B-181402, APR 10, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 847

B-181402: Apr 10, 1975

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HUSBAND AND WIFE - TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION MATTERS - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - TWO MOVEMENTS - DUAL RIGHTS WHERE MILITARY MEMBER AND WIFE EACH WERE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM GERMANY. WIFE'S ENTITLEMENT ON TERMINATION OF TEACHING CONTRACT WITH ARMY WAS TO DETROIT. HUSBAND'S ENTITLEMENT ON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WAS NOT TO EXCEED DISTANCE FROM GERMANY TO HAILEY. GOODS WERE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON WIFE'S ORDERS FROM GERMANY TO WAREHOUSE AT LINCOLN PARK. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THIS SHIPMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION IS LIMITED TO THE GREATER ENTITLEMENT AND WITH PAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE DRAYAGE PLUS SHIPMENT TO LINCOLN PARK. 1975: THIS IS A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT BY THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION.

B-181402, APR 10, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 847

HUSBAND AND WIFE - TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION MATTERS - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - TWO MOVEMENTS - DUAL RIGHTS WHERE MILITARY MEMBER AND WIFE EACH WERE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM GERMANY, WIFE'S ENTITLEMENT ON TERMINATION OF TEACHING CONTRACT WITH ARMY WAS TO DETROIT, MICHIGAN, AREA, AND HUSBAND'S ENTITLEMENT ON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WAS NOT TO EXCEED DISTANCE FROM GERMANY TO HAILEY, IDAHO, AND GOODS WERE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON WIFE'S ORDERS FROM GERMANY TO WAREHOUSE AT LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN, AND LATER MEMBER HAD GOODS SHIPPED FROM LINCOLN PARK TO BOISE, IDAHO, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THIS SHIPMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION IS LIMITED TO THE GREATER ENTITLEMENT AND WITH PAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE DRAYAGE PLUS SHIPMENT TO LINCOLN PARK, THAT ENTITLEMENT RESULTED IN A GREATER PAYMENT.

IN THE MATTER OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, APRIL 10, 1975:

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT BY THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ON MARCH 14, 1974, WHICH DETERMINED THAT CAPTAIN MICHAEL M. MALLORY, USAR, WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE COST OF SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN, TO BOISE, IDAHO, INCIDENT TO HIS RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY SPECIAL ORDERS NUMBER 105, DATED APRIL 13, 1972, CAPTAIN MALLORY WAS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE ARMY, EFFECTIVE APRIL 18, 1972, AT AUGSBURG, GERMANY. AT THAT TIME HIS WIFE WAS EMPLOYED AS A DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TEACHER UNDER A CONTRACT DUE TO EXPIRE IN JUNE 1972. AFTER THE MEMBER'S RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY HE REMAINED IN GERMANY AS HIS WIFE'S DEPENDENT, FOR THE REMAINDER OF THEIR STAY IN GERMANY. JUNE THE COUPLE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM AUGSBURG, GERMANY, TO LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN, MRS. MALLORY'S PLACE OF HIRE, UNDER HER ORDERS DATED MAY 10, 1972. THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS REMAINED IN STORAGE AT LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN, UNTIL SEPTEMBER 21, 1972, WHEN THEY WERE SHIPPED TO BOISE, IDAHO, AT CAPTAIN MALLORY'S PERSONAL EXPENSE.

CAPTAIN MALLORY HAS SAID THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED BACK TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER HIS WIFE'S ORDERS IN ORDER TO AVOID THE NECESSARY PAPER WORK IN HAVING THEM SHIPPED UNDER HIS SEPARATION ORDERS. IN A LETTER TO THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, DATED JULY 7, 1973, HE SAID THAT HE DID NOT INITIALLY RETURN TO IDAHO BECAUSE HE WAS AWAITING AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, AND WAS INFORMED THAT HIS EMPLOYER WOULD PAY THE COST OF SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT. ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1972, THE MEMBER WAS HIRED; HOWEVER, THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE DID NOT PAY THE COSTS OF SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO BOISE, IDAHO, HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT.

THE MEMBER INDICATES THAT SINCE HE HAD ENTITLEMENT TO SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM AUGSBURG, GERMANY, HIS PLACE OF SEPARATION FROM ACTIVE DUTY, TO HAILEY, IDAHO, HIS HOME OF RECORD, THAT HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS FROM LINCOLN PARK TO BOISE. CAPTAIN MALLORY PAID $1,184.10 FOR SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS TO BOISE; HOWEVER, SINCE IN ADDITION TO GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT TO LINCOLN PARK, MRS. MALLORY WAS ALLOWED $279.72 BASED ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DRAYAGE FROM THE WAREHOUSE TO A RESIDENCE IN THE LOCAL AREA, HIS CLAIM IS FOR $904.38 ($1,184.10 LESS $279.72).

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. (1970) PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.

