B-66980, JULY 30, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 39

B-66980: Jul 30, 1947

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WERE LEFT AT EUROPEAN POSTS OF DUTY IN EXPECTATION OF RETURN THERETO AFTER CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES MAY NOT NOW BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES. 1947: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 10. AT THAT TIME IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD BE RETURNED TO THEIR STATIONS AS SOON AS THE WAR WAS OVER. AFTER THE WAR WHEN THE COMMISSION PRESENTED ITS BUDGET FOR THE RETURN OF THESE PERSONNEL IT WAS NOT APPROVED FOR ALL OF THEM AND SEVERAL WERE NOT RETURNED. THE MAJOR PART OF THESE GOODS THEY ARE NO LONGER INTERESTED IN. BECAUSE OF THE INTRINSIC VALUE OF SOME OF IT THEY WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO HAVE IT BROUGHT TO THE STATES. THEY WOULD HAVE ENDEAVORED TO BRING IT BACK AT THE TIME OF THEIR RETURN IN 1941 HAD THEY KNOWN THAT THE COMMISSION WOULD BE UNABLE TO RETURN THEM TO THEIR STATIONS AT THE CLOSE OF THE WAR.

B-66980, JULY 30, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 39

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - AUTHORIZATION AND TIME OF SHIPMENT REQUIREMENTS IN VIEW OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ONLY WHEN AUTHORIZED "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL," AND SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SAID ACT, REQUIRING THAT SHIPMENT BE MADE WITHIN TWO YEARS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER, HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH, UPON THE RETURN IN 1941 OF EMPLOYEES FROM EUROPE TO THE UNITED STATES DUE TO THE WAR, WERE LEFT AT EUROPEAN POSTS OF DUTY IN EXPECTATION OF RETURN THERETO AFTER CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES MAY NOT NOW BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION, JULY 30, 1947:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1947, FROM YOUR COMMISSION, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE SUMMER OF 1941 IT BECAME NECESSARY, DUE TO THE WAR IN EUROPE, FOR THE COMMISSION TO BRING ITS AMERICAN PERSONNEL FROM FRANCE AND BELGIUM TO THE UNITED STATES. AT THAT TIME IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD BE RETURNED TO THEIR STATIONS AS SOON AS THE WAR WAS OVER, AND IN EXPECTATION THEREOF THEY MADE ARRANGEMENTS ACCORDINGLY. HOWEVER, AFTER THE WAR WHEN THE COMMISSION PRESENTED ITS BUDGET FOR THE RETURN OF THESE PERSONNEL IT WAS NOT APPROVED FOR ALL OF THEM AND SEVERAL WERE NOT RETURNED. THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIRS, THEY NOW FIND THEMSELVES IN THE UNITED STATES WITH THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS STILL IN FRANCE. THE MAJOR PART OF THESE GOODS THEY ARE NO LONGER INTERESTED IN, BUT BECAUSE OF THE INTRINSIC VALUE OF SOME OF IT THEY WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO HAVE IT BROUGHT TO THE STATES. OBVIOUSLY, THEY WOULD HAVE ENDEAVORED TO BRING IT BACK AT THE TIME OF THEIR RETURN IN 1941 HAD THEY KNOWN THAT THE COMMISSION WOULD BE UNABLE TO RETURN THEM TO THEIR STATIONS AT THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. THAT TIME, AS EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, CAN THE COMMISSION PAY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THESE GOODS FROM FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES AT THIS TIME?

SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES, INCLUDING THE EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, SHALL BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS ONLY WHEN AUTHORIZED "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL.' SAID STATUTE AUTHORIZED THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO ISSUE REGULATIONS COVERING SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AND PURSUANT THERETO THE PRESIDENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946, PRESCRIBED REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ALLOWANCE AND PAYMENT THEREOF. SECTION 5 OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER ROVIDES:

SEC. 5. TIME LIMIT. ALL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE, EXCEPT THAT FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENTER UPON ACTIVE MILITARY, NAVAL, OR COAST GUARD DUTY AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH PERIOD AND ARE FURLOUGHED FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH DUTY, THE TWO- YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF THE TIME SPENT ON SUCH FURLOUGH; AND FOR EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF ANY TIME DURING WHICH SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS MAKE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IMPOSSIBLE. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO COMPLETE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATES.

IT THUS WILL BE SEEN THAT THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL, AND THAT SUCH SHIPMENT MUST BEGIN WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS TRANSFER, EXCEPT AS NOTED IN CASE RETURNED TO THIS COUNTRY IN 1941 DUE TO THE WAR IN EUROPE AND LEFT THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN EUROPE IN EXPECTATION THAT, UPON THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES, THEY WOULD RETURN TO THEIR FOREIGN POSTS OF DUTY, CONSTITUTES NO BASIS FOR ANY EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE TWO REQUIREMENTS OF THE STATUTE AND THE REGULATIONS.