B-37638, NOVEMBER 22, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 382

B-37638: Nov 22, 1943

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WAS INTENDED TO REQUIRE ONLY THAT. IF SHIPMENT IS TO BE DELAYED OVER SIX MONTHS. 1942) IS AS FOLLOWS: SEC. 12. - ALL SHIPMENTS ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE UNLESS AN EXTENSION IS SPECIFICALLY GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT. OR COAST GUARD DUTY AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED AND WHO ARE FURLOUGHED FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH DUTY. WITHIN THE PERIOD COVERED BY A PREVIOUS EXTENSION WHICH WAS GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD. THE LANGUAGE OF THE REGULATION IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. THAT IS. THE OBVIOUS PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT IS TO LIMIT CHARGES UPON THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF EMPLOYEES' EFFECTS TO SHIPMENTS MADE SO NEAR IN POINT OF TIME TO THE TRANSFER OF THE INDIVIDUALS AS TO BE REASONABLY RELATED AND INCIDENTAL THERETO.

B-37638, NOVEMBER 22, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 382

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - EXTENSION OF TIME LIMIT THE PROVISION IN SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE UNIFORM TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS STATUTE OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, REQUIRING THAT SHIPMENT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS UPON PERMANENT TRANSFER OF STATION SHALL BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH TRANSFER UNLESS AN EXTENSION--- NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER--- SHALL BE APPROVED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, WAS INTENDED TO REQUIRE ONLY THAT, IF SHIPMENT IS TO BE DELAYED OVER SIX MONTHS, ONE EXTENSION BE GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, AND THAT THERE MAY BE A FURTHER EXTENSION WITHIN THE LIFE OF THE FIRST EXTENSION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, NOVEMBER 22, 1943:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13, 1943, IN WHICH YOU REFER TO THE REGULATIONS CONTROLLING PAYMENTS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UPON PERMANENT TRANSFER OF STATION, AND PARTICULARLY TO THE PROVISIONS FOR EXTENDING THE TIME LIMITATIONS WITHIN WHICH SHIPMENTS OF GOODS MUST BEGIN. THE REGULATION (SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122 OF APRIL 6, 1942) IS AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 12. TIME LIMIT.--- ALL SHIPMENTS ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE UNLESS AN EXTENSION IS SPECIFICALLY GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT. SUCH AN EXTENSION SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD DURING WHICH SHIPMENT WOULD OTHERWISE BEGIN AND SHALL IN NO CASE BE FOR A PERIOD EXCEEDING TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER, EXCEPT THAT, FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENTER UPON ACTIVE MILITARY, NAVAL, OR COAST GUARD DUTY AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED AND WHO ARE FURLOUGHED FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH DUTY, THE EXTENSION MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE UNTIL A DATE NOT MORE THAN SIXTY DAYS FOLLOWING THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF THE FURLOUGH. YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER AN EXTENSION OF THE TIME LIMIT MAY BE GRANTED MORE THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER, BUT WITHIN THE PERIOD COVERED BY A PREVIOUS EXTENSION WHICH WAS GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD--- IN OTHER WORDS, BROADLY, WHETHER MORE THAN ONE EXTENSION MAY BE GRANTED WITHIN THE OVER-ALL TWO YEAR LIMIT.

AS YOU SUGGEST, THE LANGUAGE OF THE REGULATION IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR, THE ONLY LITERAL REQUIREMENT BEING THAT ONE SUCH EXTENSION BE GRANTED WITHIN THE ORIGINAL SIX MONTHS' PERIOD AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER, THAT IS, AFTER THE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW POST OF DUTY PURSUANT TO HIS TRANSFER ORDER. 23 COMP. GEN. 32.

THE OBVIOUS PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT IS TO LIMIT CHARGES UPON THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF EMPLOYEES' EFFECTS TO SHIPMENTS MADE SO NEAR IN POINT OF TIME TO THE TRANSFER OF THE INDIVIDUALS AS TO BE REASONABLY RELATED AND INCIDENTAL THERETO. CF. 18 COMP. GEN. 408. NORMALLY, THEREFORE, THE REGULATION MIGHT BE TAKEN TO IMPLY THAT ANY SUCH EXTENSION IS TO BE GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS AND THAT ONLY ONE EXTENSION COULD BE ALLOWED. HOWEVER, IT CANNOT BE IGNORED THAT THE AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATION AUTHORIZING AN EXTENSION OF TIME WAS ADOPTED IN TIME OF WAR, WHEN TWO IMPORTANT FACTORS ARE DISSUASIVE OF SUCH IMPLICATION, (1) FOR PERSONS ENTERING MILITARY SERVICE THE PERIOD MAY BE EXTENDED UNTIL THEIR FURLOUGH IS ENDED, AND IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD THAT ONE WHOSE CALL TO SERVICE CAME DURING A SHORT EXTENSION UNTIL HIS MILITARY SERVICE ENDED, (2) THE WAR-TIME HOUSING SHORTAGES PREVAILING WHERE FEDERAL WORKERS ARE CONGREGATED MAY PREVENT, IN MANY CASES, THE CONSUMMATION OF LIVING ARRANGEMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH NORMAL EXPECTATIONS, AND A CONSIDERABLE LATITUDE IN THE MATTER OF MOVING AN EMPLOYEE'S GOODS TO A NEW LOCALITY MAY BE BOTH REASONABLE AND NECESSARY.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE REGULATION AS AMENDED WAS INTENDED TO REQUIRE ONLY THAT, IF THE SHIPMENT IS TO BE DELAYED OVER SIX MONTHS, ONE EXTENSION BE GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, AND THAT THERE MAY BE GRANTED A FURTHER EXTENSION WITHIN THE LIFE OF THE FIRST EXTENSION GRANTED, FROM WHICH IT FOLLOWS THAT YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.