B-765, APRIL 17, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 792

B-765: Apr 17, 1939

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

SUCH CHARGES AS WOULD NECESSARILY HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR SUCH SERVICES AFTER A RAIL SHIPMENT MAY PROPERLY BE ALLOWED IN DETERMINING EXCESS CHARGES FOR MOTOR VAN TRANSPORTATION OVER THE CHARGES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SHIPMENT BEEN BY RAIL. THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE IS LOCATED SOME DISTANCE OUTSIDE THE RAILROAD FREE DELIVERY ZONE. HAVE BEEN DELIVERED BY THE CARRIER TO THE RESIDENCE. THE FREIGHT RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO DEDUCTION FOR DELIVERY ALLOWANCE. WHERE SHIPMENT IS MADE BY MOTOR VAN. WHERE THE VAN SHIPPER ACTUALLY DELIVERED TO THE RESIDENCE AS A PART OF THE CONTRACT AND NO GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE DESTINATION RAILROAD TO RESIDENCE TRANSPORTATION.

B-765, APRIL 17, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 792

TRANSPORTATION, UNPACKING, AND UNCRATING - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MOTOR VAN SHIPMENT EXCESS COST LIABILITY AND COMPUTATION UNPACKING AND UNCRATING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EMPLOYEES HAVING BEEN PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE AND REGULATIONS, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON TRANSFER OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SUCH CHARGES AS WOULD NECESSARILY HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR SUCH SERVICES AFTER A RAIL SHIPMENT MAY PROPERLY BE ALLOWED IN DETERMINING EXCESS CHARGES FOR MOTOR VAN TRANSPORTATION OVER THE CHARGES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SHIPMENT BEEN BY RAIL. WHERE, IN CONNECTION WITH A TRANSFER OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION, THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE IS LOCATED SOME DISTANCE OUTSIDE THE RAILROAD FREE DELIVERY ZONE, AND THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY RAIL WOULD NOT, THEREFORE, HAVE BEEN DELIVERED BY THE CARRIER TO THE RESIDENCE, BUT THE FREIGHT RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO DEDUCTION FOR DELIVERY ALLOWANCE, THERE MAY BE INCLUDED IN THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE RAIL COST, WHERE SHIPMENT IS MADE BY MOTOR VAN, AN ITEM FOR DRAYAGE AT DESTINATION EQUIVALENT TO THE LOWEST QUOTATION OBTAINED FOR THE SERVICE INVOLVED, WHERE THE VAN SHIPPER ACTUALLY DELIVERED TO THE RESIDENCE AS A PART OF THE CONTRACT AND NO GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE DESTINATION RAILROAD TO RESIDENCE TRANSPORTATION. COLLECTION WILL NOT BE REQUIRED FROM AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INCREASED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY MOTOR VAN ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OVER THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY RAIL, WHERE THE VAN SHIPMENT METHOD WAS ADOPTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN THE BELIEF THAT SUCH SHIPMENT WAS THE CHEAPER METHOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, APRIL 17, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 29, 1938, RELATIVE TO VOUCHER NO. 1812719 IN THE JUNE 1938, ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, 107 100, UPON WHICH PAYMENT WAS MADE TO THE J. A. MRAZEK MOVING AND STORAGE CO., INC., OF ST. LOUIS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $216.60 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FROM ST. LOUIS, MO., TO DENVER, COLO., OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CAREY H. BENNETT, UNDER CONTRACT NO. USDA-735-F AND LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION NO. 144 -BI-1 OF THE BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL SURVEY, DATED OCTOBER 21, 1937.

THE VOUCHER WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF THE FULL CONTRACT PRICE, BUT IT WAS REQUESTED THERE BE COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE THE AMOUNT OF $9.05, REPRESENTING THE COMPUTED EXCESS CHARGES INCURRED FOR MOTOR VAN TRANSPORTATION OVER THE CHARGES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE SHIPMENT BEEN BY RAIL. SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE DEVELOPED THAT A STILL LOWER FREIGHT RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN APPLICABLE, AND THE AMOUNT FOR COLLECTION WAS RESTATED AS $26.60. IN SO COMPUTING, NO ALLOWANCE WAS INCLUDED FOR THE LOCAL DELIVERY, UNPACKING AND UNCRATING AT DESTINATION FOR THE REASON THE CONTRACT ACTUALLY MADE WITH THE TRUCKING FIRM DID NOT CALL FOR SUCH UNPACKING AND UNCRATING SERVICE, WHILE THE FREIGHT RATE USED IN THE COMPUTATION WOULD HAVE ENTITLED MR. BENNETT TO FREE DRAYAGE TO POINT OF CONSIGNMENT IN DENVER. THE ADJUSTMENT THUS PROPOSED HAS BEEN QUESTIONED ON THE GROUNDS (1) AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE NECESSARY UNPACKING AND UNCRATING AFTER RAIL SHIPMENT SHOULD BE MADE BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO THIS SERVICE AND THE TRUCKING COMPANY DID ACTUALLY DELIVER THE EFFECTS, UNPACKED AND UNCRATED, TO MR. BENNETT'S RESIDENCE; (2) A SIMILAR ALLOWANCE FOR DRAYAGE AT DENVER (WITH CORRESPONDING CREDIT OF 5 CENTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT ON THE FREIGHT RATE FOR DELIVERY SERVICE NOT UTILIZED) SHOULD BE MADE BECAUSE THE POINT OF CONSIGNMENT IS LOCATED WELL OUTSIDE THE RAILROAD FREE-DELIVERY ZONE IN DENVER; AND (3) ANY RESULTING EXCESS COST SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE REASON THE VAN SHIPMENT METHOD WAS ADOPTED IN THIS CASE ONLY AFTER ADVICE OF THE HIGHER FREIGHT RATE HAD BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE TRAFFIC SECTION, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND HAD THIS BEEN THE CORRECT RATE THE VAN SHIPMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CHEAPER METHOD, WHEN COMPUTED AS ABOVE.

WITH RESPECT TO POINT (1), THE RULE IS THAT UNCRATING AND UNPACKING ARE NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS THE STATUTES AND AUTHORIZED REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR SUCH SERVICE. 18 COMP. GEN. 619. THE PERTINENT STATUTE IN THIS CASE IS THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1911, 36 STAT. 1265, 5 U.S.C. 539, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT HEREAFTER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY, WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY BE ALLOWED ACTUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING CHARGES FOR THE TRANSFER OF THEIR EFFECTS AND PERSONAL PROPERTY USED IN OFFICIAL WORK, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.

THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION (ACT OF JUNE 29, 1937, 50 STAT. 419) READS:

FOR SALARIES AND EMPLOYMENT OF LABOR IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON AND ELSEWHERE, FURNITURE, SUPPLIES, INCLUDING THE PURCHASE OF BAGS, TAGS, AND LABELS PRINTED IN THE COURSE OF MANUFACTURE, TRAVELING, AND ALL OTHER EXPENSES NECESSARY IN CONDUCTING INVESTIGATIONS AND CARRYING OUT THE WORK OF THE BUREAU, INCLUDING COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY OR OTHER AGENCIES OR WITH FARM BUREAUS, ORGANIZATIONS, OR INDIVIDUALS, * * *

AND YOUR REGULATION PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF 1911, SUPRA, IS, IN PART:

SECTION 3451.---TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. ---AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY, NOT FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE, MAY BE ALLOWED HIS TRAVELING EXPENSES AND CHARGES FOR PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TRANSPORTATION, UNCRATING AND UNPACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, INCLUDING ANIMALS FOR DOMESTIC USE, AND PERSONAL PROPERTY, WHICH WILL BE USED IN OFFICIAL WORK AT THE NEW STATION, EXCLUDING MOTOR VEHICLES, WHETHER THE SHIPMENT IS FROM THE OLD POST TO THE NEW, OR FROM A PREVIOUS POST TO THE NEW, OR, IF SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, PARTLY FROM THE OLD POST AND PARTLY FROM SOME PREVIOUS POST TO THE NEW.

THE CONTRACT AS ENTERED INTO WITH THE TRUCKING COMPANY REQUIRED IT "TO PACK AND HAUL BY PADDED CLOSED MOTOR VAN, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, ETC., BELONGING TO MR. CAREY H. BENNETT * * * AND DELIVER SAME IN A SAFE AND SOUND CONDITION TO DENVER, COLO.' IT IS REPRESENTED THAT THIS WAS UNDERSTOOD TO INCLUDE THE LABOR OF UNPACKING AND DELIVERING WITHIN THE RESIDENCE, AND THIS WORK WAS ACTUALLY DONE AS A PART OF THE CONTRACT. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE UNDER THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS REFERRED TO THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO SUCH SERVICE, IT IS PROPER, IN COMPARING THE COST AS INCURRED WITH THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST BY RAIL, TO INCLUDE IN THE LATTER SUCH CHARGES FOR UNPACKING AND UNCRATING AS WOULD NECESSARILY HAVE BEEN INCURRED AFTER A RAIL SHIPMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO POINT (2), IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PLACE OF DELIVERY WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE LOCATED SOME DISTANCE OUTSIDE THE RAILROAD FREE- DELIVERY ZONE IN DENVER. A SHIPMENT BY RAIL WOULD NOT, THEREFORE, HAVE BEEN DELIVERED BY THE CARRIER TO THE RESIDENCE, AND THE FREIGHT RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO A 5 CENT PER CWT. DEDUCTION FOR DELIVERY ALLOWANCE. IN COMPARING THE TOTAL COST BY THE TWO MODES OF SHIPMENT, WHERE THE VAN SHIPPER ACTUALLY CARRIES THE GOODS TO THE RESIDENCE OUTSIDE THE RAILROAD FREE-DELIVERY ZONE AS A PART OF THE CONTRACT, AND THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO THIS SERVICE, THERE IS PROPERLY FOR INCLUDING IN THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE RAIL COST AN ITEM FOR DRAYAGE AT DESTINATION (ASSUMING NO GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE TO THE BUREAU AT DENVER FOR THIS PURPOSE).

WITH THE PRESENT CASE THERE HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED QUOTATIONS FROM THREE TRANSFER AND STORAGE COMPANIES AT DENVER FOR THE DRAYAGE, FREIGHT DEPOT TO RESIDENCE, AND UNCRATING, THE LOWEST OF WHICH IS $20. THE PROPER COMPUTATION OF THE ENTIRE MATTER, AS APPEARING IN YOUR LETTER, IS ACCORDINGLY AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

CONTRACT COST BY MOTOR FREIGHT -------------------------------- $216.60

CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SHIPMENT BY RAIL:

PACKING, CRATING, HAULING, AND LOADING INTO CAR AT

ST. LOUIS (PER LOW BID RECEIVED) ------------------ $100.00

RAIL FREIGHT, 4,500 LBS. (ESTIMATED WEIGHT CRATED)

AT $2.05 PER CWT. LESS 10 CENTS PICK-UP AND DELIVERY

ALLOWANCE ----------------------------------------- 87.75

DESTINATION DRAYAGE AND UNCRATING ----------------- 20.00

207.75

EXCESS COST OF VAN SHIPMENT OVER RAIL ------------------------- 8.85

WITH RESPECT TO POINT (3), IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE CONSIGNMENT WAS HANDLED, COLLECTION OF THE EXCESS COST FROM THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS INSTANCE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 1010 (AT PAGE 1015).