B-167758, SEP 17, 1969

B-167758: Sep 17, 1969

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EMPLOYEE WHO WAS REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF TWO HOUSE TRAILERS ON BASIS OF COMMUTED RATE AND WHO CLAIMS SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE AND COMMUTED STORAGE MAY HAVE PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF TWO TRAILERS REGARDED AS PROPER WHERE NEEDS OF EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY REQUIRE USE OF TWO TRAILERS. SINCE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS CLAIMED ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES AND DO NOT EXCEED MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT IS PROPER. 000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED IF HE HAD NOT TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY TRAILERS. IN THE COURSE OF YOUR REVIEW OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER YOU HAVE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE ORIGINAL ALLOWANCE OF $1. 402.50 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF TWO MOBILE HOMES WAS PROPER CITING OUR DECISION B-156315.

B-167758, SEP 17, 1969

CIVIL PAY - TRANSFERS - TWO HOUSE TRAILERS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR COST OF MOVING TWO HOUSE TRAILERS OR MOBILE HOMES INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEE FROM MOUNTAIN HOME, IDAHO TO MESCALERO, NEW MEXICO. EMPLOYEE WHO WAS REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF TWO HOUSE TRAILERS ON BASIS OF COMMUTED RATE AND WHO CLAIMS SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE AND COMMUTED STORAGE MAY HAVE PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF TWO TRAILERS REGARDED AS PROPER WHERE NEEDS OF EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY REQUIRE USE OF TWO TRAILERS. SINCE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS CLAIMED ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES AND DO NOT EXCEED MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT IS PROPER.

ROBERT M. PATTERSON:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1969, REQUESTING OUR DECISION ON A CLAIM OF MR. WILLIAM A. MOATS FOR THE COST OF MOVING TWO HOUSE TRAILERS OR MOBILE HOMES INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM MOUNTAIN HOME, IDAHO, TO MESCALERO, NEW MEXICO, IN AUGUST 1968.

ACCORDING TO YOUR LETTER MR. MOATS HAS BEEN REIMBURSED IN AN AMOUNT OF $1,402.50 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILERS, THIS AMOUNT BEING EQUIVALENT TO THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED IF HE HAD NOT TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY TRAILERS. MR. MOATS NOW CLAIMS, BY THE VOUCHER CURRENTLY BEFORE YOU, AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $431.75 REPRESENTING THE AUTHORIZED SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE OF 75 CENTS PER 1,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THE COMMUTED STORAGE RATES FOR 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR 60 DAYS AS PRESCRIBED IN GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FPMR BULLETIN A-2, SUPPLEMENTS 13 AND 15, RESPECTIVELY.

IN THE COURSE OF YOUR REVIEW OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER YOU HAVE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE ORIGINAL ALLOWANCE OF $1,402.50 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF TWO MOBILE HOMES WAS PROPER CITING OUR DECISION B-156315, APRIL 9, 1965. THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT COSTS OF DISASSEMBLING AND REASSEMBLING A COMPONENT OF A MOBILE DWELLING WERE COSTS INCIDENT TO THE PREPARATION OF THE TRAILER FOR MOVEMENT AND WERE SPECIFICALLY DISALLOWED BY A PROVISION OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, THEN APPLICABLE, WHICH WAS IDENTICAL WITH SUBSECTION 9.3A (3) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AS ISSUED OCTOBER 12, 1966, AND EFFECTIVE AT THE TIME OF MR. MOATS' TRANSFER. ALTHOUGH BOTH 5 1.S.C. 73B-1 (B) CITED IN YOUR LETTER, NOW 5 U.S.C. 5724 (B), AND SECTION 9 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REFER TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER, THIS OFFICE HAS ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTING TWO MOBILE HOMES OR HOUSE TRAILER UNITS WHERE THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY REQUIRE THE USE OF TWO TRAILERS. B-152429, NOVEMBER 8, 1963 (COPY ENCLOSED). THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION FROM THAT DECISION WOULD SEEM TO BE APPLICABLE TO THE CASE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER:

"HAVING IN MIND *** THE FACT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSE TRAILERS IS IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS COULD BE EXPECTED TO VARY ACCORDING TO THE SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE LAW TO HOLD THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF MORE THAN ONE HOUSE TRAILER WHEN, AS HERE, THE SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY APPEARS TO NECESSITATE THE USE OF MORE THAN ONE TRAILER AS A RESIDENCE. HOWEVER, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE QUESTION OF NEED PRIMARILY IS ONE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. OF COURSE, THE COMBINED AMOUNTS PAYABLE FOR MOVEMENT OF THE TRAILERS MAY NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION IMPOSED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS

SUBSECTION 9.4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AS REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, CONTAINS A LIMITATION ON THE TOTAL AMOUNTS ALLOWABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSE TRAILERS AS FOLLOWS:

"9.4 LIMITATION ON ALLOWANCES. THE TOTAL AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER SUBSECTION 9.3 SHALL NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT TEMPORARY STORAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IF, INSTEAD OF MOVING A TRAILER, THE MAXIMUM QUANTITY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ALLOWABLE UNDER SUBSECTION 6.1 WERE MOVED."

SECTION 6 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE COMPUTATION OF EXPENSES ALLOWABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER. SUBSECTION 6.4A PROVIDES THAT WHEN THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IS USED TO COMPUTE TRANSPORTATION COSTS AN EMPLOYEE "IS REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCHEDULES OF COMMUTED RATES WHICH ARE COMPILED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION TOGETHER WITH INSTRUCTIONS COVERING THEIR USE." WITH RESPECT TO STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, SUBSECTION 6.4D LIKEWISE PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT "IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TABLE OF STORAGE ALLOWANCES IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE."

AS NOTED ABOVE, THE AMOUNTS NOW CLAIMED BY THE EMPLOYEE HAVE BEEN COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE SCHEDULES AND INSTRUCTIONS PROMULGATED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. THEY DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION AND 60 DAYS TEMPORARY STORAGE OF 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PAYMENT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.

THEREFORE, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH ATTACHMENTS IS HEREWITH RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.