B-171458, DEC 22, 1970, 50 COMP GEN 431

B-171458: Dec 22, 1970

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TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY - TO OTHER THAN SELECTED HOME A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO WAS RETIRED AT HIS LAST DUTY STATION IN EUROPE. IS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH M8100 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS INDEBTED FOR THE CHARGES ERRONEOUSLY PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE THE TEMPORARY STORAGE COSTS ARE THE MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITY. HE IS ENTITLED UNDER PARAGRAPH M8260-1 OF THE REGULATIONS INCIDENT TO THE RETIREMENT ORDERS TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT AND 1-YEAR PERIOD LIMITATIONS. ANY EXCESS COST OVER THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS TO THE HOME OF SELECTION IN AUSTRALIA TO BE PAID BY THE MEMBER.

B-171458, DEC 22, 1970, 50 COMP GEN 431

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY - TO OTHER THAN SELECTED HOME A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO WAS RETIRED AT HIS LAST DUTY STATION IN EUROPE, AND INCIDENT TO SELECTING AUSTRALIA AS HIS FUTURE HOME HAS HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CRATED AND TEMPORARILY STORED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT THE OLD DUTY STATION TO WHICH HE SHORTLY RETURNED FROM AUSTRALIA AND THEN HAD HIS GOODS REDELIVERED TO HIS QUARTERS, IS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH M8100 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS INDEBTED FOR THE CHARGES ERRONEOUSLY PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, SINCE THE TEMPORARY STORAGE COSTS ARE THE MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITY, HE IS ENTITLED UNDER PARAGRAPH M8260-1 OF THE REGULATIONS INCIDENT TO THE RETIREMENT ORDERS TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT AND 1-YEAR PERIOD LIMITATIONS, ANY EXCESS COST OVER THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS TO THE HOME OF SELECTION IN AUSTRALIA TO BE PAID BY THE MEMBER.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, DECEMBER 22, 1970:

BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1970, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY REQUESTED A DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN HIS HOME OF SELECTION UNDER THE DESCRIBED CIRCUMSTANCES. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 70-54 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE THAT THE MEMBER WAS RETIRED ON FEBRUARY 1, 1970, WHILE STATIONED IN VERONA, ITALY. HE NAMED SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, AS HIS HOME OF SELECTION AND TRAVELED TO THAT PLACE WITH HIS DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, HE DECIDED NOT TO REMAIN IN AUSTRALIA AND RETURNED TO VERONA, ITALY, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. UPON DEPARTURE FROM VERONA, INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL TO HIS SELECTED HOME, THE MEMBER HAD HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PACKED, CRATED, AND PLACED IN TEMPORARY STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. UPON RETURN TO VERONA AND BEFORE SHIPMENT HAD COMMENCED, THE MEMBER CANCELED HIS REQUEST FOR SHIPMENT AND HAD HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS RETURNED TO HIS QUARTERS IN VERONA AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCLUDING UNPACKING AND UNCRATING. HE NOW REQUESTS AUTHORITY TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE UNITED STATES.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CASE:

1. DID THE MEMBER EXHAUST HIS ENTITLEMENT TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY THE REDELIVERY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO HIM AT POINT OF ORIGIN?

2. IF REPLY TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE NEGATIVE, MAY THE MEMBER BE PERMITTED, WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT AND UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED IN JTR PAR. M8260-1, TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE UNITED STATES?

3. IF REPLY TO QUESTION 2 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, IS THE MEMBER REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR ALL COSTS INCIDENT TO PICKUP, STORAGE, AND REDELIVERY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT VERONA?

4. IF REPLY TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, MAY THE MEMBER REGAIN HIS SHIPPING RIGHTS BY REIMBURSING THE GOVERNMENT FOR ALL COSTS OF ACCESSORIAL SERVICES AND TEMPORARY STORAGE EXPERIENCED TO DATE?

THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS AUTHORIZED BY 37 U.S.C. 406. THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION A MEMBER SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AND FROM LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES. THE MOVEMENT FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME IS CONSIDERED A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF THOSE PROVISIONS. THIS ENTITLEMENT IS SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. THOSE REGULATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN VOLUME 1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

AS PROVIDED IN THE LAW, PARAGRAPH M8100 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES TEMPORARY STORAGE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A SHIPMENT OF PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. FURTHER PROVIDES THAT TEMPORARY STORAGE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH AN INTRACITY MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT THE MEMBER WILL BEAR ALL COSTS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE WHEN HOUSEHOLD GOODS PLACED THEREIN PURSUANT TO PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS ARE NOT SHIPPED UNDER SUCH ORDERS. IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS DO NOT AUTHORIZE TEMPORARY STORAGE AS A SERVICE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM TRANSPORTATION, BUT MERELY AS AN INCIDENT OF TRANSPORTATION. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 45 (1954).

SINCE THE MEMBER HERE INVOLVED DID NOT SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER HIS RETIREMENT ORDERS BUT MERELY HAD THEM PLACED IN TEMPORARY STORAGE FROM WHICH THEY WERE RETURNED TO HIS QUARTERS IN THE SAME CITY, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE CHARGES INCURRED AND SUCH PAYMENT WAS ERRONEOUS. THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT PAID SHOULD BE COLLECTED FROM THE MEMBER.

SECTION 406(G) OF TITLE 37 U.S. CODE, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES, A MEMBER WHO IS RETIRED IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE HOME SELECTED BY HIM FOR HIS OWN TRAVEL UNDER SECTION 404(C) OF THAT TITLE. THAT SECTION ALSO PROVIDES THAT BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE SHIPPED TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN THE HOME SELECTED BY THE MEMBER AND THAT IN ANY SUCH CASE IN WHICH THE COSTS ARE IN EXCESS OF THOSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF SHIPMENT HAD BEEN MADE TO HIS SELECTED HOME, THE MEMBER SHALL PAY THAT EXCESS COST.

BASED ON THAT PROVISION OF LAW, PARAGRAPH M8260-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO A PLACE OTHER THAN THE MEMBER'S HOME OF SELECTION OR PART TO SUCH HOME AND PART TO SOME OTHER PLACE, PROVIDED THAT THE MEMBER SHALL BEAR ALL COSTS IN EXCESS OF THE COSTS OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT TO HIS HOME OF SELECTION.

SINCE, UNDER THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS, THE COSTS INCIDENT TO THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE EFFECTS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS DIRECTING HIS RETIREMENT.

THEREFORE, THE MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WITHIN PRESCRIBED WEIGHT LIMITATIONS AND WITHIN 1 YEAR OF HIS RETIREMENT, MAY BE SHIPPED TO A POINT IN THE UNITED STATES. ANY EXCESS COST INCURRED IN SUCH SHIPMENT OVER THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN SHIPMENT TO SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, IS FOR PAYMENT BY THE MEMBER.

THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.