCTOBER 3, 1966, AND YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D. C; ON OCTOBER 10, 1966.

PURSUANT TO THE TRAVEL ORDER YOU SHIPPED 7,170 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS VIA FERGUSON TRANSFER AND STORAGE CORPORATION FROM SALEM, VIRGINIA, TO YOUR NEW RESIDENCE IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, ON OCTOBER 3 AND 4, 1966. SINCE THE CARRIER BASED HIS CHARGES ON A WEIGHT OF 8,000 POUNDS YOUR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM LIKEWISE WAS BASED ON A WEIGHT OF 8,000 POUNDS.

IN ADDITION TO THE EFFECTS SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF 1,660 POUNDS OF NEW FURNITURE WHICH YOU PURCHASED FROM THE PHILLIPS FURNITURE COMPANY, ODESSA, TEXAS. YOU STATE THAT YOU PLACED AN ORDER FOR SUCH FURNITURE IN SEPTEMBER 1966 PRIOR TO THE DATE YOU RECEIVED YOUR TRAVEL ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 29. HOWEVER, SUCH FURNITURE WAS NOT DELIVERED TO YOU UNTIL AFTER YOU ARRIVED AT YOUR NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

YOUR CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE 1,660 POUNDS OF NEW FURNITURE WAS DISALLOWED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH FURNITURE WAS ACQUIRED EN ROUTE TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. YOU EMPHASIZE THE FACT THAT THE FURNITURE IN QUESTION WAS ORDERED BY YOU PRIOR TO THE DATE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER AND, THEREFORE, YOU BELIEVE SUCH FURNITURE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE.

SECTION 1.9 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS THE ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE. MOREOVER, 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; 27 ID. 171.

WHILE THE FURNITURE IN QUESTION APPARENTLY WAS ORDERED BY YOU PRIOR TO THE DATE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER, THE DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR CLAIM FAIL TO DISCLOSE THAT OWNERSHIP OF THE SPECIFIC ITEMS OF FURNITURE ORDERED BY YOU BECAME VESTED IN YOU PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION (OCTOBER 10, 1966). ON THE CONTRARY, INVOICES COVERING 1,618 POUNDS OF THE FURNITURE SHOW THAT SUCH ITEMS WERE PURCHASED FROM MANUFACTURERS BY THE PHILLIPS FURNITURE COMPANY FOR CONSIGNMENT TO YOU ON DATES SUBSEQUENT TO OCTOBER 10, 1966. THE SHIPPING DOCUMENTS COVERING THE REMAINING ITEMS ALSO SHOW THAT SUCH ITEMS WERE SHIPPED OR CONSIGNED TO YOU ON DATES SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION.

IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE CLEARLY SHOWING THAT TITLE TO THE FURNITURE IN QUESTION VESTED IN YOU PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE TRANSPORTATION THEREOF.

ON YOUR ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $450.50. ONE ITEM IN THE AMOUNT OF $416, REPRESENTED THE EXPENSE OF CUTTING AND FITTING DRAPERIES FOR YOUR NEW APARTMENT. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THIS ITEM WAS DISALLOWED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE BECAUSE THE DRAPERIES WERE NOT MOVED FROM YOUR OLD TO YOUR NEW RESIDENCE BUT WERE PURCHASED SOLELY FOR USE IN YOUR NEW LIVING QUARTERS. HOWEVER, YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3.2A (1) (B) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1, 1967, YOU STATE THE FOLLOWING:

"* * * I DID NOT HAVE DRAPES AS I LIVED IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHERE THEY WERE FURNISHED; HOWEVER, AS A RESULT OF MY IMPENDING TRANSFER AND PRIOR TO MY ORDERS, I BOUGHT DRAPERY MATERIAL KNOWING THAT THEY WOULD BE NEEDED IN MY NEW RESIDENCE. OBVIOUSLY, I DID NOT HAVE THE MATERIAL CUT, FITTED AND ALTERED UNTIL I WAS LOCATED IN MY NEW RESIDENCE; HOWEVER, THE EXPENSE OF THE CUTTING, FITTING AND ALTERATIONS WERE THE DIRECT RESULT OF RELOCATION. I HAVE MADE NO CLAIM FOR THE COST OF THE MATERIAL. * * *"

SECTION 3.1B OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, PERTAINING TO THE ALLOWANCE FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE TYPES OF COSTS INTENDED TO BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE ALLOWANCE INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:

"/1) DISCONNECTING AND CONNECTING APPLIANCES, EQUIPMENT AND UTILITIES INVOLVED IN RELOCATION, AND COST OF CONVERTING APPLIANCES FOR OPERATION ON AVAILABLE UTILITIES.

"/2) CUTTING AND FITTING RUGS, DRAPERIES AND CURTAINS MOVED FROM ONE RESIDENCE QUARTERS TO ANOTHER.

"/3) UTILITY FEES OR DEPOSITS THAT ARE NOT OFFSET BY EVENTUAL REFUNDS.

"/4) FORFEITURE LOSSES ON MEDICAL, DENTAL AND FOOD LOCKER CONTRACTS THAT ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE.

"/5) AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION, DRIVER'S LICENSE AND USE TAXES IMPOSED WHEN BRINGING AUTOMOBILES INTO SOME JURISDICTIONS;,

WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE ITEMS OF EXPENSE ENUMERATED IN SECTION 3.1BOF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ARE MERELY ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE TYPES OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES FOR WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE NATURE OF THE EXPENSES SO ENUMERATED, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE REGULATIONS MAY BE CONSTRUED SO AS TO INCLUDE THE COST OF CUTTING, FITTING, AND LINING DRAPERIES WHICH WERE NOT IN USE IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PREVIOUS RESIDENCE QUARTERS BUT WERE PURCHASED FOR USE IN THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW RESIDENCE QUARTERS.

FOR THE REASONS EXPRESSED ABOVE THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 3, 1967, IS SUSTAINED.