B-69226, OCTOBER 1, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 181

B-69226: Oct 1, 1947

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS NOT "BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS" OR A SHIPPING CONTAINER THEREFOR WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO OVERSEAS STATIONS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SAID SECTION OR THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE PURSUANT THERETO. IT IS RELATED THAT DUE TO THE HOUSING SHORTAGE IN THE UNITED STATES CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE HAVE PURCHASED HOUSING TRAILERS TO SHELTER THEIR FAMILIES AT THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS AND THAT IN SOME CASES SUCH INDIVIDUALS HAVE DISPOSED OF ARTICLES NORMALLY REQUIRED TO FURNISH A HOME. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT UNLESS THE TRAILERS MAY BE SHIPPED TO OVERSEAS STATIONS. AT MANY OF WHICH HOUSING FACILITIES ARE INADEQUATE. SUCH INDIVIDUALS WILL SUFFER THE UNDUE HARDSHIP OF HAVING TO DISPOSE OF THEIR TRAILERS AND PURCHASE NECESSARY HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATES OF THEIR TRANSFER ORDERS.

B-69226, OCTOBER 1, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 181

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - STATUS OF HOUSE TRAILERS AS EFFECTS OR SHIPPING CONTAINERS WHILE THE BUILT-IN FACILITIES OF HOUSE TRAILERS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SIXTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, AS ADDED BY SECTION 205 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, A TRAILER, AS SUCH, IS NOT "BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS" OR A SHIPPING CONTAINER THEREFOR WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO OVERSEAS STATIONS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SAID SECTION OR THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE PURSUANT THERETO.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, OCTOBER 1, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27, 1947, ADVISING THAT IT HAS BEEN PROPOSED THAT APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS BE ISSUED DEFINING A TRAILER, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM AN AUTOMOBILE, AS A CONTAINER FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF TRAILERS SO DEFINED WOULD BE AUTHORIZED UPON THE TRANSFER OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, PARTICULARLY TO OVERSEAS STATIONS. AS A BASIS FOR SUCH PROPOSED PAYMENTS, IT IS RELATED THAT DUE TO THE HOUSING SHORTAGE IN THE UNITED STATES CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE HAVE PURCHASED HOUSING TRAILERS TO SHELTER THEIR FAMILIES AT THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS AND THAT IN SOME CASES SUCH INDIVIDUALS HAVE DISPOSED OF ARTICLES NORMALLY REQUIRED TO FURNISH A HOME, UTILIZING INSTEAD THE BUILT-IN FACILITIES OF THEIR TRAILERS, AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT UNLESS THE TRAILERS MAY BE SHIPPED TO OVERSEAS STATIONS, AT MANY OF WHICH HOUSING FACILITIES ARE INADEQUATE, SUCH INDIVIDUALS WILL SUFFER THE UNDUE HARDSHIP OF HAVING TO DISPOSE OF THEIR TRAILERS AND PURCHASE NECESSARY HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATES OF THEIR TRANSFER ORDERS.

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL UPON CHANGES OF STATION NOW IS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 205 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 860, AS FOLLOWS:

UPON CHANGES OF STATION, MEMBERS OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, AS AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, WHICH SHALL BE UNIFORM FOR THE SERVICES MENTIONED AND SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT. SUCH TRANSPORTATION MAY BE BY RAIL, WATER, OR VAN, WITHOUT REGARD TO COMPARATIVE COSTS.

WHILE THE BUILT-IN FACILITIES OF HOUSE TRAILERS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE, A TRAILER, AS SUCH, IS CLEARLY NOT "BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS," AND MAY NOT BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER SUCH AUTHORITY. THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES INTER ALIA, THE PACKING, CRATING, TRANSPORTATION, AND UNPACKING OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, BUT THERE IS NO AUTHORIZATION IN THE STATUTE TO EXPEND A GREATER AMOUNT FOR ONE SERVICE, BY INCLUDING AN UNAUTHORIZED ITEM IN THE SHIPMENT, IN LIEU OF FURNISHING OTHER AUTHORIZED SERVICES. ANY SUCH ARRANGEMENT IS PRECLUDED BY THE FUNDAMENTAL RULE OF LAW LAID DOWN IN SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, 31 U.S.C. 628, THAT:

EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS.

A TRAILER IS NOT DESIGNED FOR, AND IS NOT CONSIDERED AS ADAPTABLE FOR, USE AS A SHIPPING CONTAINER OF GOODS, BUT ORDINARILY IT WOULD ITSELF BE REQUIRED TO BE BOXED OR PACKED AND CRATED FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT. IF NOT, IT COULD BE SHIPPED ONLY AT THE SHIPPER'S RISK AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE LIABLE TO THE INDIVIDUAL OWNER FOR DAMAGES IN TRANSIT. ACT OF MAY 29, 1945, 59 STAT. 225, 31 U.S.C., SUPP. V, 22C. IT MAY BE OBSERVED, MOREOVER, THAT TO THE EXTENT THE GOVERNMENT MIGHT PAY THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, ETC., OF PRIVATELY OWNED TRAILERS TO OVERSEAS STATIONS FOR PERSONNEL BEING PAID FULL RENTAL OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCES ON THE BASIS THAT THEY WERE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THEIR OWN QUARTERS. BUT, HOWEVER, THAT MAY BE, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE SUGGESTED PAYMENTS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE, SUPRA, OR UNDER APPROPRIATIONS MADE PURSUANT THERETO. CF. DECISION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1944, B-39498, TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR.