B-76079, JULY 23, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 41

B-76079: Jul 23, 1948

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AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ONLY FOR COSTS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCURRED DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS THEREOF. REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD SUCH EFFECTS BEEN MOVED FROM STORAGE WITHIN THE 60-DAY PERIOD. INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE RECENTRALIZATION PROGRAM IS ANTICIPATION OF RETURN TO THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. ARE REIMBURSABLE AT THE COMMUTED RATES PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805. ONLY WHERE BOTH THE CHANGE OF STATION WAS ORDERED AND THE EFFECTS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE ON OR AFTER JULY 1. ALL CASES INVOLVING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION IN WHICH THERE IS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE MOVEMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY "CARRIER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT WORD AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 (SUCH AS THOSE INVOLVING THE USE OF A VEHICLE EITHER OWNED OR RENTED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND DRIVEN EITHER BY HIMSELF.

B-76079, JULY 23, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 41

TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AN EMPLOYEE, OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, MAY BE ALLOWED NECESSARY CHARGES INCIDENTAL TO THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, INCLUDING DRAYAGE TO RESIDENCE, LOADING OR UNLOADING CHARGES AT THE WAREHOUSE, AND SIMILAR EXPENSES--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TRANSPORTATION CHARGES--- IN AN AMOUNT WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE ACTUAL STORAGE CHARGE, DOES NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM SUM PAYABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMUTED RATES SPECIFIED THEREIN. UNDER SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ONLY FOR COSTS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCURRED DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS THEREOF, NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AT THE COMMUTED RATES SPECIFIED IN SAID SECTION 12 (B); HOWEVER, NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENTAL TO SUCH STORAGE--- SUCH AS DRAYAGE FROM STORAGE TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW HEADQUARTERS--- MAY BE ALLOWED EVEN THOUGH INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE AUTHORIZED 60-DAY PERIOD, REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD SUCH EFFECTS BEEN MOVED FROM STORAGE WITHIN THE 60-DAY PERIOD. CHARGES FOR THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE RECENTRALIZATION PROGRAM IS ANTICIPATION OF RETURN TO THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, ARE REIMBURSABLE AT THE COMMUTED RATES PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO JULY 1, 1947, ONLY WHERE BOTH THE CHANGE OF STATION WAS ORDERED AND THE EFFECTS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1947. ALL CASES INVOLVING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION IN WHICH THERE IS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE MOVEMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY "CARRIER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT WORD AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 (SUCH AS THOSE INVOLVING THE USE OF A VEHICLE EITHER OWNED OR RENTED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND DRIVEN EITHER BY HIMSELF, HIS RELATIVES, OR A HIRED DRIVER), AND THOSE CASES IN WHICH ONLY A NOMINAL EXPENSE IS INVOLVED, PROPERLY WOULD BE FOR SUBMITTING TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT ACCOMPANIED BY A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, INSTEAD OF BEING PAID ADMINISTRATIVELY. UNDER SECTION 17 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AUTHORIZING THE SHIPMENT OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AND FROM POINTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE ACTUAL KNOWN WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT IS TO BE USED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE 8,750 POUND MAXIMUM LIMIT HAS BEEN EXCEEDED, AND, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE WATER CARRIER HAS THE ELECTION TO CHARGE ON A WEIGHT OR CUBIC MEASUREMENT BASIS, OR BASES ITS CHARGES SOLELY UPON CUBIC MEASUREMENT, THE ALLOWANCE TO THE EMPLOYEE PROPERLY MAY BE BASED ON ACTUAL WEIGHT IS UNOBTAINABLE, THE MATTER MAY BE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 23, 1948:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1948, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED ON QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE ARISEN IN THIS DEPARTMENT CONCERNING THE ALLOWANCES PAYABLE TO EMPLOYEES UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, FOR TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ON TRANSFERS OF OFFICIAL STATIONS, AS FOLLOWS:

1. SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933 PROVIDES:

" COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES--- TEMPORARY STORAGE. IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN THE CASE OF TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND IN ADDITION TO ALLOWANCES UNDER SCHEDULE A, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE AT THE COMMUTED RATE OF $1.60 PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF STORAGE OR FRACTION THEREOF PLUS 40 CENTS PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS OR FRACTION THEREOF: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE STORAGE IN QUESTION. ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY THE ORIGINAL OR CERTIFIED COPY OF THE RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL.'

CLARIFICATION IS DESIRED OF THE TERM "ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY STORAGE.' AS CONSTRUED BY THIS DEPARTMENT, THE TERM WOULD INCLUDE NOT ONLY THE COSTS OF STORAGE, BUT EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT THERETO, SUCH AS, DRAYAGE TO STORAGE AT THE PLACE OF ORIGIN OF THE SHIPMENT, WAREHOUSE CHARGES FOR UNLOADING FOR STORAGE, WRAPPING, PACKING, AND FUMIGATING, LOADING OUT OF STORAGE, AND DRAYAGE TO RESIDENCE. ALTHOUGH SECTION 12 (A) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933 COVERS DRAYAGE, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THIS REFERENCE MUST NECESSARILY MEAN THAT DRAYAGE SPECIFICALLY INCIDENTAL TO TRANSPORTATION; THAT IS, DRAYAGE FROM RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF STORAGE TO DEPOT AT THE POINT OF ORIGIN AND FROM DEPOT TO RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF STORAGE AT DESTINATION. ON THE OTHER HAND, DRAYAGE TO PLACE OF TEMPORARY STORAGE AT THE POINT OF ORIGIN AND DRAYAGE TO RESIDENCE FROM THE PLACE OF STORAGE AT DESTINATION HAVE NO CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS AS THE TERM IS COMMONLY USED. * * *

ASSUMING THAT IT IS YOUR VIEW THAT THE REGULATIONS PERMIT OF REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL TEMPORARY STORAGE COSTS FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 60 DAYS, THE FURTHER QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER COSTS INCIDENTAL TO STORAGE MAY BE REIMBURSED TO THE EXTENT OF THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE WHICH DID NOT OCCUR WITHIN THE 60-DAY PERIOD. * * *

CONSIDERING THE VIEWS EXPRESSED * * * ABOVE, ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ARE REQUESTED AS FOLLOWS:

(A) MAY THE EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COSTS INCIDENTAL TO TEMPORARY STORAGE SUCH AS, DRAYAGE TO RESIDENCE, LOADING OR UNLOADING CHARGES AT THE WAREHOUSE, AND SIMILAR EXPENSES?

(B) IF THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, MAY SUCH COSTS BE REIMBURSED EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE DURING THE 60-DAY TEMPORARY STORAGE PERIOD? * *

2. MAY TEMPORARY STORAGE COSTS OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDERS 9805 AND 9933 BE REIMBURSED TO AN EMPLOYEE WHICH WERE INCURRED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF (1) THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR RECENTRALIZATION OF CERTAIN DEPARTMENTAL FUNCTIONS; (2) ORDER FROM EXECUTIVE OFFICES AUTHORIZING RETURN OF AGENCIES TO SEAT OF GOVERNMENT; AND (3) THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933? IT IS PRESUMED THAT IF THE CHARGES WERE INCURRED IN ANTICIPATION OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE IN STATION, AND THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDER APPROVED BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY AUTHORIZES SUCH CHARGES, THEY WOULD BE PROPERLY REIMBURSABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR DECISION B-62864 OF FEBRUARY 7, 1947, (26 COMP. GEN. 550).

3. SECTION 12 (A) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933 PROVIDES:

" COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES--- GENERAL. IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, 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 COMMUTED 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 WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL PRODUCT OF THE APPLICABLE RATE AND THE NET WEIGHT 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.'

IN YOUR DECISION B-72958 OF MARCH 12, 1948, YOU HELD THAT THE ABOVE SECTION CONTEMPLATED SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS BY PRIVATE OR COMMON CARRIER AND, ACCORDINGLY, DISALLOWED A CLAIM INVOLVING TRANSPORTATION BY MEANS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAILER. * * * ACCORDINGLY, ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE REQUESTED:

(A) MAY THE ALLOWANCE BE PAID IF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TRANSPORTED IN A VEHICLE RENTED BY THE EMPLOYEE: (1) IF THE EMPLOYEE HIRES A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL TO DRIVE THE SAID VEHICLE; (2) IF THE EMPLOYEE DRIVES THE VEHICLE ON ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY; AND (3) IF THE VEHICLE IS DRIVEN BY A RELATIVE OR SOME OTHER PERSON WITHOUT COST TO THE EMPLOYEE.

(B) MAY THE ALLOWANCE BE PAID IF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE TRANSPORTED IN A VEHICLE OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE UNDER ANY ONE OR ALL OF THE CONDITIONS STATED IN (A) ABOVE?

4. SECTION 6 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 PROVIDES:

" WEIGHT LIMIT.--- THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SHALL NOT EXCEED 7,000 POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR 8,750 POUNDS IF CRATED OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT AND WHEN THE AMOUNT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT IS COMPUTED SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED.'

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SHIPPING CHARGES BY VESSEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO MANILA ARE FIXED AT A SPECIFIED RATE PER TON AND THAT A TON IS CONSIDERED TO BE 2,000 POUNDS OR 40 CUBIC FEET, WHICHEVER PRODUCES THE HIGHEST REVENUE FOR THE CARRIER. SINCE CRATED HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE COMPARATIVELY LARGE IN VOLUME AND LIGHT IN WEIGHT, A MEASUREMENT TON MIGHT REPRESENT AS LITTLE AS 400 OR 500 POUNDS OF FURNITURE.

A RECENT SHIPMENT OF 2,026 POUNDS OCCUPIED 222 CUBIC FEET OR 5.55 TONS. IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR WHETHER IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE EXPENSES PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER SECTION 6 ARE LIMITED TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED OR TO THE MEASURED WEIGHT USING THE FORMULA "40 CUBIC FEET EQUAL ONE TON, OR 2,000 POUNDS.'

THE USE OF THE MEASURED WEIGHT BASIS, WHEN THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT IS KNOWN, WOULD YIELD AN UNREASONABLE AND INEQUITABLE RESULTIN MANY CASES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CASE OF THE SHIPMENT OF 2,026 POUNDS OF ACTUAL WEIGHT MENTIONED IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF 2,350 POUNDS (11,100 MEASUREMENT POUNDS, LESS THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF 8,750 POUNDS), FOR THE VESSEL MOVEMENT AND NOTHING WHEN THE IDENTICAL SHIPMENT MOVES OVERLAND BY RAIL OR VAN WHERE THE CARRIER'S COSTS ARE ASSESSED ON AN ACTUAL WEIGHT BASIS. THE DEPARTMENT QUESTIONS WHETHER IN FACT THE EMPLOYEE IS GIVEN AN "EQUIVALENT" WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OR VESSEL TRANSPORTATION UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. THERE IS ALSO A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER "THE AMOUNT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT IS COMPUTED SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED," INASMUCH AS THE CARRIER HAS THE ELECTION TO CHARGE ON AN ACTUAL WEIGHT OR CUBIC MEASUREMENT BASIS.

CONSIDERING THE ABOVE, ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE REQUESTED:

(A) WHERE THE CARRIER, AS IN THE INSTANCE DESCRIBED ABOVE, HAS THE ELECTION TO CHARGE EITHER ON AN ACTUAL WEIGHT OR CUBIC MEASUREMENT BASIS, MAY THE ALLOWANCE TO THE EMPLOYEE BE BASED ON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT, WHEN SUCH WEIGHT IS KNOWN?

(B) WHEN THE CARRIER BASES ITS CHARGES ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT AND SUCH METHOD YIELDS AN OBVIOUSLY INEQUITABLE RESULT TO THE EMPLOYEE, MAY AN "EQUIVALENT" BE USED WHICH APPROXIMATES THE TRUE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED, RATHER THAN A GENERAL AVERAGE "EQUIVALENT" USED BY THE CARRIER?

THE QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED IN THE ORDER PRESENTED, BUT GROUPED WHEREVER DEEMED FEASIBLE.

QUESTION 1 (A)

UNDER SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, NECESSARY CHARGES INCIDENTAL TO THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TRANSPORTATION COSTS--- MAY BE ALLOWED IN AN AMOUNT WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE ACTUAL STORAGE CHARGE, DOES NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM SUM PAYABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMUTED RATES SPECIFIED THEREIN. B-76210, JUNE 1, 1948. SEE, ALSO, 27 COMP. GEN. 91, REFERRED TO BY YOU. ACCORDINGLY, THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

QUESTION 1 (B)

IT IS APPARENT FROM A CAREFUL READING OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933 THAT REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED THEREUNDER FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES OTHER THAN THOSE INCURRED FOR THE FIRST 60 DAYS OF STORAGE. THAT IS TO SAY, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE STORES HIS GOODS FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE PERIOD, HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ONLY FOR STORAGE EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS THEREOF, NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AT THE COMMUTED RATES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 12 (B) OF THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER. SEE, IN THAT CONNECTION, SECTION 1 (E) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 WHEREIN TEMPORARY STORAGE IS DEFINED AS "STORAGE AT POINT OF DEPARTURE, DESTINATION, OR WAY STATION FOR NOT MORE THAN SIXTY DAYS.' HOWEVER, BY WAY OF QUALIFICATION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE A NECESSARY EXPENSE IS INCURRED INCIDENTAL TO STORAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS--- SUCH AS DRAYAGE FROM STORAGE TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW HEADQUARTERS--- SUCH EXPENSE MAY BE ALLOWED EVEN THOUGH INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE 60-DAY STORAGE PERIOD, REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SAID EFFECTS BEEN MOVED FROM STORAGE WITHIN THE 60-DAY PERIOD.

QUESTION 2

ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO THE SEAT OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE RECENTRALIZATION PROGRAM, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE SECOND DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, 60 STAT. 183, 186, REIMBURSEMENT TO BE "IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT.' PURSUANT THERETO THE PRESIDENT PROMULGATED EXECUTIVE ORDER 9739, DATED JUNE 20, 1946, UNDER WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588 OF NOVEMBER 7, 1940, AS AMENDED--- EXCEPT THE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS--- WERE MADE APPLICABLE TO RECENTRALIZED EMPLOYEES. THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS REVOKED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9834, DATED MARCH 20, 1947, WHICH LATTER EXECUTIVE ORDER, IN EFFECT PROVIDES THAT AS TO ALL TRANSFERS ORDERED ON OR AFTER NOVEMBER 1, 1946, THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 OF NOVEMBER 25, 1946,"ARE HEREBY MADE APPLICABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE RETURN OF DEPARTMENTAL FUNCTIONS TO THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT AS AUTHORIZED BY THE SAID SECOND DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, AND AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY SUBSEQUENT GISLATION.' THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, APPROVED JULY 30, 1947, 61 STAT. 585, 594, AUTHORIZES ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE RETURN OF DEPARTMENTAL FUNCTIONS TO THE SEAT OF THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF RECENTRALIZED EMPLOYEES. WHILE THAT ACT WAS NOT APPROVED UNTIL JULY 30, SECTION 102 OF THE SECOND URGENT DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1947, APPROVED JUNE 27, 1947, 61 STAT. 187, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, APPROVED JULY 3, 1947, 61 STAT. 245, 246, PROVIDES, IN EFFECT, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED THEREIN, THAT FUNDS CONTAINED IN ANY REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR, 1948, NOT ENACTED INTO LAW AS OF JULY 1, 1947, SHALL BE AVAILABLE FROM AND INCLUDING JULY 1, 1947,"FOR THE PURPOSES RESPECTIVELY PROVIDED IN SUCH APPROPRIATIONS AND HORITY.'

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, SUPRA, WHICH PRESCRIBED REGULATIONS GOVERNING, INTER ALIA, PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS OF THE COST OF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT UPON TRANSFER OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION, WAS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933, DATED FEBRUARY 27, 1948. THE AMENDATORY EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTAINS A NEW PROVISION SETTING UP A SEPARATE COMMUTED RATE FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES, WHICH PROVISION, BY THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER, IS EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1947. IN DECISION OF JUNE 15, 1948, B-75797, 27 COMP. GEN. 753, THE ABOVE MENTIONED RETROACTIVE PROVISION WAS CONSIDERED AND IT WAS CONCLUDED THEREIN THAT THE TEMPORARY STORAGE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933 "ARE FOR APPLICATION ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL IS ISSUED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1947.' IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933, MAY BE REIMBURSED TO AN EMPLOYEE RETURNED TO THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT UNDER THE RECENTRALIZATION PROGRAM IN THOSE INSTANCES IN WHICH THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL WAS ISSUED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1947. FURTHERMORE, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES MAY BE ALLOWED IN THOSE INSTANCES IN WHICH THE EFFECTS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1947, IN ANTICIPATION OF A PERMANENT TRANSFER OF HEADQUARTERS. THAT IS TO SAY, THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933, ACCRUES ONLY WHERE BOTH THE CHANGE OF STATION IS ORDERED AND THE EFFECTS ARE PLACED IN STORAGE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1947. WITH RESPECT TO THE DECISION OF MARCH 3, 1947, B-62864, 26 COMP. GEN. 550, REFERRED TO BY YOU, IT MAY BE STATED THAT, IN THAT CASE, REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION COULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED EVEN IF BOTH THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS HAD TAKEN PLACE PRIOR TO THE APPROVAL OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1946, WHEREAS HERE NO RIGHT TO SEPARATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES EXISTED AS TO TRANSFERS ORDERED DURING THE PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING JULY 1, 1947.

QUESTIONS 3 (A) AND 3 (B)

SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806, 807, UNDER WHICH EXECUTIVE ORDERS 9805 AND 9933 WERE PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT (A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, SHALL, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, WHEN AUTHORIZED, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (OR A COMMUTATION THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931) AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS (NOT TO EXCEED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS IF CRATED OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT) * * *.

(B) 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 SUCH TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTED BASIS (NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE FOR THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE) AT SUCH RATES PER ONE HUNDRED POUNDS AS MAY BE FIXED BY ZONES IN REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT.

THERE IS NO LANGUAGE OR PROVISION IN THAT SECTION WHICH SHEDS ANY LIGHT UPON THE MEANS OF SHIPMENT REQUIRED TO BE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCOMPLISHING THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UPON PERMANENT TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE SAID STATUTE REVEALS TO A DEGREE WHAT THE INTENTION OF THE DRAFTERS OF THE ACT WAS. ON PAGE 3 OF SENATE REPORT NO. 1636, 79TH CONGRESS, ON BILL H.R. 6533, WHICH NOW IS PUBLIC LAW 600, IT IS TATED:

THE BILL AUTHORIZES SUCH A COMMUTATION, PAYMENT IN EACH CASE TO BE A LUMP SUM DERIVED FROM A TABLE TO BE PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE REGULATION WHICH WILL BE BASED UPON THE AVERAGE COST ORDINARILY INCURRED FOR A GIVEN AMOUNT OF GOODS FOR A GIVEN DISTANCE. SUBJECT TO THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, THE VARIABLES INVOLVED WILL BE TWO ONLY, VIZ, THE QUANTITY OF GOODS ACTUALLY CAUSED TO BE SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER AND THE DISTANCE INVOLVED IN THE MOVE. THE EMPLOYEE WILL SELECT WHATEVER MEANS OF SHIPMENT BEST SUITS HIS PURPOSES AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL PAY THE SAME SUM, WHATEVER METHOD THE EMPLOYEE MAY SELECT.

THE PROPOSED COMMUTATION PLAN IS IN LINE WITH THE PRECEDENTS LONG ESTABLISHED FOR COMMUTATION OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INTO A PER DIEM AND OF AUTOMOBILE EXPENSES INTO A MILEAGE RATE. THE COMMUTATION WILL APPLY TO ALL SHIPMENTS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES BUT, IN VIEW OF THE PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES INVOLVED, WILL NOT APPLY TO FOREIGN SHIPMENTS. ALSO, THE AMOUNT PAYABLE WILL DEPEND IN ALL CASES UPON THE QUANTITY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH AN EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY HAS AND ACTUALLY SHIPS, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT, SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM LIMIT.

ALSO, SEE HOUSE REPORT NO. 2186 ON THE SAME BILL, WHICH REPORT IS TO LIKE EFFECT.

