B-20347, OCTOBER 2, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 283

B-20347: Oct 2, 1941

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WHERE A SECOND SHIPMENT IS MADE AFTER THE GOVERNMENT HAD PREVIOUSLY SHIPPED A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS. COST AS IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT. 19 COMP. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5. A DEFINITE PROCEDURE IS IN EFFECT FOR THE HANDLING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF NAVY PERSONNEL BY THE VARIOUS NAVAL ACTIVITIES. CONTRACTS ARE ENTERED INTO FOR PACKING. PROVIDED THE EFFECTS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED ZONE LIMITS AS DESCRIBED IN ARTICLE 1882. IT IS THE PRESENT PRACTICE ALSO TO FURNISH GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING FOR USE IN EFFECTING SHIPMENTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS TO BE TRANSPORTED MAY BE LOCATED OUTSIDE THE ESTABLISHED ZONE LIMITS.

B-20347, OCTOBER 2, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 283

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UPON CHANGE OF STATION OF ITS EMPLOYEES, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT MAY PROCURE THE PACKING, CRATING, ETC., OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AND SHIP THE EFFECTS ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING, EVEN THOUGH SUCH EFFECTS BE LOCATED AT OR SHIPPED TO POINTS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYEES' DUTY STATION, PROVIDED ANY EXCESS COST OF SUCH SHIPMENTS BE IMMEDIATELY COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEES, BUT WHERE A SECOND SHIPMENT IS MADE AFTER THE GOVERNMENT HAD PREVIOUSLY SHIPPED A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS, THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD MAKE THE SHIPMENT ON COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING AND FILE CLAIM IN THIS OFFICE FOR SO MUCH OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND INCIDENTAL PACKING, CRATING, ETC., COST AS IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT. 19 COMP. GEN. 476, DISTINGUISHED, AND 20 COMP. GEN. 568, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 2, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1941, REFERENCE L19/L21 (410821) K, REQUESTING A DECISION OF THE QUESTIONS STATED IN A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, NAVY DEPARTMENT, DATED AUGUST 21, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

1. A DEFINITE PROCEDURE IS IN EFFECT FOR THE HANDLING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF NAVY PERSONNEL BY THE VARIOUS NAVAL ACTIVITIES. CONTRACTS ARE ENTERED INTO FOR PACKING, CRATING AND HAULING OF SUCH EFFECTS, WHEN NECESSARY, PROVIDED THE EFFECTS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED ZONE LIMITS AS DESCRIBED IN ARTICLE 1882, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MANUAL.

2. IT IS THE PRESENT PRACTICE ALSO TO FURNISH GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING FOR USE IN EFFECTING SHIPMENTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS TO BE TRANSPORTED MAY BE LOCATED OUTSIDE THE ESTABLISHED ZONE LIMITS, THUS OBVIATING THE NECESSITY OF PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES BY THE PERSONNEL CONCERNED. IN CASE OF EXCESS COSTS COLLECTION IS MADE BY CHECK AGE OF THE PAY ACCOUNT OF THE OWNER OF THE EFFECTS.

3. WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940 ( PUBLIC NO. 839, 76TH CONGRESS) AND THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1941 ( PUBLIC NO. 13, 77TH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION) MAKING NAVY APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TRANSPORTATION AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY, IT WAS CONTEMPLATED TO USE THE SAME CONTRACTS AND FOLLOW THE SAME PROCEDURE IN THE HANDLING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIANS AS THAT FOLLOWED FOR NAVY PERSONNEL.

4. SINCE THE ZONES ESTABLISHED AT SUCH POINTS WHERE NAVAL ACTIVITIES ARE LOCATED DO NOT COINCIDE WITH THE DUTY STATION LIMITS AS DEFINED IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED, AND AS THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, B-14917, DATED MARCH 27, 1941 (20 COMP. GEN. 568), IMPOSES CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS, IT IS REQUESTED THAT DECISION BE OBTAINED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON THE FOLLOWING:

(A) WHETHER THE SUPPLY OFFICER OF A NAVY YARD OR NAVAL STATION MAY ARRANGE FOR THE HANDLING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED THERETO, WHEN SUCH EFFECTS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE ZONE LIMITS AS ESTABLISHED FOR NAVY PERSONNEL BUT BEYOND THE DUTY STATION LIMITS AS DEFINED IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED.

