B-52926, OCTOBER 25, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 360

B-52926: Oct 25, 1945

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OR ANY OTHER CHARGES WHICH ARISE SOLELY FROM THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH EFFECTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10. ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE. UNLOADING AND RELOADING OF ALL ITEMS WHICH PROPERLY ARE REIMBURSABLE AS EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588. DEPENDS UPON A DETERMINATION NOT ONLY THAT THE ARTICLES ARE REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE BUT. A PORTABLE SEWING MACHINE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE ON CHANGE OF STATION IS MADE ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. THE CARRIER IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 322 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940 PRIOR TO AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

B-52926, OCTOBER 25, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 360

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS THE HUSBAND OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED A DEPENDENT BECAUSE OF TEMPORARY UNEMPLOYMENT DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, SO AS TO AVOID THE 2,500 POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 OF THE UNIFORM TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS REGULATIONS (EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588) UPON TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES HAVING NO DEPENDENTS. THE DETERMINATION OF THE GROSS WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO BE TRANSPORTED TO AN EMPLOYEE'S NEW PERMANENT STATION, INSOFAR AS CONCERNS THE 2,500 POUND WEIGHT LIMITATION IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 UPON EMPLOYEES HAVING NO DEPENDENTS, SHOULD BE MADE WITH RESPECT TO THE STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER AUTHORIZING OR DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE. CHARGES FOR PACKING NECESSITATED BY STORAGE INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE OF STATION, AND FOR DRAYAGE FROM RESIDENCE TO STORAGE AND DRAYAGE FROM STORAGE AND UNPACKING AT RESIDENCE AT THE NEW HEADQUARTERS, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES WHICH ARISE SOLELY FROM THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH EFFECTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AS AUTHORIZED BY THE UNIFORM TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS REGULATIONS (EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588), UPON AN EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION, MAY NOT INCLUDE CHARGES FOR LABOR OF TAKING DOWN CURTAINS, DRAPERIES, AND BRACKETS, AND TAKING UP LINOLEUM AT THE EMPLOYEE'S FORMER RESIDENCE. AN EMPLOYEE, UPON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL TAXES PAID ON TRANSPORTATION, DRAYAGE, PACKING, CRATING, UNLOADING AND RELOADING OF ALL ITEMS WHICH PROPERLY ARE REIMBURSABLE AS EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588. WHETHER ARTICLES,"SUCH AS PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, WEARING APPAREL, BEDDING OR KITCHEN UTENSILS, BUT NOT FURNITURE OR JEWELRY," REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE AT AN EMPLOYEES'S NEW STATION MAY BE SHIPPED BY EXPRESS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PURSUANT TO SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, DEPENDS UPON A DETERMINATION NOT ONLY THAT THE ARTICLES ARE REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE BUT, ALSO, THAT THEY COME WITHIN THE DESIGNATED CATEGORY, AND, THEREFORE, THE COST OF TRANSPORTING BY EXPRESS A BABY CRIB, BED, AND A PORTABLE SEWING MACHINE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE FREIGHT RATES COMPUTED UPON THE LOWEST EVALUATION (10 CENTS PER POUND) AUTHORIZED BY CURRENT CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION UPON HOUSEHOLD GOODS MUST BE USED, UNDER SECTION 10 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, IN ESTIMATING THE APPLICABLE FREIGHT COSTS FOR AN UNAUTHORIZED SHIPMENT BY EXPRESS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION. WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE ON CHANGE OF STATION IS MADE ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, THE CARRIER IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 322 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940 PRIOR TO AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, AND THE CERTIFYING OFFICER WILL NOT BE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE FOR PAYMENTS SO MADE TO THE CARRIER, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE BE PRIMARILY LIABLE FOR A PORTION THEREOF DUE TO EXCESS WEIGHT, ETC. 21 COMP. GEN. 559, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRICE ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF PRICE ADMINISTRATION, OCTOBER 25, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS, SEVERAL ISSUES HAVE DEVELOPED WHICH RAISE DOUBT AS TO WHAT ITEMS ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS OR SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.

A CLAIM HAS BEEN PRESENTED WHICH INVOLVES THE WEIGHT LIMITATION OF EMPLOYEES WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. A MARRIED EMPLOYEE BEING TRANSFERRED FROM DALLAS, TEXAS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., HAS CLAIMED HER HUSBAND AS A DEPENDENT FOR THE PERIOD WHILE ACCOMPANYING HER IN TRAVEL STATUS FROM THE FORMER OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW, ON THE BASIS THAT HER HUSBAND WAS UNEMPLOYED FROM THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF HIS PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT IN DALLAS UNTIL REPORTING FOR DUTY IN HIS NEW POSITION UPON ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE GOODS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE AT DESTINATION FROM MARCH 24 UNTIL DELIVERY TO THE EMPLOYEES RESIDENCE ON JUNE 20.

THIS REPRESENTS A GENERAL SITUATION ON TRANSFERS WHERE THE WIFE IS EMPLOYED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AND THE HUSBAND CHANGES RESIDENCE ALSO UPON TRANSFER OF WIFE. AS THESE CASES WILL PROBABLY INCREASE DUE TO THE CONSOLIDATION OF LOCAL BOARD AND DISTRICT OFFICES IN CURTAILMENT OF THE AGENCY'S OPERATIONS, YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE ABOVE CASE AND INCIDENTAL SIMILAR ITEMS AS OUTLINED BELOW WILL BE APPRECIATED:

1. WHAT CONSTITUTES DEPENDENCY WITHIN THE MEANING OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588?

A. MAY A HUSBAND BE CLAIMED AS A DEPENDENT?

1. IF EMPLOYED?

2. IF UNEMPLOYED?

B. IS DEPENDENCY STATUS BASED ON FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE OR OTHER FACTORS?

C. IS DEPENDENCY ESTABLISHED AS OF

1. DATE OF TRANSFER ORDER.

2. DATE OF SOLICITATION OR ACCEPTANCE OF BIDS FOR SHIPMENT.

3. DATE OF SHIPMENT FROM RESIDENCE.

2. ARE CHARGES ALLOWABLE FOR PACKING AND DRAYAGE FROM RESIDENCE TO STORAGE AT FORMER OFFICIAL STATION, AND DRAYAGE FROM STORAGE AND UNPACKING AT RESIDENCE AT NEW OFFICIAL STATION, TOGETHER WITH UNLOADING AND RELOADING CHARGES AT BOTH ENDS (A) WHILE EMPLOYEE IS ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE QUARTERS OR AWAITING AVAILABILITY OF QUARTERS AT DESTINATION OVER A TEMPORARY PERIOD? (B) WHAT SHOULD REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED A TEMPORARY PERIOD OF STORAGE FOR SUCH PURPOSE, BEYOND WHICH LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES SHOULD CEASE? (C) WHEN MOVER IS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ENTRANCE TO RESIDENCE AT DESTINATION AND REQUIRED TO STORE THE FURNITURE TEMPORARILY?

3. ARE CHARGES FOR EXTRA STOPS TO PICK-UP OR DELIVER GOODS AT STORAGE OR VARIOUS OTHER LOCATIONS AT CITY OF ORIGIN OR DESTINATION PAYABLE BY EMPLOYEE?

4. MAY THE MOVING CHARGES INCLUDE LABOR OF TAKING DOWN CURTAINS, DRAPERIES, AND BRACKETS, AND TAKING UP LINOLEUM AT RESIDENCE?

5. MAY THE EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED FOR FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL TAXES PAID ON TRANSPORTATION, DRAYAGE, PACKING, CRATING, UNLOADING AND RELOADING?

6. MAY AN EMPLOYEE BE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP BY EXPRESS WITHIN THE STIPULATED ALLOWANCE SUCH ITEMS AS BABY CRIB, BED, PORTABLE SEWING MACHINE AND ANY OTHER ARTICLES CONSIDERED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR AS ESSENTIAL FOR EMERGENCY NEEDS OF AN EMPLOYEE UPON ARRIVAL AT NEW OFFICIAL STATION?

7. SHOULD VALUATION OF 10 CENTS OR 30 CENTS CWT. BE USED IN DETERMINING APPLICABLE FREIGHT RATE ON HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR REIMBURSING AN EMPLOYEE WHEN AN UNAUTHORIZED EXPRESS SHIPMENT IS MADE?

8. THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940 PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF CARRIER'S BILLS UPON PRESENTATION, BUT WHERE EXCESS COSTS ARE INCURRED DUE TO WEIGHT OR FOR REASONS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED, THIS OFFICE HAS NOT APPROVED PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS PRIOR TO COLLECTION FROM OWNER OR SUSPENDING THE AMOUNT NOT LEGALLY PAYABLE.

AS THE SERVICE IS AUTHORIZED BY GOVERNMENT PURCHASE ORDER OR BILL OF LADING IT IS FELT THAT THE PAYEE IS ENTITLED TO IMMEDIATE PAYMENT REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT SOME PORTION OF THE EXPENSE IS PROPERLY COLLECTIBLE FROM THE EMPLOYEE. IT APPEARS UNCERTAIN, HOWEVER, FROM YOUR DECISION B-21585 (24 C.G. 559) (21 C.G. 559) AS TO WHETHER THE CERTIFYING OFFICER WOULD BE HELD FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COLLECTION. KINDLY ADVISE THEREFORE WHETHER VOUCHERS COVERING TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES MAY BE PAID IN ADVANCE OF COLLECTION FROM THE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE FOR EXCESS WEIGHT AND OTHER CHARGES WITHOUT OBLIGATING THE CERTIFYING OFFICER, AS MIGHT BE INFERRED FROM YOUR DECISION B-35756 TO THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE ON AUGUST 6, 1943?

QUESTION 1

SECTION 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 PROVIDES "THAT EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE NO DEPENDENTS LIVING WITH THEM SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY NOT IN EXCESS OF 2500 POUNDS GROSS.' WHAT CONSTITUTES DEPENDENCY WITHIN THE MEANING OF SAID REGULATION IS A QUESTION OF FACT AND IT WOULD NOT BE PRACTICABLE TO DEFINE DEPENDENTS GENERALLY IN AN ADVANCE DECISION. WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION WHETHER A HUSBAND MAY BE CONSIDERED A DEPENDENT, IT MAY BE STATED GENERALLY THAT THE DEPENDENCY OF A HUSBAND HAS BEEN NEGATIVED BY THIS OFFICE IN PRACTICALLY EVERY SITUATION PRESENTED TO IT. SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 175; 23 ID. 216; 24 ID. 623. CERTAINLY, A HUSBAND WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED DEPENDENT SIMPLY BECAUSE OF TEMPORARY UNEMPLOYMENT DUE TO MOVING FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER, ALTHOUGH IT IS CONCEIVABLE THAT SITUATIONS MIGHT ARISE, BY REASON OF PHYSICAL OR MENTAL INCAPACITY, IN WHICH THE HUSBAND COULD BE REGARDED AS THE WIFE'S DEPENDENT. EACH CASE IN WHICH SUCH INCAPACITY IS CLAIMED WOULD BE DEPENDENT UPON THE FACTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CASE. THE DETERMINATION OF THE GROSS WEIGHT WHICH MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, SO FAR AS DEPENDENTS ARE CONCERNED, SHOULD BE MADE WITH RESPECT TO THE STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDER AUTHORIZING OR DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE.

QUESTIONS 2 AND 3

CHARGES FOR PACKING NECESSITATED BY STORAGE, AND FOR DRAYAGE FROM RESIDENCE TO STORAGE AND DRAYAGE FROM STORAGE, AND UNPACKING AT RESIDENCE AT THE NEW HEADQUARTERS, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES WHICH ARISE SOLELY FROM THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH EFFECTS, WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.

QUESTION 4

THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

QUESTION 5

THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE WITH RESPECT TO ALL TAXES REQUIRED TO BE PAID ON ACCOUNT OF ITEMS WIICH PROPERLY ARE REIMBURSABLE.

QUESTION 6

SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9587 OF JULY 6, 1945, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHEN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY DETERMINES IT TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, HE MAY SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT BY EXPRESS OF ARTICLES REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION (SUCH AS PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, WEARING APPAREL, BEDDING OR KITCHEN UTENSILS, BUT NOT FURNITURE OR JEWELRY,) WHICH SHALL IN NO CASE EXCEED A WEIGHT OF 500 POUNDS FOR EMPLOYEES HAVING DEPENDENTS WITH THEM * * *.

