B-41674, MAY 24, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 886

B-41674: May 24, 1944

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AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM A POINT IN THE UNITED STATES TO HAWAII. NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE TO THE PAYMENT FROM AN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION OF THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE INTERMEDIATE POINT. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF APRIL 27. AS FOLLOWS: THERE WAS SUBMITTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION VOUCHERS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $39.29. WAS TRANSFERRED FROM PORT WASHINGTON TO HAWAII. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT WAS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TRANSPORT HIS FAMILY TO HAWAII DUE TO EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSION TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO MARYSVILLE WHERE HE SENT HIS FAMILY. IT NOW APPEAR THAT THERE IS NO PROVISION IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 FOR THE SHIPPING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OTHER THAN TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

B-41674, MAY 24, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 886

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT TO POINT OTHER THAN NEW STATION THE UNIFORM TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS STATUTE OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, WHILE NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE TO ANY POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION (22 COMP. GEN. 478), DO NOT PRECLUDE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHERE, INCIDENT TO AN AUTHORIZED CHANGE OF STATION, THE EMPLOYEE ESTABLISHES HIS HOME AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS. WHERE, DUE TO THE PRESENT DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING TRANPORTATION TO HAWAII FOR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM A POINT IN THE UNITED STATES TO HAWAII, ESTABLISHED HIS HOME AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT IN THE UNITED STATES, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE TO THE PAYMENT FROM AN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION OF THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE INTERMEDIATE POINT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, MAY 24, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF APRIL 27, 1944, FROM T. J. SLOWIE, CERTIFYING OFFICER, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE WAS SUBMITTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION VOUCHERS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $39.29, COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM PORT WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN TO MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON. THE EMPLOYEE, HOWEVER, WAS TRANSFERRED FROM PORT WASHINGTON TO HAWAII. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT WAS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TRANSPORT HIS FAMILY TO HAWAII DUE TO EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES HE WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSION TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO MARYSVILLE WHERE HE SENT HIS FAMILY.

IT NOW APPEAR THAT THERE IS NO PROVISION IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 FOR THE SHIPPING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OTHER THAN TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE DIFFICULTIES IN CIVILIAN TRAVEL AND THINGS FROM THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THIS COUNTRY TO HAWAII, YOUR OPINION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT MAY PAY THE EXPENSE IN THE AMOUNT ABOVE-CITED OR SHOULD IT BE COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE.

THE VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940 WHICH PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT UPON PRESENTATION WITHOUT AUDIT.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, GRANTS A RIGHT TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS ,TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.' AS THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IN THIS INSTANCE DOES NOT INVOLVE A QUESTION OF LAW THE DECISION OF WHICH IS NECESSARY TO THE CERTIFICATION OF ANY VOUCHER PRESENTLY BEFORE THE CERTIFYING OFFICER, THE MATTER HERE INVOLVED IS NOT ONE PROPERLY FOR SUBMISSION BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE REFERRED-TO STATUTE. RATHER, THE QUESTION HERE PRESENTED INVOLVES ONE CONCERNING ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY AND FOR THAT REASON REPLY TO THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S REQUEST IS BEING MADE TO YOU AS THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE AGENCY INVOLVED. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 150, 400.

IN 22 COMP. GEN. 478, AT PAGE 483, THIS OFFICE HELD:

* * * (3) WHILE SECTION 11 OF THE REGULATIONS ( EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122), AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM A POINT OTHER THAN THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE, PROVIDED THE COST DOES NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST TO TRANSPORT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE REGULATIONS OR THE LAW OR THE PRESIDENT'S ALLOCATION LETTERS,AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT TO ANY POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.

WHILE IT IS TRUE, AS INDICATED IN THE DECISION, SUPRA, THAT THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THEREUNDER DO NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ANY POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, THERE APPEARS NO SOUND REASON WHY AN EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO AN AUTHORIZED CHANGE OF STATION, ESTABLISHES HIS HOME AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW STATIONS, MAY NOT HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED TO SUCH HOME AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE--- THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BEING LESS THAN THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD THE SHIPMENT BEEN TO HIS NEW STATION. WHILE, ORDINARILY, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOME AT SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT CONTEMPLATES ITS LOCATION AT A POINT MORE OR LESS ACCESSIBLE TO THE EMPLOYEE, IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HAWAII AT THE PRESENT TIME--- IF NOT ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED FOR MILITARY REASONS--- PRESENTS GREAT DIFFICULTIES; AND, ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SPECIFICALLY, OR THE "TRANSPORTATION OF THINGS" GENERALLY (SEE SECTION 201 (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 90, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1943, 57 STAT. 195), FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED BETWEEN HIS FORMER STATION AT FORT WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN, AND MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON, AS INCIDENTAL TO HIS TRANSFER TO HAWAII, PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT IN EXECUTIVE ORDERS 8588, 9122, AND 9223, OTHERWISE ARE COMPLIED WITH.