B-172832, JUN 2, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 827

B-172832: Jun 2, 1971

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IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND A RENTAL TRUCK ALTHOUGH ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS MAY NOT HAVE INCLUDED IN THE COMMUTED RATE A METROPOLITAN AREA RATE OR A SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE. THE AREA RATE IS ONLY PROVIDED ON SHIPMENTS BY COMMON CARRIER BETWEEN THE TWO LOCATIONS INVOLVED. WHICH IS NO LONGER AUTHORIZED. WAS INTENDED TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO PAY SUCH A CHARGE TO A COMMON CARRIER AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS TO AN EMPLOYEE MOVING HIS OWN GOODS. WOOD WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SEWICKLEY. WHICH IS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. SINCE THE GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER. A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE ALLOWANCE OF (1) THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT AUTHORIZED FOR A SHIPMENT ORIGINATING IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY.

B-172832, JUN 2, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 827

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - COMMUTATION - RATE BASE FOR COMPUTATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, TO MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND A RENTAL TRUCK ALTHOUGH ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS MAY NOT HAVE INCLUDED IN THE COMMUTED RATE A METROPOLITAN AREA RATE OR A SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE. THE AREA RATE IS ONLY PROVIDED ON SHIPMENTS BY COMMON CARRIER BETWEEN THE TWO LOCATIONS INVOLVED, AND THE EMPLOYEE TRANSPORTED HIS OWN PROPERTY, AND THE PAYMENT OF A SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE, WHICH IS NO LONGER AUTHORIZED, WAS INTENDED TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO PAY SUCH A CHARGE TO A COMMON CARRIER AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS TO AN EMPLOYEE MOVING HIS OWN GOODS.

TO J. E. FOWLER, JR., UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 2, 1971:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH FOR $1,172.05 IN FAVOR OF MR. WILLIAM G. WOOD, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF MINES, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

INCIDENT TO AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE BUREAU OF MINES, MR. WOOD WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SEWICKLEY, PENNSYLVANIA, IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. HE ACTUALLY MOVED TO BETHESDA, MARYLAND, WHICH IS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. YOU SAY THAT MR. WOOD MOVED HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY PRIVATELY OWNED VOLKSWAGEN BUS AND A RENTED TRUCK DUE TO A MOVERS' STRIKE AND HAS CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM.

YOU FURTHER SAY THAT IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS FURNISHED SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT SHIPPED WHICH WOULD ENTITLE HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. HOWEVER, SINCE THE GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER, A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE ALLOWANCE OF (1) THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT AUTHORIZED FOR A SHIPMENT ORIGINATING IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND TERMINATING IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, AND (2) THE USUAL SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION BULLETIN FPMR NO. A-2, SUPPLEMENT NO. 23, DATED APRIL 10, 1970, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 3, 1969, ISSUED PURSUANT TO OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, PRESCRIBING COMMUTED RATES TO BE USED IN REIMBURSING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN MOVING THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, PROVIDES IN PART ON PAGES 10, 11, AND 12 AS FOLLOWS:

METROPOLITAN AREAS: THE RATES SHOWN IN THE TABLE BELOW APPLY TO SHIPMENTS ORIGINATING OR TERMINATING IN THE PARTICULAR CITIES AND AREAS INDICATED AND MOVING BY COMMON CARRIER. THESE RATES ARE IN ADDITION TO RATES CONTAINED IN TABLE 1, 2, OR 3, WHICHEVER IS APPLICABLE. IF THE SHIPMENT ORIGINATES IN ONE OF THE NUMBERED AREAS SHOWN IN THE TABLE AND TERMINATES IN ANOTHER OF THOSE AREAS, THE ALLOWANCES SHOWN FOR BOTH AREAS ARE APPLICABLE; BUT, IF THE SHIPMENT ORIGINATES AND TERMINATES WITHIN THE SAME AREA, THE ALLOWANCE SHALL APPLY ONLY ONCE, SUBJECT TO GREATER ALLOWANCE EITHER AT ORIGIN OR DESTINATION. ***

RATE PER

STATE DESCRIPTION OF AREA AREA NO. 100 LBS.

(CENTS)

MARYLAND ALL POINTS IN THE COUNTIES OF *** 30

MONTGOMERY AND PRINCE

GEORGES

PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH AND ALL POINTS IN *** 50

ALLEGHENY COUNTY

WHILE THE TERM "COMMON CARRIER" IS NOT DEFINED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED REGULATIONS OUR VIEW IS THAT THE TERM CONTEMPLATES THOSE WHO HOLD THEMSELVES OUT TO THE PUBLIC AS ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF TRANSPORTING PROPERTY FROM PLACE TO PLACE FOR COMPENSATION. SEE WASHINGTON EX REL. STIMSON LUMBER COMPANY V KUYKENDALL, 275 U.S. 207 (1927); LIVERPOOL & GREAT WESTERN STEAM COMPANY V PHENIX INSURANCE COMPANY, 129 U.S. 397 (1889); PROPELLER NIAGARA V CORDES, ET AL., 21 HOW. 7 (1858); UNITED STATES V RAMSEY, 197 F. 144 (1912). PERSONS TRANSPORTING THEIR OWN PROPERTY ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS COMMON CARRIERS. SEE COOPERATIVE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF R. R. BROTHERHOODS V PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, 80 N.E. 2D 159 (1948).

THEREFORE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MR. WOOD WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL METROPOLITAN AREA AMOUNTS WHICH ARE ALLOWABLE ONLY WHEN A COMMON CARRIER IS USED IN TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS BETWEEN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND.

AS TO THE SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE WE NOTE THAT EFFECTIVE JUNE 22, 1967, VAN CARRIERS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS PUBLISHED CERTAIN CHANGES IN RATES FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND RELATED SERVICES AND ADDED A SURCHARGE OF 75 CENTS PER 1,000 POUNDS. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION BULLETIN FPMR NO. A-2, SUPPLEMENT NO. 9, DATED MAY 29, 1967, ON PAGE 27, INCLUDED THE SURCHARGE IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR COMMUTED RATE WHICH PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 3 - SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE

IN ADDITION TO ALL OTHER APPLICABLE ALLOWANCES PROVIDED IN THIS COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE, AN ALLOWANCE OF 75 CENTS PER 1,000 POUNDS OR FRACTION THEREOF SHALL BE MADE ON EACH SHIPMENT, BASED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT OR THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO MOVE, WHICHEVER IS LESS.

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION BULLETIN FPMR A-2, SUPPLEMENT NO. 26, DATED JULY 10, 1970, PROVIDED THAT ON TRANSPORTATION BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 17, 1970, THE SURCHARGE NO LONGER WAS APPLICABLE. THE SURCHARGE WAS INCLUDED IN THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE TO ENABLE APPROPRIATE REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EMPLOYEES WHO WERE REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENTS TO CARRIERS FOR SUCH CHARGES. THE PURPOSE OF SUCH PROVISION WAS TO PREVENT HARDSHIP OR LOSS TO EMPLOYEES WHO SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIERS RATHER THAN TO GRANT INCREASED BENEFITS IN CASES IN WHICH EMPLOYEES MOVE THEIR GOODS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OR TRUCKS AND DO NOT HAVE A SURCHARGE BASED ON MOVEMENT BY A COMMON CARRIER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY AFTER DELETION OF THE SURCHARGE ALLOWANCE AND THE ALLOWANCE FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN CERTAIN METROPOLITAN AREAS.