B-171722, MAR 18, 1971

B-171722: Mar 18, 1971

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THE USE OF A CAR TRAILER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS REQUIRES THAT REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE MADE ON BASIS OF WEIGHT OF GOODS TRANSPORTED. CLAIMANT'S OWN ESTIMATION OF THE WEIGHT OF GOODS WAS INSUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION BUT HIS SUBSEQUENTLY SUBMITTED ESTIMATE BASED UPON THE 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT RATE IN CONFORMITY WITH BOB CIRCULAR NO. IS SATISFACTORY. VLADIMIR OLEYNIK: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT LETTER. WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE FOUR SEPARATE CHANGES OF OFFICIAL STATION FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT. SETTLEMENT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY MADE FOR THE FIRST THREE MOVES BASED UPON THESE FIGURES. WAS ISSUED BY THE CIVIL DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE. PINHEIRO'S CHANGE OF STATION VOUCHERS WERE REVIEWED AND IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT BASED ON THE EXISTING RECORD HE HAD FAILED TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM.

B-171722, MAR 18, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSFERS - DOCUMENTATION AUTHORIZING FOR PAYMENT PREVIOUSLY DISALLOWED CLAIM OF ALBERT C. PINHEIRO FOR EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON FOUR SEPARATE CHANGES OF OFFICIAL STATION ALL MADE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE USE OF A CAR TRAILER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS REQUIRES THAT REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE MADE ON BASIS OF WEIGHT OF GOODS TRANSPORTED. CLAIMANT'S OWN ESTIMATION OF THE WEIGHT OF GOODS WAS INSUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION BUT HIS SUBSEQUENTLY SUBMITTED ESTIMATE BASED UPON THE 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT RATE IN CONFORMITY WITH BOB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 6, IS SATISFACTORY.

TO MR. VLADIMIR OLEYNIK:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, RECEIVED HERE JANUARY 21, 1971, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION IN THE CASE OF MR. ALBERT C. PINHEIRO, CONCERNING THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER HE MAY BE RELIEVED OF HAVING TO REFUND MONIES ERRONEOUSLY PAID HIM AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXPENSES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED IN YOUR CORRESPONDENCE AND WHETHER HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXPENSES CLAIMED BUT DISALLOWED IN A VOUCHER DATED DECEMBER 1, 1969.

THE FILE SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE, DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 6, 1966, THROUGH AUGUST 3, 1969, WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE FOUR SEPARATE CHANGES OF OFFICIAL STATION FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT. AS A PART OF THESE TRANSFERS MR. PINHEIRO MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY USE OF A CAR TRAILER OWNED BY HIM. THE FILE ALSO SHOWS THAT MR. PINHEIRO INITIALLY SUBMITTED WITH EACH VOUCHER, AS EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE LOADS IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM, HIS OWN ESTIMATION OF THE WEIGHT OF HIS GOODS. SETTLEMENT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY MADE FOR THE FIRST THREE MOVES BASED UPON THESE FIGURES.

ON MARCH 24, 1969, INFORMAL INQUIRY NO. 68-23, WAS ISSUED BY THE CIVIL DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE, QUESTIONING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF A $311.35 ITEM ON A TRAVEL VOUCHER SUBMITTED OCTOBER 9, 1967, DIRECTING ATTENTION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 6.4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. AS A RESULT OF THIS INQUIRY, ALL OF MR. PINHEIRO'S CHANGE OF STATION VOUCHERS WERE REVIEWED AND IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT BASED ON THE EXISTING RECORD HE HAD FAILED TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM. BY LETTERS DATED MAY 21, 1969, JUNE 9, SEPTEMBER 3, AND NOVEMBER 17, 1970, MR. PINHEIRO WAS ADVISED THAT HE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO REFUND ALL AMOUNTS ALREADY PAID HIM UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM ON THE FIRST THREE VOUCHERS, THAT HIS CLAIM ON THE DECEMBER 1, 1969 VOUCHER WOULD CONTINUE TO BE DISALLOWED, BUT THAT HE WOULD BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT FURTHER EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIMS.

MR. PINHEIRO SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT - MEASURED IN TERMS OF CUBIC FEET CONVERTED TO POUNDS AT 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT - A STATEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1970, PREPARED BY SAFEWAY SYSTEM, INC., COVERING THE ITEMS CLAIMED BY HIM AS HAVING BEEN MOVED IN EACH TRANSFER AND YOU NOW ASK WHETHER SUCH DOCUMENTATION WOULD BE SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE QUESTIONED PAYMENTS.

SECTION 6 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"6.4D(3) DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY *** 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 *** "

UNDER THAT REGULATION THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE COMMUTED RATE OF PAYMENT ALLOWABLE MUST BE DETERMINED EITHER BY THE ACTUAL SCALE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS OR BY THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF SUCH GOODS DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF THE SPACE OCCUPIED WHEN PROPERLY LOADED FOR SHIPMENT IN A VAN.

IN 48 COMP. GEN. 115 (1968), WE STATED THAT:

" ***(AN EMPLOYEE) MAY BE PAID AT THE COMMUTED RATE ONLY IF HE IS ABLE TO SHOW THE AMOUNT OF SPACE OCCUPIED BY HIS GOODS AND THAT THE GOODS WERE PROPERLY LOADED IN THE SPACE AVAILABLE. IN ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF SPACE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY HIS EFFECTS IF PROPERLY LOADED, THE EMPLOYEE MAY SUBMIT A LIST OF ITEMS TRANSPORTED TOGETHER WITH THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH BASED ON ACTUAL MEASUREMENT OR A UNIFORM TABLE, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER."

THE RECORD IN THIS CASE INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS NOW SUBMITTED SUCH ITEMIZED DOCUMENTS SHOWING A GROSS WEIGHT OF THESE GOODS. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE PREPARED ESTIMATES SHOW WEIGHTS FOR EACH SHIPMENT IN EXCESS OF THOSE SHOWN ON EACH OF HIS VOUCHERS, PAYMENT NOW APPEARS PROPER FOR THE WEIGHT CLAIMED FOR THE FOUR TRANSFERS AT THE COMMUTED RATE APPROPRIATE FOR EACH CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION.

ACCORDINGLY, MR. PINHEIRO MAY RETAIN THE AMOUNTS ALREADY RECEIVED AND BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXPENSES DISALLOWED IN THE VOUCHER DATED DECEMBER 1, 1969, INCLUDING PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS ALREADY MADE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED.