B-185982, NOV 15, 1976

B-185982: Nov 15, 1976

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EXPENSE OF SHIPPING PORTION OF EXCESS ATTRIBUTABLE TO PERSONALLY OWNED PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS MAY BE REGARDED AS APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE OF AGENCY IF AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL CERTIFIES THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NECESSARY AND THAT OTHERWISE SIMILAR MATERIALS WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BE OBTAINED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. CELLAROSI - MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - EXCESS WEIGHT: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM EMMA AXLINE. TRAVEL AND MOVING EXPENSES WERE AUTHORIZED. 760 POUNDS AND WAS BILLED $769.54 BY THE BUREAU FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT. CELLAROSI CLAIMS THAT HE IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING ANY PORTION OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE WEIGHT LIMITATION AND WOULD HAVE MADE DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS IF HE HAD BEEN SO INFORMED.

B-185982, NOV 15, 1976

EMPLOYEE WHO SHIPPED HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS IN EXCESS OF WEIGHT LIMITATION MAY NOT BE RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR COST OF SHIPPING THAT PORTION OF EXCESS ATTRIBUTABLE TO HOUSEHOLD GOODS. HOWEVER, EXPENSE OF SHIPPING PORTION OF EXCESS ATTRIBUTABLE TO PERSONALLY OWNED PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS MAY BE REGARDED AS APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE OF AGENCY IF AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL CERTIFIES THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NECESSARY AND THAT OTHERWISE SIMILAR MATERIALS WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BE OBTAINED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

MARIO J. CELLAROSI - MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - EXCESS WEIGHT:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM EMMA AXLINE, A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1976, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF BILLIND MARIO J. CELLAROSI FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS WHICH EXCEEDED THE 11,000 POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY 5 U.S.C. 5724(A)(2) (1970).

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. CELLAROSI REPORTED TO THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND, HIS FIRST DUTY STATION, ON NOVEMBER 10, 1974. TRAVEL AND MOVING EXPENSES WERE AUTHORIZED, BUT MR. CELLAROSI EXCEEDED THE WEIGHT LIMITATION FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY 5,760 POUNDS AND WAS BILLED $769.54 BY THE BUREAU FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT. MR. CELLAROSI CLAIMS THAT HE IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING ANY PORTION OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE WEIGHT LIMITATION AND WOULD HAVE MADE DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS IF HE HAD BEEN SO INFORMED.

ACCORDING TO THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE EMPLOYING ACTIVITY AT THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, 4,000 POUNDS OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT WAS FOR PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE AND MATERIAL AND COULD HAVE BEEN HANDLED AS A DIRECT TECHNICAL COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THOSE ITEMS. THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, THEREFORE, HAS REQUESTED THAT THE EXPENSE OF MOVING THE PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE AND MATERIAL IS COVERED BY DIRECT TECHNICAL COSTS.

IN DECISIONS OF MAY 13, 1971, AND OCTOBER 22, 1974, B-171677, WE ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT OF ARMY AND THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, RESPECTIVELY, THAT WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO A REGULATION PERMITTING TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S PERSONALLY OWNED PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IF THE REGULATION REQUIRED A SUPPORTING CERTIFICATE THAT SHIPMENT WAS NECESSARY IN LIEU OF PURCHASE OF SIMILAR ITEMS REQUIRED FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL USE. THE COST OF SUCH A SHIPMENT WAS TO BE REGARDED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE BUREAU HAS NO REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR THE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S PROFESSIONAL MATERIAL. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE DECISIONS CITED ABOVE, WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION IF THE BUREAU TREATS THE SHIPMENT OF MR. CELLAROSI'S PROFESSIONAL MATERIALS AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE, PROVIDED THAT AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL CERTIFIES THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NECESSARY AND THAT SIMILAR MATERIALS WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE OBTAINED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF THEY HAD NOT BEEN TRANSPORTED TO MR. CELLAROSI'S DUTY STATION. IN ORDER TO AVOID FUTURE MISUNDERSTANDINGS, WE URGE THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS TO ADOPT A REGULATION PROVIDING FOR THE UNIFORM TREATMENT OF SUCH SHIPMENTS.

AS TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, HOWEVER, NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR EMPLOYEE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO PERMIT TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY 11,000 POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION AND, AS A RESULT, THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT PAY ITS EMPLOYEES FOR CHARGES INCURRED INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THAT EXCESS. B-161523, AUGUST 20, 1969; B-174755, JANUARY 18, 1972; B-181631, OCTOBER 9, 1974. MR. CELLAROSI, THEREFORE, MAY NOT BE RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING THAT PORTION OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT ATTRIBUTABLE TO HOUSEHOLD GOODS MERELY BECAUSE HE WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY TOLD OF THE WEIGHT LIMITATION.

THE DETERMINATION AS TO REQUIRING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE EXCESS WEIGHT SHOULD BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.