B-21585, DECEMBER 11, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 559

B-21585: Dec 11, 1941

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WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER ANY REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN OR IS TO BE COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS FOR SUCH EXCESS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 23. SUCH AUTHORITY TO PAY CARRIERS DOES NOT PRECLUDE A DETERMINATION BY THE PROPER AUTHORITY THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER OR OTHER WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICER IS PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURE TO COLLECT THE REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT. WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISALLOWANCE IF COLLECTION CANNOT BE MADE OF THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS CHARGES DUE FROM THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. IS AS FOLLOWS: 12. IS PLACED ON ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE RANK OF MAJOR. IS THEN ASSIGNED TO BENICIA ARSENAL. WILL PROCEED TO BENICIA. MAJOR SUCHER WILL RANK FROM 14 MAY.

B-21585, DECEMBER 11, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 559

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ARMY OFFICERS - PAYMENT TO CARRIER PRIOR TO COLLECTION OF EXCESS COST CARRIERS MAY BE PAID IN FULL AND IN DUE COURSE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ETC., INCLUDING THAT IN EXCESS OF THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, OF ARMY OFFICERS UPON CHANGE OF STATION, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER ANY REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN OR IS TO BE COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS FOR SUCH EXCESS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910, BUT SUCH AUTHORITY TO PAY CARRIERS DOES NOT PRECLUDE A DETERMINATION BY THE PROPER AUTHORITY THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER OR OTHER WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICER IS PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURE TO COLLECT THE REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO COL. W. M. DIXON, UNITED STATES ARMY, DECEMBER 11, 941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 27, 1941, TRANSMITTING THE BILL NO. 2610 OF THE NATIONAL CARLOADING CORPORATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $268, COVERING THE COST OF TRANSPORTING 12,613 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND 1,078 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF LT. COL. JACOB G. SUCHER, UNITED STATES ARMY, RETIRED, ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. WQ-3793624, DATED JULY 15, 1941, SHIPPED BY THE QUARTERMASTER, ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ILL., TO THE QUARTERMASTER, BENICIA ARSENAL, ARMY POINT, CALIF., AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER, IN VIEW OF DECISION B-19000, AUGUST 20, 1941 (1) PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO THE CARRIER FOR THE ENTIRE SERVICE PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE COLLECTION OF THE AMOUNT DUE FROM THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY, AND (2) IF ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISALLOWANCE IF COLLECTION CANNOT BE MADE OF THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS CHARGES DUE FROM THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.

PARAGRAPH 12, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 154, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED JULY 3, 1941, IS AS FOLLOWS:

12. BY DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, LIEUTENANT COLONEL JACOB G. SUCHER (0- 11215), UNITED STATES ARMY, RETIRED, NOW AT DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, IS PLACED ON ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE RANK OF MAJOR, THE RANK HELD UPON HIS RETIREMENT, EFFECTIVE 14 JULY, 1941, IS THEN ASSIGNED TO BENICIA ARSENAL, BENICIA, CALIFORNIA, AND WILL PROCEED TO BENICIA, CALIFORNIA, AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER FOR DUTY. MAJOR SUCHER WILL RANK FROM 14 MAY, 1940. THE TRAVEL DIRECTED IS NECESSARY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. FD 1420 P 1-05, 15-06 A 10410-2.

PARAGRAPH 12 A (8) ARMY REGULATIONS 30-960, MAY 24, 1938, AS AMENDED BY CIRCULAR NO. 68, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED JULY 1, 1940, PROVIDES THAT:

RETIRED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, FROM THE HOME OF THE OFFICER AND/OR ANY OTHER POINTS AS MAY BE DESIRED BY HIM TO HIS FIRST PERMANENT DUTY STATION, UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS AS SET FORTH IN (1) ABOVE, SUBSTITUTING THE TERM "OFFICER'S HOME" FOR THE TERM "LAST PERMANENT STATION," PROVIDED THAT THERE IS AN EXPRESS PROVISION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE OF RETIRED OFFICERS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY UNDER THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION. * * *

THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910, 36 STAT. 255, PROVIDES:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF REGULATION CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCES MAY BE SHIPPED WITH SUCH ALLOWANCES, AND REIMBURSEMENT COLLECTED FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SUCH EXCESS * * *.

UNDER THIS STATUTE, THE AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE MAY BE SHIPPED ON THE SAME BILL OF LADING WITH THE ALLOWANCE, PROVIDED THAT THE COST COVERING THE EXCESS WEIGHT WILL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER. NOTHING IS SAID IN THE LAW AS TO WHEN COLLECTION SHALL BE MADE, BUT THE CLEAR IMPLICATION IS THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT IS CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TAKING THE NECESSARY STEPS TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF 1910, THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BY REGULATIONS (PAR. 1151 A.R. 1910), MADE PROVISION FOR THE DEPOSIT, IN ADVANCE OF SHIPMENT OF THE EXCESS BAGGAGE, OF A SUM SUFFICIENT TO COVER SUCH EXCESS COST. THIS PROCEDURE WAS HELD BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, IN PRESCRIBING THE METHOD OF ACCOUNTING AS REQUIRED BY LAW, TO BE WITHIN THE REASONABLE CONTEMPLATION OF THE ACT, IN THAT IT WAS "GOOD BUSINESS" FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT ITSELF IN THIS WAY. SEE 20 COMP. DEC. 479. THIS PROCEDURE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT WAS SATISFACTORILY IN EFFECT FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, IN 1910, UNTIL JUNE 1, 1923, WHEN THE PROCEDURE OF COLLECTING THE EXCESS COST AFTER SHIPMENT WAS PRESCRIBED BY ARMY REGULATIONS 30-960, PARAGRAPH 25. PARAGRAPH 10B, A.R. 30-960, MAY 24, 1938, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THIS SHIPMENT WAS MADE, PROVIDES:

ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE (SEE A ABOVE) MAY BE SHIPPED ON THE SAME BILL OF LADING WITH THE ALLOWANCE, PROVIDED THAT THE COST COVERING EXCESS WEIGHT AS DETERMINED UNDER PARAGRAPH 24 WILL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER * * *. AND PARAGRAPH 24 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS DIRECTS THAT:

THE FINANCE OFFICER, U.S. ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C. (OR OTHER FINANCE OFFICERS AS DESIGNATED IN PAR. 1, A.R. 35-6120), WHO SETTLES THE ACCOUNT WILL DETERMINE THE EXCESS AMOUNT TO BE COLLECTED AND NOTIFY THE OWNER, WHO, UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH NOTIFICATION, WILL PROMPTLY REMIT THE AMOUNT SO DETERMINED. IF, AFTER MAKING REMITTANCE, AS REQUIRED, THE OWNER FOR ANY REASON CONSIDERS THE AMOUNT REMITTED AS EXCESSIVE, IT IS HIS PRIVILEGE TO FILE A CLAIM WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR REFUND OF SUCH AMOUNT AS HE MAY CONSIDER TO BE DUE HIM.

UNDER THESE REGULATIONS THE SITUATION ARISES WHERE A SHIPPING QUARTERMASTER OFFICER EXTENDS THE CREDIT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MILITARY PERSONNEL BY SHIPPING FOR THEM AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, AND, AFTER THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE HAS BEEN RENDERED, THE BILL FOR THE ENTIRE SERVICE IS SENT TO THE FINANCE OFFICER, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR PAYMENT, AND HE IS CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF NOTIFYING THE OWNER AND THE COLLECTION OF THE AMOUNT HE SHOULD REMIT AS EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION. THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS IN THE REGULATIONS AS TO ANY CONDITIONS TO BE IMPOSED BY THE QUARTERMASTER SHIPPING OFFICER, BEFORE SHIPMENT, TO SAFEGUARD THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT BY ENFORCING REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXCESS COSTS. IT IS TRUE PARAGRAPH 28, A.R. 30-960, REQUIRES PERSONS DESIRING SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO FURNISH THE SHIPPING QUARTERMASTER WITH W.D., Q.M.O. FORM NO. 219. WHILE THE REGULATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE THIS FORM TO SHOW THE OWNER'S LIABILITY FOR EXCESS COST, IT IS PROVIDED IN THE FORM EXECUTED JULY 15, 1941, BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL SUCHER, THAT:

* * * I HEREBY AGREE, AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO SUCH SHIPMENT, THAT, UPON RECEIPT OF A STATEMENT SHOWING THE EXCESS COST AS DETERMINED BY THE FINANCE OFFICER PAYING THE CARRIER'S TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNT, I WILL EITHER REMIT AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO COVER SUCH COST, OR PERMIT THE APPLICATION OF SO MUCH OF MY PAY AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO COVER SUCH COST. * * *

THE BILL SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT IS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES RENDERED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT WHERE THE BAGGAGE OF AN OFFICER IN EXCESS OF HIS AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN SHIPPED WITH THE REGULATION ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CITED 1910 STATUTE, PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE TO THE CARRIER FOR THE ENTIRE SERVICE PERFORMED UNDER SUCH GOVERNMENT REQUEST, AND, ANSWERING YOUR FIRST QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE MADE TO THE CARRIER IN DUE COURSE, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER ANY REIMBURSEMENT AS DETERMINED BY YOU, HAS BEEN OR IS TO BE COLLECTED FROM THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY. SPECIFICALLY ANSWERING YOUR SECOND QUESTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE AUTHORIZATION TO PAY THE CARRIER IN FULL AND IN DUE COURSE DOES NOT PRECLUDE A DETERMINATION BY PROPER AUTHORITY THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER OR OTHER WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICER IS PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS FAILURE TO COLLECT THE REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT, AS CHARGED BY THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

DECISION B-19000, AUGUST 20, 1941, REFERRED TO BY YOU, COVERED THE MATTER OF EXCESS COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH A SHIPMENT MADE SEPTEMBER 8, 1936, OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR ONE H. P. K. AGERSBORG, A BIOLOGIST IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO RICHMOND, VA., UNDER A STATUTE WHICH AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF A WEIGHT NOT EXCEEDING 5,000 POUNDS, AND THERE WAS NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO SHIP EXCESS WEIGHT WITH THE CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

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