B-171808, MAR 31, 1971

B-171808: Mar 31, 1971

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PAID TO HOLD THE HOUSE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE NEW HOUSE WAS OCCUPIED IS NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SHOWER CURTAINS AND RODS ARE ALSO EXCLUDED. LOSS OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE YMCA IS A MATTER OF PERSONAL TASTE AND NOT REIMBURSABLE. THE CHARGE FOR PIANO HANDLING WAS RELATED TO THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS. THE $117.15 IS DISALLOWED. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED HERE BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF THE PER DIEM. THE VOUCHER FORWARDED IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $117.15 AND INVOLVES MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN ADDITION TO THE $200 ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED AND PAID ON DOV NO. 402727. YOU HAVE DISALLOWED THE LATTER FOUR ITEMS.

B-171808, MAR 31, 1971

CHANGE OF STATION - MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES DECISION DISALLOWING CLAIM BY GEORGE F. SCHLADENSKY FOR $117.15 REPRESENTING MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT MCCLELLAN, ALABAMA, TO FORT BENNING, GEORGIA. THE "RENTAL CHARGE", PAID TO HOLD THE HOUSE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE NEW HOUSE WAS OCCUPIED IS NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; SHOWER CURTAINS AND RODS ARE ALSO EXCLUDED; LOSS OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE YMCA IS A MATTER OF PERSONAL TASTE AND NOT REIMBURSABLE; THE CHARGE FOR PIANO HANDLING WAS RELATED TO THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS. THEREFORE, THE $117.15 IS DISALLOWED.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL R. E. VAN DER LIKE:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 20, 1970, REFERENCE AJIGC F-P, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. GEORGE F. SCHLADENSKY AND REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE REIMBURSABILITY OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES CLAIMED THEREON AND DISCUSSED BELOW INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM FORT MCCLELLAN, ALABAMA, TO FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, DURING 1969. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED HERE BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON JANUARY 25, 1971, AND ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 70-60.

THE VOUCHER FORWARDED IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $117.15 AND INVOLVES MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN ADDITION TO THE $200 ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED AND PAID ON DOV NO. 402727, SEPTEMBER 1970.

MR. SCHLADENSKY'S TOTAL CLAIM FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AMOUNTED TO $317.15 CONSISTING OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

TYPE OF EXPENSE PLACE AMOUNT

SERVICE CHARGE WATER WORKS COLUMBUS, GEORGIA $ 1.00

CONNECTION CHARGE GAS LIGHT CO. COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 2.75

FEE, NONRETURNABLE, BOYCE

REALTY - R. K. DAVID COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 66.50

SHOWER CURTAINS (SEARS) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 10.58

CURTAIN RODS (SEARS)COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 1.26

NONTRANSFERABLE MEMBERSHIP YMCA ANNISTON, ALABAMA 16.25

WASHER, DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT ANNISTON/COLUMBUS 12.50

PIANO SERVICING ANNISTON, ALABAMA 25.00

CURTAIN ROD (KATZ) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA .72

CURTAIN ALTERATIONS (PENNY'S) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 30.33

TELEPHONE CONNECTION CHARGE COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 4.00

TELEPHONE LD CHARGES - ANNISTON COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 4.38

DRAPERY ALTERATIONS (GILBERGS) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 100.38

DRIVERS' LICENSES (2 EA.) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 11.00

AUTO TAGS (2 EA.) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 20.00

TRAILER TAG (EST.) COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 8.00

STATE INSPECTION FEE (2 EA.) FT. BENNING, GEORGIA 2.50

TOTAL $317.15

YOU ASK FOR A REVIEW OF EACH ITEM ABOVE AS TO ALLOWABILITY, AND YOU SPECIFICALLY SEEK OUR COMMENTS ON THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: FEE TO BOYCE REALTY, $66.50; YMCA MEMBERSHIP FEE, $16.25; PIANO HANDLING CHARGE, $25; AND SHOWER CURTAINS AND CURTAIN RODS, $10.58. YOU HAVE DISALLOWED THE LATTER FOUR ITEMS. SINCE AT LEAST PART OF THE REMAINDER - $317.15 LESS $118.33 - IS CLEARLY AUTHORIZED IN THE REGULATIONS AND IS LESS THAN $200, REIMBURSEMENT TO THAT EXTENT HAS BEEN MADE.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE CONTESTED ITEMS, YOUR REASONS FOR DISALLOWANCE ARE SET FORTH IN A MEMORANDUM DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1969, AS FOLLOWS:

"D. FEE TO BOYCE REALTY, DATED 19 MAY 69, $66.50. REASON: REF PAR C8300, ITEM 6. THE TERM 'FEE' IN THIS INSTANCE IS PROBABLY PRORATED. RENTAL CHARGE FROM 19 MAY 69 TO TIME OF OCCUPANCY OF HOUSE. THIS ITEM IS NOT COVERED AS REIMBURSABLE IN JOINT TRAVEL REGULATION.

"E. SHOWER CURTAINS, DATED 28 MAY 69, $10.58. CURTAIN RODS, DATED 28 MAY 69, $1.26. REASON: REF PAR C8300, ITEM 2 AND PAR C8301 'COSTS OR EXPENSES INCURRED FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL TASTE OR PREFERENCE AND NOT REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE MOVE.'

"F. MEMBERSHIP FEE IN YMCA, DATED 1 JUN 69, $16.25. REASON: REF PAR C8301, 'PERSONAL TASTE OR REASON'. MR. SCHLADENSKY WAS A MEMBER OF THE YMCA PRIOR TO MOVING TO COLUMBUS AND IT WOULD BE HARD TO CONSTRUE HIS REJOINING THE YMCA IN COLUMBUS AS A RESULT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND NOT AS A PERSONAL REASON.

"G. HANDLING OF PIANO, DATED 3 JUN 69, $25.00. REASON: REF PAR C8301, ITEM 2, DUPLICATION OF PAYMENT AND APPENDIX A, VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATION. THIS ITEM WAS LISTED ON BILL OF LADING FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND INCLUDED IN TOTAL WEIGHT OF SHIPMENT. REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPPING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS PAID TO MR. SCHLADENSKY FOR SHIPMENT OF 10,880 LBS AS SHOWN ON BILL OF LADING IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS ON THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM AS ESTABLISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE."

THE POST ENGINEER, COLONEL DAVID B. CONARD, IN A MEMORANDUM OF JANUARY 27, 1970, SUMMARIZES MR. SCHLADENSKY'S REASONS FOR JUSTIFYING PAYMENT OF THE CONTESTED ITEMS AS FOLLOWS:

"A. ITEM 5D: FEE TO BOYCE REALTY - $66.50. THE TERM 'RENTAL CHARGE' APPLIED TO THIS FEE BY MR. H. F. BOYCE, JR. MAY BE ACCURATE FOR HIS BUSINESS ACCOUNTING PURPOSES, BUT IT IS ERRONEOUS TO DESCRIBE THE EXPENSE AS SUCH IN THIS CASE. THE FEE WAS NEGOTIATED WITH MR. ROBERT K. DAVID OF BOYCE REALTY TO HOLD THE HOUSE AVAILABLE UNTIL IT WAS OCCUPIED. MR. SCHLADENSKY WAS ALSO OCCUPYING AND PAYING FOR HIS ORIGINAL RESIDENCE DURING THIS SAME PERIOD AS WELL. HE THEN MOVED HIMSELF AND HIS DEPENDENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY TO HIS NEW QUARTERS. UNDER THIS CIRCUMSTANCE, IT IS REASONABLE TO EXPECT THE GOVERNMENT TO REIMBURSE THIS ADDITIONAL EXPENSE WHICH RESULTED SOLELY AND DIRECTLY FROM THE RELOCATION OF THE RESIDENCE.

"B. ITEM 5E: MR. SCHLADENSKY CONTENDS THAT THE SHOWER CURTAINS AND CURTAIN RODS WERE NOT PURCHASED 'FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL TASTE OR PREFERENCE.' THE SHOWER CURTAINS WERE ESSENTIAL TO UTILIZE THE EXISTING SHOWER FACILITIES AT THE NEW RESIDENCE WITHOUT CAUSING DAMAGE TO THE RENTAL PROPERTY. THE PREVIOUS RESIDENCE HAD NON-TRANSFERABLE SHOWER DOORS. THE CURTAIN RODS WERE REQUIRED AS PART OF THE ALTERATIONS NECESSARY TO UTILIZE THE OLD CURTAINS IN THE NEW QUARTERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH C8300, PARAGRAPH 2. BOTH REQUIREMENTS WERE CREATED AS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE MOVE AND ARE CONSIDERED REASONABLE AND REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE UNDER C8300.

"C. ITEM 5F: THE BALANCE OF $16.25 YMCA MEMBERSHIP FEE FORFEITED BY MR. SCHLADENSKY WAS NOT TRANSFERABLE AND IS CONSIDERED A LOSS AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS), SIMILAR TO THE PROVISIONS OF C8200, PARAGRAPH 4. QUALIFICATION FOR THIS REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT CONTINGENT ON HIS REJOINING THE COLUMBUS YMCA SINCE THE FORFEITURE LOSS OCCURRED IMMEDIATELY UPON EFFECTING THE PCS.

