B-58897, AUGUST 1, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 70

B-58897: Aug 1, 1946

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - HOME TO PLACE SELECTED UPON RELEASE FROM MILITARY SERVICE AN ARMY OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED EITHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS OR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE WARTIME ACT OF JUNE 5. IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICER HAD NOT MOVED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME AT ANY TIME WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND IS ESTABLISHING A DOMICILE AT A NEW LOCATION UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. AS FOLLOWS: THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT OF AN OFFICER TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM HIS HOME OF RECORD WHEN HE IS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY. YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS WHICH IT IS BELIEVED ARE MATERIAL TO THE ABOVE PROBLEM: "PARAGRAPH 14A (3).

B-58897, AUGUST 1, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 70

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - HOME TO PLACE SELECTED UPON RELEASE FROM MILITARY SERVICE AN ARMY OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED EITHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS OR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE WARTIME ACT OF JUNE 5, 1942, RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ARMY PERSONNEL TO DESIGNATED PLACES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES--- SUCH AS ASSIGNMENT TO RESTRICTED AREAS--- TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME OF RECORD TO A SELECTED PLACE UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICER HAD NOT MOVED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME AT ANY TIME WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND IS ESTABLISHING A DOMICILE AT A NEW LOCATION UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. (AMPLIFIED BY 26 COMP. GEN. 925.)

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AUGUST 1, 1946:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT OF AN OFFICER TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM HIS HOME OF RECORD WHEN HE IS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS WHICH IT IS BELIEVED ARE MATERIAL TO THE ABOVE PROBLEM:

"PARAGRAPH 14A (3), AR 55-160---

"/3) BASIS FOR DETERMINING EXCESS COSTS.--- SHIPMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR ANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS NAMED IN PARAGRAPH 12A UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE NEW PERMANENT STATION AND/OR FROM ANY POINTS TO ANY POINTS, AS MAY BE DESIRED BY THE OWNER. ANY COST IN THE AGGREGATE OF ALL SHIPMENTS SO MADE OVER AND ABOVE THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON A LIKE WEIGHT OF AUTHORIZED PROPERTY SHIPPED IN ONE LOT FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE NEW PERMANENT STATION, AS DETERMINED UNDER PARAGRAPH 27, WILL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER, SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF (1) ABOVE AND (7) BELOW, AND PARAGRAPHS 16 AND 25.

"PARAGRAPH 14A (11) (B), AR 55-160---

"/B) UPON TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY.--- ON TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY IN EXCESS OF 61 DAYS TO THE HOUSE OR TO ANY PLACE SELECTED,PROVIDED THE COST OF SHIPMENT TO THE PLACE SELECTED IS NO GREATER THAN TO THE PLACE DESIGNATED AS THE HOME WHEN CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY, BUT NO EXCESS WEIGHT WILL BE SHIPPED.'

SINCE 7 DECEMBER 1941 NUMEROUS MILITARY PERSONNEL UPON BEING ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT THEIR HOMES OF RECORD BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF QUARTERS OR ADEQUATE HOUSING FACILITIES AT OR NEAR THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS. THE WARTIME "ONE MOVE RESTRICTION" WAS, OF COURSE, ANOTHER FACTOR WHY MANY OFFICERS DID NOT MOVE THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THEIR HOMES AT ANY TIME WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY. MANY SITUATIONS ARE NOW ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH DEMOBILIZATION WHERE OFFICERS WHO HAVE NOT HAD ANY SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR REASONS OF THE NATURE INDICATED ABOVE ARE RETURNING TO CIVILIAN LIFE, AND, AS THE RESULT OF CHANGES AND READJUSTMENTS DUE TO THE WAR, ARE ESTABLISHING DOMICILES IN COMMUNITIES OTHER THAN THOSE WHERE THEY RESIDED WHEN THEY ENTERED THE SERVICE.

WHILE SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE HOME OF RECORD UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MENTIONED ABOVE CLEARLY APPEAR, IN MY OPINION, TO BE JUST AND EQUITABLE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT DOUBT EXISTS WHETHER SUCH SHIPMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CITED REGULATIONS, AND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF 5 JUNE 1942, 56 STAT. 315.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE HOME OF RECORD IS AUTHORIZED WHEN AN OFFICER IS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

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

* * * THE PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY SHALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF EXISTING LAWS APPLYING TO THE ARMY AND THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

A SIMILAR PROVISION IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 359, 364, 365, WHICH LIKEWISE PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS, AND OF ENLISTED MEN ABOVE THE FOURTH PAY GRADE, WHEN "ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION," INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM HOME TO FIRST STATION AND FROM LAST STATION TO HOME.

