B-172536, AUG 17, 1972

B-172536: Aug 17, 1972

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ALTHOUGH THE TRAILER WAS PURCHASED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS. HOUSETRAILERS ARE SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTED FROM OMB CIRCULAR NO. THAT THE TRAILER IS TO BE USED AS HIS RESIDENCE AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. M. ROSENBERG: THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO THE LETTER OF MAY 19. DICKERT'S LETTER IS REGARDED AS A CLAIM ON MR. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO EFFECT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM MOBILE. BY THAT ORDER HE WAS. AN AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING "MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILER IN LIEU OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.". WHICH APPEARS PROPERLY TO HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED. HIS CLAIM FOR THE LATTER AMOUNT WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF OUR DECISION B-161742. INASMUCH AS THE TRAILER WAS PURCHASED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS.

B-172536, AUG 17, 1972

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - PURCHASE OF HOUSETRAILER AFTER TRANSFER DATE DECISION ALLOWING CLAIM OF PAUL H. MEHURG FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MOVING HIS HOUSETRAILER, IN LIEU OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. ALTHOUGH THE TRAILER WAS PURCHASED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS, HOUSETRAILERS ARE SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTED FROM OMB CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, PROHIBITING ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD PROPERTY ACQUIRED AFTER A DATE OF TRANSFER. THEREFORE, B-161742, JULY 7, 1967, DOES NOT APPLY, AND THE CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED UNDER SEC. 9.1(A) OF THE CIRCULAR, PROVIDED THE EMPLOYEE CERTIFIES, AS HAS BEEN DONE HERE, THAT THE TRAILER IS TO BE USED AS HIS RESIDENCE AT THE NEW DUTY STATION.

TO CAPTAIN H. M. ROSENBERG:

THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO THE LETTER OF MAY 19, 1972, FROM MR. JOSEPH M. DICKERT, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3024, COPY ENCLOSED, FORWARDING CORRESPONDENCE IN CONNECTION WITH MR. PAUL H. MEHURG'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF MOVING HIS HOUSETRAILER INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND REQUESTING OUR DECISION IN REGARD TO HIS ENTITLEMENT. MR. DICKERT'S LETTER IS REGARDED AS A CLAIM ON MR. MEHURG'S BEHALF.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JULY 20, 1970, THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO EFFECT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM MOBILE, ALABAMA, TO SYLACAUGA, ALABAMA. BY THAT ORDER HE WAS, IN PART, AUTHORIZED MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES AND THE EXPENSE OF SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

MR. MEHURG'S LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1971, TO MR. W. C. MCCAIN, JR. STATES THAT AFTER RECEIVING THOSE ORDERS HE DECIDED NOT TO SELL HIS HOME IN MOBILE, BUT INSTEAD TO PURCHASE A TRAILER IN WHICH TO LIVE WHILE STATIONED AT SYLACAUGA. ON APRIL 12, 1971, HE PURCHASED A TRAILER AND MOVED IT TO SYLACAUGA AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. ON JULY 20, 1971, AN AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING "MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILER IN LIEU OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS." MR. MEHURG SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, WHICH APPEARS PROPERLY TO HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED, AND FOR EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $156 FOR MOVING HIS HOUSETRAILER. HIS CLAIM FOR THE LATTER AMOUNT WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF OUR DECISION B-161742, JULY 7, 1967, INASMUCH AS THE TRAILER WAS PURCHASED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS. IT IS THIS DISALLOWANCE WHICH IS QUESTIONED.

OUR DECISION B-161742, SUPRA, INVOLVED THE ISSUE OF WHETHER HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE ORDERED PRIOR TO THE DATE AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVED TRAVEL ORDERS, BUT DELIVERED AFTER HIS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW DUTY STATION AND WITH RESPECT TO WHICH TITLE DID NOT PASS UNTIL AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF STATION MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE TRANSPORATION OF THOSE ITEMS OF FURNITURE WAS DISALLOWED IN VIEW OF THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, WITH RESPECT TO ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE.

THE LATER REVISIONS OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56 SIMILARLY PROHIBIT ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT IN 1966 A PROVISION WAS INCLUDED IN SUBSECTION 1.2H OF THE CIRCULAR DEFINING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AS FOLLOWS:

"H. 'HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS' MEANS PERSONAL PROPERTY WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED LEGALLY IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND WHICH BELONGS TO AN EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT THE TIME SHIPMENT OR STORAGE BEGINS. THE TERM INCLUDES HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS, EQUIPMENT AND APPLIANCES, FURNITURE, CLOTHING, BOOKS AND SIMILAR PROPERTY. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE *** HOUSETRAILERS ***."

THAT REGULATION, BY ITS TERMS, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSETRAILERS. WE SEE NO REASON, HOWEVER, TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSETRAILER PURCHASED AT THE OLD DUTY STATION AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER AND MOVED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION IN LIEU OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23, 1971, INDICATES THAT IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE -DISCUSSED PROBLEM, THE AMENDMENT TO MR. MEHURG'S TRAVEL ORDERS IS VIEWED AS RETROACTIVELY CHANGING THE BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT. WE DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF THE REGULATION MENTIONED IN THAT LETTER. HOWEVER, IT WOULD NOT APPEAR THAT THE AMENDMENT CHANGED ANY RIGHTS WHICH MR. MEHURG HAD ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORIGINAL ORDERS. SECTION 9.1(A) OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"A. AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL, IN LIEU OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, BE ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE, AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE. ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE ALLOWANCE, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL CERTIFY IN A MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY THAT THE HOUSETRAILER IS FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT THE DESTINATION."

HAVING BEEN ORIGINALLY AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IN ORDER TO BE ENTITLED INSTEAD TO EXPENSES FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSETRAILER, THE EMPLOYEE NEEDS ONLY CERTIFY THAT THE TRAILER IS TO BE USED AS HIS RESIDENCE AT THE NEW DUTY STATION, WHICH IT APPEARS HE HAS DONE. IN OUR OPINION MR. MEHURG IS ENTITLED UNDER HIS ORDERS AS ORIGINALLY ISSUED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE OF MOVING HIS HOUSETRAILER, TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AND THE AMENDMENT SERVES MERELY TO CLARIFY THIS ENTITLEMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO REIMBURSE MR. MEHURG FOR THE EXPENSES OF MOVING HIS HOUSETRAILER TO THE NEW DUTY STATION TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED UNDER THE REGULATIONS.