B-181103, AUG 23, 1974

B-181103: Aug 23, 1974

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WHERE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR SHIPMENT OF ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT THAT WAS NOT CARRIED IN THE HOUSE TRAILER AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SCHMALZ - RELOCATION EXPENSES - REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEPARATE TRANSPORTATION OF ACCESSORY HOUSE TRAILER EQUPMENT: THIS IS A REQUEST FOR A DECISION BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. IF THE TRAILER IS NOT TRANSPORTED BY THE EMPLOYEE. SECTION 9 OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSON EFFECTS. SUBSECTION 9.3A PROVIDES THAT WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS BY COMMERICAL MEANS.

B-181103, AUG 23, 1974

WHERE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER, SECTION 9.3A(1) OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, LIMITS REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CARRIER'S CHARGES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRAILER AND ITS CONTENTS, NOT TO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE TARIFF, PLUS FEES, TOLLS AND CHARGES, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR SHIPMENT OF ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT THAT WAS NOT CARRIED IN THE HOUSE TRAILER AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

FRANK J. SCHMALZ - RELOCATION EXPENSES - REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEPARATE TRANSPORTATION OF ACCESSORY HOUSE TRAILER EQUPMENT:

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR A DECISION BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. FRANK J. SCHMALZ IN THE AMOUNT OF $30.66 REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION FROM SIDNEY TO MILES CITY, MONTANA, IN SEPTEMBER 1972.

MR. SCHMALZ, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, HAS BEEN REIMBURSED $156.90 FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER AND NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FOR 511 MILES, COVERING TWO ROUND TRIPS BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM HIS OLD TO HIS NEW STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE HOUSE TRAILER, BUT WHICH, BECAUSE OF ITS BULK AND COMPOSITION, COULD NOT REASONABLE BE TRANSPORTED INSIDE THE TRIALER. THE EQUIPMENT INCLUDED TRAILER SKIRTING, SKIRTING FRAME LUMBER, CONCRETE BLOCKS, SUPPORT JACKS, WOODEN BLOCK WEDGES, SEWER PIPE AND FITTINGS, WATER PIPE AND FITTINGS, WOODEN ENTRANCE STEPS, ANCHORS, AND AIR CONDITIONERS.

SECTION 5724(A)(2) OF TITLE 5 OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDES AUTHORITY UNDER REGULATIONS BY THE PRESIDENT FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION OR AGENCY TO ANTOHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY. SUBSECTION (B)(1) AUTHORIZES A REASONABLE ALLOWANCE NOT IN EXCESS OF 20 CENTS A MILE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSPORTS HIS HOUSE TRIALER OR MOBILE DWELLING INSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AND WHO WOULD OTHERSIWE BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(2). SUBSECTION (B)(2) OF THAT SECTION PROVIDES FOR THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSE TRIALER AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OR REIMBURSEMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE THEREFOR, INCLUDING THE PAYMENT OF NECESSARY TOLLS, CHARGES AND PERMIT FEES, IF THE TRAILER IS NOT TRANSPORTED BY THE EMPLOYEE. SUCH PAYMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PAYMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE BE INTITLED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(2) OF SECTION 5724.

SECTION 1.2G, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724(B)(2), DEFINES MOBILE HOME AS MEANING "ALL TYPES OF HOUSE TRAILERS AND MOBILE DWELLINGS CONSTRUCTED FOR USE AS RESIDENCES AND DESIGNED TO BE MOVED OVERLAND, EITHER BY BEING SELF-PROPELLED OR TOWED."

SECTION 9 OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSON EFFECTS. SUBSECTION 9.3A PROVIDES THAT WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER IS BY COMMERICAL MEANS, THE ALLOWANCES SHALL INCLUDE THE CARRIER'S ACTUAL CHARGES IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE TARIFF AS APPROVED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION (OR APPROPRIATE STATE REGULATORY BODY FOR INTRASTATE MOVEMENTS) FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A MOBILE HOME OF THE SIZE AND TYPE INVOLVED FOR THE DISTANCE INVOLVED.

SUBSECTION 9.3B OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MOBILE HOME IS TRANSPORTED BY MEANS OTHER THAN A COMMERCIAL CARRIER, SUCH AS WHEN IT IS TOWED-BY A PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE, AN ALLOWANCE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION COSTS, INCLUDING FERRY FARES, BRIDGE, ROAD AND TUNNEL TOLLS, AND SIMILAR CHARGES. SUBSECTION 9.3C PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MOBILE HOME IS TRANSPORTED PARTLY BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER AND PARTLY BY PRIVATE MEANS, THE ALLOWANCES IN SECTIONS 9.3A AND 9.3B APPLY TO THE RESPECTIVE PORTIONS OF THE TRANSPORTATION.

THUS, THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS ABOVE CONTEMPLATE THAT PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER BY COMMERICAL OR BY PRIVATE MEANS IS IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF ANY AND ALL HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS THAT AN EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SEE 51 COMP. GEN 27 (1971).

FURTHERMORE, A REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 9.3C OF THE CIRCULAR COMPELS THE INTERPRETATION THAT THE MIXED METHODS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A TRIALER THEREIN AUTHORIZED ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE MOVEMENT OF THE TRAILER AND ITS CONTENTS ITSELF, UNDER THE DEFINITION OF A MOBILE HOME AS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION 1.2G OF THE CIRCULAR AND WOULD COVER SITUATIONS SUCH AS A BREAKDOWN OCCURRING IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE TRAILER NECESSITATING THE USE OF ANOTHER MODE FOR COMPLETING THE MOVEMENT. SEE 44 COMP. GEN. 809 (1965); CF. 39 ID. 40 (1959).

IN SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE SUBJECT CASE, WHERE THE FILE INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF HIS MOBILE HOME FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW DUTY STATION UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFF RATES, WHICH ARE BASED ON SIZE AND TYPE OF TRAILER, TO PERMIT PAYMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE SEPARATE MOVEMENT OVER AN EQUAL DISTANCE OF ANY ACCESSORY PARTS DETACHED FROM THE TRIAL ER WOULD CONTRAVENE THE INTENT OF THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS IN 5 U.S.C. 5724B WHICH LIMIT PAYMENT TO EITHER A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER BY PRIVATE MEANS, OR TO COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, EXCEPT IN THE LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES DISCUSSED IN CONNECTION WITH SUBSECTION 9.3C OF THE CIRCULAR, SUPRA.

IT IS, THEREFORE, CONCLUDED THAT WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION OF A MOBILE HOME IS ACCOMPLISHED BY COMMERCIAL MEANS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, SEPARATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION BY PRIVATE MEANS OF ITEMS WHICH ARE NOT CARRIED INSIDE THE TRAILER, IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE CIRCULAR, WHETHER SUCH ITEMS BE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, PERSONAL EFFECTS, APPURTENANCES, OR PARTS OF A TRAILER WHICH HAVE BEEN DETACHED THEREFROM.

SINCE MR. SCHMALZ HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS IN SECTION 9 OF CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.