B-172872, JUN 15, 1971

B-172872: Jun 15, 1971

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488 POUNDS WERE TRANSPORTED BY A U HAUL TRAILER. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE WEIGHT WAS DETERMINED BY THE EMPLOYEE BY HIS USE OF A SMALL PLATFORM SCALE WITH A CAPACITY OF 250 POUNDS. AN ITEMIZED LIST WAS PREPARED SHOWING THE WEIGHT OF THE ITEMS AS PACKED. CRAIG EXPLAINED ON BOTH THE ORIGINAL CLAIM AND THE RECLAIM THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF WEIGHING THE GOODS AT SILVER CITY ON A PUBLIC SCALE BY SAYING THAT THERE WAS NO CERTIFIED PUBLIC SCALE AVAILABLE IN THE SILVER CITY. THE ONE PUBLIC SCALE THAT HAD BEEN AVAILABLE WAS CONDEMNED BY THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO AND HAD BEEN TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE. WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO DOES NOT FURNISH PROPER EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT OR VOLUME.

B-172872, JUN 15, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - MOVING EXPENSES - WEIGHT DETERMINATION DECISION ALLOWING CLAIM OF JAMES I. CRAIG, A BUREAU OF MINES EMPLOYEE, FOR $283.46 REPRESENTING A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT SUSPENDED FROM A PRIOR CLAIM INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS DURING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. A WEIGHT DETERMINATION OF 1,488 POUNDS BY THE EMPLOYEE, THROUGH THE USE OF A SMALL PLATFORM SCALE WITH A CAPACITY OF 250 POUNDS AND AN ITEMIZED LIST SHOWING THE WEIGHT OF ITEMS AS PACKED FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION 6.4D(3) OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR.:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3, 1971, REQUESTING OUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JAMES I. CRAIG, A BUREAU OF MINES EMPLOYEE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $283.46, REPRESENTING A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED FROM A PRIOR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM SILVER CITY, NEW MEXICO, TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WEIGHING 1,488 POUNDS WERE TRANSPORTED BY A U HAUL TRAILER. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE WEIGHT WAS DETERMINED BY THE EMPLOYEE BY HIS USE OF A SMALL PLATFORM SCALE WITH A CAPACITY OF 250 POUNDS. AN ITEMIZED LIST WAS PREPARED SHOWING THE WEIGHT OF THE ITEMS AS PACKED. MR. CRAIG EXPLAINED ON BOTH THE ORIGINAL CLAIM AND THE RECLAIM THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF WEIGHING THE GOODS AT SILVER CITY ON A PUBLIC SCALE BY SAYING THAT THERE WAS NO CERTIFIED PUBLIC SCALE AVAILABLE IN THE SILVER CITY, NEW MEXICO AREA. THE ONE PUBLIC SCALE THAT HAD BEEN AVAILABLE WAS CONDEMNED BY THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO AND HAD BEEN TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE.

WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO DOES NOT FURNISH PROPER EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT OR VOLUME, SUCH AS WILL SATISFY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IN THAT REGARD, SUBSECTION 6.4D(3) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"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. IT IS OUR OPINION THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED ABOVE THE ITEMIZED LIST AS FURNISHED SHOWING THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SATISFIES THE REQUIREMENT OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.