Claim for Reimbursement of Excess Costs of Shipping Privately Owned Vehicle

B-193898: Feb 21, 1979

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A former member of the Army appealed the denial of his claim for reimbursement of the excess costs of shipping his privately owned vehicle (POV) to the United States. Informed by the transportation officer at his duty station that it would take 6 to 8 weeks to ship his POV on a space available basis, and unwilling to wait that long, the member arranged to ship his POV through a private agency by air cargo at his own expense. The member contended that the cost difference to him by shipping via air cargo instead of space available at government cost should have been paid by the government since government personnel did not process his resignation in a timely fashion. The member indicated that this delay did not permit the issuance of separation orders in sufficient time for him to have the POV shipped at government expense to arrive in time in the United States to coincide with his expected arrival in the United States for processing for separation. The liability of the government is limited to that provided by law, and the government cannot be bound beyond the actual authority conferred on its agents by statute. Since the government was not under obligation to deliver a POV at any particular time, no damages were incurred by the member. The denial of the claim was sustained.