B-45120, OCTOBER 23, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 319

B-45120: Oct 23, 1944

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SHIPMENT WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL AFTER HIS DEATH. SO THAT COLLECTION FROM HIS ESTATE OF THE COST WITHIN ALLOWABLE LIMITS IS NOT REQUIRED. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6. - WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM BEAUMONT TO SAN ANTONIO. ON MAY 11 THE BID OF THE BEAUMONT TRANSFER AND STORAGE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AND A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ISSUED TO SAID COMPANY TO COVER THE SHIPMENT. THE GOODS WERE NOT PICKED UP UNTIL MAY 24. IT IS NOT SUGGESTED THAT THE TRANSFER COMPANY HAD BEEN NOTIFIED IN THAT CONNECTION. THE GOODS WERE DELIVERED IN SAN ANTONIO ON MAY 25 AND THE CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY ON THE BILL OF LADING WAS SIGNED BY MRS. SINCE THE SHIPMENT MOVED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ISSUED BY PROPER AUTHORITY AND THE GOODS WERE DELIVERED TO THE PLACE MENTIONED THEREON.

B-45120, OCTOBER 23, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 319

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SUBSEQUENT TO EMPLOYEE'S DEATH WHERE A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING HAD BEEN ISSUED TO COVER THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE (NOW DECEASED) TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION TO WHICH HE PREVIOUSLY HAD REPORTED UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, BUT SHIPMENT WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL AFTER HIS DEATH, THE RIGHT UNDER EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF SHIPMENT DID NOT CEASE WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S DEATH, SO THAT COLLECTION FROM HIS ESTATE OF THE COST WITHIN ALLOWABLE LIMITS IS NOT REQUIRED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OCTOBER 23, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1944, FORWARDING "FOR EXAMINATION AND DECISION" A VOUCHER PROPOSING PAYMENT TO BEAUMONT TRANSFER AND STORAGE COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $142.74 FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MR. LEWIS L. RUPERT--- AN EMPLOYEE (NOW DECEASED) OF THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY--- WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION WAS TRANSFERRED FROM BEAUMONT TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, UNDER AN ORDER DATED DECEMBER 4, 1943, WHICH INCLUDED AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

YOUR DOUBT WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE OF THE DEATH OF MR. RUPERT, WHICH OCCURRED ON MAY 19, 1944. HE HAD REPORTED FOR DUTY AT SAN ANTONIO IN THE PREVIOUS DECEMBER. ON APRIL 25, 1944, HE HAD ASKED FOR BIDS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS GOODS FROM BEAUMONT TO SAN ANTONIO. ON MAY 11 THE BID OF THE BEAUMONT TRANSFER AND STORAGE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AND A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ISSUED TO SAID COMPANY TO COVER THE SHIPMENT. THE GOODS WERE NOT PICKED UP UNTIL MAY 24, FIVE DAYS AFTER THE EMPLOYEE'S DEATH, BUT IT IS NOT SUGGESTED THAT THE TRANSFER COMPANY HAD BEEN NOTIFIED IN THAT CONNECTION. THE GOODS WERE DELIVERED IN SAN ANTONIO ON MAY 25 AND THE CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY ON THE BILL OF LADING WAS SIGNED BY MRS. LEWIS L. RUPERT AS THE CONSIGNEE.

SINCE THE SHIPMENT MOVED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ISSUED BY PROPER AUTHORITY AND THE GOODS WERE DELIVERED TO THE PLACE MENTIONED THEREON, THE CLAIM OF THE TRANSFER COMPANY IS PAYABLE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DOUBT RAISED WITH RESPECT TO THE RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR HIS ESTATE. 22 COMP. GEN. 503, 506. ALSO, REFERRING TO THE CHARGE FOR EXCESS WEIGHT OVER THE AUTHORIZED LIMIT OF 5,000 POUNDS, IT WOULD NOT APPEAR OBJECTIONABLE TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO THE TRANSFER COMPANY FOR THE ENTIRE WEIGHT SHIPPED, WITH A CHARGE AGAINST THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PORTION OF THE COST ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT. SEE SECTION 6 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE COLLECTION FROM THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE, A DETERMINATION IS REQUIRED WHETHER THE RIGHTS VESTED IN HIM SURVIVED HIS DEATH, PARTICULARLY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY HAD REPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION AND THAT THE ORDER FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS GOODS HAD BEEN PLACED. THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTORY PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COSTS INVOLVED IN THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON TRANSFER IS TO REIMBURSE THE EXTRA EXPENSES TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS PUT AS AN INCIDENT OR RESULT OF THE TRANSFER OF HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR THE GOVERNMENT'S PURPOSES, AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ABOVE CITED CONDITIONS THE RIGHT TO THE PAYMENT ONLY UPON THE ACTUAL TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE AND THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL. WHILE THE NEED FOR THE GOODS AT SAN ANTONIO AROSE AS A RESULT OF THE TRANSFER OF THE LATE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY TO THAT POINT, THE NEED OBVIOUSLY CONTINUES FOR THE PURPOSES OF HIS DEPENDENTS WHO WERE THERE WITH HIM AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MOVING THE GOODS THERE IS NOT REGARDED AS CEASING WITH HIS DEATH. UPON THAT BASIS, NO CHARGE AGAINST THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE APPEARS TO BE REQUIRED, OTHER THAN THE SMALL ITEM FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT REFERRED TO ABOVE.

I REGRET THE DELAY IN THE REPLY TO YOUR LETTER, WHICH WAS CAUSED BY THE INADVERTENT MISFILING OF THE PAPERS WHEN RECEIVED.