B-176473, SEP 8, 1972

B-176473: Sep 8, 1972

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A-56 PROVIDES THAT THE COSTS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE WILL BE REIMBURSED THE EMPLOYEE SO LONG AS THE COSTS DO NOT EXCEED THE COMMUTED RATES FOR STORAGE AS DETERMINED BY GSA. BRADFORD WAS AUTHORIZED MOVING ALLOWANCES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516 IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM WASHINGTON. THAT HE WAS REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS THEREFOR. BRADFORD WAS UNABLE TO MOVE EITHER HIS HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS OR HIS FAMILY INTO PERMANENT QUARTERS UNTIL 6 DAYS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL IN ALBANY. THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSE OF SUCH STORAGE IS BASED UPON SUBSECTION 6.5B OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE WITHIN THE APPLICABLE WEIGHT LIMIT WILL BE REIMBURSED TO THE EMPLOYEE IN THE AMOUNT OF HIS COSTS FOR STORAGE INCLUDING IN AND OUT CHARGES AND NECESSARY DRAYAGE BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE COMMUTED RATES FOR STORAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

B-176473, SEP 8, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - HOUSEHOLD GOODS - TEMPORARY STORAGE DECISION ALLOWING THE CLAIM OF STEVEN O. BRADFORD FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF $96 REPRESENTING SIX DAYS RENTAL OF A TRUCK FOR THE PURPOSE OF STORING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. SUBSECTION 6.5B OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES THAT THE COSTS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE WILL BE REIMBURSED THE EMPLOYEE SO LONG AS THE COSTS DO NOT EXCEED THE COMMUTED RATES FOR STORAGE AS DETERMINED BY GSA. GAO HAS RECOGNIZED THAT THESE EFFECTS MAY BE STORED IN A VAN OR TRUCK AND HAS AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE. ACCORDINGLY, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE HERE TO THE EXTENT IT DOES NOT EXCEED THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATE.

TO MR. DAVID M. KRAMER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1972, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WITH REGARD TO MR. STEVEN O. BRADFORD'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF $96 REPRESENTING 6 DAYS' RENTAL OF A TRUCK FOR THE PURPOSE OF STORING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

MR. BRADFORD WAS AUTHORIZED MOVING ALLOWANCES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516 IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ALBANY, NEW YORK, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. BRADFORD TRANSPORTED 6,730 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ALBANY BY MEANS OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND A RENTAL TRUCK, AND THAT HE WAS REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED RATE BASIS THEREFOR.

APPARENTLY MR. BRADFORD WAS UNABLE TO MOVE EITHER HIS HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS OR HIS FAMILY INTO PERMANENT QUARTERS UNTIL 6 DAYS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL IN ALBANY. RATHER THAN PLACE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INTO COMMERCIAL STORAGE, MR. BRADFORD LEFT THEM ON THE RENTAL TRUCK FOR THE 6- DAY INTERIM PERIOD, THEREBY INCURRING THE ADDITIONAL RENTAL FEE OF $96.

THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSE OF SUCH STORAGE IS BASED UPON SUBSECTION 6.5B OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1972, WHICH PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"B. ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

"(1) COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM. IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UNDER COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE WITHIN THE APPLICABLE WEIGHT LIMIT WILL BE REIMBURSED TO THE EMPLOYEE IN THE AMOUNT OF HIS COSTS FOR STORAGE INCLUDING IN AND OUT CHARGES AND NECESSARY DRAYAGE BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE COMMUTED RATES FOR STORAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. A RECEIPTED COPY OF THE WAREHOUSE OR OTHER BILL FOR STORAGE COSTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO SUPPORT REIMBURSEMENT."

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. BRADFORD'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE NOT PLACED IN WHAT WOULD TRADITIONALLY BE CONSIDERED STORAGE, YOU QUESTION THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL $96 FEE FOR TRUCK RENTAL.

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION, WE HAVE NOT QUESTIONED REIMBURSEMENT OF STORAGE CHARGES FOR THE USE OF NONCOMMERCIAL FACILITIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH A REASONABLE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY WHERE THE GOODS WERE STORED. SEE B-166277, MARCH 19, 1969, AND B -169151, JUNE 12, 1970, COPIES ENCLOSED. MOREOVER, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE STORED IN A VAN OR TRUCK AND THAT THE COST THEREOF MAY PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED AS THE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE FOR PURPOSES OF REIMBURSEMENT. SEE B-166801, MAY 27, 1969, COPY ENCLOSED, AND 29 COMP. GEN. 399 (1950).

ACCORDINGLY, WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. BRADFORD OF THE COST OF THE ADDITIONAL RENTAL FOR THE TRUCK, TO THE EXTENT THAT IT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COMMUTED RATE APPLICABLE TO THE WEIGHT OF GOODS STORED THEREIN. THE VOUCHER AND ATTACHMENTS ARE RETURNED.