B-168961, MAR. 27, 1970

B-168961: Mar 27, 1970

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THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE NECESSARY REPAIRS. PARTS REPLACEMENT OR OTHER MAINTANCE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CHARGEABLE TO MEMBER. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AIR STATION. WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSPORT YOUR MOBILE HOME AND NECESSARY FEES. REPAIRS AND SERVICE EN ROUTE WERE AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTER. YOUR HOUSE TRAILER WAS INSPECTED PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE BY THE CARRIER ON SEPTEMBER 9. THESE AMOUNTS WERE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT TO MORGAN DRIVE-AWAY. $90 WAS DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY ALONG WITH A $22 CHARGE FOR EXCESS VALUATION INSURANCE AND A $5 CHARGE FOR SPECIAL HAZARD INSURANCE. THE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH A LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17.

B-168961, MAR. 27, 1970

TRAILER ALLOWANCES--ELECTION OF ALLOWANCE--BREAK-DOWN, ETC; OF TRAILER REGARDING $90 EXPENSE FOR PURCHASE AND CHANGING TWO TRAILER TIRES, WHILE M10004-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ENUMERATES CERTAIN COSTS FOR REPAYMENT TO GOVERNMENT, FAILURE TO LIST OTHER EXPENSE ITEMS NOT ASSUMABLE BY GOVERNMENT LIABILITY DOES NOT PROVIDE BASIS FOR EXEMPTING SUCH ITEMS FROM CHECK AGE AGAINST MEMBER SINCE, ALTHOUGH APPROPRIATE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION OF MEMBER'S HOUSETRAILER BETWEEN AUTHORIZED PLACES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE NECESSARY REPAIRS, PARTS REPLACEMENT OR OTHER MAINTANCE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CHARGEABLE TO MEMBER. SEE 44 COMP. GEN. 809 (1965).

TO AMCS JOHN A. BRESCIANO:

BY LETTER OF JANUARY 8, 1970, YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 24, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $90 DEDUCTED IN YOUR PAY ACCOUNT FOR THE COST OF TWO TIRE CHANGES AND REPLACEMENTS DURING THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSE TRAILER SEPTEMBER 9 TO 16, 1968, FROM SELFRIDGE AIR FORCE BASE, MICHIGAN, TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA.

BY ORDER DATED AUGUST 13, 1968, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AIR STATION, DETROIT (SELFRIDGE AIR FORCE BASE, MICHIGAN) TO UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AIR STATION, MIAMI (OPA LOCKA, FLORIDA). ON AUGUST 26, 1968, YOU REQUESTED THE SHIPPING OFFICER, NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT, TO TRANSPORT YOUR MOBILE HOME TO YOUR NEW STATION AND YOU COMPLETED COAST GUARD FORM CG-4202, "CERTIFICATE TO SUPPORT APPLICATION FOR HOUSE TRAILER SHIPMENT, VEHICLE DATA AND CONDITIONS GOVERNING SHIPMENT."

BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING B-9074376, DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1968, MORGAN DRIVE-AWAY, INC; WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSPORT YOUR MOBILE HOME AND NECESSARY FEES, REPAIRS AND SERVICE EN ROUTE WERE AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTER. YOUR HOUSE TRAILER WAS INSPECTED PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE BY THE CARRIER ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1968, AND AFTER ITS DELIVERY TO YOU AT FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1968, THE CARRIER PRESENTED A BILL FOR SERVICES WHICH INCLUDED A CHARGE OF $80 FOR PURCHASE OF TWO TRAILER TIRES, SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS, AND A CHARGE OF $10 FOR CHANGING THE TWO TIRES. THESE AMOUNTS WERE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT TO MORGAN DRIVE-AWAY, INC; AND $90 WAS DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY ALONG WITH A $22 CHARGE FOR EXCESS VALUATION INSURANCE AND A $5 CHARGE FOR SPECIAL HAZARD INSURANCE.

THE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH A LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1969, FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD IN WHICH HE DETERMINED THAT YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TIRE EXPENSES OF $90, CITING PARAGRAPH M10004 -1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ALSO, THERE WERE CITED THE REGULATIONS UNDER WHICH CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST GUARD ARE ENTITLED TO TRAILER ALLOWANCES BUT WHICH PROVIDED THAT SUCH ALLOWANCES MAY NOT INCLUDE MAINTENANCE OR REPAIR. THESE REGULATIONS WERE LIKEWISE CITED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 24, 1969.

YOU SAY THAT SINCE THE TRAILER ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE DERIVED FROM STATUTES AND REGULATIONS DIFFERENT FROM THOSE APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, YOU BELIEVE THAT THE COAST GUARD TRAVEL MANUAL IS NOT RELEVANT TO YOUR CLAIM. YOU EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT SINCE YOUR CLAIM IS NOT IN THE CATEGORY REQUIRING COLLECTION FROM A MEMBER AS PROVIDED BY PARAGRAPH M10004-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND PAYMENT WOULD NOT CAUSE THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EXCEED 74 CENTS PER MILE, THE TIRE COSTS SHOULD BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. YOU HAVE INDICATED THAT THE SHIPPING OFFICER ACCEPTED THE TIRES AND TUBES AS FIT TO WITHSTAND THE NORMAL RIGORS OF TRANSPORTATION AND THAT THE CHARGES AROSE BECAUSE OF APPARENT ROAD HAZARDS OVER WHICH YOU HAD NO CONTROL AND THEY WERE NOT FOR SPECIAL SERVICES YOU HAD REQUESTED.

