B-173299, AUG 10, 1971

B-173299: Aug 10, 1971

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WHERE NO SCALE WAS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN. 500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PROPERLY PACKED. WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER. BECAUSE ONLY 30 DAYS STORAGE WAS AUTHORIZED BY CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL ORDERS HE MAY RECOVER $175. WHICH IS LESS THAN THE COMMUTED RATE. YOU HAVE NO QUESTION AS TO THE OTHER ITEMS CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER INCLUDING PER DIEM. THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR ASSERTION OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM WASHINGTON TO PITTSBURGH. HE STATES THE U-HAUL WAS A 24-FOOT TRUCK OF 1. 392 CUBIC FEET CAPACITY THAT WAS FULLY AND CORRECTLY LOADED. BIGIO STATES WITH RESPECT TO THE ABSENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT DETERMINATION: "THERE WERE NO WEIGHING STATIONS IN OUR IMMEDIATE AREA THUS. I WAS UNABLE TO GET THE EMPTY WEIGHT OF THE VEHICLES USED IN THE MOVE (TRUCK AND TWO CARS).

B-173299, AUG 10, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - MOVING EXPENSES - NO DOCUMENTATION DECISION CONCERNING THE ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES OF SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO FREDERIC F. BIGIE INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM MEDFORD LAKES, N.J., TO PITTSBURGH, PA. WHERE NO SCALE WAS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF ORIGIN, EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION IF THE CLAIMED 9,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PROPERLY PACKED, CLAIMANT MAY BE REIMBURSED HIS MOVING EXPENSES AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR 9,500 FOR THE SHIPMENT. IN REGARD TO THE 60-DAY STORAGE CHARGE OF $350, SECTION 6.4D(2) OF OMB CIR. NO. A-56 ENTITLES AN EMPLOYEE TO A COMMUTED RATE OR ACTUAL EXPENSES, WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER. BECAUSE ONLY 30 DAYS STORAGE WAS AUTHORIZED BY CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL ORDERS HE MAY RECOVER $175, WHICH IS LESS THAN THE COMMUTED RATE.

TO MR. ROYAL D. HUGHEY:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1971, CONCERNING THE ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES OF SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO MR. FREDERIC F. BIGIO INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, DURING 1970.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED SHOWS MR. BIGIO CLAIMS $906.30 FOR MOVEMENT OF 9,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM MEDFORD LAKES, NEW JERSEY, TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, AND $350 FOR 60 DAYS TEMPORARY STORAGE OF SUCH GOODS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE COPY OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER LIMITS TEMPORARY STORAGE TO 30 DAYS. YOU HAVE NO QUESTION AS TO THE OTHER ITEMS CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER INCLUDING PER DIEM, MILEAGE, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, TEMPORARY QUARTERS, AND REAL ESTATE.

YOU QUESTION THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM FOR SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS SINCE NEITHER A WEIGHT TICKET NOR A RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL HAS BEEN FURNISHED.

MR. BIGIO IN A MEMORANDUM DATED APRIL 23, 1971, DESCRIBED THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM MEDFORD LAKES, NEW JERSEY, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND TEMPORARY STORAGE THERE. OTHER THAN THE VOUCHER ENTRY, THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR ASSERTION OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM WASHINGTON TO PITTSBURGH. MR. BIGIO EXPLAINS THAT HE MOVED THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO WASHINGTON USING A U-HAUL, PLUS TWO OTHER VEHICLES, WITH THE HELP OF TWO HIRED MEN ON THE 12TH AND 13TH OF SEPTEMBER 1970.

HE STATES THE U-HAUL WAS A 24-FOOT TRUCK OF 1,392 CUBIC FEET CAPACITY THAT WAS FULLY AND CORRECTLY LOADED. HE SUBMITS CERTIFICATES FROM THE TWO ASSISTANTS, JOSEPH E. THREATT AND RANDOLPH R. FARMER, CONFIRMING THE CAPACITY AND LOAD OF THE U-HAUL AND SHOWING THAT EACH RECEIVED $75 PLUS MEALS FOR ASSISTING IN THE MOVE. ADDITIONALLY, THE EMPLOYEE SUBMITS A CERTIFICATE FROM SERENE D. FARMER THAT SHE RECEIVED $350 FROM HIM FOR THE STORAGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR A PERIOD OF 60 DAYS, BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 13, 1970, AT 7636 SEVENTEENTH STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C.

MR. BIGIO STATES WITH RESPECT TO THE ABSENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT DETERMINATION:

"THERE WERE NO WEIGHING STATIONS IN OUR IMMEDIATE AREA THUS, I WAS UNABLE TO GET THE EMPTY WEIGHT OF THE VEHICLES USED IN THE MOVE (TRUCK AND TWO CARS). I LEFT NEW JERSEY AT 11:45 PM ON 12 SEPTEMBER 1970 AND ARRIVED WASHINGTON, D.C. SHORTLY AFTER 3:00 AM ON SUNDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 1970. WERE QUITE TIRED AND PROMPTLY WENT TO OUR RESPECTIVE PLACES OF LODGING FOR SOME REST BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO UNPACK OUR LOAD LATER IN THE MORNING. THAT SAME MORNING, I CALLED THE ROCKVILLE BARRACKS OF THE MARYLAND STATE POLICE TO LOCATE AN OFFICIAL WEIGHING STATION. I WAS INFORMED BY THE POLICE THAT THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL STATION IN THEIR AREA AND THAT THEY KNEW OF NO STATION, OFFICIAL OR OTHERWISE, IN THE ENTIRE METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AREA. THAT IS WHY THERE IS NO OFFICIAL WEIGHT OF MY HOUSEHOLD GOODS."

YOU ASK WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF 9,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS CAN BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT WITH THE DOCUMENTATION FURNISHED. YOU NOTE THAT ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE OF 50 CENTS PER CWT. CLAIMED IS NOT PROPER FOR PAYMENT IN THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT BY COMMON CARRIER.

THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM - SECTION 6.4D(3) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969 - PROVIDE IN PERTINENT PART:

"DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY (A) THE ORIGINAL OR A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE AND (B) IN SUPPORT OF TRANSPORTATION, 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 THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION, THE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE COMMUTED RATE PAYMENT ALLOWABLE MUST BE DETERMINED EITHER BY 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 TRANSPORTATION IN A VAN. ALSO, SEE 48 COMP. GEN. 115 (1968).

SECTION 6.3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 LIMITS THE TOTAL AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO THAT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE PROPERTY IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION OF THE TRANSFERRING EMPLOYEE TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, WE HOLD THAT MR. BIGIO MAY BE REIMBURSED AT THE COMMUTED RATE FOR 9,500 POUNDS FOR SHIPMENT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., NOT TO EXCEED WHAT THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN IF SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO PITTSBURGH.

IN REGARD TO THE STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, WE NOTE THAT UNDER SECTION 6.4D(2) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO A COMMUTED RATE FOR STORAGE OR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES THEREOF WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER. HERE, THE EMPLOYEE SUBMITTED A RECEIPT SHOWING $350 EXPENDED FOR 60 DAYS STORAGE. THUS, WE MUST ASSUME THE CHARGE FOR 30 DAYS WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE- HALF OF THE AMOUNT OR $175. SINCE STORAGE WAS ONLY AUTHORIZED FOR 30 DAYS AND AS THE COMMUTED RATE FOR THAT PERIOD IS IN EXCESS OF $175, THE EMPLOYEE IS ONLY ENTITLED TO $175.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.