ON PAGES 14 AND 15 OF THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON BILL H.R. 4586, 79TH CONGRESS--- WHICH BILL LIKEWISE CONTAINED A COMMUTED ALLOWANCE PROVISION IN THE CASE OF SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND FOR WHICH BILL H.R. 6533 LATER WAS SUBSTITUTED--- IT WAS STATED:

MR. ELLIS. * * * THE THOUGHT IS THAT WHAT IS TO BE PAID UNDER THIS BILL IS A LUMP SUM BASED ON THE AVERAGE COSTS OF SHIPPING THE GOODS FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER, SO THAT THE EMPLOYEE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT ENTIRELY HIMSELF, WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO THE GOVERNMENT AT ALL. IF HE SHIPS, SAY, 4,000 OR 6,000, OR 8,000 POUNDS, HE HANDS IN THE BILL OF LADING SAYING," HERE IS THE AMOUNT OF GOODS I SHIPPED.' WE WILL HAVE A TABLE PREPARED IN THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET WHICH WILL SHOW THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID FOR EVERY HUNDREDWEIGHT SHIPPED THE DISTANCE INVOLVED, SAY, $5 FOR 2,000 MILES.

THUS, WE WILL GIVE HIM $5 FOR EVERY HUNDREDWEIGHT HE SHIPS, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE PICKS OUT THE METHOD OF SHIPPING. HE TAKES CARE OF THE DAMAGE CLAIMS AND SO ON, AND ALL THE RED TAPE AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORK IS DONE BY THE EMPLOYEE, NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT. AND WE PAY A FLAT AMOUNT IN EVERY CASE WHETHER HE HAS A HIGH-PRICED METHOD OF SHIPPING OR A LOW-PRICED METHOD. IT IS ALL UP TO HIM.

MR. CHURCH. IS THERE A BURDEN ON THE EMPLOYEE TO INDICATE THAT THE WAY HE SELECTS IS THE MOST ECONOMICAL?

MR. ELLIS. NOT UNDER THIS BILL. IT WOULD BE UP TO HIM TO TAKE IT ANY WAY HE WANTS TO. HE CAN TAKE THE CHEAPEST WAY, SEND IT BY RAIL, OR IF GOING TO THE WEST COAST, HE CAN SHIP IT AROUND THROUGH THE CANAL AT A CONSIDERABLY LOWER RATE. ALL HE WILL SHOW, AS I UNDERSTAND THE PLAN, IS THIS: HE WILL SHIP 5,000 POUNDS OF GOODS, OR 50 HUNDREDWEIGHT. THE TABLE WILL HAVE A MILEAGE ZONE FOR 2,000 MILES (IF THAT IS THE DISTANCE INVOLVED), AND WE ARE GOING TO PAY $5 A HUNDRED WEIGHT--- BASED, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, ON THE GENERAL AVERAGE OF COSTS FOR THAT DISTANCE. WE WILL GIVE HIM $5 FOR EVERY ONE OF HIS 50 HUNDREDWEIGHT HE SHIPS. BUT HOW MUCH HE PAYS OUT IS ENTIRELY UP TO THE EMPLOYEE. HE DOES THE WORK. THE GOVERNMENT SAVES ALL THE WORK OF WORRYING ABOUT THE ISSUING OF BILLS OF LADING, BIDS, AND SO ON.

MR. CHURCH. THAT IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE SAVING, OF COURSE, BUT IS THERE A TEMPTATION HERE TO ENCOURAGE AN INCREASED COST, IN THAT THE EMPLOYEE MIGHT NOT SELECT THE MOST ECONOMICAL WAY?

MR. ELLIS. OF COURSE, THE PAYMENT WILL DEPEND ENTIRELY ON THE AMOUNT SHOWN IN THE TABLE PREPARED IN THE REGULATIONS. AND THE BILL PROPOSES TO LEAVE THAT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET TO DECIDE THE AMOUNT TO BE SHOWN IN THE TABLE.

AS I UNDERSTAND THE PLAN IS TO SHOW THE AMOUNTS NOW USUALLY CHARGED. IS POSSIBLE THAT A DOLLAR OR TWO VARIATION WILL OCCUR ONE WAY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME IN ANOTHER CASE, THE DOLLAR VARIATION WOULD BE THE OTHER WAY.

WHILE THE ABOVE-QUOTED EXCERPTS FROM THE APPLICABLE COMMITTEE REPORTS AND HEARINGS SUGGEST AN INTENTION TO LEAVE THE MEANS OF SHIPMENT--- THAT IS BY VAN, RAIL, WATER, EXPRESS OR FREIGHT--- OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ENTIRELY IN THE HANDS OF THE EMPLOYEE, THERE IS REASON TO DOUBT THAT THE LEGISLATIVE INTENT WAS TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEES UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT OF THEIR EFFECTS IRRESPECTIVE OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE GOODS WERE SHIPPED AND IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER ANY ACTUAL MONETARY COST WAS INCURRED. IT IS TRUE THAT THE LAW PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS AND THAT ORDINARILY THAT FACT WOULD RULE OUT THE ACTUAL COST AS THE CONTROLLING FACTOR. BUT THE LAW DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THE ALLOWANCE OF A MERE GRATUITY. THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 600, SUPRA, IS " IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING.' IF THERE BE NO ACTUAL EXPENSE, THE STATUTORY PROVISION CANNOT OPERATE BECAUSE THE REIMBURSABLE BASIS UPON WHICH SUCH ALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED DOES NOT EXIST. SEE, GENERALLY, 22 COMP. GEN. 975.

IN SENATE REPORT NO. 1636, SUPRA, THERE IS USED THE PHRASE "ACTUALLY CAUSED TO BE SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER," AND SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES THAT " THE AMOUNT PAYABLE SHALL BE THE PRODUCT OF THE APPLICABLE RATE AND THE NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ACTUALLY SHIPPED BY CARRIER FOR THE EMPLOYEE.' FURTHERMORE, IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE RATES SPECIFIED IN SCHEDULE A OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, WHICH RATES ARE FOR USE IN DETERMINING THE SUM DUE THE EMPLOYEES UPON A COMMUTED BASIS, ARE FOUNDED UPON COMMON CARRIER TARIFF RATES. THUS, THERE MIGHT BE SOME GROUND FOR HOLDING THAT THE TERM "CARRIER," AS USED IN SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, WAS INTENDED TO REFER TO COMMON CARRIER ONLY. BUT THAT CONCLUSION WOULD EXCLUDE FROM THE SCOPE OF SUCH EXECUTIVE ORDER ALL CASES IN WHICH EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED BY CIRCUMSTANCES TO MAKE USE OF PRIVATE OR CONTRACT CARRIERS IN SHIPPING THEIR EFFECTS AT AN EXPENSE APPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO THAT ALLOWABLE UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENTS BY COMMON CARRIER. ALL FACTORS CONSIDERED, IT WOULD APPEAR REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE WORD "CARRIER," AS USED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SECTION OF THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER, REFERS TO BOTH COMMON AND PRIVATE CARRIERS. THAT VIEW WAS EXPRESSED*SSED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION OF MARCH 12, 1948, B-72958, 27 COMP. GEN. 511. HOWEVER, IN THAT CASE THE EMPLOYEE HAD TRANSPORTED 1,380 POUNDS OF HIS EFFECTS BY HIS TRAILER AND REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS WAS DENIED. IN DECISION OF JUNE 4, 1948, B-76209, 27 COMP. GEN. 740, THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO SHIPPED HIS EFFECTS IN A RENTED TRUCK DRIVEN BY A HIRED DRIVER AT A COST OF $122.97, AND REIMBURSEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE COMMUTED SUM ALLOWED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805.

IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT WHERE THE EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE ARE SHIPPED BY COMMON OR PRIVATE CARRIER AT THE USUAL RATES, REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 IS PROPER, PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THE OTHER REQUIRED STATUTORY OR REGULATORY CONDITIONS BE SATISFIED. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE EFFECTS BE SHIPPED AT NO COST TO THE EMPLOYEE, PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED. AS TO THOSE CASES IN WHICH THERE IS A DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE MOVEMENT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY CARRIER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT WORD AS USED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AND IN THOSE CASES IN WHICH ONLY A NOMINAL EXPENSE IS INVOLVED, I AM RELUCTANT TO LAY DOWN ANY GENERAL RULE. DECISION AS TO WHETHER THOSE CASES FALL WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE FRAMEWORK OF THE INVOLVED LAW AND REGULATIONS MUST, IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR EXPRESSION OF INTENT THEREIN, BE DETERMINED UPON THE PARTICULAR FACTS OF A GIVEN CASE. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ALL SUCH CASES PROPERLY WOULD BE FOR SUBMITTING TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT ACCOMPANIED BY A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, INSTEAD OF BEING PAID ADMINISTRATIVELY. SEE 31 U.S.C. 71.

