B-166488, MAY 13, 1969

B-166488: May 13, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GREENE: THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19. IN WHICH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO REPAY. SHIPMENT BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS AUTHORIZED FOR APPROXIMATELY 7. THE REQUESTED DATE OF PICK UP WAS JUNE 8 OR 9. THE RECORD SHOWS THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE ON JUNE 10. AT THE TIME THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE. PROVIDED THAT AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WAS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF NOT TO EXCEED 7. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT WAS 8. IS UNJUSTIFIED BECAUSE THE INFORMATION ON WHICH IT WAS BASED IS FALSE AND CONTRARY TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE FACTS. YOU ALSO FEEL THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RELIEF BECAUSE YOU WERE REQUIRED TO SPEND $394.49 FOR EMERGENCY PURCHASES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE HOUSEKEEPING EQUIPMENT UPON ARRIVAL IN HAWAII DUE TO THE DELAY IN ARRIVAL OF AN "EXPRESS SHIPMENT.'.

B-166488, MAY 13, 1969

TO MR. JAMES R. GREENE:

THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19, 1969, APPEALING FROM THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF FEBRUARY 13, 1969, IN WHICH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO REPAY, BY DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR SALARY, THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER.

OUR REVIEW OF THE FILE SHOWS THAT BY ORDER OF APRIL 27, 1966, SHIPMENT BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS AUTHORIZED FOR APPROXIMATELY 7,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN MICHIGAN TO YOUR NEW STATION, PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII. THE REQUESTED DATE OF PICK UP WAS JUNE 8 OR 9, 1966, AND THE RECORD SHOWS THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE ON JUNE 10, 1966. AT THE TIME THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE, SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1 (1964 ED.) PROVIDED THAT AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WAS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF NOT TO EXCEED 7,000 POUNDS NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM THE OLD DUTY STATION TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT WAS 8,900 POUNDS.

YOUR LETTER EXPRESSES YOUR FEELING THAT OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 13, 1969, IS UNJUSTIFIED BECAUSE THE INFORMATION ON WHICH IT WAS BASED IS FALSE AND CONTRARY TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE FACTS. YOU ALSO FEEL THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RELIEF BECAUSE YOU WERE REQUIRED TO SPEND $394.49 FOR EMERGENCY PURCHASES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE HOUSEKEEPING EQUIPMENT UPON ARRIVAL IN HAWAII DUE TO THE DELAY IN ARRIVAL OF AN "EXPRESS SHIPMENT.'

IN RESPONSE TO YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IS IN ERROR CONCERNING ITS STATEMENT IN A MEMORANDUM OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1968, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, TO THE COMMANDER, PEARL HARBOR NAVAL SHIPYARD, THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOUR SHIPMENT WAS OVERWEIGHT PRIOR TO ITS MOVEMENT, WE FIND NOTHING IN THE FILE TO REFUTE THIS REPORT. IT IS A LONG ESTABLISHED RULE OF THIS OFFICE THAT IN THE CASE OF A DISPUTE AS TO FACT BETWEEN CLAIMANTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, WE ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT IN THE ABSENCE OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF CORRECTNESS OF STATEMENTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS.

THIS OFFICE HAS HELD IN OTHER CASES, B-160786, MARCH 8, 1967; B 161461, JUNE 8, 1967; B-161523, AUGUST 9, 1968 (COPIES ENCLOSED), THAT PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516 (5 U.S.C. 5724) ON JULY 21, 1966, WHICH INCREASED THE ALLOWANCE OF WEIGHT WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFERS OF EMPLOYEES TO 11,000 POUNDS, NO AUTHORITY EXISTED TO PERMIT SUCH SHIPMENTS IN EXCESS OF 7,000 POUNDS. THEREFORE, WHETHER THE "EXPRESS SHIPMENT" TO WHICH YOUR LETTER REFERS WAS DELAYED OR NOT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT A QUANTITY OF GOODS IN EXCESS OF 7,000 POUNDS WAS TRANSPORTED FOR YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED FOR THE EXCESS CHARGES INCURRED.

WHILE IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT THE DELAY IN ARRIVAL OF THE EXPRESS SHIPMENT CAUSED YOU HARDSHIP AND NONREIMBURSABLE EXPENSES, WE FIND NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN DETERMINING YOUR LIABILITY FOR EXCESS TRANSPORTATION CHARGES.