B-163373, FEBRUARY 27, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 473

B-163373: Feb 27, 1968

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ETC. - RESALE OR DISPOSAL PURPOSES HOUSEHOLD ITEMS USED UNTIL THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM AN OLD DUTY STATION ARE NOT THE ITEMS OF PROPERTY CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 1.2H OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. DISPOSES OF THEM AS SURPLUS TO HIS NEEDS MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE ITEMS TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION SINCE SUCH ITEMS WERE PART OF HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND IN CONTINUOUS USE UNTIL HE MOVED FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION. DAVIS ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF A HOME BEING CONSTRUCTED AT HIS NEW STATION WHICH CONTRACT PROVIDED THAT THE HOME WAS TO BE EQUIPPED WITH AIR-CONDITIONING AND THAT IT WAS TO HAVE A GAS RANGE. 200 POUNDS OF SUCH EFFECTS IN TEMPORARY STORAGE WHEREAS THE STOVE AND AIR-CONDITIONERS WERE NOT PLACED IN STORAGE BUT RATHER WERE SOLD BY THE EMPLOYEE AFTER ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW STATION.

B-163373, FEBRUARY 27, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 473

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - RELOCATION EXPENSES - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, ETC. - RESALE OR DISPOSAL PURPOSES HOUSEHOLD ITEMS USED UNTIL THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM AN OLD DUTY STATION ARE NOT THE ITEMS OF PROPERTY CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 1.2H OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH PRECLUDES FROM THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" ITEMS INTENDED FOR RESALE OR DISPOSAL. THEREFORE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO, AFTER MOVING A STOVE AND AIR CONDITIONERS INCIDENT TO AN OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION, DISPOSES OF THEM AS SURPLUS TO HIS NEEDS MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE ITEMS TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION SINCE SUCH ITEMS WERE PART OF HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND IN CONTINUOUS USE UNTIL HE MOVED FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION.

TO I. F. INGRAM, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FEBRUARY 27, 1968:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1968, REQUESTS OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. LEO DAVIS FOR $61.05 COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION COST OF TWO AIR CONDITIONERS AND A STOVE FROM WHARTON, TEXAS, TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, INCIDENT TO HIS OFFICIAL TRANSFER OF STATION BETWEEN SUCH POINTS.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION PRESENTED THAT ON JULY 6, 1967, MR. DAVIS ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF A HOME BEING CONSTRUCTED AT HIS NEW STATION WHICH CONTRACT PROVIDED THAT THE HOME WAS TO BE EQUIPPED WITH AIR-CONDITIONING AND THAT IT WAS TO HAVE A GAS RANGE. ON JULY 13, 1967, MR. DAVIS TRAVELED TO HIS NEW STATION AND ALSO TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCLUDING THE TWO AIR CONDITIONERS AND STOVE. ON JULY 14 HE PLACED 4,200 POUNDS OF SUCH EFFECTS IN TEMPORARY STORAGE WHEREAS THE STOVE AND AIR-CONDITIONERS WERE NOT PLACED IN STORAGE BUT RATHER WERE SOLD BY THE EMPLOYEE AFTER ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW STATION.

THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER REPRESENTS THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE TWO AIR-CONDITIONERS AND STOVE TO THE NEW STATION WHICH COST WAS DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY BECAUSE IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THESE ITEMS WERE TRANSPORTED FOR PURPOSES OF DISPOSAL RATHER THAN USE BY THE EMPLOYEE AT HIS NEW STATION. IN SUCH CONNECTION YOUR LETTER REFERS TO THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS" APPEARING IN SECTION 1.2H OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE TERM INCLUDES HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS, EQUIPMENT AND APPLIANCES, FURNITURE, CLOTHING, BOOKS, AND SIMILAR PROPERTY. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE PROPERTY WHICH IS FOR RESALE OR DISPOSAL RATHER THAN FOR USE BY THE EMPLOYEE OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY * * *.'

IN SUPPORT OF HIS RECLAIM THE EMPLOYEE SAYS: "MY INTENTIONS AT THE TIME I MOVED FROM WHARTON TO HOUSTON WERE TO USE THE AIR CONDITIONERS AND STOVE AT MY NEW LOCATION. HOWEVER, DUE TO A LAST MINUTE CHANGE IN PLANS, I FOUND THAT MY AIR CONDITIONERS AND STOVE WOULD NOT BE NEEDED IN EITHER MY TEMPORARY QUARTERS OR MY NEW HOME WHICH WAS BEING CONSTRUCTED. THEREFORE, I DECIDED TO SELL MY AIR CONDITIONERS AND STOVE AFTER I HAD ARRIVED IN HOUSTON. "THESE ITEMS WERE NOT PURCHASED FOR RESALE. THEY WERE A PART OF MY HOUSEHOLD FOR SEVERAL YEARS. IN FACT, I USED THEM UNTIL THE DAY I MOVED FROM WHARTON.'

OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE QUOTED REGULATION WAS DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO PRECLUDE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PROPERTY OWNED BY AN EMPLOYEE FOR PURPOSES OF RESALE OR DISPOSAL -- SUCH AS PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO A BUSINESS VENTURE THAT WAS HELD BY HIM FOR SALE OR DISPOSAL PURPOSES PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. THE PROPERTY ITEMS IN THE PRESENT CASE WERE NOT ACQUIRED FOR PURPOSES OF RESALE OR DISPOSAL. IN FACT, THEY WERE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN HIS HOUSEHOLD RIGHT UP TO THE TIME OF HIS TRANSFER. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE REGULATION DOES NOT PRECLUDE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE ITEMS IN QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.