B-199112.OM, FEB 4, 1981

B-199112.OM: Feb 4, 1981

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978 POUNDS WAS MADE UPON HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES ON AUGUST 4. THIELHORN ARE SIMILAR. WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER PREPARED BY THE CARRIER IN SUPPORT OF ITS FREIGHT CHARGES IS SUPPORTED BY A VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE. HE POINTS TO THE ALLEGED ALTERATION BY A CARRIER OF THE CUBIC FOOTAGE OF THE PRIOR 1975 SHIPMENT WHICH WAS BASED ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT. THIELHORN SAYS THIS IS EXCESSIVE. THIELHORN PRESENTED MORE EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT WAS INCLUDED IN WITH HIS WHEN THE SHIPMENT WAS WEIGHED. OR THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED ONLY ON ONE VAN. DIGEST EMPLOYEE CLAIMS THAT DETERMINATION OF EXCESS WEIGHT AND SUBSEQUENT CHARGE FOR EXCESS COSTS INCURRED IN SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO INTRA GERMANY TRANSFER IS IN ERROR BASED ON PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT MOVES AND DESPITE VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE.

B-199112.OM, FEB 4, 1981

SUBJECT: GEORGE W. THIELHORN - EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES B-199112-O.M.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP - (RM. 5858):

WE REFER TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF JUNE 3, 1980, FILE Z-2806335. MR. GEORGE W. THIELHORN REQUESTS REIMBURSEMENT OF $366.93, DEDUCTED FOR EXCESS COSTS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM KAISERSLAUTERN TO HEIDELBERG, GERMANY, INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER JUNE 10, 1976.

ALTHOUGH THIS OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE WEIGHTS OF PRIOR OR SUBSEQUENT MOVES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS EVIDENCE CASTING DOUBT ON ACTUAL WEIGHTS SHOWN ON CERTIFIED WEIGHT TICKETS, YOU BELIEVE THAT MR. THIELHORN HAS PROVIDED DOCUMENTATION CASTING DOUBT ON THE ACCURACY OF THE WEIGHT FOR THE JUNE 10, 1976 MOVE. MR. THIELHORN HAD TWO PRIOR MOVES IN 1974 AND 1975, WITH AN ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 6,157, PLUS 529 POUNDS OF UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE FOR THE 1974 SHIPMENT, AND A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF 7,700 POUNDS FOR THE 1975 SHIPMENT. A SUBSEQUENT GBL SHIPMENT WITH AN ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 7,978 POUNDS WAS MADE UPON HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES ON AUGUST 4, 1977. DURING ALL OF HIS DUTY IN GERMANY, HE HAD 4,000 POUNDS STORED IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE ITEMS ON THE INVENTORY SHEETS PRESENTED BY MR. THIELHORN ARE SIMILAR. HOWEVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF FRAUD OR CLEAR ERROR, WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER PREPARED BY THE CARRIER IN SUPPORT OF ITS FREIGHT CHARGES IS SUPPORTED BY A VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE, THE GOVERNMENT MUST RELY ON THE SCALE CERTIFICATIONS OF RECORD IN COMPUTING THE EXCESS COSTS. FREDERIC NEWMAN, B-195256, NOVEMBER 15, 1979.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. THIELHORN HAS PRESENTED EVIDENCE OF FRAUD OR CLEAR ERROR. HE POINTS TO THE ALLEGED ALTERATION BY A CARRIER OF THE CUBIC FOOTAGE OF THE PRIOR 1975 SHIPMENT WHICH WAS BASED ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT. WE FAIL TO SEE THE RELEVANCE OF THIS IN RELATING THE WEIGHT OF THE SUBSEQUENT 1976 SHIPMENT SUPPORTED BY A VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE. RATHER, A HIGH-BACK LIVING ROOM CHAIR 3-1/2 FEET, BY 2 FEET, WOULD CUBE OUT TO 14, THE AMOUNT THAT THE CARRIER IN THE PRIOR 1975 SHIPMENT ALTERED THE CUBE TO. IF YOU MULTIPLY THIS BY 7 POUNDS PER CUBIC FEET, THE FIGURE USED TO DETERMINE AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT, YOU OBTAIN A WEIGHT OF 98 POUNDS. MR. THIELHORN SAYS THIS IS EXCESSIVE, AND WE AGREE. BUT THIS EXAMPLE SHOWS WHY ESTIMATES CANNOT OVERCOME A VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE. JOSEPH S. MONTALBANO, B-197046, FEBRUARY 19, 1980.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CARRIER USED TWO VANS TO TRANSPORT MR. THIELHORN'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR THE MOVEMENT IN QUESTION. IF MR. THIELHORN PRESENTED MORE EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT WAS INCLUDED IN WITH HIS WHEN THE SHIPMENT WAS WEIGHED, OR THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED ONLY ON ONE VAN, WE WOULD AGREE THAT AN ERROR HAD OCCURRED. ABSENT SUCH PROOF, MR. THIELHORN'S CLAIM SHOULD BE DISALLOWED.

DIGEST

EMPLOYEE CLAIMS THAT DETERMINATION OF EXCESS WEIGHT AND SUBSEQUENT CHARGE FOR EXCESS COSTS INCURRED IN SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO INTRA GERMANY TRANSFER IS IN ERROR BASED ON PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT MOVES AND DESPITE VALID WEIGHT CERTIFICATE. CLAIMS GROUP IS INSTRUCTED TO DISALLOW CLAIM SINCE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT PRESENTED EVIDENCE OF FRAUD OR CLEAR ERROR IN THE COMPUTATION.