B-175912, JUL 5, 1972

B-175912: Jul 5, 1972

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SHE MAY BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL COST BASIS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR SUCH ESTIMATED WEIGHT AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATES. MISS BALDWIN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM AUSTIN. RENTAL OF A HERTZ RENT A CAR TO MOVE THE EMPLOYEE AND HER PERSONAL EFFECTS TO DALLAS WAS AUTHORIZED. A DIAGRAM OF THE BACK SEAT AND TRUNK AREA OF THE CAR IS SUBMITTED ILLUSTRATING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FIGURE OF 66 CUBIC FEET WAS DETERMINED. BECAUSE OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE VOLUME OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAS BEEN DETERMINED YOU QUESTION WHETHER PAYMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE STRUCTURE IS PROPER. 6.4D(3) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. IF BILLS OF LADING ARE NOT AVAILABLE.

B-175912, JUL 5, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT TO LINDA J. BALDWIN FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO HER TRANSFER AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. MISS BALDWIN MAY BE REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS IF SHE CAN SHOW THE ITEMS TRANSPORTED AND THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH. 48 COMP. GEN. 115 (1968). ALTERNATIVELY, UPON FURNISHING EVIDENCE OF COSTS INCURRED, SHE MAY BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL COST BASIS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR SUCH ESTIMATED WEIGHT AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATES. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 554, 555.

TO MISS ANNORA F. FRAASA:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3, 1972, ENCLOSING A COPY OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHER, SF-1012, SUBMITTED BY MISS LINDA J. BALDWIN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, REGION VI, AND REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER THE $213.68 AMOUNT CLAIMED THEREON FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 3, 1970, MISS BALDWIN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM AUSTIN, TEXAS, TO DALLAS, TEXAS. INASMUCH AS SHE DID NOT OWN A CAR, RENTAL OF A HERTZ RENT A CAR TO MOVE THE EMPLOYEE AND HER PERSONAL EFFECTS TO DALLAS WAS AUTHORIZED. INSTEAD, A FRIEND HELPED HER MOVE HER HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM HAS PROVIDED A STATEMENT THAT SHE MOVED THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO DALLAS ON JANUARY 10, 18, 24, 31, AND ON FEBRUARY 7, 1971, AND THAT FOR PURPOSES OF MOVING THOSE GOODS, THE EMPLOYEE "HAD ACCESS TO THE TRUNK AND BACK SEAT OF MY 1968 PONTIAC FOUR- DOOR SEDAN, WHICH MEASURES TO APPROXIMATELY 66 CUBIC FEET." IN ADDITION, A DIAGRAM OF THE BACK SEAT AND TRUNK AREA OF THE CAR IS SUBMITTED ILLUSTRATING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FIGURE OF 66 CUBIC FEET WAS DETERMINED. BASED ON A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT, MISS BALDWIN HAS CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM FOR 2,310 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. BECAUSE MISS BALDWIN DID NOT OBTAIN WEIGHT CERTIFICATES, AND BECAUSE OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE VOLUME OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAS BEEN DETERMINED YOU QUESTION WHETHER PAYMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE STRUCTURE IS PROPER. 6.4D(3) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 (OCTOBER

WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, SECTION 12, 1966), APPLICABLE DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDED IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED. IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM EMPLOYEES SHALL SUBMIT *** 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 A POINT OF ORIGIN, AT ANY POINT EN ROUTE, OR AT DESTINATION, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED. ***"

IN 48 COMP. GEN. 115 (1968) WE STATED WITH REGARD TO THE EVIDENCE NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT BASED ON VOLUME,

"(WHERE AN) *** EMPLOYEE FAILED TO OBTAIN THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT THE TIME OF TRANSPORTATION, HE MAY BE PAID AT THE COMMUTED RATE ONLY IF HE IS ABLE TO SHOW THE AMOUNT OF SPACE OCCUPIED BY HIS GOODS AND THAT THE GOODS WERE PROPERLY LOADED IN THE SPACE AVAILABLE. IN ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF SPACE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY HIS EFFECTS IF PROPERLY LOADED, THE EMPLOYEE MAY SUBMIT A LIST OF ITEMS TRANSPORTED TOGETHER WITH THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH BASED ON ACTUAL MEASUREMENT OR A UNIFORM TABLE, PREFERABLY PREPARED BY A COMMERCIAL CARRIER.

"IF THE EMPLOYEE IS UNABLE TO ESTABLISH HIS ENTITLEMENT TO A COMMUTED PAYMENT BY COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS LISTED ABOVE, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED SUCH AS FOR GAS, OIL, TOLLS, ETC., IN TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON COMPLYING WITH THE RULE SET FORTH IN 38 COMP. GEN. 554, 555 AS FOLLOWS:

"'WHEN, HOWEVER, AS HERE, THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE AFFORDS A BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED REASONABLY APPROXIMATES THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES TO THE EXTENT THEY DO NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FOR SUCH ESTIMATED WEIGHT AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATES.'"

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO SHOW THE ITEMS TRANSPORTED, AND THE VOLUME OCCUPIED BY EACH WITHIN THE REQUIREMENT SET FORTH IN 48 COMP. GEN. 115, SUPRA. IF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FURNISHED TO MEET SUCH REQUIREMENT REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS, OR IN THE ABSENCE THEREOF, ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UPON THE FURNISHING OF EVIDENCE OF COSTS INCURRED AND COMPLIANCE WITH THE RULE SET FORTH IN 38 COMP. GEN. 554.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.