B-174642, MAR 6, 1972

B-174642: Mar 6, 1972

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES ARE COMPILED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 6.4 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. THE SYSTEM IS PATENTLY AN APPROXIMATION WHICH WILL BE FAVORABLE OR UNFAVORABLE TO A PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE. ONCE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IS MADE AS TO THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWING AN EMPLOYEE ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT. PERRY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19. TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED AND CARRIED OUT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM WHICH WAS IN USE BY THE POSTAL SERVICE. YOU WERE BILLED BY THE MOVING COMPANY - ALLIED VAN LINES. THE REMAINDER OF $187.05 REPRESENTS $75 FOR INSURANCE WHICH IS NOT REIMBURSABLE AND $112.05 WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR CLAIM.

B-174642, MAR 6, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - COMMUTED RATE REIMBURSEMENT DECISION SUSTAINING PRIOR DENIAL OF A CLAIM OF DONALD E. PERRY FOR THE REMAINDER OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS NOT REIMBURSED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IN USE BY THE POSTAL SERVICE. COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES ARE COMPILED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 6.4 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A- 56. THE SYSTEM IS PATENTLY AN APPROXIMATION WHICH WILL BE FAVORABLE OR UNFAVORABLE TO A PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, DEPENDENT UPON THE VARIABLES IN EACH SHIPMENT. HOWEVER, ONCE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IS MADE AS TO THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT, IT BECOMES MANDATORY THAT THE EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED BY SUCH METHOD, B-168466, JANUARY 21, 1970, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWING AN EMPLOYEE ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT. ACCORDINGLY, THE PRIOR DENIAL OF THIS CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

TO MR. DONALD E. PERRY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1971, WHEREIN YOU APPEAL THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 5, 1971, BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $112.05 ARISING OUT OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JUNE 13, 1970, YOU TRANSFERRED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT (NOW POSTAL SERVICE), MEMPHIS REGION. TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED AND CARRIED OUT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM WHICH WAS IN USE BY THE POSTAL SERVICE. YOU WERE BILLED BY THE MOVING COMPANY - ALLIED VAN LINES, INC - IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,414.27 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE POSTAL SERVICE ALLOWED $1,227.22 AGAINST THAT AMOUNT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE. THE REMAINDER OF $187.05 REPRESENTS $75 FOR INSURANCE WHICH IS NOT REIMBURSABLE AND $112.05 WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR CLAIM.

YOUR CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED BY THE POSTAL SERVICE ON THE GROUND THAT THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IS THE ONLY SYSTEM UNDER WHICH YOU CAN BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON A COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING AND THAT THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD WAS NOT APPLICABLE IN YOUR CASE BECAUSE IT PRESUPPOSES USE OF A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WHICH THE POSTAL SERVICE WAS NOT UTILIZING.

OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON THE GROUND THAT YOU WERE PROPERLY REIMBURSED BY THE POSTAL SERVICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXISTING REGULATIONS.

ON APPEAL, YOU MAINTAIN THAT YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED THE ADDITIONAL $112.05 BECAUSE " *** IT IS INJUSTICE FOR A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE TO HAVE TO PAY OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET $112.05 MORE THAN THAT ALLOWED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BUT LESS THAN THE AMOUNT WHICH THE ICC INSISTS THAT MOVING COMPANIES MUST CHARGE THE VICTIMS OF CHANGING THEIR PLACE OF LIVING."

IN THAT REGARD WE WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT ONCE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IS MADE AS TO THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE, I.E., ON THE ACTUAL EXPENSE OR COMMUTED RATE BASIS, IT BECOMES MANDATORY THAT THE EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED BY SUCH METHOD. SEE B 168466, JANUARY 21, 1970, COPY ENCLOSED. THIS IS THE SITUATION IN YOUR CASE AND THERE IS NO LAWFUL AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH YOU CAN BE REIMBURSED THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $112.05 WHICH YOU CLAIM.

AS TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES ARE LOWER THAN THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE RATE BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, WE POINT OUT THAT THESE SCHEDULES ARE PREPARED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 6.4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

"A. DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM. UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM AN EMPLOYEE MAKES HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. HE SELECTS AND PAYS THE CARRIER AND IS REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCHEDULES OF COMMUTED RATES WHICH ARE COMPILED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, TOGETHER WITH INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THEIR USE. THE SCHEDULES OF COMMUTED RATES ARE DEVELOPED FROM TARIFFS WHICH THE CARRIERS HAVE FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION AND THEY CONSIST OF TABLES SHOWING THE AMOUNTS ALLOWED PER HUNDRED POUNDS WHEN HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TRANSPORTED FOR VARIOUS DISTANCES IN SPECIFIED GEOGRAPHIC AREAS FOR EACH OF THE TYPES OF SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE CARRIER, INCLUDING NOT ONLY TRANSPORTATION BUT ALSO PACKING AND UNPACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TEMPORARY STORAGE. THE PROPERTY IS SHIPPED ON A COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING."

THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES ARE TO BE FOUND IN GSA BULLETIN FPMR NO. A- 2.

THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM IS PATENTLY AN APPROXIMATION WHICH, DEPENDENT UPON THE VARIABLES IN EACH SHIPMENT, WILL SOMETIMES BE FAVORABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE AND UNDER OTHER CONDITIONS OPERATE SOMEWHAT TO HIS DISADVANTAGE. THUS ASSUMING THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE WITHIN THE 11,000-POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION, THE SITUATION OF WHICH YOU COMPLAIN COULD EXIST AND THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY BE PAID THE DIFFERENCE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT OF $112.05 IS SUSTAINED.