B-73197, MARCH 12, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 513

B-73197: Mar 12, 1948

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TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SUCCESSIVE CHANGES OF STATION WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER WAS AUTHORIZED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588. SHIPMENT ACTUALLY WAS MADE TO A THIRD OFFICIAL STATION UNDER A CHANGE-OF-STATION AUTHORIZATION ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 WHICH CHANGED THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A COMMUTED BASIS. THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE IS TO BE MEASURED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATTER EXECUTIVE ORDER. AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER AND WHO. WAS TRANSFERRED TO A THIRD STATION IS ENTITLED.

B-73197, MARCH 12, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 513

TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SUCCESSIVE CHANGES OF STATION WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER WAS AUTHORIZED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, BUT SHIPMENT ACTUALLY WAS MADE TO A THIRD OFFICIAL STATION UNDER A CHANGE-OF-STATION AUTHORIZATION ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 WHICH CHANGED THE METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A COMMUTED BASIS, THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE IS TO BE MEASURED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATTER EXECUTIVE ORDER, EVEN THOUGH THE FIRST CHANGE OF STATION PROCEEDED THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF. AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER AND WHO, BEFORE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO SUCH NEW STATION, WAS TRANSFERRED TO A THIRD STATION IS ENTITLED, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT FROM A PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO THE THIRD STATION, EVEN THOUGH IT BE IN EXCESS OF THE COMMUTED COST FROM THE SECOND TO THE THIRD STATION. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM A PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION--- THE LAST OF TWO SUCCESSIVE CHANGES OF STATION--- AFTER EXPIRATION OF THE TIME LIMITATION FIXED FOR THE FIRST CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION, BUT WITHIN THE TIME FIXED FOR THE SECOND STATION CHANGE, THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE IS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE SECOND STATION TO THE NEW STATION BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE VIA MODE OF CONVEYANCE ACTUALLY USED, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BETWEEN SUCH POINTS BY COMMON CARRIER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO ANNE K. ZACK, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MARCH 12, 1948:

BY LETTER OF JANUARY 23, 1948, THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15, 1948, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HENRY P. JANDACEK FOR $249.50, ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, IN NOVEMBER, 1947, INCIDENT TO A SERIES OF PERMANENT TRANSFERS OF DUTY STATIONS AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE THEREON.

BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. 3-121.1, DATED OCTOBER 14, 1946, THE CLAIMANT WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 14 FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, HIS OFFICIAL STATION, TO BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING A/PERMANENT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, AND BY ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1947, HIS PERMANENT TRANSFER WAS ORDERED FROM BISMARCK TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, TRAVEL TO COMMERCE ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 15. EACH OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, THE FIRST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588 AND 9587, AS AMENDED, AND THE SECOND, IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805. THE INITIAL AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO BISMARCK, WHICH AUTHORIZATION WAS TO HAVE TERMINATED OCTOBER 14, 1947, WAS EXTENDED ON OCTOBER 9, 1947, TO EXPIRE NOT LATER THAN OCTOBER 14, 1948, AND THE SECOND AUTHORIZATION COVERING SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS WAS TO EXPIRE TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE APPLICABLE TRANSFER. THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION AS DIRECTED, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS INABILITY TO LOCATE SUITABLE LIVING QUARTERS AT BISMARCK HE DID NOT MOVE EITHER HIS FAMILY OR HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THAT POINT. HOWEVER, UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 17, 1947, HIS EFFECTS, WEIGHING 3,040 POUNDS, WERE MOVED FROM PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, AND THE EMPLOYEE NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE OF THAT MOVEMENT. RELATIVE THERETO, YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT IF THE SHIPMENT HAD BEEN MADE FROM PHILLIPS TO BISMARCK, THE COST UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 8555 WOULD HAVE BEEN $172.06 AND THAT THE COST FROM BISMARCK TO MINOT, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, WOULD HAVE BEEN $93.02, OR A TOTAL FOR BOTH MOVEMENTS, $265.08.

WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED IN THE RECORD, IT IS ASSUMED THAT PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, COMES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORDS "SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE" AS USED IN SECTION 8 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AND THIS DECISION IS RENDERED UPON THAT BASIS.

SINCE THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM BISMARCK TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, WAS NOT ORDERED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 1947, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT NO COMMITMENT WAS MADE WITH RESPECT TO THE MOVEMENT OF HIS EFFECTS TO MINOT, UNTIL SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, NAMELY NOVEMBER 1, 1946. ACCORDINGLY, THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE IS TO BE MEASURED BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER--- WHICH ORDER WAS PROMULGATED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806--- NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE FIRST CHANGE OF STATION PRECEDED THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF. 20 COMP. GEN. 479, 483. THAT IS TO SAY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, IT APPLIES TO THE CHANGE IN REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS TO A COMMUTED BASIS. HENCE, WHATEVER BE THE DISTANCE CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE ENTIRE AMOUNT DUE IS TO BE FIGURED UPON A COMMUTED BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805.

WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE, ARISING BECAUSE OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE EFFECTS HAVING BEEN MADE FROM PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, RATHER THAN FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST OFFICIAL STATION, THE RECORD SHOWS (1) THAT BOTH OF THE TRANSFER ORDERS ISSUED TO THE EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, (2) THAT THE MOVEMENT OF THE EFFECTS WAS ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT ALLOWED BY EACH ORDER, AND (3) AS COMPARED WITH THE COST OF THE SEPARATE SHIPMENTS ( CHICAGO OR PHILLIPS TO BISMARCK; BISMARCK TO MINOT) WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN MADE LEGALLY, THE ADVANTAGE STILL IS WITH THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE THE COST OF THE DIRECT SHIPMENT FROM PHILLIPS TO MINOT IS LESS THAN IT WOULD HAVE COST TO MAKE THE SEPARATE SHIPMENTS. UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS IMMATERIAL THAT THE EXPENSES OF SHIPPING THE GOODS FROM PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, DIRECTLY TO THE NEW STATION ( MINOT) WAS CONSIDERABLY GREATER THAN THE EXPENSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SHIPMENT BEEN FROM THE LAST DUTY STATION, BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 568; 27 ID. 267 (B-70546), REFERRED TO BY YOU, AND ALSO B-71377, DECEMBER 12, 1947.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABOVE, IT IS RELEVANT TO NOTE AT THIS POINT THAT THE PRESENT LAW AND REGULATIONS ( PUBLIC LAW 600 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, SUPRA) DO NOT EXPRESSLY PRECLUDE THE GOVERNMENT FROM PAYING THE FULL AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS DIRECTLY FROM A PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO THE THIRD DUTY STATION, AS HERE--- THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE PROVISO OF SECTION 8 OF THE CURRENT REGULATIONS BEING INAPPLICABLE TO A SITUATION SUCH AS THIS.

TURNING TO THE QUESTION OF THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM PHILLIPS, WISCONSIN, TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THEIR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 15 TO 16, 1947, OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXPIRATION DATE OF THE AUTHORIZATION GRANTED IN THE TRAVEL ORDER OF OCTOBER 14, 1946, TO WIT, SIX MONTHS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER TO BISMARCK--- NO EXTENSION OF TIME HAVING BEEN GRANTED, AS REQUIRED. HENCE, ANY RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON THE BASIS OF THAT TRANSFER EXPIRED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THEIR TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION FROM BISMARCK TO MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA, BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, VIA THE MODE OF CONVEYANCE ACTUALLY USED, NAMELY, PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BETWEEN THOSE POINTS BY COMMON CARRIER. CF. B-28260, OCTOBER 24, 1942; B-38603, DECEMBER 13, 1943; 20 COMP. GEN. 568; 22 ID. 725; 25 ID. 325.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.