SECTION 409, TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, AND IN PLACE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE OR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY TRANSPORT A HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE, BY DELIVERING THE TRAILER OR DWELLING TO AN AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR TRANSPORTATION BY THE UNITED STATES OR BY COMMERCIAL MEANS. HOWEVER, THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION MAY NOT BE MORE THAN THE LEAST OF THE FOLLOWING: THE CURRENT AVERAGE COST OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING; 74 CENTS A MILE; OR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE BAGGAGE OR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE MEMBER, OR HIS DEPENDENT PLUS THE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED.

PARAGRAPH M10000, CHAPTER 10, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE CHAPTER IS TO PROVIDE TRAILER ALLOWANCES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER BETWEEN AUTHORIZED PLACES FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE. PARAGRAPH M10001-2 OF THE REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM "TRAILER ALLOWANCES" TO MEAN THE MOVING OR TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER WITHIN THE PLACES THERE SPECIFIED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OR SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT.

PARAGRAPH M10002 OF THE REGULATIONS, CHANGE 182, MARCH 1, 1968, STATES THAT A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS ENTITLED TO TRAILER ALLOWANCES PROVIDED THAT CERTAIN CONDITIONS EXIST, INCLUDING THE CONDITION THAT THE BODY AND CHASSIS OF THE TRAILER, INCLUDING TIRES AND TUBES, HAVE BEEN PLACED IN FIT CONDITION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MEMBER AND TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE GOVERNMENT, TO WITHSTAND THE RIGORS OF BEING TRANSPORTED.

PARAGRAPH M10004, CHANGE 182, MARCH 1, 1968, PROVIDES THAT AT THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER ENTITLED TO TRAILER ALLOWANCES, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS ENUMERATED IN PARAGRAPH M10002 AND SUBJECT TO HIS WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO PAY ANY EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ARRANGE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT MEANS BETWEEN THE POINTS AUTHORIZED AND PAY ALL COSTS RELATED TO PICKUP, TRANSPORTATION, AND DELIVERY OF THE HOUSE TRAILER AT DESTINATION READY FOR OCCUPANCY, EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING COSTS WHICH WILL BE CHECKED BACK AGAINST THE MEMBER FOR REPAYMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT: (1) ALL STORAGE CHARGES ACCRUING AT ANY POINT UNLESS CAUSED BY CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE MEMBER; (2) ALL COSTS OF SPECIAL HANDLING REQUESTED BY THE MEMBER; (3) ALL COSTS OF INSURANCE OR EXCESS VALUATION OVER THE CARRIER'S MAXIMUM LIABILITY AS STATED IN THE CARRIER'S TARIFFS; AND (4) ALL COSTS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF TYPE, WHICH RESULT IN AN OVER-ALL PAYMENT IN EXCESS OF THE LEAST OF THE CEILINGS PROVIDED FOR IN 37 U.S.C. 409.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS IS TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MEMBER'S HOUSE TRAILER BETWEEN AUTHORIZED PLACES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE (44 COMP. GEN. 809), BUT THERE IS NOTHING IN THE STATUTE OR REGULATIONS TO INDICATE ANY INTENT THAT THE COST OF NECESSARY REPAIRS, REPLACEMENT OF PARTS, OR OTHER MAINTENANCE EXPENSES THAT MIGHT ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVEMENT OF THE TRAILER WILL NOT BE CHARGEABLE TO THE MEMBER.

WHILE PARAGRAPH M10004-2 OF THE REGULATIONS ENUMERATES CERTAIN COSTS THAT ARE TO BE CHECKED AGAINST THE MEMBER FOR REPAYMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE FAILURE TO LIST OTHER ITEMS OF EXPENSE FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT ASSUMED LIABILITY PROVIDES NO BASIS FOR EXEMPTING SUCH ITEMS FROM CHECK AGE AGAINST THE ACCOUNT OF THE MEMBER.

INSPECTION BY THE GOVERNMENT IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THAT THE MOBILE DWELLING IS FIT FOR TRANSPORTATION SO THAT THE NEED FOR SERVICING EN ROUTE WHICH WOULD CAUSE DELAY IN TRANSIT, MAY BE MINIMIZED. HOWEVER, THE MEMBER'S LIABILITY FOR THE EXPENSE OF MAINTAINING THE FITNESS OF HIS PROPERTY FOR TRANSPORTATION DOES NOT CEASE ON ACCEPTANCE FOR SHIPMENT BUT CONTINUES WHILE IT IS BEING TRANSPORTED. AS THE MEMBER DOES NOT ACCOMPANY A TRAILER THAT IS COMMERCIALLY HAULED, AS A MATTER OF NECESSITY THE TRANSPORTER IS AUTHORIZED TO REPLACE TIRES AND TUBES AND MAKE NECESSARY REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS IN ORDER TO COMPLETE DELIVERY (RULES 70 AND 80, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION MOTOR FREIGHT TARIFF 14, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1966, APPLICABLE AT THE TIME OF THE MOVEMENT).

IT IS OUR OPINION, HOWEVER, THAT THE COSTS OF SUCH ITEMS OF MAINTENANCE, REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT ARE NOT TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS AND ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE MEMBER. TRAILER ALLOWANCE TOTALING $850, INCLUDING LINE-HAUL CHARGE OF $840 AND BRIDGE ESCORT FEE OF $10, HAS BEEN PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT AND ALTHOUGH TIRE CHARGES OF $90 WOULD NOT RESULT IN PAYMENT IN EXCESS OF 74 CENTS PER MILE, THEY WERE PROPERLY CHARGED TO YOUR ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE NOT COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 24, 1969, IS SUSTAINED.