B-168622, JAN. 23, 1970

B-168622: Jan 23, 1970

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THE TRAILER WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IT WAS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE CARRIER. IN THAT CASE WE HELD THAT WHERE THE TRAILER OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS TRANSPORTED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER AND A BREAKDOWN OCCURS EN ROUTE TO A NEW STATION HIS ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A TRAILER ALLOWANCE BASIS CONTINUES EVEN THOUGH IT ULTIMATELY BECOMES NECESSARY TO SHIP THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS THAT WERE IN THE TRAILER TO THE NEW STATION. A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WAS UNABLE BECAUSE OF BREAKDOWNS EN ROUTE TO COMPLETE THE TOWING OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER LOADED WITH HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE THE TRAILER WAS HAULED. PROVIDED THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT DID NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL HAULER.

B-168622, JAN. 23, 1970

CIVIL PAY--HOUSE TRAILER DESTROYED EN ROUTE DECISION TO FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILER OF EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. EMPLOYEE WHO, WHEN FIRE DESTROYED HIS TRAILER WHILE IN POSSESSION OF COMMERCIAL CARRIER TO HANDLE TRANSFER TO NEW STATION, PURCHASED ANOTHER TRAILER AND MOVED IT BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO HIS NEW STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED MILEAGE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE REPLACEMENT TRAILER FROM PLACE OF PURCHASE TO NEW STATION NOT TO EXCEED MILEAGE FOR DISTANCE FROM OLD TO NEW STATION.

TO MR. C. W. WALTERS:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1969, REFERENCE AMXRR-PF, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE MOVEMENT OF A HOUSE TRAILER OF MR. TRAVIS H. WEBB IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

YOU STATE THAT MR. WEBB ON MARCH 24, 1969, TRAVELED FROM FORT HOOD, TEXAS, TO FORT POLK, LOUISIANA, IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS CHANGE IN DUTY STATION ORDER OF MARCH 18, 1969. PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE HE HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH A COMMERCIAL CARRIER TO MOVE HIS HOUSE TRAILER. THE TRAILER WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHILE IT WAS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE CARRIER. MR. WEBB ON APRIL 23, 1969, PURCHASED ANOTHER HOUSE TRAILER IN DALLAS, TEXAS, AND HE MOVED IT TO FORT POLK, LOUISIANA, BY HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE. MR. WEBB NOW CLAIMS MILEAGE FOR SUCH MOVEMENT OF HIS TRAILER FROM DALLAS TO FORT POLK NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM KILEEN, TEXAS (FORT HOOD), TO FORT POLK.

AS YOU POINT OUT THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, DO NOT PROVIDE SPECIFIC GUIDANCE IN DETERMINING MR. WEBB'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT. SIMILARLY THE COUNTERPART PROVISIONS IN SECTION 9 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PERTAINING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSE TRAILERS DO NOT COVER MR. WEBB'S SITUATION.

YOU URGE A FAVORABLE DECISION IN MR. WEBB'S CASE IN THAT YOU FEEL THAT THE DECISION IN 44 COMP. GEN. 809 SHOULD APPLY. IN THAT CASE WE HELD THAT WHERE THE TRAILER OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS TRANSPORTED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER AND A BREAKDOWN OCCURS EN ROUTE TO A NEW STATION HIS ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A TRAILER ALLOWANCE BASIS CONTINUES EVEN THOUGH IT ULTIMATELY BECOMES NECESSARY TO SHIP THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS THAT WERE IN THE TRAILER TO THE NEW STATION.

AS YOU NOTE THE DECISION IN 44 COMP. GEN. 809 EMBODIED THE RATIONALE OF OUR DECISION IN 39 COMP. GEN. 40. IN THE LATTER CASE, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WAS UNABLE BECAUSE OF BREAKDOWNS EN ROUTE TO COMPLETE THE TOWING OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER LOADED WITH HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. WE HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD BE PAID A COMMUTED ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS EFFECTS FOR THE DISTANCE TO THE NEW STATION, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, AND MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE THE TRAILER WAS HAULED, PROVIDED THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT DID NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL HAULER.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FEEL THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED MILEAGE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS REPLACEMENT TRAILER FROM THE PLACE OF PURCHASE (DALLAS) TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION (FORT POLK) NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM HIS OLD TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION (KILLEEN, TEXAS, TO FORT POLK, LOUISIANA).

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT.