B-43116, JULY 18, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 34

B-43116: Jul 18, 1944

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HAVE BEEN INTERPRETED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE AS AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHERE THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED HIS HOME AT SUCH INTERMEDIATE POINT SOLELY BECAUSE OF PRESENT WAR CONDITIONS (23 COMP. WAS LOCATED BEYOND HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 3. WHICH WAS COLLECTED FROM SALARY DUE THE EMPLOYEE ON D.O. PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $76.58 WAS MADE TO THE MISSOURI-1KANSAS-1TEXAS R.R. WERE PROPERLY AUTHORIZED. SHANNON WILL BEAR THE DIFFERENCE IN COST OF MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON. THE EMPLOYEE CONTENDS THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN EVEN THE OFFER OF A SATISFACTORY DWELLING IN DALLAS DUE (TO) THE EXISTENCE OF A CRITICAL HOUSING SHORTAGE.

B-43116, JULY 18, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 34

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT TO POINT OTHER THAN NEW STATION WHILE THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS REGARDING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, HAVE BEEN INTERPRETED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE AS AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHERE THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED HIS HOME AT SUCH INTERMEDIATE POINT SOLELY BECAUSE OF PRESENT WAR CONDITIONS (23 COMP. GEN. 886; ID. 970), ANY FURTHER RELAXATION OF THE REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO SHIPMENTS TO POINTS OTHER THAN NEW STATIONS SHOULD BE BY AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATIONS--- A MATTER NOT FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE. WHERE THE POINT AT WHICH A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE ESTABLISHED HIS HOME, DUE TO THE EXISTENCE OF A CRITICAL HOUSING SHORTAGE, WAS LOCATED BEYOND HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION--- NOT WITHIN COMMUTING DISTANCE THEREOF--- GREATLY VARYING FROM A GEOGRAPHICAL LINE BETWEEN HIS OLD AND NEW STATIONS, SUCH POINT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS TO WHICH SHIPMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CAN BE MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST TO THE NEW STATION, UNDER THE RULES APPLIED IN 23 COMP. GEN. 886 AND ID. 970.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO GUY W. LANE, WAR PRODUCTION BOARD, JULY 8, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 3, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION AND PAYMENT BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 47189, FOR $78.88, IN FAVOR OF JOSEPH R. SHANNON, COVERING RECLAIM OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOUSTON, TEXAS. THE AMOUNT REPRESENTS TRANSPORTATION CHARGES OF $67.58, PLUS $2.30 TAX, WHICH WAS COLLECTED FROM SALARY DUE THE EMPLOYEE ON D.O. VOUCHERS 11-417313 AND 11-434907, PAID MAY 1944 IN THE ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 111-8750. PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $76.58 WAS MADE TO THE MISSOURI-1KANSAS-1TEXAS R.R. ON D.O. VOUCHER 11-449807, JUNE 1944, SAME ACCOUNTS.

EXPENSES INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO DALLAS, TEXAS, WERE PROPERLY AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, REQUISITION NO. 515710, DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1943, REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HOUSTON, TEXAS STATING THAT " MR. SHANNON WILL BEAR THE DIFFERENCE IN COST OF MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, AND WASHINGTON, D.C., TO DALLAS, TEXAS.'

THE EMPLOYEE CONTENDS THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN EVEN THE OFFER OF A SATISFACTORY DWELLING IN DALLAS DUE (TO) THE EXISTENCE OF A CRITICAL HOUSING SHORTAGE. THEREFORE HE ELECTED TO ESTABLISH HIS HOME AT HOUSTON WHERE HE HAD AN UNOCCUPIED RESIDENCE.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN COLLECTING THE COST OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED, PLUS TAX, FROM THE EMPLOYEE WAS PURSUANT TO THE RULING THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER LAW AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF EXPENSES TO ANY POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE. 22 COMP. GEN. 478.

HOWEVER, IN B-41674, DATED MAY 24, 1944, REFERRING TO THE ABOVE DECISION, IT WAS STATED IN ART:

"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.'

ALTHOUGH IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME BE LOCATED AT SOME POINT MORE OR LESS ACCESSIBLE TO HIM, IT IS GENERALLY RECOGNIZED THAT THE PRESENT EMERGENCY CONDITIONS PRESENT DIFFICULTIES NOT ORDINARILY ENCOUNTERED. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED HIS HOME AT THE POINT TO WHICH HE SHIPPED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PURSUANT TO AN AUTHORIZED TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. IN VIEW OF THE EMPLOYEE'S EXPLANATION, EVEN THOUGH SHIPMENT WAS NOT MADE TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT AT LESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS PROPOSED TO ALLOW THE COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT PORTION OF SECTION 11, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122, DATED APRIL 6, 1942, WHICH STATES AS FOLLOWS:

"PROVIDED, THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW.'

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IN THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE QUOTED PORTION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122.

IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 17, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 478, 483, TO WHICH YOU REFER, IT WAS HELD:

* * * 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.

SEE, ALSO, THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS, NO. 45824, DATED DECEMBER 6, 1943 ( LOBINGIER V. UNITED STATES, 100 C.1CLS. 448), IN THE SAME CASE, WHEREIN THE COURT AGREED WITH THE POSITION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 22, 1944, B-42735, 23 COMP. GEN. 970, IT WAS STATED:

AS STATED IN 22 COMP. GEN. 478, AT PAGE 483, THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT IN EXECUTIVE ORDERS 8588 AND 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.

IN THE DECISION OF MAY 24, 1944, B-41674, 23 COMP. GEN. 886, TO WHICH YOU REFER, AND IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED DECISION OF JUNE 22, 1944, THIS OFFICE HAS INTERPRETED THE CONTROLLING REGULATION AS AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHERE THE FACTS SHOW THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED HIS HOME AT SUCH INTERMEDIATE POINT SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE PRESENT WAR CONDITIONS. BUT WHILE THIS OFFICE IS NOT UNMINDFUL OF THE CONDITIONS PRESENTED IN THE INSTANT CASE AND HAS GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO THE ARGUMENT ADVANCED IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, I CAN FIND NO JUSTIFICATION FOR CONSTRUING THE REGULATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT AS BROAD ENOUGH TO COVER A SITUATION SUCH AS HERE PRESENTED. ANY FURTHER RELAXATION OF THE REGULATION TO AUTHORIZE SHIPMENT TO A POINT OTHER THAN THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT--- A MATTER NOT FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE.

AS THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE INSTANT CASE WERE SHIPPED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, RATHER THAN TO DALLAS, TEXAS, THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, AND AS HOUSTON--- LOCATED OVER 300 MILES SOUTH OF DALLAS, GREATLY VARYING FROM A GEOGRAPHICAL LINE BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND DALLAS--- MAY NOT, BY ANY REASONABLE APPLICATION OF THE TERM, BE REGARDED AS AN INTERMEDIATE POINT BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND DALLAS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE RECENT DECISIONS, SUPRA, THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.