PARAGRAPH M8259-1, VOLUME 1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR) PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE PLACE ELECTED BY THE MEMBER FOR HIS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER PARA. M4157, 1 JTR (HOME OF RECORD OR PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY) FROM WHICHEVER OF THE FOLLOWING IS APPLICABLE: THE LAST OR ANY PREVIOUS PERMANENT DUTY STATION; A DESIGNATED PLACE TO WHICH TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; OR A PLACE OF AUTHORIZED STORAGE. SHIPMENTS MAY BE MADE BETWEEN PLACES OTHER THAN THE PLACES STATED SUBJECT TO THE MEMBER'S PAYMENT OF ALL COSTS OF SHIPMENT IN EXCESS OF SHIPMENT FROM THE PLACE OF AUTHORIZED ORIGIN TO THE PLACE ELECTED BY THE MEMBER FOR HIS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. IN SUCH EVENT, HIS PAYMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS COSTS WILL BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR SHIPMENTS OF A LIKE WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN ONE LOT FROM THE LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR THE ACTUAL LOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WHICHEVER WOULD RESULT IN A LOWER COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THE MEMBER ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. ADDITIONALLY, PARA, M8007-2, 1 JTR, PROVIDES THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S MAXIMUM TRANSPORTATION OBLIGATION IS THE COST OF A THROUGH HOUSEHOLD GOODS MOVEMENT OF A MEMBER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE IN ONE LOT BETWEEN AUTHORIZED PLACES.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, MRS. MALLORY AS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM AUGSBURG, GERMANY, TO THE DETROIT, MICHIGAN, AREA. CONSEQUENTLY, THE GOVERNMENT PAID $1,877.23 (6,216 LBS. $30.20 PER 100 LBS.), AND PAID $279.72 FOR ESTIMATED DRAYAGE COST FROM THE WAREHOUSE IN LINCOLN PARK TO A RESIDENCE IN THE DETROIT AREA, FOR A TOTAL COST OF $2,156.95. IN ACCORD WITH PARAS. M8259-1 AND M8007-2, 1 JTR, CAPTAIN MALLORY INCIDENT TO HIS RELEASE FROM ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE WAS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ONE THROUGH SHIPMENT FROM AUGSBURG TO HAILEY, IDAHO. THE COST IS COMPUTED TO BE $1,982.90 (6,216 LBS. $31.90 PER 100 LBS.).

IN DECISION B-157413, OCTOBER 13, 1965, THE MEMBER, WHO WAS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND APPOINTED TO A CIVILIAN POSITION, ELECTED TO MOVE HIS GOODS UNDER THE AUTHORITY PERTAINING TO HIS MILITARY STATUS. HE WAS REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXCESS DISTANCE AND WEIGHT IN MOVING HIS GOODS FROM THE AREA OF HIS LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT RATHER THAN TO HIS HOME OF RECORD. IT WAS INDICATED THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTATION ENTITLEMENTS OF MILITARY MEMBERS AND THOSE OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE NOT SUSPECTIBLE OF BEING ADDED WHEN THERE IS A SINGLE SHIPMENT BUT THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS ENTITLED TO THE LARGER OF THE TWO ALLOWANCES OR BENEFITS. IN SUCH CASES THE GOVERNMENT HAS BUT A SINGLE BASIC OBLIGATION.

IN ACCORD WITH THE FOREGOING RATIONALE, CAPTAIN AND MRS. MALLORY COULD CHOOSE TO SHIP THEIR 6,216 LBS. OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER EITHER OF THEIR ENTITLEMENTS. HOWEVER, AFTER UTILIZATION OF MRS. MALLORY'S ENTITLEMENT AS AN EMPLOYEE, HER HUSBAND'S ENTITLEMENT TO SHIPMENT OF THE SAME GOODS, AS A MILITARY MEMBER, MAY NOT BE ADDED TO HERS IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION IN REGARD TO THOSE GOODS. HOWEVER, AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT COULD BE ALLOWED TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ENTITLEMENT NOT USED WAS GREATER THAN THE ENTITLEMENT USED.

SINCE THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY HAS PAID $2,156.95 UNDER MRS. MALLORY'S ENTITLEMENT, AND THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM AUGSBURG TO BOISE UNDER HER HUSBAND'S ENTITLEMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN $1,982.90, THERE BEING NO INDICATION THAT DRAYAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED AT BOISE, IT APPEARS THAT THE GREATER OF THE TWO ENTITLEMENTS HAS BEEN PAID. WHILE IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE TIME OF SHIPMENT OF GOODS FROM AUGSBURG, INCLUDING UNCERTAINTY REGARDING CAPTAIN MALLORY'S OBTAINING EMPLOYMENT AT BOISE, AND THE EXPECTATION THAT TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THAT CONNECTION, RESULTED IN SHIPPING THE GOODS TO THE DETROIT AREA, SUCH EVENTS PROVIDE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO CAPTAIN MALLORY FOR THE SUBSEQUENT TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS FROM THERE TO BOISE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM PRESENTED MUST BE SUSTAINED.