B-171078, JAN 13, 1971

B-171078: Jan 13, 1971

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CLAIMANT'S ACTUAL EXPENSES WERE $1. THE USE OF THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE WAS CORRECT. NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO COMPENSATE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMUTED RATE AND THE CHARGES HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER NOTWITHSTANDING THE GOODS SHIPPED AMOUNTED TO LESS THAN HALF THE MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT OF 11. NORMILE: THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16. BURGELIN'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE LOADED AT VALLEJO OCTOBER 30. WHEN THEY WERE FORWARDED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT RESIDENCE. BURGELIN BELIEVES HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO AMOUNTS OR $197.11 BECAUSE APPLICATION OF THE COMMUTED RATE DOES NOT FULLY COMPENSATE HIM FOR THE EXPENSES HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY.

B-171078, JAN 13, 1971

HOUSEHOLD GOODS - COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE DECISION CONCERNING CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT BY LOUIS B. BURGELIN FOR SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER FROM CALIFORNIA TO VIRGINIA. WHERE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE ALLOWED $1,359.53 FOR RELOCATION EXPENSE, BUT CLAIMANT'S ACTUAL EXPENSES WERE $1,556.64 AND NOTHING IN THE RECORD INDICATES AN UNUSUAL HARDSHIP OR LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICE WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD UNDER JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOL. 2 PARAGRAPH C 7051, THE USE OF THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE WAS CORRECT, AND NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO COMPENSATE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMUTED RATE AND THE CHARGES HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER NOTWITHSTANDING THE GOODS SHIPPED AMOUNTED TO LESS THAN HALF THE MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT OF 11,000 POUNDS.

TO MR. W. G. NORMILE:

THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16, 1970, NY6/12770(600), FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF MR. LOUIS B. BURGELIN FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSFER FROM VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA, TO PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA, UNDER A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED OCTOBER 3, 1969.

ACCORDING TO THE DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER MR. BURGELIN'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE LOADED AT VALLEJO OCTOBER 30, 1969, AND TRANSPORTED BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER TO TEMPORARY STORAGE AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. THEY REMAINED IN STORAGE FROM NOVEMBER 7, 1969, TO JANUARY 30, 1970, WHEN THEY WERE FORWARDED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

ON HIS VOUCHER MR. BURGELIN CLAIMS THE FOLLOWING ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS:

SHIPMENT FROM VALLEJO TO NORFOLK $1,337.63

60 DAYS STORAGE 118.50

DRAYAGE TO PERMANENT RESIDENCE 100.51

$1,556.64

APPLYING THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE FOR TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION 5724(C) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ALLOWANCE FOR THIS RELOCATION EXPENSE HAS BEEN COMPUTED TO BE $1,359.53.

MR. BURGELIN BELIEVES HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO AMOUNTS OR $197.11 BECAUSE APPLICATION OF THE COMMUTED RATE DOES NOT FULLY COMPENSATE HIM FOR THE EXPENSES HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY. ALSO, HE BELIEVES HE WAS PENALIZED BY NOT HAVING BEEN INFORMED THAT, UNDER PRESCRIBED CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ACTUAL EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS MAY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT.

SUBPARAGRAPH 4 OF PARAGRAPH C 7051, VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DESCRIBES THE METHOD TO BE USED BY COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IN ARRANGING FOR THE AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER. SUBSECTIONS C 7051-4C AND D PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"C. DETERMINATION OF METHOD TO BE USED. THE APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WILL BE REQUESTED TO MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO WHICH METHOD OF SHIPMENT IS TO BE USED BASED ON THE GUIDELINES IN SUBPAR. D. ALTHOUGH IT MAY NOT BE USED INDISCRIMINATELY, THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD MAY BE USED, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT YIELD THE SAVINGS SPECIFIED IN SUBPAR. D, WHEN IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OR HIS DESIGNEE THAT AN UNUSUAL HARDSHIP WOULD BE EXPERIENCED BY THE EMPLOYEE THROUGH USE OF THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, E.G., WHERE IT IS NOT FEASIBLE FOR THE EMPLOYEE OR SPOUSE TO SELECT THE CARRIER AND MAKE ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS, OR WHERE THE ONLY AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE IS AT RATES HIGHER THAN THOSE USED IN THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM. ALL INSTANCES OF THE USE OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD WILL BE CAREFULLY DOCUMENTED TO FACILITATE REVIEW DURING THE COURSE OF AUDIT. IF SUCH METHOD IS TO BE USED, THE TRAVEL ORDER WILL SO INDICATE OR WILL BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE USE OF SUCH METHOD.

"D. GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINATION OF METHOD TO BE USED

"(1) INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENTS. THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM AND UNDER THE MILITARY RATE TENDER WILL BE COMPARED AND THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD WILL BE USED IF THE COMPARISON INDICATES THAT A SAVING OF $100 OR MORE WILL RESULT."

IN MR. BURGELIN'S CASE NOTHING IN THE RECORD INDICATES ANY ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SHIPMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS WOULD HAVE BEEN LESS COSTLY THAN THE COMMUTED RATE APPLIED. IN FACT, THE ACTUAL COST EXCEEDED THE COMMUTED RATE. ALSO, NOTHING IN THE RECORD SUGGESTS THE EXISTENCE OF AN UNUSUAL HARDSHIP OR THE LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICE WHICH MIGHT HAVE CAUSED AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO BE MADE THAT THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED.

SINCE NO ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION WAS MADE TO USE THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD, THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE WAS CORRECTLY APPLIED TO COMPUTE THE REIMBURSEMENT DUE MR. BURGELIN. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO COMPENSATE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMUTED RATE AND THE CHARGES HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER. HAVE NOTED THAT THE QUANTITY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED WAS LESS THAN HALF THE MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT OF 11,000 POUNDS AUTHORIZED ON MR. BURGELIN'S TRAVEL ORDER. HOWEVER, THIS CANNOT BE VIEWED AS A REASON FOR ALLOWING HIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MAXIMUM QUANTITY ALLOWABLE OR FOR PAYING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES AND THE COMMUTED RATE ALLOWED.

IN VIEWING THE RECORD WE FIND NO INDICATION THAT MR. BURGELIN WAS REIMBURSED THE SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3, GSA BULLETIN A -2, SUPPLEMENT 18, EFFECTIVE APRIL 7, 1969. THAT ALLOWANCE OF 75 CENTS PER 1,000 POUNDS OR FRACTION THEREOF ENTITLE MR. BURGELIN TO AN ADDITIONAL $3.98 WHICH HE MAY BE PAID.