B-68446, AUGUST 13, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 89

B-68446: Aug 13, 1947

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A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHOSE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED. SUBJECT EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED TO HEADQUARTERS. THE FACTS AS PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE BY JOSEPHINE SMITH ARE AS FOLLOWS: THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THIS STATION MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY TO PACK. SMITH WAS ADVISED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THAT SHIPMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF WAR DEPARTMENT BULLETIN 32. GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED. WERE LEFT IN STORAGE AT THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY WAREHOUSE IN COLORADO SPRINGS. SMITH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFERRED BACK TO THIS HEADQUARTERS ON OR ABOUT 18 APRIL 1947. PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS SHE WAS ADVISED BY THE TRANSPORTATION SECTION.

B-68446, AUGUST 13, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 89

PACKING, CRATING, HAULING, AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - RETRANSFER TO FORMER STATION PRIOR TO SHIPMENT UNDER SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, ETC., OF EMPLOYEES' HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS UPON CHANGE OF STATION, BUT WHICH PROVIDES NO BASIS FOR SEPARATING COMMUTED RATES INTO SEPARATE CHARGES FOR PACKING, CRATING, STORAGE, ETC., A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHOSE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE PACKED, CRATED, AND HAULED TO STORAGE BUT NOT SHIPPED TO THE NEW STATION BECAUSE OF HER RETRANSFER TO HER FORMER STATION MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED AMOUNTS EXPENDED FOR PACKING, STORAGE, ETC.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO MAJ. ANGUS S. CLIST, U.S. ARMY, AUGUST 13, 1947:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 23, 1947, FORWARDED HERE BY FIFTH INDORSEMENT OF JULY 30, 1947, FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, REQUESTS DECISION UPON THE MATTER THEREIN PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. SUBMITTED HEREWITH, CLAIM PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE BY JOSEPHINE SMITH, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, FOR PAYMENT OF PACKING, CRATING, HAULING AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

2. SUBJECT EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED TO HEADQUARTERS, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, ON OR ABOUT 10 JANUARY 1947, ORDERS THIS HEADQUARTERS, DATED 30 DECEMBER 1946, COPY ATTACHED. THE FACTS AS PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE BY JOSEPHINE SMITH ARE AS FOLLOWS: THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THIS STATION MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY TO PACK, CRATE AND SHIP THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THIS STATION TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, BUT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE MRS. SMITH WAS ADVISED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THAT SHIPMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF WAR DEPARTMENT BULLETIN 32, DATED 4 DECEMBER 1946. UPON ARRIVAL AT STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS, DUE TO THE HOUSING SHORTAGE, GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED, BUT WERE LEFT IN STORAGE AT THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY WAREHOUSE IN COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO. MRS. SMITH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFERRED BACK TO THIS HEADQUARTERS ON OR ABOUT 18 APRIL 1947. PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND HEADQUARTERS SHE WAS ADVISED BY THE TRANSPORTATION SECTION, HEADQUARTERS STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND THAT PAYMENT COULD BE EFFECTED BY THIS OFFICE FOR THE PACKING AND STORAGE OF HER HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

3. SECTION 12, 13, 14, WAR DEPARTMENT BULLETIN 32, DATED 4 DECEMBER 1946 OUTLINES THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT AFTER SHIPMENT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. THE AFOREMENTIONED BULLETIN DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY PROVISIONS FOR THE PAYMENT OF PACKING, CRATING, AND STORAGE OF GOODS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UNLESS THE GOODS ARE ACTUALLY SHIPPED.

4. AN ELEMENT OF DOUBT EXISTS IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE AS TO THE VALIDITY OF PAYMENT IN SO FAR AS THE PACKING, CRATING AND HAULING FROM THE EMPLOYEES HOME TO THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY IS CONCERNED. ORDINARILY THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED IN AN AMOUNT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12, OF THE AFOREMENTIONED BULLETIN, WHICH WOULD HAVE COVERED THE COST OF PACKING, CRATING AND HAULING HAD THE GOODS ACTUALLY BEEN SHIPPED TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

5. IT IS THE OPINION OF THE UNDERSIGNED THAT PAYMENT SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED FOR PACKING, CRATING AND HAULING FROM THE RESIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO THE CITY TRANSFER COMPANY, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

6. REQUEST AN OPINION OF THE PROPERTY OF PAYMENT OF THE ATTACHED CLAIM AND IF CONSIDERED PAYABLE, THAT THIS OFFICE BE ADVISED AS TO THE REGULATION GOVERNING SAME AND THE SCALE TO BE USED IN EFFECTING PAYMENT.

IN 22 COMP. GEN. 478 IT WAS STATED AT PAGE 482:

NOTWITHSTANDING THE CONTENTIONS OF THE CLAIMANTS IN THE CASES HERE PRESENTED, THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, AND THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER (CONTAINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 OF NOVEMBER 7, 1940, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9122 OF APRIL 6, 1942, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9223 OF AUGUST 15, 1942) HAVE NOT BEEN, AND MAY NOT BE, INTERPRETED (1) AS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR PACKING AND CRATING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH ARE NOT TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE, BUT WHICH, INSTEAD, ARE SENT TO STORAGE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST STATION, OR (2) AS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH ARE TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.

WHILE THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE-CITED DECISION, HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806, THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE LATER ACT, EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, PROVIDE IN SECTION 12, THEREOF:

SEC. 12. COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES.--- IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN THE CASE OF TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTATED BASIS AT RATES PER HUNDRED POUNDS AS FIXED BY ZONES IN SCHEDULE A WHICH IS ATTACHED TO AND MADE A PART OF THESE REGULATIONS. THE AMOUNT PAYABLE SHALL BE THE PRODUCT OF THE APPLICABLE RATE AND THE NET RATE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ACTUALLY SHIPPED BY CARRIER FOR THE EMPLOYEE (WITHIN THE WEIGHT LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 16 HEREOF). GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING SHALL NOT BE USED.

THE SCHEDULE OF COMMUTATED RATES ATTACHED TO THE ABOVE EXECUTIVE ORDER PROVIDES NO BASIS FOR SEPARATION OF THE COMMUTATED RATES INTO THE SEPARATE CHARGES OF PACKING, CRATING, STORAGE, AND TRANSPORTATION. ACCORDINGLY, THE RULE STATED IN THE ABOVE DECISION, 22 COMP. GEN. 478, PROPERLY IS FOR APPLICATION, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY, THEREFORE, TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION FOR THE AMOUNTS EXPENDED FOR PACKING, CRATING, HAULING, AND STORAGE OF HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHEN THEY ACTUALLY WERE NOT SHIPPED TO HER NEW STATION.