THE ITEMS OF "BABY CRIB" AND "BED" MENTIONED UNDER THIS QUESTION CONSTITUTE FURNITURE IN THE GENERALLY ACCEPTED SENSE OF THAT TERM AND, AS SUCH, THE COST OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION BY EXPRESS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WOULD APPEAR TO BE PRECLUDED BY THE REGULATIONS, SUPRA. THE AUTHORITY IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS TO DETERMINE WHAT ARTICLES REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION MAY BE SHIPPED BY EXPRESS IS NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE BUT RATHER, IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO ARTICLES "SUCH AS PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, WEARING APPAREL, BEDDING OR KITCHEN UTENSILS.' HOWEVER GREAT MAY BE THE NEED FOR A PORTABLE SEWING MACHINE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, SUCH ITEM IS NOT CONCEIVABLY WITHIN THE GENUS OF THE ITEMS SET OUT IN THE REGULATION. IN OTHER WORDS, THE CRITERION IS NOT THAT THE ARTICLES MAY BE DETERMINED AS REQUIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE BUT, ALSO, WHETHER THEY COME WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF ARTICLES "SUCH AS PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, WEARING APPAREL, BEDDING OR KITCHEN UTENSILS.'

QUESTION 7

SECTION 10 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 OF NOVEMBER 7, 1940, PROVIDES:

VALUATION. THE VALUATION OF PROPERTY AS DECLARED FOR SHIPPING PURPOSES SHALL NOT EXCEED THAT AT WHICH THE LOWEST FREIGHT RATES WILL APPLY. SHOULD THE EMPLOYEE DESIRE A HIGHER VALUATION, HE MUST ASSUME ALL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THE CHARGES AT THE LOWEST RATE. AS 10 CENTS PER POUND (NOT PER CWT. AS SET OUT IN THE QUESTION) IS THE LOWEST VALUATION AUTHORIZED BY CURRENT CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION UPON HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IT FOLLOWS THAT THE FREIGHT RATES COMPUTED UPON THAT VALUATION ARE TO BE USED IN ESTIMATING THE APPLICABLE FREIGHT COSTS FOR AN UNAUTHORIZED SHIPMENT BY EXPRESS.

QUESTION 8

AS STATED IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 6, 1943, B-35756, WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE IS MADE ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING THE CARRIER IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 322 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, 54 STAT. 955, PRIOR TO AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THE CERTIFYING OFFICER WILL NOT BE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE FOR THE PAYMENTS SO MADE TO THE CARRIER. SEE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 306. IN THE DECISION, B-21585, 21 COMP. GEN. 559 (ERRONEOUSLY CITED BY YOU AS 24 COMP. GEN. 559), IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

CARRIERS MAY BE PAID IN FULL AND IN DUE COURSE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. ETC., INCLUDING THAT IN EXCESS OF THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, OF ARMY OFFICERS UPON CHANGE OF STATION, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER ANY REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN OR IS TO BE COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS FOR SUCH EXCESS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910, BUT SUCH AUTHORITY TO PAY CARRIERS DOES NOT PRECLUDE A DETERMINATION BY THE PROPER AUTHORITY THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER OR OTHER WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICER IS PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURE TO COLLECT THE REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT.

THE SUGGESTION IN THAT DECISION, THAT THE AUTHORITY TO PAY THE CARRIER DOES NOT PRECLUDE A DETERMINATION THAT THE FINANCE OR OTHER OFFICER OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE TO COLLECT THE REQUIRED REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE EMPLOYEE, IS BASED UPON THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS QUOTED IN THAT DECISION AND RELATES TO THE FAILURE TO COLLECT FROM THE EMPLOYEE AND NOT TO FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE CARRIER, AND IS DEPENDENT UPON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE CERTIFYING OFFICER OR OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER IS RESPONSIBLE UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE FAILURE TO MAKE COLLECTION FROM THE EMPLOYEE.