B-167055, JUL. 9, 1969

B-167055: Jul 9, 1969

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $872.90. REPRESENTING EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN THE PREPARATION. YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STRENGTH ACCOUNTABILITY WAS SHOWN TO BE MAY 15. THE ORDERS DO NOT INDICATE THAT SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION. IN YOUR CLAIM YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME YOU WERE ADVISED OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OVERSEA STATION (TAIWAN. REPUBLIC OF CHINA) YOU REQUESTED AND WERE AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND FURTHER REQUESTED AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

B-167055, JUL. 9, 1969

TO TSGT ROLACE G. DICE, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $872.90, REPRESENTING EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN THE PREPARATION, STORAGE AND DISPOSITION OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED JANUARY 29, 1968, DIRECTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OVERSEAS STATION. BY LETTER DATED MAY 1, 1969, YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928, 31 U.S.C. 236.

THE ORDERS OF JANUARY 29, 1968, WHICH DIRECTED YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OVERSEAS STATION AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STRENGTH ACCOUNTABILITY WAS SHOWN TO BE MAY 15, 1968.

THE ORDERS DO NOT INDICATE THAT SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION. HOWEVER, IN YOUR CLAIM YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME YOU WERE ADVISED OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OVERSEA STATION (TAIWAN, REPUBLIC OF CHINA) YOU REQUESTED AND WERE AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND FURTHER REQUESTED AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU COULD NOT SHIP A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO THAT AREA IF IT WAS OLDER THAN A 1962 MODEL CAR.

YOU INDICATE YOU PURCHASED A 1962 MODEL CAR AND EARLY IN MAY 1968, UPON BEING ADVISED THAT SUCH CAR WAS ACCEPTABLE FOR SHIPMENT, MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO DELIVER IT TO THE PORT HANDLING OVERSEAS SHIPMENTS. UPON ARRIVAL AT YOUR OVERSEAS STATION, HOWEVER, YOU SAY YOU WERE ADVISED THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR VEHICLE HAD BEEN CANCELLED BECAUSE CARS OLDER THAN 1963 MODELS WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR SHIPMENT TO THAT DESTINATION. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT YOU ATTEMPTED TO SELL THE CAR WITHOUT HAVING TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES BUT WERE UNSUCCESSFUL AND FINALLY HAD TO RETURN IN A LEAVE STATUS TO DISPOSE OF THE VEHICLE. YOU THEREFORE CLAIM A LOSS OF $872.90 ON THE BASIS OF AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED AND CONTEND THAT THE LOSS HAS CAUSED HARDSHIP AND PLACED YOU IN A POSITION OF DIRE FINANCIAL DISTRESS.

THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413, 31 U.S.C. 236, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM OR DEMAND IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, HE SHALL SUBMIT THE SAME TO THE CONGRESS BY A SPECIAL REPORT CONTAINING THE MATERIAL FACTS AND HIS RECOMMENDATION THEREON.' WHILE THIS ACT CONTEMPLATES THE REPORTING TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN CLAIMS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT MAY BE INVOKED ONLY WHEN IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE CLAIM "CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS.'

SECTION 2634 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM AND FOR HIS USE OR THE USE OF HIS DEPENDENTS MAY BE TRANSPORTED, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, TO HIS NEW STATION OR SUCH OTHER PLACE AS THE SECRETARY CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE.

PARAGRAPH M11002-2A, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES TO AN AREA MAY BE RESTRICTED, SUSPENDED, OR PROHIBITED BECAUSE OF MILITARY NECESSITY OR OTHER REASONS AS DETERMINED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR FOR REASONS OF NATIONAL INTEREST AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR HIGHER AUTHORITY. SHIPMENTS ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED ARE CONTAINED IN PART FIVE, CHAPTER 8, AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4. PARAGRAPH 5811 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, BECAUSE OF RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, OR IN OTHER INSTANCES OF DEMONSTRATED NEED, OVERSEA COMMANDERS MAY SUSPEND SHIPMENT OF POVS TO AREAS UNDER THEIR COMMAND IF MILITARY EXIGENCIES DICTATE.

IT IS EVIDENT FROM YOUR CLAIM THAT A RESTRICTION UPON SHIPMENT OF VEHICLES OLDER THAN 1963 MODELS TO TAIWAN, REPUBLIC OF CHINA, WAS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME YOU DELIVERED THE VEHICLE TO THE PORT FOR SHIPMENT. ALTHOUGH YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE ERRONEOUSLY ADVISED THAT THE RESTRICTION CONCERNED MOTOR VEHICLES THAT WERE OLDER THAN 1962 MODELS, THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO TAIWAN, REPUBLIC OF CHINA, APPARENTLY WAS PROHIBITED UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, AND NO LEGAL BASIS EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN THE PREPARATION, STORAGE AND DISPOSITION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED. THE FACT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED MAY HAVE RESULTED FROM A MISTAKE BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, AFFORD A LEGAL BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR ANY PART OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WHILE IT MAY BE THAT YOU INCURRED A LOSS IN THE TRANSACTIONS WHICH WERE CAUSED BY ERRONEOUS INFORMATION, THE LOSS IS A FINANCIAL BURDEN WHICH IS SOLELY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. IN COMPLYING WITH REGULATORY PROVISIONS IN INSTANCES SUCH AS YOURS, OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO OCCASIONAL FINANCIAL BURDENS WHICH ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. ACCORD FAVORABLE TREATMENT TO YOUR CLAIM WOULD BE INEQUITABLE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE OTHER MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BEAR EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. HENCE, WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT YOUR CLAIM CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS WOULD WARRANT REPORTING IT TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT OF 1928.