WHILE THE ABOVE-CITED ACTS RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE OF LAWS RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ARMY PERSONNEL, THE ONLY PERMANENT LEGISLATION COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ARMY PERSONNEL APPEARS TO BE THE 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 WILL BE NOTED THAT THE ABOVE ACT REFERS TO THE ALLOWANCE AS A "CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE," AND THAT THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, AND IN THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, ARE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROVISIONS RESPECTING THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. HOWEVER, TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAS BEEN GOVERNED LARGELY BY ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS WITHIN THE STATUTORY CONCEPT THAT IT IS A 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, THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME UPON RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE REGULATIONS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE NEW PERMANENT STATION AND/OR FROM ANY POINTS TO ANY POINTS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE NEW PERMANENT TATION; AND UPON TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY, TO THE HOME OR TO ANY SELECTED PLACE PROVIDED THE COST TO THE SELECTED PLACE IS NO GREATER THAN TO THE PLACE DESIGNATED AS HOME WHEN CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY. THE SAID REGULATIONS CLEARLY CONTEMPLATE THAT THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHALL ACCRUE UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY ONLY AS TO SUCH HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AS ARE AT THAT TIME AT A POINT OTHER THAN THE HOME OF RECORD OF THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN CONCERNED AND THEREFORE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE HOME OF RECORD TO A SELECTED PLACE UPON RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

FURTHER PROVISION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL UNDER WARTIME CONDITIONS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1942, 56 STAT. 314, 315, AS FOLLOWS:

(B) WHEN SUCH MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE ON DUTY AT PLACES DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR AS WITHIN ZONES FROM WHICH THEIR DEPENDENTS SHOULD BE EVACUATED FOR MILITARY REASONS, OR UPON TRANSFER OR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OF SUCH MILITARY PERSONNEL TO PLACES WHERE THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE NOT, FOR MILITARY REASONS, PERMITTED TO ACCOMPANY THEM OR WHERE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, DEPENDENTS FOR WHOM TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AND TRAVEL IN KIND IS AUTHORIZED, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, MAY BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN CONCERNED AND LATER FROM SUCH LOCATIONS TO A DUTY STATION TO WHICH SUCH OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN MAY BE ASSIGNED AND AT WHICH THE ABOVE RESTRICTIONS DO NOT APPLY: PROVIDED, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED ON AND AFTER DECEMBER 8, 1941.

(C) WHEN SUCH MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT STATION ON ORDERS WHICH DO NOT PROVIDE FOR RETURN TO THE PERMANENT STATION, OR WHICH DO NOT SPECIFY OR IMPLY ANY LIMIT TO THE PERIOD OF ABSENCE FROM THE PERMANENT STATION, DEPENDENTS FOR WHOM TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AND TRAVEL IN KIND ARE AUTHORIZED, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, MAY BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO SUCH LOCATION IN THE UNITED STATES AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN CONCERNED AND LATER FROM SUCH LOCATION TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO WHICH THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN IS ASSIGNED, SUBJECT TO SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF WAR MAY PRESCRIBE REGARDING THE SHIPMENT OF DEPENDENTS INTO SPECIFIED ZONES: PROVIDED, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED ON AND AFTER DECEMBER 8, 1941.

(D) OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, NOW IN THE ACTIVE FEDERAL SERVICE, FOR WHOM TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED, MAY ELECT TO HAVE SUCH HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THEIR PERMANENT STATION TO ANY POINT IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR STORAGE AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE FOR THE DURATION OF THE WARS IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS NOW ENGAGED. AFTER THE TERMINATION OF SUCH WARS SUCH HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE MOVED FROM THE POINT TO WHICH ORIGINALLY SHIPPED TO ANY PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS TO WHICH THE OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, OR ENLISTED MEN MAY BE ASSIGNED.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION OF SAID ACT OF JUNE 5, 1942, TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THEREIN DESCRIBED, IS AUTHORIZED TO SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN CONCERNED, AND LATER FROM SUCH LOCATIONS TO PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS TO WHICH SUCH OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN MAY BE ASSIGNED. HOWEVER, THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING CONTAINED THEREIN WHICH REASONABLY MAY BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL FROM THE HOME OF RECORD TO A SELECTED PLACE UPON RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY.