B-174267, FEB 18, 1972

B-174267: Feb 18, 1972

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

A MEMBER WHO IS PERMITTED TO PERSONALLY ARRANGE FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS MUST SUPPORT HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT WITH EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED. IT APPEARS THAT CLAIMANT WAS AN OWNER OF THE CARRIER COMPANY. FOR THE AIR FORCE TO HAVE ENTERED INTO SUCH A CONTRACT WOULD HAVE BEEN AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY. ASSUMING THAT CLAIMANT WAS UNAWARE OF THIS CONTRACT RULE AND ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. IS WILLING TO ALLOW PARTIAL PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM. THE EFFECTS WERE MOVED INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED MARCH 3. 390 POUNDS WERE SHIPPED ON MARCH 6. WERE DELIVERED ON JUNE 13. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF MOVING THE EFFECTS INCLUDING RELATED CHARGES AND TEMPORARY STORAGE IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.

B-174267, FEB 18, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - REIMBURSEMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES - PROOF OF COSTS INCURRED CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MAJOR OWEN C. BELL, USAF, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M8500, JTR, A MEMBER WHO IS PERMITTED TO PERSONALLY ARRANGE FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS MUST SUPPORT HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT WITH EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED. IN THE INSTANT CASE, IT APPEARS THAT CLAIMANT WAS AN OWNER OF THE CARRIER COMPANY, AND FOR THE AIR FORCE TO HAVE ENTERED INTO SUCH A CONTRACT WOULD HAVE BEEN AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY. ASSUMING THAT CLAIMANT WAS UNAWARE OF THIS CONTRACT RULE AND ACTED IN GOOD FAITH, AND SINCE THE AMOUNT CHARGED FOR THE LINE HAUL DID NOT EXCEED THE COST HAD THE GOVERNMENT MADE THE SHIPMENT, THE COMP. GEN. IS WILLING TO ALLOW PARTIAL PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM. HOWEVER, REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACCESSORIAL SERVICES AND STORAGE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED ABSENT FURTHER EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL COSTS INCURRED.

TO MAJOR OWEN C. BELL:

WE AGAIN REFER TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, DATED MAY 12, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MOVING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA.

THE EFFECTS WERE MOVED INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED MARCH 3, 1970, DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM SHAW AIR FORCE BASE TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE. ON MARCH 4, 1970, THE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT OFFICER APPROVED YOUR REQUEST TO USE YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT FOR THE MOVE STATING THAT YOU OWN A TRUCK AND TRAILER. YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT WEIGHING 11,390 POUNDS WERE SHIPPED ON MARCH 6, 1970, AND WERE DELIVERED ON JUNE 13, 1970. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF MOVING THE EFFECTS INCLUDING RELATED CHARGES AND TEMPORARY STORAGE IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,197.22 WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE GOVERNMENT ARRANGED FOR THE SHIPMENT BY COMMERCIAL MEANS. IN PRESENTING YOUR CLAIM YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOU MOVED, PACKED AND UNPACKED, AND DELIVERED YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND THAT THE CARRIER WAS OWEN C. BELL.

BY OFFICE LETTER OF JANUARY 27, 1971, YOU WERE REQUESTED TO FURNISH RECEIPTS TO SUPPORT THE AMOUNTS SPENT FOR PACKING AND UNPACKING, SHIPMENT, STORAGE, WAREHOUSE HANDLING AND DELIVERY CHARGES. IN RESPONSE YOU FURNISHED A COPY OF A RECEIPT SHOWING THAT YOU PAID $3,197.22 TO O.C.B. VAN YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING THE ACTUAL EXPENSES YOU INCURRED.

YOU NOW HAVE FURNISHED A NOTARIZED STATEMENT BY ANITA L. BELL, APPARENTLY YOUR WIFE, THAT O.C.B. VAN AND STORAGE MOVED YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND THAT YOU PAID $3,197.22 IN CASH TO "O.C.B. VAN & STORAGE."

THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARIES PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 406. PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ORDINARILY WILL BE MADE THROUGH A SHIPPING OR TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. IT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT WHERE A MEMBER WHO PERSONALLY ARRANGES FOR THE SHIPMENT BY ANY MEANS, INCLUDING THE HIRE OR RENTAL OF A CONVEYANCE BECAUSE HE IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE SHIPMENT AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL COST OF THE SHIPMENT.

UNDER THAT PROVISION IT HAS BEEN OUR VIEW THAT A MEMBER WHO HIRES MOVING EQUIPMENT OR USES HIS OWN TRUCK OR TRAILER TO MOVE HIS EFFECTS MUST SUPPORT HIS CLAIM WITH RECEIPTS, PAID BILLS OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE INCURRED.

IN YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT AS A PART OF YOUR CIVILIAN OCCUPATION YOU ENGAGE IN THE HAULING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS A BUSINESS. PRESUMABLY, FOR THAT REASON THE AIR FORCE AUTHORIZED YOU TO TRANSPORT YOUR OWN EFFECTS, NOTWITHSTANDING IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY, IF NOT ILLEGAL, FOR THE AIR FORCE TO HAVE ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT WITH YOU FOR FURNISHING OF THE SERVICES. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 403. ON THE PREMISE THAT YOU WERE NOT AWARE OF THIS CONTRACT RULE AND ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND SINCE THE AMOUNT CHARGED FOR THE LINE HAUL OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SHAW AIR FORCE BASE TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST HAD THE GOVERNMENT MADE THE SHIPMENT, WE HAVE TODAY ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,266.32.

SINCE, HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT THE ACCESSORIAL SERVICES AND STORAGE CONSTITUTING THE REMAINDER OF YOUR CLAIM WERE PERFORMED BY YOU NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF THE COSTS INCURRED.