B-174755, JAN 18, 1972

B-174755: Jan 18, 1972

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THE CLAIM IS DENIED. KAWAHARA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19. IT WAS INDICATED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER THAT UP TO 11. 000 POUNDS WERE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT AND THAT ANY CHARGES NOT ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WOULD BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. YOUR EFFECTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY SHIPPED UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING F-5441787. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR CHARGES RESULTING FROM SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS IN EXCESS OF 11. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY COUNSELED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE TRANSPORTED THEM IN A DIFFERENT MANNER HAD YOU BEEN PROPERLY INFORMED OF YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVE.

B-174755, JAN 18, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - HOUSEHOLD GOODS - EXCESS WEIGHT DECISION DISALLOWING CLAIM OF FRED T. KAWAHARA, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FOR REFUND OF A COLLECTION FOR EXCESS COSTS OF SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATIONS. THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXCEEDED THE 11,000-POUND LIMIT ESTABLISHED BY 5 U.S.C. 5724. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY THE GOVERNMENT BEAR THE COST OF SHIPMENTS BEYOND THIS WEIGHT. ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM IS DENIED.

TO MR. FRED T. KAWAHARA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1971, APPEALING FROM THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF NOVEMBER 8, 1971, IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF A COLLECTION OF THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA, INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT TRAVEL ORDER T-378, DATED APRIL 21, 1970, AS AMENDED BY TRAVEL ORDER T-378A, DATED MAY 20, 1970, AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. IT WAS INDICATED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER THAT UP TO 11,000 POUNDS WERE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT AND THAT ANY CHARGES NOT ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WOULD BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. YOUR EFFECTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY SHIPPED UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING F-5441787, AND AMOUNTED TO 13,520 POUNDS NET WEIGHT. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR CHARGES RESULTING FROM SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS IN EXCESS OF 11,000 POUNDS FOR WHICH YOU FORWARDED YOUR CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $433.44. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE NOT PROPERLY COUNSELED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE TRANSPORTED THEM IN A DIFFERENT MANNER HAD YOU BEEN PROPERLY INFORMED OF YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVE. YOU FURTHER CONTEND THAT SINCE THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT DO THIS, THEY SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COSTS OF SHIPPING ANY GOODS IN EXCESS OF THE 11,000 POUNDS.

AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS FOUND AT 5 U.S.C. 5724, WHICH ALSO ESTABLISHES THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT OF THE GOODS AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AS 11,000 POUNDS. THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS TO THAT STATUTE ARE FOUND IN OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969. SECTION 6.3 OF THAT CIRCULAR PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES UNDER EITHER A COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM OR AN ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD. UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, AN EMPLOYEE MAKES HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTING THE GOODS, PAYS THE CARRIER, AND THEN IS REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULES. WHEN THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD IS USED, THE GOVERNMENT ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR AWARDING CONTRACTS AND FOR OTHER NEGOTIATIONS WITH CARRIERS, AND THE PROPERTY IS THEN SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND THE GOVERNMENT PAYS THE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS DIRECTLY TO THE CARRIER. HOWEVER, UNDER EITHER METHOD, THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS SUBJECT TO THE 11,000-POUND LIMITATION, AND NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR EMPLOYEE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO PERMIT TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THAT WEIGHT LIMITATION. THEREFORE, REGARDLESS OF THE REASONS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE EXCESSIVE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, THE LAW DOES NOT PERMIT PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CHARGES INCURRED INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT. THIS IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE CHARGES AND THEN COLLECT ANY AMOUNT ATTRIBUTABLE TO EXCESS WEIGHT FROM THE EMPLOYEE. ACCORDINGLY, AS A RESULT OF THE FOREGOING AND SINCE THE WEIGHT LIMITATION WAS NOTED ON THE TRAVEL ORDERS, YOU WERE PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE EXCESS SHIPPING CHARGES.

THE PREVIOUS ACTION DENYING YOUR CLAIM IS AFFIRMED.