B-161866, AUG. 2, 1967

B-161866: Aug 2, 1967

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EMPLOYEE WHO WAS CHARGED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SILVER SPRING. HARNER IS SAID TO HAVE SHIPPED ABOUT 3. CHARGES BY THE CARRIER FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED WERE MADE FOR EXPEDITE SERVICE ON THE BASIS OF A CONSTRUCTIVE MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 5. AN EMPLOYEE WITH A SMALL LOT OF GOODS MAY HAVE TO REQUEST SHIPMENT ON OR ABOUT A SPECIFIC DATE IN ORDER TO GET HIS GOODS MOVED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. IN SOME CASES THE OLD OR NEW POST OF DUTY STATIONS ARE SMALL CITIES AND TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS INVOLVED ARE VERY INFREQUENT. "2) WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM -APPLICABLE TARIFF- REFERRED TO TO IN SECTION 6.4D/1) QUOTED ABOVE? OR IS HE LIMITED TO THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE ACTUAL WEIGHT SHIPPED?

B-161866, AUG. 2, 1967

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - REIMBURSEMENT BASIS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, RE PROPER BASIS FOR REIMBURSING EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. EMPLOYEE WHO WAS CHARGED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SILVER SPRING, MD. TO MORGANTOWN, WEST VA., ON BASIS OF EXPEDITE SERVICE RATHER THAN ON MINIMUM WEIGHT BASIS MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM (SECS. 6.4A AND D, BOB CIRC. A-56) FOR THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF GOODS SHIPPED UNDER THE GSA SCHEDULES.

TO MISS VIRGINIA G. LEIST, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, C/O MR. GRAY W. HUME, FISCAL MANAGEMENT OFFICER, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, U. S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1, 1967, REFERENCE AD:F:F:V, ENCLOSES A VOUCHER COVERING REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. RICHARD W. HARNER, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, TO MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA, INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D. C., TO MORGANTOWN ON AUGUST 7, 1966.

MR. HARNER IS SAID TO HAVE SHIPPED ABOUT 3,000 POUNDS OF GOODS, THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE HAVING BEEN FURNISHED BY ART'S MOVERS, BELTSVILLE, MARYLAND. CHARGES BY THE CARRIER FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED WERE MADE FOR EXPEDITE SERVICE ON THE BASIS OF A CONSTRUCTIVE MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 5,000 POUNDS AT THE RATE ESTABLISHED BY A TARIFF OF $5.90 CWT. FOR NET POUNDAGES RANGING FROM 2,000 TO 3,999 POUNDS.

YOUR LETTER, ASKING OUR DECISION WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, PRESENTS THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1) UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES MAY THE MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED FOR BY THE CARRIER BE USED IN COMPUTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS? AN EMPLOYEE WITH A SMALL LOT OF GOODS MAY HAVE TO REQUEST SHIPMENT ON OR ABOUT A SPECIFIC DATE IN ORDER TO GET HIS GOODS MOVED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. IN SOME CASES THE OLD OR NEW POST OF DUTY STATIONS ARE SMALL CITIES AND TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS INVOLVED ARE VERY INFREQUENT.

"2) WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM -APPLICABLE TARIFF- REFERRED TO TO IN SECTION 6.4D/1) QUOTED ABOVE? ISN-T THE MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED FOR AN - EXPEDITED- SHIPMENT BASED ON THE APPLICABLE TARIFF AS APPLIED TO THAT TYPE OF SHIPMENT?

"3) CAN MR. HARNER'S VOUCHER BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE 5,000 LBS. MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED BY THE CARRIER FOR EXPEDITED SERVICE, OR IS HE LIMITED TO THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE ACTUAL WEIGHT SHIPPED? REALIZE THAT IF HE IS LIMITED TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHT SHIPPED, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR US TO OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS.'

WHILE WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED IN THIS INSTANCE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS GENERAL IN NATURE WE BELIEVE THAT CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS IN MR. HARNER'S PARTICULAR CASE AND OF THE APPLICABLE LAW WILL BE SUFFICENTLY RESPONSIVE TO YOUR QUESTIONS TO SERVE AS A GUIDE.

IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE CARRIER IN THIS CASE IS A PARTY TO THE TARIFF CITED ON THE BILL OF LADING, AND WE ASSUME THEREFORE THAT HE IS AN AGENT OF A PARTY TO THE MOVERS' AND WAREHOUSEMEN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC., TARIFF NO. 44, MF-ICC NO. 66, EFFECTIVE JULY 8, 1966.

THIS TARIFF PROVIDES A RATE OF $5.90 CWT. FOR TRANSPORTING WEIGHTS RANGING FROM 2,000 TO 3,999 POUNDS A DISTANCE OF 205 MILES, I.E., FROM SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, TO MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA.

RULE 23 UNDER THAT TARIFF APPLIES TO EXPEDITED SERVICE AND READS SUBSTANTIALLY AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF EQUIPMENT FOR PARTICULAR SERVICE DESIRED, SHIPPER MAY OBTAIN EXPEDITED SERVICE ON A SHIPMENT OF LESS THAN 5,000 POUNDS AND TRANSPORTATION CHARGES SHALL BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF 5,000 POUNDS AND TARIFF RATES APPLICABLE TO 5,000 POUNDS.'

THE APPLICABLE TARIFF PROVIDES A RATE OF $4.55 CWT. FOR WEIGHTS RANGING BETWEEN 4,000 AND 7,999 POUNDS.

THE BILL OF LADING INDICATES THAT THE RATE OF $5.90 CWT. APPLICABLE TO THE WEIGHT RANGE 2,000 TO 3,999 POUNDS RATHER THAN $4.55 CWT. APPLICABLE TO 5,000 POUNDS MAY HAVE BEEN CHARGED TO MR. HARNER.

HOWEVER, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE HIGHER COSTS INCURRED BY MR. HARNER STEMMED PRIMARILY FROM THE EXPEDITE SERVICE FURNISHED RATHER THAN ANY MINIMUM WEIGHT CHARGED UNDER THE APPLICABLE TARIFF FOR SHIPMENT IN REGULAR COURSE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 6.4D/1) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

MR. HARNER WOULD THEREFORE BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM--SECTIONS 6.4A AND D, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966--FOR THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF GOODS SHIPPED BY HIM (SEE SECTION 6.2B OF CIRCULAR) UNDER THE SCHEDULES PROMULGATED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.