B-163282, FEB. 12, 1968

B-163282: Feb 12, 1968

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PAID AN EXCESS VALUATION CHARGE MAY HAVE SUCH CHARGE REGARDED AS AN ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGE UNDER THE AIRLINE TARIFF RATHER THAN AS AN INSURANCE CHARGE AND THEREFORE SINCE CHARGES WERE IN INTEREST OF GOVERNMENT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED THEREFOR. JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9. THE AIR FORCE IS TO COLLECT AND ANALYZE HIGH ALTITUDE RADIATION DATA USING HIGH ALTITUDE RADIATION INSTRUMENTATION SYSTEMS (HARIS) MANUFACTURED FOR FAA BY SOLID STATE RADIATIONS. FOUR HARIS UNITS WERE PROCURED BY FAA AT A COST OF APPROXIMATELY $55. THE UNITS ARE OCCASIONALLY RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER FOR REPAIR. ONE OF THE UNITS (HARIS NO. 2) WAS AT THE MANUFACTURER'S PLANT FOR MAINTENANCE PRIOR TO BEING PROTON CALIBRATED AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED.

B-163282, FEB. 12, 1968

TRAVEL EXPENSES - BAGGAGE - GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT - EXCESS VALUATION DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF F.A.A. CONCERNING REIMBURSING EMPLOYEE FOR EXCESS VALUATION CHARGES FOR PERSONAL BAGGAGE. AN EMPLOYEE WHO, WHILE TRANSPORTING GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT AS PERSONAL BAGGAGE BY AIR, PAID AN EXCESS VALUATION CHARGE MAY HAVE SUCH CHARGE REGARDED AS AN ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGE UNDER THE AIRLINE TARIFF RATHER THAN AS AN INSURANCE CHARGE AND THEREFORE SINCE CHARGES WERE IN INTEREST OF GOVERNMENT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED THEREFOR.

TO MR. PHILIP E. BARNES, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER CAPTAIN THOMAS W. HEWLETT, JR., USAF, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR EXCESS VALUATION CHARGES INCURRED BY HIM ON NOVEMBER 4 AND 6, 1967, IN TRANSPORTING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY WITH HIS PERSONAL BAGGAGE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER.

THE ENCLOSURES TO YOUR LETTER SHOW THAT UNDER THE TERMS OF AN INTERAGENCY AGREEMENT BETWEEN FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AND KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO, THE AIR FORCE IS TO COLLECT AND ANALYZE HIGH ALTITUDE RADIATION DATA USING HIGH ALTITUDE RADIATION INSTRUMENTATION SYSTEMS (HARIS) MANUFACTURED FOR FAA BY SOLID STATE RADIATIONS, INCORPORATED, AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. FOUR HARIS UNITS WERE PROCURED BY FAA AT A COST OF APPROXIMATELY $55,000 PER SYSTEM. THE UNITS ARE OCCASIONALLY RETURNED TO THE MANUFACTURER FOR REPAIR, MAINTENANCE AND/OR OVERHAUL. ONE OF THE UNITS (HARIS NO. 2) WAS AT THE MANUFACTURER'S PLANT FOR MAINTENANCE PRIOR TO BEING PROTON CALIBRATED AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED.

IT APPEARS THAT CAPTAIN HEWLETT, WHO WAS PERMANENTLY STATIONED AT KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, WAS IN LOS ANGELES ON TEMPORARY DUTY WHEN HE WAS CONTACTED BY AIR FORCE WEAPONS LABORATORY AT KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE AND REQUESTED TO OBTAIN THE INSTRUMENT FROM THE MANUFACTURER, TAKE IT TO SAN FRANCISCO FOR CALIBRATION BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKLEY AND RETURN WITH IT TO KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE. CAPTAIN HEWLETT PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR AND SHIPPED THE INSTRUMENT AS PART OF HIS PERSONAL BAGGAGE. THE TRAVEL FROM LOS ANGELES TO SAN FRANCISCO WAS VIA UNITED AIR LINES, INC., AND FROM THE LATTER PLACE TO ALBUQUERQUE WAS VIA WESTERN AIR LINES, INC. COPIES OF RECEIPTS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED SHOWING THAT HE PAID EACH AIRLINE AN EXCESS VALUATION CHARGE OF $24.50 ON THE INSTRUMENT, OR A TOTAL OF $49, BASED ON A DECLARED VALUE OF $25,000.

IT IS STATED THAT HAD THE INSTRUMENT BEEN SHIPPED DIRECTLY FROM LOS ANGELES TO KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE BY AIR FREIGHT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, WHICH WOULD HAVE INCLUDED AN AMOUNT FOR INSURANCE, WOULD HAVE BEEN $146.84. THE COST BY AIR FREIGHT VIA BERKLEY IS NOT SHOWN; IT IS INDICATED, HOWEVER, THAT IT UNDOUBTEDLY WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. YOU URGE THAT CAPTAIN HEWLETT ACTED IN GOOD FAITH IN INCURRING THE CHARGE AND ACTUALLY SAVED THE GOVERNMENT MONEY. YOU QUESTION WHETHER THE AMOUNT CLAIMED SHOULD BE REGARDED AS INSURANCE ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, CITING 21 COMP. GEN. 928.

RULE 71, AIRLINE TARIFF PUBLISHERS, INC., AGENT, LOCAL AND JOINT PASSENGER RULES TARIFF NO. PR-4, C.A.B. NO. 43 (29TH REVISED PAGE 50 D), EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1967, APPLICABLE TO THE ABOVE AIRLINES, LIMITS THE LIABILITY OF THE AIRLINES FOR THE LOSS OF BAGGAGE TO $500 WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS ENTIRELY OVER THOSE AND OTHER NAMED AIRLINES UNLESS THE PASSENGER, AT THE TIME OF PRESENTING SUCH PROPERTY FOR TRANSPORTATION WHEN CHECKING IN FOR FLIGHT, HAS DECLARED A HIGHER VALUE AND PAID "AN ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGE," AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS FOR EACH $100 OR FRACTION THEREOF, BY WHICH SUCH HIGHER DECLARED VALUE EXCEEDS THE ABOVE AMOUNT.

IN THE PRESENT CASE SINCE THE NORMAL LIABILITY OF THE AIRLINES WAS $500 AND THE HIGHER DECLARED VALUE OF THE BAGGAGE WAS $25,000, THE BALANCE OR $24,500 AT 10 CENTS PER HUNDRED RESULTED IN A CHARGE OF $24.50 FOR EACH FLIGHT. UNDER THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF THE APPLICABLE TARIFF THIS WAS NOT AN INSURANCE CHARGE BUT WAS AN ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGE.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE CAPTAIN HEWLETT WAS REQUESTED TO PERFORM THE SERVICES AND PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE CHARGES.