B-182723, APR 2, 1975

B-182723: Apr 2, 1975

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FORMER EMPLOYEE SEPARATED FROM POSITION IN ALASKA WHOSE DESIGNATED PRIOR RESIDENCE WAS EDMONDS. IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO ALTERNATE ALASKA LOCATION LIMITED TO CONSTRUCTIVE COST BETWEEN ALASKA DUTY STATION AND EDMONDS. SINCE MOVE WAS ACCOMPLISHED UNDER ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD. CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE CANNOT BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTATION UNLESS REASONABLE COSTS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR NECESSARY TEMPORARY STORAGE IN THE ALASKA MOVE. WALTERS WAS INITIALLY AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM ANCHORAGE TO EDMONDS. WHICH WAS APPARENTLY HIS DESIGNATED RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT TO THE ANCHORAGE POSITION. BEFORE THIS SHIPMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED.

B-182723, APR 2, 1975

FORMER EMPLOYEE SEPARATED FROM POSITION IN ALASKA WHOSE DESIGNATED PRIOR RESIDENCE WAS EDMONDS, WASHINGTON, IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO ALTERNATE ALASKA LOCATION LIMITED TO CONSTRUCTIVE COST BETWEEN ALASKA DUTY STATION AND EDMONDS; HOWEVER, SINCE MOVE WAS ACCOMPLISHED UNDER ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD, CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE CANNOT BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTATION UNLESS REASONABLE COSTS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR NECESSARY TEMPORARY STORAGE IN THE ALASKA MOVE.

GEORGE WALTERS - TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ALTERNATE LOCATION IN ALASKA INCIDENT TO SEPARATION:

THIS CASE CONCERNS THE REQUEST OF AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, JOHN P. ARKANSAS, AREA FINANCE OFFICER, JUNEAU AREA OFFICE, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION ON THE CLAIM OF MR. GEORGE WALTERS, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, FOR TRANSPORTATION COSTS IN MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO NOME, ALASKA, AFTER HIS RESIGNATION FROM GOVERNMENT SERVICE, EFFECTIVE MAY 17, 1974.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THE TIME OF HIS SEPARATION MR. WALTERS WAS INITIALLY AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM ANCHORAGE TO EDMONDS, WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS APPARENTLY HIS DESIGNATED RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT TO THE ANCHORAGE POSITION. BEFORE THIS SHIPMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED, MR. WALTERS ACCEPTED PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT IN NOME, ALASKA, AND THE AGENCY ISSUED A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING INSTRUCTING THE CARRIER TO SHIP THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO NOME, INSTEAD OF EDMONDS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT BILL OF LADING, MR. WALTERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED TO NOME.

UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5722 AND 5724 (1970), EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED OR APPOINTED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES," ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE, AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER OR APPOINTMENT, TO THE NEW PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT. BY STATUTORY DEFINITION "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" MEANS THE SEVERAL STATES BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE ALASKA. 5 U.S.C. 5721(3) (1970). IN ADDITION, UPON RETURN FROM THE POST OF DUTY LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVES TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO THE PLACE WHICH WAS HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF THE INITIAL ASSIGNMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTE PROVIDE THAT RETURN TRANSPORTATION AFTER SEPARATION FROM SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES MAY BE FURNISHED THE EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE "TO AN ALTERNATE LOCATION, PROVIDED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO HIS RESIDENCE AT THE TIME HE WAS ASSIGNED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION." FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7) PARA. 2-1.5G(4) (MAY 1973). IN 46 COMP. GEN. 838 (1967) THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE STATIONED IN ALASKA WHOSE RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT WAS IN ANOTHER OF THE 50 STATES COULD BE AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION UPON SEPARATION TO AN ALTERNATE LOCATION IN ANY ONE OF THE 50 STATES, PROVIDED THE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES DID NOT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE. THEREFORE, IT IS CLEAR THAT MR. WALTERS IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM ANCHORAGE TO NOME, NOT TO EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SUCH A SHIPMENT (10,200 POUNDS) BETWEEN ANCHORAGE AND EDMONDS.

WITH RESPECT TO COSTS FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE, APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT WHEN THE ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD IS USED, THE GOVERNMENT WILL NORMALLY ARRANGE FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE AND PAY THE COST THEREOF DIRECT. SEE FTR PARA. 2-8.5B(2) (MAY 1973). TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY WHEN SUCH STORAGE IS INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SEE FTR PARA. 2-8.5A (MAY 1973). WHILE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT TEMPORARY STORAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED IF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO INCLUDING THE COST OF THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH GOODS IN ALASKA WITHIN APPLICABLE LIMITS IN COMPUTING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF THE SHIPMENT TO THE UNITED STATES. THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING L-0088805, DATED JUNE 14, 1974, AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM ANCHORAGE TO NOME SHOWS A QUOTED PRICE OF $65 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT FOR PICK UP, STORAGE AND DELIVERY. WE HAVE INFORMALLY LEARNED THAT MR. WALTERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE TEMPORARILY STORED IN ANCHORAGE FOR THE 60 DAY PERIOD AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COSTS MAY INCLUDE AN APPROPRIATE AMOUNT FOR SUCH STORAGE.

IF MR. WALTERS' HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DAMAGED IN TRANSIT, A CLAIM BY HIM AGAINST THE CARRIER COULD BE CONSIDERED. WHEN SHIPMENT IS MADE BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, FTR PARA. 2-8.3B(2) (MAY 1973) PROVIDES THAT THE AUTHORIZING AGENCY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROCESSING ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE CLAIM ASSERTED BY AN EMPLOYEE (OR FORMER EMPLOYEE) AGAINST A CARRIER. MOREOVER, CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS MAY, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, BE PAYABLE UNDER THE MILITARY PERSONNEL AND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES' CLAIMS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 240-243 (1970). SEE FTR PARA. 2-8.2E (MAY 1973).

WE CONCLUDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, IS OBLIGATED TO MAKE PAYMENT TO THE CARRIER ON THE SUBJECT GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING IN THE AMOUNT OF $6,630, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. SEE 49 U.S.C. 66 (1970). COLLECTION ACTION MUST THEN BE TAKEN AGAINST MR. WALTERS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $6,630 AND (1) THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SHIPPING 10,200 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO EDMONDS, WASHINGTON, PLUS (2) THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST FOR 60 DAYS TEMPORARY STORAGE OF 10,200 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN ANCHORAGE.