B-168466, JAN. 21, 1970

B-168466: Jan 21, 1970

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WHETHER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM OR THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD WILL BE USED. ONCE THAT DETERMINATION IS ADMINISTRATIVELY MADE PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ACCORDINGLY. PAYMENT TO YOU UPON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS WAS MANDATORY. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED UPON THE FOREGOING BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $519.65. THAT AMOUNT WAS COMPUTED IN DETAIL IN THE SETTLEMENT AND WAS BASED UPON THE APPLICABLE RATES AND CHARGES UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM THEN IN EFFECT. WE HAVE VERIFIED INFORMALLY WITH OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION THE RATES AND OTHER CHARGES IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR MOVE APPLICABLE TO COMMON CARRIERS. IN THE EVENT IT IS FOUND THAT YOU WERE OVERCHARGED YOUR REMEDY LIES AGAINST THE CARRIER RATHER THAN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

B-168466, JAN. 21, 1970

CIVIL PAY--TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS--PAYMENT BASIS DECISION SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM OF DEPARTMENT OF LABOR EMPLOYEE FOR DIFFERENCE IN COSTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON COMMUTED BASIS RATHER THAN ON ACTUAL COST BASIS. DETERMINATION BY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY THAT SHIPMENT OF EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS SHOULD BE MADE ON COMMUTED RATE BASIS PRECLUDES PAYMENT ON ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. WHERE AMOUNT CHARGED EMPLOYEE WOULD APPEAR TO BE GREATLY IN EXCESS OF CHARGES AUTHORIZED BY TARIFF, EMPLOYEE SHOULD REQUEST EXPLANATION FROM CARRIER.

TO MR. CHARLIE C. JONES:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1969, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 23, 1969, DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR $332.60 REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COSTS ALLOWED ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS ($519.65) AND THE ACTUAL COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ($852.25) INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO ATLANTA.

YOU POINT OUT THAT SECTION 6.4C OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGETCIRCULAR NO. A-56, DATED OCTOBER 12, 1966, REFERRED TO IN OUR SETTLEMENT, OUTLINES A GENERAL POLICY AND THAT SUCH SECTION CAN BE USED AS JUSTIFICATION FOR OR AGAINST PAYMENT. FURTHER YOU SAY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS DEALT WITH YOU UNFAIRLY CONCERNING THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BY REQUIRING YOU TO SHIP BY COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING AS OPPOSED TO GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING RESULTING IN YOUR HAVING TO PAY A HIGHER RATE FOR SUCH SHIPMENT BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED.

SECTION 6.4 DOES OUTLINE A GENERAL POLICY. IT PLACES UPON THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DECIDING, BASED UPON THE GUIDELINES ENUMERATED THEREIN, WHETHER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM OR THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD WILL BE USED. ONCE THAT DETERMINATION IS ADMINISTRATIVELY MADE PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ACCORDINGLY. IN YOUR CASE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR MADE SUCH DETERMINATION AND AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BY COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING. THEREFORE, AS EXPLAINED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 23, 1969, PAYMENT TO YOU UPON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS WAS MANDATORY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED UPON THE FOREGOING BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $519.65. THAT AMOUNT WAS COMPUTED IN DETAIL IN THE SETTLEMENT AND WAS BASED UPON THE APPLICABLE RATES AND CHARGES UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM THEN IN EFFECT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 23, 1969, MUST BE SUSTAINED.

WE HAVE VERIFIED INFORMALLY WITH OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION THE RATES AND OTHER CHARGES IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR MOVE APPLICABLE TO COMMON CARRIERS. THE MOVERS' AND WAREHOUSEMENS' ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC; AGENT, TARIFF NO. 44, MF ICC NO. 66, SHOWS THE RATE AS $8.10 PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR A SHIPMENT OF 4,690 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR THE DISTANCE OF 691 MILES, CHICAGO TO ATLANTA (SUPP. 5, SEC. III) WITH ADDITIONAL CHARGES OF 50 CENTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT AT CHICAGO AND 30 CENTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT AT ATLANTA (SUPP. 10, W. 210B) AMOUNTING TO A TOTAL CHARGE THEREFOR OF $417.41. SINCE THE AMOUNT CHARGED YOU BY THE CARRIER WOULD APPEAR TO BE GREATLY IN EXCESS OF THE CHARGES AUTHORIZED BY THE TARIFF REFERRED TO ABOVE, WE SUGGEST THAT YOU REQUEST AN EXPLANATION FROM THE CARRIER AS TO THE BASIS FOR ITS BILLING. IN THE EVENT IT IS FOUND THAT YOU WERE OVERCHARGED YOUR REMEDY LIES AGAINST THE CARRIER RATHER THAN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.