(B) WHETHER A NAVAL ACTIVITY MAY FURNISH GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, IF SHIPMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS, REGARDLESS OF THE LOCATION OF THE EFFECTS, PROVIDED ADEQUATE PROVISION IS MADE TO COLLECT FROM THE OWNER ANY EXCESS COSTS NOT CONTEMPLATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588, DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1940.

UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, IF OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW, MAY BE MADE, SUBJECT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT,"WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED.' THIS PROVISION WOULD SEEM TO CONTEMPLATE REGULATIONS BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, PURSUANT TO THE BASIC LAWS APPLICABLE TO THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, AND PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED IN SUCH CASES WHEN SHIPMENT IS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. IF THERE BE NO REGULATIONS THEN THERE IS AUTHORITY IN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT TO APPROVE SUCH PAYMENT, SUBJECT, OF COURSE, TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT.

IT IS PROPOSED TO EXTEND TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THE EXISTING PROVISIONS OF NAVAL REGULATIONS FOR SHIPMENT OF THE BAGGAGE OR HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, NURSES, AND CERTAIN GRADES OF ENLISTED MEN. THE DOUBT WHICH PROMPTED THE PRESENT SUBMISSION APPARENTLY ARISES FROM CERTAIN LANGUAGE IN THE DECISION OF MARCH 27, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 568.

THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT CONTAIN A PROVISION FOR THE USE OF GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING. SEE SECTION 6 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588 DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1940. IN THE DECISION OF MARCH 27, 1941, CITATION WAS MADE TO 19 COMP. GEN. 476, A CASE IN WHICH THE AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT WAS FOR A SHORT DISTANCE, THE GOODS WERE IN STORAGE AT A MUCH GREATER DISTANCE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, AND INVOLVED ALSO A COMPARISON OF THE COST OF PACKING AND CRATING AT THE OLD STATION WITH THE COST OF PACKING AND CRATING AT THE PLACE WHERE THE GOODS WERE IN STORAGE. THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION CONTEMPLATED THAT WHERE UNUSUAL CONDITIONS EXIST INVOLVING COMPARATIVE COSTS THE SHIPMENT SHOULD BE BY COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING AND ADJUSTMENT OF THE CLAIM ARISING SHOULD NOT BE MADE BY A DISBURSING OFFICER BUT SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE TO OBVIATE POSSIBLE DISAGREEMENTS AS TO THE PROPER BASIS FOR ADJUSTMENT. WHEN THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE DECISION OF MARCH 27, 1941, IS CONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS APPARENT THAT SAID DECISION WAS NOT INTENDED TO MAKE ANY CHANGE IN THE PRACTICE FOLLOWED IN MANY OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF SHIPPING THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING, ANY EXCESS IN WEIGHT, OR EXCESS IN COST BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE FROM A PLACE OUTSIDE OF THE MUNICIPALITY OR CITY WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS STATIONED AND FROM WHICH SHIPMENT WAS MADE TO A PLACE NOT WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE STATION TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS BEING TRANSFERRED, TO BE PAID FOR BY THE EMPLOYEE IMMEDIATELY UPON ASCERTAINMENT OF THE EXCESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SO ARISING. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED LETTER ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING, HOWEVER, THAT ANY INCREASED COST RESULTING FROM SUCH USE OF GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ASCERTAINED AND COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED. IT IS FURTHER TO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT WHERE A SECOND SHIPMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE IS MADE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES RECITED AND A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF HIS AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN SHIPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS A PRIMARY SHIPMENT ON HIS CHANGE OF STATION, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING FOR, OR PAY ANY CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH, SUCH SECOND SHIPMENT. IF AND WHEN ANY AMOUNT IS BELIEVED TO BE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH SECOND SHIPMENT ON THE EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE OF STATION, CLAIM THEREFOR SHOULD BE PRESENTED BY THE EMPLOYEE TO THIS OFFICE AFTER SHIPMENT BY HIM ON COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING AND PAYMENT BY HIM OF ANY COST OF PACKING, CRATING AND DRAYING.