B-179580, MAR 18, 1974

B-179580: Mar 18, 1974

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CLAIM FOR SNOWMOBILE MUST BE DENIED SINCE IT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER 37 U.S.C. 406 AND PARAGRAPH M8000-2. AS ADVICE THAT MOTORCYCLE COULD NOT BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS ERRONEOUS REGARDING SHIPMENT AS MOTOR VEHICLE. KENNEDY: THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $327.10 FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF A MOTORCYCLE AND A SNOWMOBILE. WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER. WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED REQUESTS FOR A REPORT ON YOUR CLAIM FROM THE HONORABLE WARREN G. ETHAN ALLEN (SSBN 603) TO WHICH YOU WERE PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED. WAS CHANGED FROM GROTON. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THIS CHANGE OF HOME PORT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED FROM NORWICH.

B-179580, MAR 18, 1974

WHERE MEMBER ON CHANGE OF HOME PORT OF VESSEL FROM GROTON, CONNECTICUT, TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, SHIPPED SNOWMOBILE AND MOTORCYCLE AT OWN EXPENSE AND NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SHORTAGE CHARGES, CLAIM FOR SNOWMOBILE MUST BE DENIED SINCE IT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER 37 U.S.C. 406 AND PARAGRAPH M8000-2, JTR. CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF MOTORCYCLE MAY BE ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 10 U.S.C. 2634 IN ACCORD WITH PARAGRAPH M11007, JTR, AND 51 COMP. GEN. 838 (1972) FOR COST TO GOVERNMENT FOR SHIPMENT BY WATER, AS ADVICE THAT MOTORCYCLE COULD NOT BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS ERRONEOUS REGARDING SHIPMENT AS MOTOR VEHICLE.

TO JAMES M. KENNEDY:

THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $327.10 FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF A MOTORCYCLE AND A SNOWMOBILE, WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C. WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED REQUESTS FOR A REPORT ON YOUR CLAIM FROM THE HONORABLE WARREN G. MAGNUSON, UNITED STATES SENATE, AND FROM THE HONORABLE HENRY M. JACKSON, UNITED STATES SENATE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS' MESSAGE DATED MARCH 2, 1972, THE HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. ETHAN ALLEN (SSBN 603) TO WHICH YOU WERE PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED, WAS CHANGED FROM GROTON, CONNECTICUT, TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 15, 1972. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THIS CHANGE OF HOME PORT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED FROM NORWICH, CONNECTICUT, TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON. YOU SAY THAT AFTER YOU WERE ADVISED BY PERSONNEL AT THE HOUSING OFFICE AT THE NEW LONDON SUBMARINE BASE, CONNECTICUT, THAT YOUR MOTORCYCLE AND SNOWMOBILE COULD NOT BE SHIPPED WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, YOU MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE THEM SHIPPED TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, AT A COST OF $236.10. YOU SAY THAT YOU SUBSEQUENTLY CHECKED WITH THE PERSON TO WHOM THE MOTORCYCLE AND SNOWMOBILE WERE TO HAVE BEEN DELIVERED AND WERE INFORMED THAT THESE ITEMS HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT WHEN YOU ARRIVED AT BREMERTON, THE SNOWMOBILE AND MOTORCYCLE WERE DELIVERED ALONG WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND YOU RECEIVED A BILL IN THE SUM OF $91 FOR STORAGE OF THE MOTORCYCLE AND SNOWMOBILE. ADDITIONALLY, YOU INDICATE THAT PERSONNEL AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD PERSONAL PROPERTY OFFICE INFORMED YOU THAT THE SNOWMOBILE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHIPPED WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT RATES BUT AT YOUR EXPENSE. IT IS ALSO YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE TWO ITEMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN STORED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHILE YOU WERE AT SEA.

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS AUTHORIZED BY 37 U.S.C. 406, WHICH PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION A MEMBER WITHIN A PRESCRIBED GRADE OR RANK IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS, TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES, AND WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS ARE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. WHILE THAT SECTION DOES NOT DEFINE THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS" THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH M8000-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, DEFINE THE TERM AS INCLUDING FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS OR EQUIPMENT, CLOTHING, BAGGAGE, PERSONAL EFFECTS, PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT UNDER THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 3 OF THAT PARAGRAPH, AND ALL OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON. AMONG THE ITEMS SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" IS A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE.

IN 44 COMP. GEN. 65, 66 (1964) (COPY ENCLOSED) WE POINTED OUT THAT:

"THE TERMS 'BAGGAGE' AND 'HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS' ARE GENERAL TERMS NOT LENDING THEMSELVES TO PRECISE DEFINITION. IN ORDINARY AND USUAL USAGE, HOWEVER, THEY REFER TO PARTICULAR KINDS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON. AS GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD, THE TERM 'HOUSEHOLD GOODS' REFERS TO FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS OR EQUIPMENT - ARTICLES OF A PERMANENT NATURE - USED IN AND ABOUT A PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE COMFORT AND ACCOMMODATION OF THE MEMBERS OF A FAMILY. THUS, NOTWITHSTANDING THE LACK OF PRECISENESS OF THE TERM, IT LONG HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THAT VARIOUS ITEMS, SUCH AS BOATS, AIRPLANES AND HOUSE TRAILERS DO NOT COME WITHIN ITS SCOPE."

AS NOTED IN THE ABOVE DECISION, SPORTS OR HOBBY EQUIPMENT INCLUDING BOATS, TRAILERS AND AIRPLANES, HAVE NOT BEEN REGARDED AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS. PARAGRAPH C1100, VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES MOTORCYCLES, MOTOR SCOOTERS AND PASSENGER CARRYING SNOWMOBILES FROM CONSIDERATION AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS ITEMS.

IN REGARD TO YOUR SNOWMOBILE, IN 52 COMP. GEN. 479 (1973) (COPY ENCLOSED) THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS) REQUESTED A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M8000-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MIGHT BE REDEFINED TO INCLUDE ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON WHICH WOULD BE ACCEPTED AND SHIPPED BY CARRIERS AT THE TARIFF RATES ESTABLISHED FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS. AMONG THE ITEMS CITED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY AS NORMALLY NOT BEING CONSIDERED AS "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" BUT WHICH ARE ACCEPTED AT SUCH TARIFF RATES ARE SNOWMOBILES. FOR THE REASONS INDICATED IN THAT DECISION, WE DENIED THE REQUEST FOR THE CHANGE IN DEFINITION.

IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT THE INFORMATION FURNISHED YOU AT THE NEW LONDON SUBMARINE BASE TO THE EFFECT THAT A SNOWMOBILE MUST BE SHIPPED AT A MEMBER'S PERSONAL EXPENSE SINCE IT IS NOT CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS CORRECT AND YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPPING EXPENSE OF YOUR SNOWMOBILE MUST BE DENIED.

SINCE SHIPMENT OF THE SNOWMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY NOT PROPERLY BE AUTHORIZED THE SUBSEQUENT STORAGE AT DESTINATION WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR CLAIM FOR STORAGE OF THE SNOWMOBILE MUST ALSO BE DENIED.

IN REGARD TO YOUR CLAIM FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR MOTORCYCLE, SECTION 2634 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C.PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION (INCLUDING A CHANGE IN THE HOME PORT OF A VESSEL) ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM, AND FOR HIS PERSONAL USE, MAY BE TRANSPORTED, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, TO HIS NEW STATION, BY VESSEL. THUS, WHILE YOUR MOTORCYCLE COULD NOT BE TRANSPORTED TO YOUR NEW STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IT COULD BE SHIPPED, BY VESSEL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE STORAGE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AFTER ARRIVAL AT ITS DESTINATION.

PARAGRAPH M11007, VOLUME 1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES:

"A MEMBER WHO IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS, AND WHO SHIPS HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE BASED ON ERRONEOUS ADVICE FURNISHED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSE INCURRED, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST THE SERVICE CONCERNED WOULD HAVE INCURRED IF THE GOVERNMENT HAD ARRANGED THE SHIPMENT. ***"

IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO YOUR CHANGE OF HOME PORT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOUR MOTORCYCLE COULD NOT BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHILE THIS ADVICE WAS CORRECT REGARDING SHIPMENT AS PART OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, YOUR MOTORCYCLE PROPERLY COULD HAVE BEEN TRANSPORTED BY VESSEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, AS A MOTOR VEHICLE. CONSEQUENTLY, IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE REGULATION AND OUR DECISION 51 COMP. GEN. 838 (1972) UPON WHICH IT IS BASED, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR MOTORCYCLE FROM GROTON, CONNECTICUT, TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WOULD HAVE INCURRED IF THE GOVERNMENT HAD ARRANGED THE SHIPMENT.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2634 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. SHIPMENT CAN ONLY BE MADE BY VESSEL. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THE COST OF SHIPPING A MOTORCYCLE FROM GROTON, CONNECTICUT, TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, BY A MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND VESSEL WOULD BE $54.44. SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR STORAGE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AFTER ARRIVAL AT ITS DESTINATION, YOUR CLAIM FOR STORAGE OF THE MOTORCYCLE MUST BE DENIED.

ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE INSTRUCTING OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION TO ISSUE A SETTLEMENT IN YOUR FAVOR IN THE AMOUNT OF $54.44.

WE ARE ADVISING SENATOR MAGNUSON AND SENATOR JACKSON OF OUR DECISION.