B-169672, MAY 26, 1970

B-169672: May 26, 1970

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ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRANSPORTED 4 SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UTILIZING RENTED VEHICLES MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR 3 SHIPMENTS ON COMMUTED BASIS SINCE PROPER WEIGHT STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BUT. WITH RESPECT TO SHIPMENT WHERE SCALES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND EMPLOYEE'S DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS AND ESTIMATED WEIGHT WAS UNACCEPTABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON COMMUTED BASIS. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS MADE IN FOUR SHIPMENTS. UTILIZING RENTED VEHICLES FOR WHICH DOCUMENTATION OF WEIGHT DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED IN THE FORM SPECIFIED BY SUBSECTION 6.4D (3) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO.

B-169672, MAY 26, 1970

TRANSPORTATION--HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS--COMMUTATION--ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRANSPORTED 4 SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UTILIZING RENTED VEHICLES MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR 3 SHIPMENTS ON COMMUTED BASIS SINCE PROPER WEIGHT STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BUT, WITH RESPECT TO SHIPMENT WHERE SCALES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND EMPLOYEE'S DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS AND ESTIMATED WEIGHT WAS UNACCEPTABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON COMMUTED BASIS, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE ON ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS SUBJECT TO TOTAL WEIGHT LIMITATION UNLESS ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE (ITEMIZED LIST OF ARTICLES MOVED PLUS CUBIC DIMENSIONS AND ESTIMATED WEIGHT IF PROPERLY LOADED) CAN BE FURNISHED. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MISS ROSE W. SPERLING:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1970, REQUESTING OUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT ON A COMMUTED RATE OR ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS A VOUCHER PRESENTED BY MR. H. ROBERT DEHAVEN FOR EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS MADE IN FOUR SHIPMENTS, UTILIZING RENTED VEHICLES FOR WHICH DOCUMENTATION OF WEIGHT DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED IN THE FORM SPECIFIED BY SUBSECTION 6.4D (3) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AS FOLLOWS:

"DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY * * * (B) IN SUPPORT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING OR CERTIFIED COPIES, OR, IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION AND WEIGHT. IF NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE MAY BE USED. * * *"

THE MOVEMENTS IN QUESTION OCCURRED ON AUGUST 4, AUGUST 9, AUGUST 16 AND NOVEMBER 9, 1969. FOR THE MOVEMENTS OCCURRING ON AUGUST 4, AUGUST 9 AND NOVEMBER 9, MR. DEHAVEN HAS SUBMITTED WEIGHT STATEMENTS FOR THE LOADED VEHICLES SUPPLIED BY THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL AS FOLLOWS: AUGUST 4, 2,160 POUNDS; AUGUST 9, 18,360 POUNDS; AND NOVEMBER 9, 1,120 POUNDS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE AUGUST 16 MOVEMENT, MR. DEHAVEN EXPLAINS THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF WEIGHING THE GOODS CARRIED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE ONLY SCALES AVAILABLE ON THE WEEKENDS WERE LOCATED NEAR THE BORDER IN WISCONSIN. THEY WERE NOT OPEN FRIDAY EVENINGS OR BEFORE 8AM OR AFTER 12 NOON SATURDAYS AND THEY WERE CLOSED ALL DAY SUNDAY. BECAUSE OF OUR WORK LOAD I WAS UNABLE TO TAKE TIME OFF DURING THE WEEK SO THE ONLY AVENUE OPEN WAS TO DRIVE TO CHICAGO FROM MILWAUKEE ON FRIDAY EVENING, LOAD THE TRAILERS AND GET TO THE SCALES DURING THEIR OPEN HOURS ON SATURDAY, HAVE THE LOADED TRAILER WEIGHTED AND CONTINUE TO MILWAUKEE.

"IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE WEIGHED THE TRAILER IN WISCONSIN AT APPROXIMATELY 8AM, DRIVEN TO CHICAGO, LOADED THE TRAILER AND RETURNED TO THE SCALES IN WISCONSIN BEFORE THE SCALES CLOSED AT NOON.

"ON THE EVENING OF 8/15/69 WHEN I DROVE TO CHICAGO THE SCALES WERE NOT OPEN AS PER USUAL BUT AFTER LOADING IN CHICAGO AND RETURNING TO WISCONSIN BEFORE 12 NOON, 8/16/69 THE SCALES WERE NOT OPEN AND I WAS UNABLE TO DOCUMENT THE WEIGHT."

IN SUPPORT OF HIS ESTIMATES OF NET WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENTS FOR PURPOSES OF REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS, MR. DEHAVEN SECURED STATEMENTS FROM THE RENTAL AGENCIES AS TO TARE WEIGHT OF THE TRUCK USED FOR THE AUGUST 9 MOVEMENT (10,500 POUNDS) AND THE TRAILERS USED FOR THE OTHER SHIPMENTS (470 POUNDS). TARE WEIGHT OF THE VEHICLES AND GROSS WEIGHT, IN THE CASE OF THREE MOVEMENTS, HAVING BEEN SUPPLIED, WE BELIEVE THE EMPLOYEE HAS PRESENTED SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO MEET REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION 6.4D (3) IN THE CASE OF THE MOVEMENTS OCCURRING ON AUGUST 4, AUGUST 9, AND NOVEMBER 9, 1969, COMPRISING A TOTAL OF 10,200 POUNDS.

HOWEVER, WITH RESPECT TO THE SHIPMENT WHICH OCCURRED ON AUGUST 16, FOR WHICH NO STATEMENT OF GROSS WEIGHT IS AVAILABLE, WE DO NOT FIND THE EMPLOYEE'S DESCRIPTION OF ITS CONTENTS AND ESTIMATE OF WEIGHT TO BE SUFFICIENT FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS (B-165846, JANUARY 8, 1969). IN OTHER CASES WHERE, AS HERE, SCALES HAVE NOT BEEN AVAILABLE FOR DETERMINING THE WEIGHT OF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WE HAVE ALLOWED THE CLAIMANT TO SUPPLY THIS INFORMATION BY SUBMISSION OF AN ITEMIZED LIST OF ARTICLES MOVED, SHOWING CUBIC DIMENSIONS AND AN ESTIMATE OF WEIGHT IF PROPERLY LOADED, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER. B-164707, AUGUST 26, 1968; B-166051, FEBRUARY 28, 1969.

IF, WITH RESPECT TO THE AUGUST 16 MOVEMENT, MR. DEHAVEN IS ABLE TO PRESENT ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF ITS WEIGHT, AS SUGGESTED ABOVE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ENTIRE MOVEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED ON A COMMUTED BASIS. IF ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE CANNOT BE PRESENTED WITH RESPECT TO THE AUGUST 16 MOVEMENT, REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS MAY BE ALLOWED FOR THE 10,200 POUNDS FOR WHICH EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN SATISFACTORILY SUBMITTED AND MR. DEHAVEN MAY BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS FOR THE MOVEMENT ON AUGUST 16, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION THAT THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE SUM PAYABLE FOR THE ESTIMATED TOTAL WEIGHT OF ALL SHIPMENTS AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATE. B-160203, OCTOBER 31, 1969.

THE VOUCHER AND ENCLOSURES ARE RETURNED FOR RECOMPUTATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.