B-52131, SEPTEMBER 27, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 301

B-52131: Sep 27, 1945

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REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE TO BE MADE IF AND WHEN SUCH ORDERS ARE ISSUED. 1945: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD BE PROPER IF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MADE BY NAVAL PERSONNEL UNDER ARTICLE 1874-1 (B). IS. NUMEROUS INQUIRIES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS TO WHETHER NAVAL PERSONNEL WHO OTHERWISE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON RELEASE FROM THE ACTIVE DUTY WOULD BE REIMBURSED. AFTER THE ORDERS FOR RELEASE ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN RECEIVED. IN ONE INSTANCE AN OFFICER WHOSE FAMILY WAS TEMPORARILY RESIDING AT HIS HOME OF RECORD AND WHO ANTICIPATES AN EARLY RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WOULD PREFER SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT HIS WON EXPENSE TO HIS HOME AND FILING CLAIM THEREFOR AT GOVERNMENT RATE UPON RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

B-52131, SEPTEMBER 27, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 301

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - PRIOR TO RELEASE-FROM-ACTIVE-DUTY ORDERS THE AMENDMENT OF NAVY REGULATIONS TO PERMIT RETIRED AND RESERVE PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY ON ACTIVE DUTY TO SHIP THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THEIR HOMES OF RECORD IN ANTICIPATION OF RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING THEM FROM ACTIVE DUTY DURING THE PRESENT PERIOD OF DEMOBILIZATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE TO BE MADE IF AND WHEN SUCH ORDERS ARE ISSUED, WOULD NOT BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF LAW.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1945:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1945 (FILE JAG:II: WJG:ZL19/L21), WITH ENCLOSURE FROM THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD BE PROPER IF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE MADE BY NAVAL PERSONNEL UNDER ARTICLE 1874-1 (B), BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MANUAL, IF CHARGED AS PROPOSED BY THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, IN PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE ENCLOSURE.

THE ENCLOSURE FROM THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DATED AUGUST 27, 1945, IS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCES: (A) ARTICLE 1874/1 (B), BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND

ACCOUNTS MANUAL.

(B) ARTICLE 1880-2 (B) (1), BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND

ACCOUNTS MANUAL.

1. NUMEROUS INQUIRIES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS TO WHETHER NAVAL PERSONNEL WHO OTHERWISE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON RELEASE FROM THE ACTIVE DUTY WOULD BE REIMBURSED, AFTER THE ORDERS FOR RELEASE ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THEIR LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO THEIR HOME OF RECORD PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING THEM TO INACTIVE DUTY. IN ONE INSTANCE AN OFFICER WHOSE FAMILY WAS TEMPORARILY RESIDING AT HIS HOME OF RECORD AND WHO ANTICIPATES AN EARLY RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WOULD PREFER SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT HIS WON EXPENSE TO HIS HOME AND FILING CLAIM THEREFOR AT GOVERNMENT RATE UPON RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY. IN ANOTHER CASE AN OFFICER WHO HAS BEEN ADVISED THAT THE ORDERS RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY WILL NOT BE DELIVERED UNTIL LATE IN SEPTEMBER 1945 AND WHO IS REQUIRED TO RELINQUISH POSSESSION OF A RENTED HOUSE ON 1 SEPTEMBER 1945, IS SHIPPING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HIS HOME OF RECORD ON 1 SEPTEMBER 1945. IN OTHER INSTANCES PERSONNEL ARE DESIROUS OF SENDING THEIR FAMILIES, AND SHIPPING THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, TO THEIR HOMES OF RECORD PRIOR TO RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS THEY WISH TO ESTABLISH THEIR HOMES AT THEIR FORMER RESIDENCES PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING THEM FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

2. WHILE IT WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THESE OFFICERS AND OTHERS IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES TO SHIP THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING THEM TO INACTIVE DUTY, AND SUCH ACTION WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS IN OTHER RESPECTS, VIZ; RELIEVE THE HOUSING SHORTAGE WHICH IS ACUTE IN MOST AREAS WHERE OFFICERS ARE ON SHORE DUTY, AND WOULD TEND TO MAKE A MORE EVEN FLOW OF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE MADE PRIOR TO ACTUAL RECEIPT OF ORDERS UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS.

3. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS PROPOSED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING TO REFERENCE (A) AS SUBPARAGRAPH 1874-1 (B) (3/--- "SHIPMENT AT OWNER'S EXPENSE PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING FROM ACTIVE DUTY.--- PERSONNEL ON THE RETIRED LIST AND OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND ENTITLED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP SUCH EFFECTS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING FROM ACTIVE DUTY. UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH ORDERS, CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR ALLOWABLE COST (SEE ARTICLE 1880). HOWEVER, IN THE EVENT SUCH SHIPMENT IS MADE AND REGULAR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ARE RECEIVED INSTEAD OF ORDERS RELEASING FROM ACTIVE DUTY, CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT ALLOWABLE.' IS ALSO PROPOSED TO CHANGE THE CAPTION OF REFERENCE (B) TO READ "SHIPMENT AT OWNER'S EXPENSE ON OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT.'

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM THE ABOVE THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ARTICLE 1874-1 (B) OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MANUAL IS TO PERMIT NAVAL PERSONNEL, ENTITLED UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, TO SHIP THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THEIR HOMES OF RECORD AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE IN ANTICIPATION OF ORDERS RELEASING THEM FROM ACTIVE DUTY, AND TO BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EXPENSE SO INCURRED FOLLOWING RECEIPT BY THEM OF SUCH ANTICIPATED ORDERS.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AUTHORIZED THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS AND OF CERTAIN GRADES OF ENLISTED MEN WHEN "ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION," AND RECOGNIZED A RIGHT OF CERTAIN NAVAL PERSONNEL TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PROVIDING THAT:

* * * THE PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY SHALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF ALL EXISTING LAWS APPLYING TO THE ARMY AND THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR DEPENDENTS AUTHORIZED BY SAID SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, EMPOWERED THE PRESIDENT TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. SIMILARLY, SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 359, 364, 365, GIVES A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR, IF AUTHORIZED BY THE PRESIDENT, TO PAYMENT IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHEN THE TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, FOR DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS AND CERTAIN CLASSES OF ENLISTED MEN "WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION," INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM HOME TO FIRST STATION AND FROM LAST STATION TO HOME, AND, AS IN THE PRIOR STATUTE, RECOGNIZES A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY PROVIDING:

* * * THAT THE PERSONNEL OF ALL THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT ( ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE) SHALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF ALL EXISTING LAWS APPLYING TO THE ARMY AND MARINE CORPS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS * * * .

WHILE THE ABOVE-CITED ACTS, IN RECOGNITION OF A RIGHT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, PROVIDE THAT THE PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY SHALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF ALL EXISTING LAWS APPLYING TO THE ARMY AND THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO PERMANENT LEGISLATIVE COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE ARMY OTHER THAN A PROVISION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910, 36 STAT. 255, THAT:

* * * HEREAFTER BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF REGULATION CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCES MAY BE SHIPPED WITH SUCH ALLOWANCES, AND REIMBURSEMENT COLLECTED FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SUCH EXCESS * * *

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE PROVISIONS RESPECTING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, AND IN THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 ARE IN CONJUNCTION WITH PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS UPON PERMANENT CHANGES OF STATION. ALSO, THAT THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910, REFERS TO THE ALLOWANCE AS A "CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE.' HOWEVER, THE SAID STATUTES DO NOT RESTRICT THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO CASES OF PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, NOR DO THEY EXPRESSLY CONDITION THE RIGHT ON THE EXISTENCE OF PRIOR ORDERS FOR A CHANGE OF STATION, AS IN THE CASE OF DEPENDENTS. THE MATTER HAS BEEN ONE LARGELY GOVERNED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS WITHIN THE STATUTORY CONCEPT THAT IT IS CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE AND ON THAT BASIS THE REGULATIONS HAVE AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CERTAIN PERSONNEL, WITHIN VARYING WEIGHT LIMITATIONS, WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE EITHER A PERMANENT OR A TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION, INCLUDING, FOR RETIRED OR RESERVE PERSONNEL, CHANGES FROM THEIR STATIONS TO THEIR HOMES UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE QUESTION IN YOUR PRESENT SUBMISSION IS WHETHER, UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS, AN AMENDMENT OF THE REGULATIONS TO PERMIT SUCH RETIRED AND RESERVE PERSONNEL TO SHIP THEIR EFFECTS PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL RECEIPT OF THE ORDERS RELEASING THEM FROM ACTIVE DUTY, SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT WHEN THE ORDERS ARE RECEIVED, WOULD BE CONTRARY TO LAW.

WITH RESPECT TO A SOMEWHAT ANALOGOUS SITUATION, INVOLVING THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS UNDER ORDERS CONTEMPLATING BUT NOT FINALLY EFFECTING THE RELEASE OF RESERVE AND RETIRED PERSONNEL FROM ACTIVE DUTY, CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF JUNE 19, 1945, B-50183, 24 COMP. GEN. 895, ADDRESSED TO YOU, IT WAS SAID:

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, SUPRA, LIKE THE PRIOR STATUTE (SECTION 3, ACT OF JUNE 24, 1935, 49 STAT. 421), AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, IN CERTAIN CASES,"IN CONNECTION WITH"THE "RETIREMENT" OF OFFICERS AND CERTAIN GRADES OF ENLISTED MEN, AND THE 1942 STATUTE FURTHER EXTENDED SUCH RIGHT TO INCLUDE CASES INVOLVING A "RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY.' WHILE THE MERE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS CONTEMPLATING A PERSON'S RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT SOME FUTURE DATE OR UPON THE HAPPENING OF SOME EVENT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS VESTING AN UNCONDITIONAL RIGHT IN SUCH PERSON TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER HIS RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY ACTUALLY BE ACCOMPLISHED, THE STATUTE DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR THE PERSON'S DEPENDENTS TO HIS HOME UNDER ORDERS DETACHING HIM FROM HIS OLD STATION AND CONTEMPLATING RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WITHOUT FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION, BE DELAYED PENDING THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY INTERVENING TEMPORARY DUTY. UNDER THE CONDITIONS INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT SUBMISSION, ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH WAR DEMOBILIZATION PROCEDURES, THE CONCLUSION APPEARS WARRANTED THAT ANY MODIFICATION OF ORDERS OF THE SAID CHARACTER WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT MERELY OF TEMPORARILY POSTPONING THE ORDERED RETIREMENT OR RELEASE. IN THAT SITUATION, ANY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND THERETOFORE FURNISHED THE DEPENDENTS OF THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN TO HIS HOME UNDER THE ORIGINAL ORDERS REASONABLY MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN FURNISHED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE STATUTE * * * .

THE PRESENT PROPOSAL WOULD CARRY THE PRINCIPLE OF THAT DECISION ONE STEP FARTHER, WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT PRIOR ORDERS, AT LEAST PRELIMINARY ORDERS, ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A STATUTORY BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, WHEREAS THERE IS NO SUCH STATUTORY REQUIREMENT AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ALTHOUGH THE LAW GENERALLY MAY NOT BE VIEWED AS CONTEMPLATING SUCH TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE EXCEPT IN CONNECTION WITH CHANGES OF STATION, WHICH INCLUDES CHANGES INCIDENT TO RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. SINCE THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF THE REGULATIONS WOULD EXTEND ONLY TO RETIRED AND RESERVE PERSONNEL, PERSONNEL WHO NOW ARE TO BE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY UNDER CURRENT WAR DEMOBILIZATION PROCEDURES, THE TRANSPORTATION HOME OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ANTICIPATION OF ORDERS REASONABLY MAY BE VIEWED AS INCIDENT TO SUCH RELEASES. WHILE THE MATTER IS NOT ENTIRELY FREE FROM DOUBT, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROPOSED REGULATION, PARTICULARLY AS RELATED TO RELEASES FROM ACTIVE DUTY DURING THE PRESENT PERIOD OF DEMOBILIZATION, WOULD NOT BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF LAW, AND THAT REIMBURSEMENT THEREUNDER OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE EFFECTS IN SUCH CASES, OTHERWISE IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IF AND WHEN COVERING ORDERS OF RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY ARE ISSUED.