"D. ITEM 5G: THE $25.00 PIANO HANDLING CHARGE IS LISTED WITH, AND SIMILAR TO, THE WASHER SERVICE/UNSERVICE CHARGE ON THE BILL OF LADING AND IS COVERED SIMILARLY BY C8300, PARAGRAPH 1. MR. SCHLADENSKY HAS BEEN PROPERLY CHARGED AND REIMBURSED FOR THE WEIGHT OF THE PIANO (AS HE WAS FOR THE WEIGHT OF THE WASHER). THE ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR THE PIANO IS NOT COVERED AS A NORMAL REIMBURSEMENT WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND IS CONSIDERED A REASONABLE REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE UNDER C8300."

THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED DOES NOT INCLUDE PAID BILLS OR OTHER EVIDENCE, OR SUFFICIENT DETAILED INFORMATION, TO ENABLE US TO DETERMINE THE ALLOWABILITY OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: $30.33, CURTAIN ALTERATIONS (PENNY'S); $100.38, DRAPERY ALTERATIONS (GILBERGS); AND $8, ESTIMATE FOR TRAILER TAG. IF THE FIRST TWO ITEMS REPRESENT ALTERATION COST FOR NEW MATERIAL WHICH WAS NOT USED IN THE OLD RESIDENCE, THEY ARE NOT ALLOWABLE. SEE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, C8301. SINCE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR TRAILER TAGS IS STATED TO BE AN ESTIMATE THAT EXPENSE APPARENTLY WAS NOT INCURRED AND THEREFORE NOT FOR ALLOWANCE.

THE ITEM OF $4.38 FOR A LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN EXPENSE INCURRED BECAUSE OF PERSONAL TASTE OR PREFERENCE AND WOULD NOT BE FOR ALLOWANCE. SEE B-163650, MARCH 26, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED.

SECTION 3.1B OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, AS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED PROVIDED:

"THE ALLOWANCE IS RELATED TO EXPENSES THAT ARE COMMON TO LIVING QUARTERS FURNISHINGS AND HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND OTHER GENERAL TYPES OF COSTS INHERENT IN RELOCATION OF A PLACE OF RESIDENCE. THE TYPES OF COSTS INTENDED TO BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE ALLOWANCE INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:

"(1) DISCONNECTING AND CONNECTING APPLIANCES, EQUIPMENT AND UTILITIES INVOLVED IN RELOCATION, AND COST OF CONVERTING APPLIANCES FOR OPERATION ON AVAILABLE UTILITIES.

"(2) CUTTING AND FITTING RUGS, DRAPERIES AND CURTAINS MOVED FROM ONE RESIDENCE QUARTERS TO ANOTHER.

"(3)UTILITY FEES OR DEPOSITS THAT ARE NOT OFFSET BY EVENTUAL REFUNDS.

"(4) FORFEITURE LOSSES ON MEDICAL, DENTAL AND FOOD LOCKER CONTRACTS THAT ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE.

"(5) AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION, DRIVER'S LICENSE AND USE TAXES IMPOSED WHEN BRINGING AUTOMOBILES INTO SOME JURISDICTIONS."

THE FEE OF $66.50 TO BOYCE REALTY FOR HOLDING THE NEW PERMANENT QUARTERS AVAILABLE UNTIL IT WAS OCCUPIED APPEARS TO BE IN THE NATURE OF RENT AND THEREFORE NOT FOR ALLOWANCE AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ENVISIONED BY THE REGULATIONS AS SET FORTH ABOVE AND JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, C8300.

THE ITEM OF $16.25 FOR MEMBERSHIP FEE IN THE YMCA IS NOT ONE FALLING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE REGULATIONS AND THEREFORE FOR DISALLOWANCE.

THE $25 ITEM FOR PIANO HANDLING APPEARS TO RELATE TO THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. WE CONCUR IN YOUR FINDING THAT IT IS FOR DISALLOWANCE FOR THE REASONS YOU STATE, I.E., THE PIANO WAS PART OF THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN MADE ON A COMMUTED BASIS. NEITHER THE LAW NOR REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN EXCESS OF REIMBURSEMENT ON THE COMMUTED BASIS.

THE ITEMS OF $10.58, $1.26, AND $0.72 FOR SHOWER CURTAINS AND CURTAIN RODS APPEAR TO FALL WITHIN THE CATEGORIES OF COSTS THAT ARE EXCLUDED BY JTR VOL. 2, C8301, AND SECTION 3.1C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND ARE FOR DISALLOWANCE. SEE B-161240, JUNE 20, 1967, AND B-161742, JULY 7, 1967, CITED ABOVE, COPIES ENCLOSED.

THE REMAINING ITEMS WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN THE INITIAL PAYMENT APPEAR TO BE WITHIN SECTION 3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND JTR VOL. 2, C8300, AND YOUR ALLOWANCE THEREOF IS CORRECT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT PROPERLY BE PAID AND IS RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE.