B-42735, JUNE 22, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 970

B-42735: Jun 22, 1944

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AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM COSTA RICA TO BRAZIL WISHES TO ESTABLISH A HOME FOR HIS FAMILY AT BRISTOL. SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO OTHER THAN HIS NEW STATION OR AN ADJACENT POINT TO WHICH HE WILL COMMUTE. 1944: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16. WHERE HIS FAMILY WILL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A HOME. THERE IS NO MEANS BY WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS COULD BE TRANSPORTED DIRECTLY FROM COSTA RICA TO BRAZIL. IT IS THE EMPLOYEE'S DESIRE. TO HAVE THEM SENT TO BRISTOL. WILL ENTAIL CONSIDERABLY LESS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN IF THE SHIPMENT WERE MADE TO BRAZIL. IT IS OUR DESIRE TO FACILITATE THE EMPLOYEE'S PLANS. YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS IS PERMISSIBLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

B-42735, JUNE 22, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 970

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT TO POINT OTHER THAN NEW STATION WHERE, DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY OF PROCURING LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS IN BRAZIL, AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM COSTA RICA TO BRAZIL WISHES TO ESTABLISH A HOME FOR HIS FAMILY AT BRISTOL, VIRGINIA-- AN INTERMEDIATE POINT ON THE ROUTE UTILIZED GENERALLY BY THE PUBLIC FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BETWEEN COSTA RICA AND BRAZIL BY WAY OF NEW ORLEANS AND NEW YORK--- THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM COSTA RICA TO BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, MAY BE CHARGED TO AN APPROPRIATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER. SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO OTHER THAN HIS NEW STATION OR AN ADJACENT POINT TO WHICH HE WILL COMMUTE--- A SITUATION FOR WHICH THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, DO NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE--- SHOULD BE PERMITTED ONLY WHEN THE CONDITIONS OF THE WAR EMERGENCY MAKE IT IMPRACTICABLE FOR HIS FAMILY TO ACCOMPANY HIM TO THE NEW STATION. WHERE THE CONDITIONS OF THE WAR EMERGENCY MAKE IT IMPRACTICABLE FOR A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY TO ACCOMPANY HIM TO HIS NEW STATION, HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE SHIPPED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, TO SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT WHICH NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE ON THE GEOGRAPHIC LINE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS, BUT MAY BE ON OR NEAR THE TRANSPORTATION ROUTE GENERALLY UTILIZED BETWEEN SUCH STATIONS AND TO WHICH THE GOODS MAY BE SHIPPED AT A LESSER COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN HAD THEY BEEN TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 22, 1944:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT NOW LIVING WITH HIS FAMILY IN COSTA RICA HAS HAD HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION TRANSFERRED FROM TURRIALBA, COSTA RICA, TO BELEM, BRAZIL. SINCE SUITABLE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS COULD NOT BE FOUND IN BRAZIL FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, CONSISTING OF HIS WIFE AND 5 MONTH OLD BABY, HE HAS DETERMINED TO MOVE HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO HIS HOME IN BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, WHERE HIS FAMILY WILL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A HOME.

THERE IS NO MEANS BY WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS COULD BE TRANSPORTED DIRECTLY FROM COSTA RICA TO BRAZIL. ALL SUCH SHIPMENTS CUSTOMARILY PROCEED FIRST TO NEW ORLEANS BY BOAT, THENCE TO NEW YORK BY RAIL FOR RESHIPMENT DIRECTLY TO BRAZIL. IN THE SHIPMENT FROM NEW ORLEANS TO NEW YORK, THE GOODS WOULD PASS WITHIN A SHORT DISTANCE OF BRISTOL, VIRGINIA. IT IS THE EMPLOYEE'S DESIRE, AFTER THE GOODS REACH NEW ORLEANS, TO HAVE THEM SENT TO BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, RATHER THAN ON TO BRAZIL VIA NEW YORK. THE SHIPMENT TO BRISTOL,VIRGINIA, WILL ENTAIL CONSIDERABLY LESS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN IF THE SHIPMENT WERE MADE TO BRAZIL, AND IT IS OUR DESIRE TO FACILITATE THE EMPLOYEE'S PLANS, ESPECIALLY IN VIEW OF THE PERSONAL SACRIFICE AND INCONVENIENCE INVOLVED IN THIS TRANSFER. YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS IS PERMISSIBLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

A SIMILAR PROBLEM WAS CONSIDERED BY YOU IN AN OPINION TO THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION DATED MAY 24, 1944 (B-41674). IN THAT CASE AN EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM PORTWASHINGTON, WISCONSIN, TO HAWAII. IN VIEW OF TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES FROM THIS COUNTRY TO HAWAII, THE EMPLOYEE DESIRED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON, WHERE THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY PROPOSED TO ESTABLISH THEIR NEW HOME, WHICH YOU HELD TO BE ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. UNDER THE PRINCIPLE OF THAT DECISION, IT IS BELIEVED THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE PRESENT CASE MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM COSTA RICA TO BRISTOL, VIRGINIA.

IN VIEW OF THE URGENCY OF THIS PROBLEM AN EXPEDITED REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IN ADDITION TO AND APART FROM YOUR DETERMINATION IN THE INSTANT CASE, WE WOULD APPRECIATE A FURTHER INDICATION AS TO THE EXTENT TO WHICH WE MAY APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DECISION OF MAY 24, 1944. THAT IS, (1) MUST THE SHIPMENT BE MADE TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT, OR MAY IT BE MADE TO A POINT WHICH IS NOT REASONABLY INTERMEDIATE, BUT IS LOWER IN COST THAN THE FULL SHIPMENT WOULD BE TO THE NEW STATION, OR (2) IF IT MUST BE INTERMEDIATE, MUST THE NEW PLACE BE GEOGRAPHICALLY INTERMEDIATE, OR MAY IT BE MERELY GENERALLY ALONG A ROUTE CUSTOMARILY FOLLOWED IN MOVING GOODS TO THE NEW STATION; ALSO (3) IS IT REGARDED AS ESSENTIAL THAT CIRCUMSTANCES INTERFERE WITH THE PROPER MOVEMENT TO THE NEW STATION, OR MAY THE ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF GOODS BE MADE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE DESIRES TO ELECT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOCATE HIS FAMILY AT SUCH POINT OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL STATION?

IN THE DECISION OF MAY 24, 1944, B-41674, 23 COMP. GEN. 886, IT WAS STATED:

WHILE IT IS TRUE, AS INDICATED IN THE DECISION, SUPRA, (22 COMP. GEN. 478), 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), FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED BETWEEN HIS FORMER STATION AT PORT 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.

IN VIEW OF THE REPORTED DIFFICULTY OF PROCURING ACCOMMODATIONS IN BRAZIL, IF THE ROUTE UTILIZED GENERALLY BY THE PUBLIC FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BETWEEN COSTA RICA, AND BRAZIL IS BY WAY OF NEW ORLEANS AND NEW YORK, THEN SINCE THE SHIPMENT TO BRISTOL, VIRGINIA (BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND NEW YORK), WOULD COST THE GOVERNMENT LESS THAN TO COMPLETE THE SHIPMENT TO BRAZIL, THE DECISION OF MAY 24, 1944, SUPRA, MAY BE APPLIED THERETO AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM COSTA RICA TO BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, WHERE THE FAMILY, INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION, IS TO ESTABLISH A HOME, MAY BE CHARGED TO AN APPROPRIATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, SUBJECT, OF COURSE, TO COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT.

AS STATED IN 22 COMP. GEN. 478, AT PAGE 483, THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT IN EXECUTIVE ORDERS NO. 8588 AND NO. 9122 DO NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, OR TO AN ADJACENT POINT FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE COMMUTES TO THE NEW STATION. ALSO, THE PURPOSE OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, AND THE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, IS TO ENABLE THE EMPLOYEE TO ESTABLISH A HOME AND HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT SOME POINT ACCESSIBLE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED TO ENCOURAGE THE SEPARATION OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM HIS HOME AND FAMILY WHICH IS THE HARDSHIP TO WHICH THE ACT AND REGULATIONS PRIMARILY ARE ADDRESSED. CONSEQUENTLY, SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, UPON TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION, TO A POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION (OR A POINT ADJACENT THERETO TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WILL COMMUTE), SHOULD BE PERMITTED ONLY WHEN THE CONDITIONS OF THE WAR EMERGENCY MAKE IT IMPRACTICABLE FOR THE FAMILY TO ACCOMPANY THE EMPLOYEE TO HIS NEW STATION, IN WHICH EVENT THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE SHIPPED TO SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT WHICH NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE ON THE GEOGRAPHIC LINE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATION, BUT MAY BE ON OR NEAR THE TRANSPORTATION ROUTE GENERALLY UTILIZED BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS AND TO WHICH THE GOODS MAY BE SHIPPED AT A LESSER COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN HAD THEY BEEN TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION.