B-166051, FEB. 28, 1969

B-166051: Feb 28, 1969

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JENSEN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 17. THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON OCTOBER 16. YOU HAVE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER MR. RAPPL MAY BE REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE ABSENCE OF DOCUMENTATION OF ACTUAL WEIGHT WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED HAD HE WEIGHED HIS LOAD ON SCALES LOCATED AT GRANTS PASS. RAPPL STATES THAT IT WAS HIS INTENTION TO WEIGH THE CONTENTS OF THE TRUCK AT A WEIGHING STATION AT GRANTS PASS. THE WEIGHING STATION WAS CLOSED BY THE TIME HE WAS ABLE TO USE IT AND NO SCALES WERE AVAILABLE TO HIM EN ROUTE OR AT BEND. IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN. IN OUR DECISIONS WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT ADEQUATE SCALES WERE NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE OF VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS WHERE THE GOODS ARE MOVED AFTER THE WEIGHING FACILITIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED.

B-166051, FEB. 28, 1969

TO MR. REED H. JENSEN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 17, 1969, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. ERICH RAPPL, A FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER FROM GRANTS PASS, OREGON, TO BEND, OREGON, ON OCTOBER 16, 1968, AND ASKING FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER SUCH VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS HEREINAFTER RELATED.

AS STATED IN MR. RAPPL'S LETTER AND ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS, THE EMPLOYEE MADE HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR MOVEMENT OF AN ESTIMATED LOAD OF 2,050 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY USE OF A BORROWED 3/4 TON TRUCK WHICH HE LOADED WITH HIS GOODS AT GRANTS PASS, DROVE TO BEND AND THERE UNLOADED AT HIS PERMANENT QUARTERS. THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON OCTOBER 16, 1968, THE SAME DAY PERMANENT QUARTERS BECAME AVAILABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE IN ORDER TO AVOID CONTINUED OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS.

MR. RAPPL HAS SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE LOAD AN ESTIMATE LISTING EACH ITEM MOVED AND MEASUREMENT IN TERMS OF CUBIC FEET CONVERTED TO POUNDS AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT AS PREPARED BY BEND STORAGE AND TRANSFER, INC., OF BEND, OREGON.

YOU HAVE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER MR. RAPPL MAY BE REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE ABSENCE OF DOCUMENTATION OF ACTUAL WEIGHT WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED HAD HE WEIGHED HIS LOAD ON SCALES LOCATED AT GRANTS PASS, THE POINT OF ORIGIN. IN THIS CONNECTION, MR. RAPPL STATES THAT IT WAS HIS INTENTION TO WEIGH THE CONTENTS OF THE TRUCK AT A WEIGHING STATION AT GRANTS PASS. HOWEVER, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND HIS CONTROL, THE WEIGHING STATION WAS CLOSED BY THE TIME HE WAS ABLE TO USE IT AND NO SCALES WERE AVAILABLE TO HIM EN ROUTE OR AT BEND, HIS POINT OF DESTINATION.

SECTION 6 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH IMPLEMENTS THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724 (C), PROVIDES THAT:

".4D (3) DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY (A) THE ORIGINAL OR A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE AND (B) IN SUPPORT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR CERTIFIED COPIES, OR, IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION AND WEIGHT. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED. SUCH CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT ALSO MAY BE USED FOR A PART LOAD WHEN ITS WEIGHT COULD NOT BE OBTAINED AT ORIGIN, EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, WITHOUT FIRST UNLOADING IT OR OTHER PART LOADS BEING CARRIED IN THE SAME VEHICLE.'

IN OUR DECISIONS WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT ADEQUATE SCALES WERE NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE OF VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS WHERE THE GOODS ARE MOVED AFTER THE WEIGHING FACILITIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED. B-144708, APRIL 2, 1962. ALSO, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE ACCEPTED AN ESTIMATE OF THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH WAS PREPARED FROM AN ITEMIZED LIST BY A REGULAR CARRIER BASED ON CUBIC FEET CONVERTED TO POUNDS. B 162879, DECEMBER 18, 1967, AND B-164707, AUGUST 26, 1968, CITED BY YOU.

IN THIS CASE WE REGARD MR. RAPPL'S EXPLANATION AS TO WHY HE DID NOT WEIGH THE GOODS ON AN AVAILABLE SCALE AS REASONABLE. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND AS ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE HAS BEEN FURNISHED AS TO THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS, HE MAY BE ALLOWED THE COMMUTED RATE FOR 2,050 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS DESCRIBED IN THE ESTIMATE.

THE VOUCHER, WITH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.