B-166574, APR. 30, 1969

B-166574: Apr 30, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT SOME OF THE INCIDENTAL CHARGES MAY NOT BE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES IN TERMS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A 56. YOU ALSO NOTE THAT SHIPMENT WAS VIA A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL. GEBBIE WAS RECRUITED IN ENGLAND IN 1968 FOR A "MANPOWER SHORTAGE" POSITION WITH THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS IN BOULDER. HIS SERVICE AGREEMENT IS ON FILE WITH THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS. IS ALSO EMPLOYED BY THE BUREAU. GEBBIE WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND DID SO WITH DAVIES. IS INDICATED TO HAVE BEEN SENT TO DR. THIS GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS NOT USED. THE SHIPMENT WAS LIFTED ABOARD THE S.S. PORTS ON THE EAST AND GULF COASTS WERE STRIKE BOUND FROM DECEMBER 20.

B-166574, APR. 30, 1969

TO MRS. MATILDA UDOFF:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1969, FILE 121.16, AND TO YOUR SEVERAL TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH EDWIN W. CIMOKOWSKI AND GERALDINE M. RUBAR OF MY STAFF. YOU ASKED FOR OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT TO WAYNE M. WITHROW AND COMPANY VOUCHER NO. 9-1268 (STATED ON STANDARD FORM 1113), COVERING INVOICE NO. 18852, FOR FREIGHT AND INCIDENTAL CHARGES OF $3,508.50, THE COSTS OF SHIPPING A NEW EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, TO SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA. YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT SOME OF THE INCIDENTAL CHARGES MAY NOT BE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES IN TERMS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A 56, REVISED; YOU ALSO NOTE THAT SHIPMENT WAS VIA A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL. DR. HUGH A. GEBBIE, OWNER OF THE GOODS, TELEPHONED MISS RUBAR ON THIS MATTER APRIL 21, 1969.

DR. GEBBIE WAS RECRUITED IN ENGLAND IN 1968 FOR A "MANPOWER SHORTAGE" POSITION WITH THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS IN BOULDER, COLORADO. DR. GEBBIE ENTERED ON DUTY JUNE 21, 1968, AND HIS SERVICE AGREEMENT IS ON FILE WITH THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS. HIS WIFE, WHO PRECEDED HIM TO BOULDER, IS ALSO EMPLOYED BY THE BUREAU. DR. GEBBIE WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND DID SO WITH DAVIES, TURNER AND COMPANY, LTD., IN DECEMBER 1968. A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, NO. C-9379755, HAD BEEN ISSUED AT BOULDER ON MAY 17, 1968, AND IS INDICATED TO HAVE BEEN SENT TO DR. GEBBIE IN LONDON TO COVER TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS. THIS GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS NOT USED; DR. GEBBIE HAS NO RECOLLECTION OF HAVING RECEIVED IT, AND THE TWO CASES OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WEIGHING 8,736 POUNDS, MOVED ON COMMERCIAL BILLING.

BECAUSE OF THE DOCK STRIKE IN EFFECT AT UNITED STATES PORTS ON THE ATLANTIC AND GULF COASTS, THE SHIPMENT WAS LIFTED ABOARD THE S.S. KORENDYK, ROYAL MAIL LINES, LTD., WHICH SAILED FROM LONDON JANUARY 17 FOR THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES, WITH AN EXPECTED ARRIVAL DATE OF FEBRUARY 13, 1969.

PORTS ON THE EAST AND GULF COASTS WERE STRIKE BOUND FROM DECEMBER 20, 1968, TO MID-FEBRUARY 1969. YOU REPORT THAT NO UNITED STATES FLAG CARRIERS OPERATED FROM EUROPE TO ANY U.S. PORTS DURING THIS PERIOD, ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DESPATCH AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THE FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION INFORMALLY CONFIRMS THE FACT THAT THERE WERE NO U.S. FLAG SAILINGS FROM LONDON TO THE PORTS OF LOS ANGELES OR SAN FRANCISCO DURING THE PERIOD OF THE STRIKE. SINCE NO VESSEL OF UNITED STATES REGISTRY WAS AVAILABLE TO TRANSPORT DR. GEBBIE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS, THE USE OF A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL DID NOT VIOLATE THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, 49 STAT. 2015, 46 U.S.C. 1241 (A).

DR. GEBBIE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE NOW IN STORAGE IN SAN PEDRO; WAYNE M. WITHROW AND COMPANY, THE FORWARDER DESIGNATED TO CLEAR THE SHIPMENT THROUGH THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES AND COLLECT THE CHARGES ACCRUED TO THAT POINT, WILL NOT RELEASE THE GOODS UNTIL THIS BILL IS PAID. PRIOR TO ARRIVAL OF THE VESSEL, THE FORWARDER CONTACTED DR. GEBBIE ABOUT CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AND DELIVERY; AT THAT TIME, THE FORWARDER FIRST LEARNED THAT PAYMENT OF CHARGES WAS TO BE MADE BY THE UNITED STATES. IN RESPONSE TO A CABLE ASKING FOR CONSENT TO RELEASE OF THE SHIPMENT PRIOR TO PAYMENT, DAVIES, TURNER AND COMPANY, LTD., REFUSED, EXPLAINING THAT THE CONSIGNMENT NOTE WAS SIGNED BY DR. GEBBIE AS AN INDIVIDUAL. NOTICE WAS NOT GIVEN THAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT AND THE CHARGES BILLED DID NOT ALLOW FOR EXTENDED CREDIT.