QUESTIONS 4 (A) AND 4 (B)

SECTION 17 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 PROVIDES, INTER ALIA, THAT ACTUAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES SHIPPED TO AND FROM POINTS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHALL BE ALLOWED, AND THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT FOR TRANSPORTATION BY VESSEL IS SET AT 8,750 POUNDS. NO MENTION IS MADE IN THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER OF CUBIC MEASUREMENT, EXCEPT IN SECTION 6, SUPRA, AND SECTION 14, WHEREIN A CONVERSION BASIS OF SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT IS AUTHORIZED FOR USE IN CASES OF SHIPMENTS BY VAN BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. IT READILY IS APPARENT THAT THERE MAY BE A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF CASES INVOLVING SHIPMENTS BY VAN WHERE THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS TO BE MOVED WILL BE UNKNOWN BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF AN ADEQUATE SCALE WITHIN A RADIUS OF 10 MILES OF THE POINT OF ORIGIN. THUS, A NECESSITY WILL ARISE FOR CONVERSION FROM THE KNOWN CUBIC FEET TO POUNDAGE. HOWEVER, IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE THAT ORDINARILY THAT SITUATION WILL NOT PRESENT ITSELF IN CASES OF SHIPMENTS BY VESSEL TO OR FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE NORMAL PRACTICE OF STEAMSHIP COMPANIES IS TO WEIGH HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE TIME OF SHIPMENT AND THAT EVEN WHERE THE BILL OF LADING DOES NOT SHOW THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS, SUCH INFORMATION IS OBTAINABLE UPON REQUEST FROM THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES CONCERNED. HENCE, GENERALLY, IT WOULD SEEM THAT NO CONVERSION PROBLEM IS INVOLVED IN THE CASE OF OVERSEAS SHIPMENT BY VESSEL. IN SUCH INSTANCES THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS IS FOR USE IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE HAS SHIPPED EFFECTS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT. IN OTHER WORDS, WHERE THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IS KNOWN, SUCH WEIGHT FIGURE IS FOR USE IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE HAS SHIPPED EXCESS WEIGHT AND SO FAR AS THAT FIGURE IS CONCERNED IT IS IMMATERIAL, UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, THAT THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY BASED ITS CHARGES SOLELY UPON CUBIC MEASUREMENT. WITH RESPECT TO THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER TO THE EFFECT THAT THE SHIPPING CHARGES BY VESSEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO MANILA ARE FIXED AT A SPECIFIED RATE PER TON AND THAT A TON IS CONSIDERED TO BE 2,000 POUNDS, OR 40 CUBIC FEET, WHICHEVER PRODUCES THE HIGHER REVENUE TO THE CARRIER, IT IS PERTINENT TO POINT OUT THAT THOSE FIGURES ARE FOR USE ONLY FOR RATE PURPOSES AND NORMALLY ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION IN ARRIVING AT A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED BY AN EMPLOYEE.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY HAS THE ELECTION UNDER ITS TARIFF TO CHARGE ON A WEIGHT OR CUBIC MEASUREMENT, THE ALLOWANCE TO THE EMPLOYEE PROPERLY MAY BE BASED UPON THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT, WHICH, IN THE CASE YOU PRESENT, IS 2,026 POUNDS. THE INFORMATION SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER DOES NOT INDICATE THAT A CASE IS NOW PENDING IN WHICH ONLY THE CUBIC MEASUREMENT IS KNOWN AND ASCERTAINABLE. HOWEVER, IF A CASE SHOULD ARISE IN WHICH THE CUBIC FEET OF SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE EFFECTS IS KNOWN AND THE WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IS UNOBTAINABLE, THE MATTER MAY BE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.