B-181585, AUG 15, 1974

B-181585: Aug 15, 1974

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EXPENSE OF MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM STORAGE TO RESIDENCE WHERE NO TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND WHERE POINTS OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION ARE IN THE SAME METROPOLITAN AREA MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED. BELA ZEMPLENY - TRANSPORT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN SAME METROPOLITAN AREA: THIS IS AN APPEAL BY MR. FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH WERE INCURRED DECEMBER 18. THE VOUCHER WAS THEN FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE ACCOMPANIED BY AN AGENCY REPORT EXPLAINING THE REASON FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DENIAL OF THE CLAIM. THE REASON WAS THAT. ZEMPLENY'S LAST DUTY POST WAS WASHINGTON. VIRGINIA (METROPOLITAN AREA OF WASHINGTON) THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED AND NONE WAS AUTHORIZED.".

B-181585, AUG 15, 1974

WHERE FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER RETIRES FROM LAST POST OF DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM STORAGE AT LANDOVER, MARYLAND, TO ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. EXPENSE OF MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM STORAGE TO RESIDENCE WHERE NO TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND WHERE POINTS OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION ARE IN THE SAME METROPOLITAN AREA MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED.

BELA ZEMPLENY - TRANSPORT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN SAME METROPOLITAN AREA:

THIS IS AN APPEAL BY MR. BELA ZEMPLENY, A RETIRED EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY (USIA) FROM A SETTLEMENT OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION DATED APRIL 8, 1974, DENYING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM STORAGE AT LANDOVER, MARYLAND, TO HIS RETIREMENT RESIDENCE IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

FOLLOWING DENIAL OF HIS CLAIM BY THE USIA, MR. ZEMPLENY, AT THE SUGGESTION OF THAT AGENCY, PREPARED A VOUCHER DATED MARCH 3, 1973, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH WERE INCURRED DECEMBER 18, 1972. THE VOUCHER WAS THEN FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE ACCOMPANIED BY AN AGENCY REPORT EXPLAINING THE REASON FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DENIAL OF THE CLAIM. THE REASON WAS THAT, "SINCE MR. ZEMPLENY'S LAST DUTY POST WAS WASHINGTON, D.C. AND HE CHOSE TO RETIRE IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA (METROPOLITAN AREA OF WASHINGTON) THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED AND NONE WAS AUTHORIZED." IN THIS CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT MR. ZEMPLENY'S VOUCHER SHOWS, IN THE SECTION ENTITLED "STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION" THE WORD "NONE."

THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS IN THIS MATTER ARE FOUND IN VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL (FAM). SECTION 125.9 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS, WITH RESPECT TO POINTS BETWEEN WHICH OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION MAY BE AUTHORIZED:

"125.9 MILITARY FURLOUGH, RESIGNATION, RETIREMENT AND OTHER SEPARATIONS.

FROM POST OR ANY PLACE WHERE PRESENCE IS DUE TO GOVERNMENT ORDERS TO DESIGNATED PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS POSSESSIONS, OR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR, IN THE CASE OF LOCAL EMPLOYEES, TO A DESIGNATED PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT."

SECTION 121.2 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES, WITH RESPECT TO AUTHORIZATION AND APPROVAL OF TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES OF THE USIA, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"A. THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF TRAVEL OR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF USIA FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES MUST BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY WASHINGTON:

"(1) TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS, AND RELATED ITEMS FOR TRAVEL OF AGENCY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS IN CONNECTION WITH PERSONNEL ACTIONS

AS NOTED ABOVE, THE TRANSPORTATION OF MR. ZEMPLENY'S EFFECTS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS REQUIRED BY THE ABOVE-CITED REGULATIONS.

IN ANALAGOUS CASES INVOLVING MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR WHOM THE LAW AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS SIMILAR, WE HAVE HELD THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF "HAULING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER AT THE SAME STATION OR FROM ONE RESIDENCE TO ANOTHER IN THE SAME CITY OR ADJACENT AREA." 27 COMP. GEN. 274 (1947) CITING PRECEDENT CASES. SEE, ALSO B-77019 (JUNE 30, 1946).

IN A CASE INVOLVING THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FROM OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, WHERE THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEE WERE ALREADY IN STORAGE IN SAN FRANCISCO, WE DENIED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM STORAGE TO RESIDENCE. THAT DECISION, 26 COMP. GEN. 952 (1947) STATED AT PAGE 954:

"*** IT HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE FOR YEARS THAT THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER WITHIN THE SAME CITY, INCLUDING MOVEMENT FROM STORAGE TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SUCH AS CONTEMPLATED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS BUT IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE NOT PAYABLE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. 9 COMP. GEN. 377; 13 ID. 210; B-42432, JUNE 26, 1944; B-43887, SEPTEMBER 21, 1944; AND B-49161, AUGUST 21, 1945.

"ACCORDINGLY, AS MR. GWYTHER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ALREADY WERE LOCATED IN SAN FRANCISCO WHEN HIS OFFICIAL STATION WAS CHANGED TO THAT CITY DECEMBER 3, 1946, NO SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS INVOLVED WITHIN CONTEMPLATION OF THE REGULATIONS, AND ANY EXPENSE OF MOVING SUCH EFFECTS FROM STORAGE AT ONE POINT TO HIS RESIDENCE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION AS DEFINED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION CONSTITUTES A PERSONAL EXPENSE, NO PART OF WHICH MAY BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS."

FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, WE AFFIRM THE DISALLOWANCE OF MR. ZEMPLENY'S CLAIM AND THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION.