Claim for Costs of Household Goods Transportation

B-203036: Feb 9, 1982

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An Air Force employee requested further consideration of his claim for reimbursement of charges for excess weight in the shipment of household goods incident to a permanent change-of-station assignment. A previous decision by the Claims Group denied reimbursement on the basis that the Government reimburses transportation expenses of that part of the shipment not in excess of the prescribed weight limit. The employee asserted that he should not be held responsible for any of the cost of disassembling a large pipe organ. Furthermore, he contended that he was advised that disassembly was authorized to be performed at Government expense. Statutory regulations provide that household goods may be transported at Government expense in accordance with the weight limit prescribed by those regulations. Provision is also made for a percentage increase in weight to allow for necessary packing and crating. GAO held that, even if the employee was told that disassembly would be at Government expense, total cost of transportation which includes the costs of disassembling and packing must be prorated when the weight shipped is excessive. Thus, the employee must bear his share of costs incurred by the Air Force in connection with the shipment of the pipe organ. Accordingly, the employee remained responsible for such costs.