B-162992, JAN. 17, 1968

B-162992: Jan 17, 1968

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EMPLOYEE WHO WAS PAID ON COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO FIRST DUTY STATION UPON ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT AND WHO CLAIMS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMUTED RATE AND ACTUAL COST MUST HAVE CLAIM DENIED SINCE COMMUTED RATE BASIS IS PRESCRIBED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724 (C) AND NEITHER DEPARTMENT NOR GAO MAY WAIVE THE LIMITATION IN THE STATUTE. 840 POUNDS WERE SHIPPED BY VAN AT A COST OF $342.93. YOU WERE REIMBURSED ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $261.28. YOU TRANSMITTED A PRINTED CIRCULAR WHICH YOU SAY YOU RECEIVED FROM THE NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND WHICH STATES THAT THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT UP TO 7. 500 POUNDS FOR THOSE WHO ARE SINGLE.

B-162992, JAN. 17, 1968

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DECISION TO NAVY EMPLOYEE SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO APPOINTMENT. EMPLOYEE WHO WAS PAID ON COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO FIRST DUTY STATION UPON ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT AND WHO CLAIMS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMUTED RATE AND ACTUAL COST MUST HAVE CLAIM DENIED SINCE COMMUTED RATE BASIS IS PRESCRIBED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724 (C) AND NEITHER DEPARTMENT NOR GAO MAY WAIVE THE LIMITATION IN THE STATUTE.

TO MR. STANLEY J. GONTAREK:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURE, RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE NOVEMBER 14, 1967, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 1, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO YOUR APPOINTMENT AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE RESIDING IN STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, YOU ACCEPTED AN APPOINTMENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WEIGHING 2,840 POUNDS WERE SHIPPED BY VAN AT A COST OF $342.93. YOU WERE REIMBURSED ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $261.28. YOU TRANSMITTED A PRINTED CIRCULAR WHICH YOU SAY YOU RECEIVED FROM THE NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND WHICH STATES THAT THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT UP TO 7,000 POUNDS FOR MARRIED EMPLOYEES OR 2,500 POUNDS FOR THOSE WHO ARE SINGLE. YOU SAY THAT THE ONLY CONDITION PLACED ON YOUR OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT WAS A MAXIMUM OF 7,000 POUNDS OF GOODS AND AN AGREEMENT TO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT FOR ONE YEAR.

THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES YOU INCURRED IN REPORTING TO YOUR FIRST DUTY STATION IS THAT CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. 5723. THAT SECTION AUTHORIZES GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO REIMBURSE NEW EMPLOYEES APPOINTED TO SHORTAGE CATEGORY POSITIONS CERTAIN EXPENSES THEY INCUR FOR THEIR TRAVEL AND FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THEIR RESIDENCES AT THE TIME OF SELECTION FOR APPOINTMENT TO THEIR FIRST DUTY STATIONS. THAT SECTION ALSO PROVIDES THAT AN AGENCY MAY REIMBURSE A NEW APPOINTEE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 5724. YOU HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND YOUR PRESENT CLAIM IS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALLOWED AND THE ACTUAL COST OF SHIPPING SUCH GOODS.

THE COSTS INCURRED BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES AND CERTAIN NEW APPOINTEES FOR TRANSPORTING THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5724 (C) WHICH PROVIDES:

"UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS INSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, INSTEAD OF BEING PAID FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARILY STORING, DRAYING, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, SHALL BE REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED BASIS AT THE RATES PER 100 POUNDS THAT ARE FIXED BY ZONES IN THE REGULATIONS. THE REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE FOR THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE.'

THE AMOUNT YOU WERE PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS THE COMMUTED RATE PRESCRIBED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THAT SECTION. NEITHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY NOR OUR OFFICE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO WAIVE THE LIMITATION AS PRESCRIBED IN THE CITED STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND MUST APPLY THE EXISTING PROVISIONS THEREOF IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WERE INCURRED. IT IS REGRETTED THAT THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WAS CONSIDERED BY YOU AS MISLEADING; HOWEVER, SUCH FACT CANNOT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR PAYMENT IN EXCESS OF THAT PERMITTED BY THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITY.

FOR THE REASONS STATED THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 1, 1967, IS SUSTAINED.