THE ACCRUED CHARGES ON INVOICE NO. 18852 INCLUDE THE CHARGES OF THE BRITISH FORWARDER, WHICH AMOUNT, IN U.S. FUNDS, TO $3,301.74 PLUS $4.33, THE COST OF A DRAFT. THAT FORWARDER STATED ITS CHARGES IN THREE SEGMENTS: 26 POUNDS, 10 SHILLINGS, FOR "COLLECTION OUTSIDE LONDON; " 1157 POUNDS, 19 SHILLINGS, AND 6 PENCE FOR COLLECTIONS IN LONDON, PACKING, DELIVERY TO THE DOCKS, DOCK DUES, PORT RATES, FREIGHT AND ALL CHARGES TO ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES, COMPUTED AT 22/9D PER CUBIC FOOT FOR 1,018 CUBIC FEET; AND INSURANCE COVERAGE FEES OF 191 POUNDS AND 5 SHILLINGS.

THE REMAINING CHARGES ON INVOICE NO. 18852 ACCRUED AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES. THEY CONSIST OF DOCK CHARGES, $101.80; CUSTOMS ENTRY, FORWARDING AND HANDLING FEES TOTALING 36.50; DEMURRAGE (PRESUMABLY STORAGE) UP TO MARCH 13, 1969, $45.50; AND $18.63, THE COST OF THE CABLE SENT TO DAVIES, TURNER AND COMAPNY, LTD., ASKING PERMISSION TO RELEASE THE GOODS PRIOR TO PAYMENT.

BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56, REVISED, CONTAINS THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES' TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. A NEW APPOINTEE TO A POSITION IN THE UNITED STATES FOR WHICH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS FOUND A MANPOWER SHORTAGE TO EXIST, MAY HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS MOVED TO HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYING AGENCY. SECTION 5.2 OF CIRCULAR A-56 PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6. SECTION 6.6 A. STATES THAT THE "ACTUAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION" AND THE "ACTUAL COSTS FOR PACKING, CRATING, UNPACKING, UNCRATING, AND OTHER NECESSARY ACCESSORIAL SERVICES" WILL BE ALLOWED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. TEMPORARY STORAGE UP TO 60 DAYS IS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 6.6 I.

WE THINK THAT THE CHARGES ACCRUED AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES FOR DOCKAGE ($101.80) AND THE FORWARDING AND HANDLING FEES (TOTALING $36.50), MAY BE PAID AS "OTHER NECESSARY ACCESSORIAL SERVICES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS IT IS USED IN SECTION 6.6 A. OF CIRCULAR A 56, REV. ALTHOUGH THE CUSTOMS ENTRY FEE OF $18.50 INCLUDED IN THE $36.50 IS SUBJECT TO QUESTION, SINCE IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING HAD BEEN USED, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE TO PAYMENT OF THE SMALL AMOUNT INVOLVED IN THE CONFUSED CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE. THE DEMURRAGE CHARGES BILLED, $45.50 UP TO MARCH 13, PRESUMABLY ARE STORAGE CHARGES AND ARE ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 6.6 I.

AS YOU POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, STORAGE CHARGES WILL CONTINUE TO ACCRUE UNTIL PAYMENT IS MADE AND THE GOODS ARE RELEASED FOR TRANSSHIPMENT TO DR. GEBBIE. THE RECORD SENT US DOES NOT SHOW THE ACTUAL DATE OF ARRIVAL NOR THE DATE THE GOODS WERE PUT INTO STORAGE. THE VESSEL WAS DUE TO ARRIVE ON FEBRUARY 12; THE "DEMURRAGE" CHARGE ON THE INVOICE IS SHOWN AS THE CHARGE UP TO MARCH 13; IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT THE VESSEL DOCKED AND UNLOADED THESE TWO CASES ON THE SAME DAY. IN ANY EVENT, STORAGE FOR 60 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF ENTRY INTO STORAGE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE. AND, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, WE THINK THAT ADDITIONAL STORAGE, IF ANY, MAY BE ALLOWED SINCE IT IS PARTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE NEED TO DETERMINE PRIOR TO PAYMENT CERTAIN QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFICATION.

THE COST OF THE CABLEGRAM, $18.93, IS NOT AN ALLOWABLE EXPENSE, SINCE WE DO NOT THINK THE CABLE CAN PROPERLY BE CATEGORIZED AS A "NECESSARY ACCESSORIAL SERVICE.' NEITHER IS THE INSURANCE, WHICH WOULD AMOUNT TO $459 AT THE EXCHANGE RATE USED IN INVOICE NO. 18852, AN ALLOWABLE EXPENSE. DR. GEBBIE ARRANGED FOR THE ADDITIONAL INSURANCE COVERAGE AND EXPECTS TO PAY FOR IT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING AND IN ORDER TO SECURE PROMPT RELEASE OF THE GOODS, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY VOUCHER NO. 9-1268 FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT BILLED. WHEN PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE AND RELEASE OF THE GOODS HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS SHOULD OBTAIN FROM DR. GEBBIE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE CHARGE FOR ADDITIONAL INSURANCE AND THE COST OF THE CABLE.