B-76209, JUNE 4, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 740

B-76209: Jun 4, 1948

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IN A RENTED TRUCK OPERATED BY A HIRED DRIVER REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN MADE "BY CARRIER FOR THE EMPLOYEE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION. WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE UNDERTAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 AND 9933. THE EMPLOYEE THEN CONTACTED A PRIVATE TRUCKER BUT SUBSEQUENTLY DECIDED AGAINST THE USE OF SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE SAID TRUCKER WAS NOT REGISTERED WITH THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO AND WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH INSURANCE OR A BILL OF LADING. 920 POUNDS WAS MADE IN SAID VEHICLE AT AN APPROXIMATE COST OF $122.97. ONE ITEM OF HIS EFFECTS ACTUALLY WAS SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER.

B-76209, JUNE 4, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 740

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT BY RENTED TRUCK WITH HIRED DRIVER THE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, UPON A CHANGE OF STATION, IN A RENTED TRUCK OPERATED BY A HIRED DRIVER REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN MADE "BY CARRIER FOR THE EMPLOYEE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THEREUNDER REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH SHIPMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS. COMPARE 27 COMP. GEN. 511.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO ANNE K. ZACK, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, JUNE 4, 1948:

BY LETTER OF MAY 6, 1948, THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1948, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CLIFFORD E. JUNCKER FOR AN AMOUNT ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND FOR TRAVEL OF MR. JUNCKER AND HIS FAMILY VIA PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM MIDDLETOWN, OHIO, TO SUFFIELD, OHIO, IN APRIL 1948, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE.

BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. 3-120.3, DATED MARCH 5, 1948, THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, MIDDLETOWN, OHIO, TO SUFFIELD, OHIO, FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY STATION, AND SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM MIDDLETOWN TO SUFFIELD, OHIO, WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE UNDERTAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 AND 9933. IN HIS MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 23, 1948, THE EMPLOYEE STATES HE PLACED AN ORDER WITH THE HAUSELMAN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BUT BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT SUCH EFFECTS DID NOT CONSTITUTE A FULL LOAD, THE CARRIER REFUSED TO SET A DATE FOR DELIVERY. THE EMPLOYEE THEN CONTACTED A PRIVATE TRUCKER BUT SUBSEQUENTLY DECIDED AGAINST THE USE OF SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE SAID TRUCKER WAS NOT REGISTERED WITH THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO AND WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH INSURANCE OR A BILL OF LADING. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE EMPLOYEE RENTED A TRUCK FROM A U-DRIVE-IT COMPANY AND HIRED A TRUCK DRIVER TO MOVE HIS EFFECTS IN THAT VEHICLE. THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS WEIGHTING 4,920 POUNDS WAS MADE IN SAID VEHICLE AT AN APPROXIMATE COST OF $122.97, IN APRIL 1948. HOWEVER, ONE ITEM OF HIS EFFECTS ACTUALLY WAS SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER, NAMELY, A REFRIGERATOR (WEIGHT 260 POUNDS), AT A COST OF $4.28, OR A TOTAL APPROXIMATE COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF ALL HIS EFFECTS OF $127.25, WHICH SUM IS $10.85 IN EXCESS OF THE COST ESTIMATED BY THE HAUSELMAN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ($116.40) FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE SAID EFFECTS. THE EMPLOYEE NOW CLAIMS PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $193.21, WHICH SUM IS COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF $3.73 PER 100 POUNDS FOR 5,180 POUNDS OVER A SHORT LINE DISTANCE OF 220 MILES ( MIDDLETOWN TO SUFFIELD) IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED.

UPON THOSE FACTS YOU SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. CAN THE HIRE OF A TRUCK, AND ENGAGEMENT OF A DRIVER, BE REGARDED AS COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 12, OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, THUS ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS?

2. IF NOT, ON WHAT BASIS CAN THE EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED ON THE SHIPMENT, VIA THE HIRED TRUCK, AND THE ONE ITEM SHIPPED BY COMMON CARRIER?

3. IF QUESTION ONE IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WOULD THE SAME RULE APPLY IF AN EMPLOYEE HIRED A TRUCK AND DROVE IT HIMSELF?

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, PROVIDES THAT CERTIFYING OFFICERS ,SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.' (ITALICS SUPPLIED.) ACCORDINGLY, NO DECISION WILL BE RENDERED HEREIN UPON THE THIRD QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER. LIKEWISE, THE REMAINING QUESTIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED ONLY SO FAR AS THEY PERTAIN TO THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER.

UNDER THE CURRENT LAW AND REGULATIONS, NAMELY, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806, 807, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED, PAYMENT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS NO LONGER IS AUTHORIZED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHERE THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVES POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES; INSTEAD REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON A COMMUTED BASIS. SECTION 12 (A) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 12 (A). 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 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 DECISION OF MARCH 12, 1948, B-72958, 27 COMP. GEN. 511, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, INVOLVING THE SHIPMENT OF A PORTION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY MEANS OF HIS TRAILER, AFTER QUOTING SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS CLEAR FROM THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS--- PARTICULARLY THE UNDERSCORED PORTION--- THAT THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS BY PRIVATE OR COMMON CARRIER. PROVISION IS MADE THEREIN FOR ALLOWANCE OF ANY SUM WHERE THE SHIPMENT OF THE EFFECTS IS ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAILER, THAT IS, BY OTHER THAN A "CARRIER.' IN THE ABSENCE THEREOF, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENTS OF EFFECTS ACCOMPLISHED BY SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. SEE 111 P.2D 306, 310; 133 P.2D 231, 237. ALSO SEE, WORDS AND PHRASES, PERMANENT EDITION, VOL. 6. PAGES 172-173 FOR OTHER DEFINITIONS OF THE WORD "CARRIER.' AND IT WAS HELD THEREIN THAT AS TO THOSE EFFECTS WHICH MOVED BY TRAILER, NO REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS COULD BE ALLOWED BECAUSE THE EFFECTS WERE NOT SHIPPED BY CARRIER, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 12 OF THE ABOVE- MENTIONED EXECUTIVE ORDER.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THOSE EFFECTS WHICH DID NOT MOVE BY COMMON CARRIER WERE SHIPPED IN A RENTED TRUCK DRIVEN BY A HIRED DRIVER. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SHIPMENT REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN MADE "BY CARRIER FOR THE EMPLOYEE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM, AS USED IN SECTION 12 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.