B-76528, JUNE 11, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 748

B-76528: Jun 11, 1948

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TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT FROM FIRST TO ULTIMATE STATION IN SUCCESSIVE CHANGES OF STATION - RETRANSFER FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER AND WHO. WAS TRANSFERRED TO A THIRD STATION AT HIS OWN REQUEST AND FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS FIRST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE THIRD STATION. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14. OREGON WAS TRANSFERRED BY APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL ACTION. WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 240 48 DATED AUGUST 25. 1947 AN UNNUMBERED CONTRACT WAS AWARDED BY THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE TO THE PORTLAND VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY.

B-76528, JUNE 11, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 748

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - SHIPMENT FROM FIRST TO ULTIMATE STATION IN SUCCESSIVE CHANGES OF STATION - RETRANSFER FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER AND WHO, BEFORE CONSUMMATION OF SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO SUCH NEW STATION AS AUTHORIZED BY HIS TRANSFER ORDER, WAS TRANSFERRED TO A THIRD STATION AT HIS OWN REQUEST AND FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS FIRST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE THIRD STATION, THE EMPLOYEE, UPON RETRANSFER FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE, HAVING RELINQUISHED ALL RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACQUIRED UNDER THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER AS A RESULT OF THE FIRST TRANSFER ORDER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO M. E. FISHER, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 11, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1948, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER FOR $156.18 IN FAVOR OF RONALD B. ELMES, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE EMPLOYEE, EUGENE, OREGON, COVERING SHIPMENT OF 6,540 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM PORTLAND TO EUGENE, OREGON, ON APRIL 7, 1948, AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER SAID VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. YOUR LETTER READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

MR. ELMES, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, WITH OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT PORTLAND, OREGON WAS TRANSFERRED BY APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL ACTION, TO THE TERRITORIAL OFFICE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE IN HONOLULU, T. H., EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 7, 1947, ( E.O.D. 10-3-47), AND WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 240 48 DATED AUGUST 25, 1947, TO INCUR NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR HIMSELF AND IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND COST OF TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND ORDER 9805 DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946. ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1947 AN UNNUMBERED CONTRACT WAS AWARDED BY THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE TO THE PORTLAND VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY, 407 NORTH BROADWAY, PORTLAND 12, OREGON, PROVIDING FOR THE FOLLOWING SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVEMENT OF MR. ELMES' HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS:

" ITEM 1.--- FURNISH ALL NECESSARY LABOR, MATERIAL AND EQUIPMENT FOR WRAPPING AND CRATING THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE; AND PACKING, WRAPPING, OR OTHERWISE PREPARING FOR SHIPMENT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS BELONGING TO MR. RONALD B. ELMES, 4716 N. AMHERST, PORTLAND, OREGON, AND MARKING FOR WATER SHIPMENT TO HONOLULU, HAWAII.

" ITEM A.--- DRAYAGE TO STEAMSHIP WHARF AT PORTLAND, OREGON.'

SHIPMENT FROM PORTLAND, OREGON TO HONOLULU, T.H. WAS TO HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND MOVEMENT FROM DOCKSIDE TO NEW PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN HONOLULU COVERED BY PURCHASE ORDER.

IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ITEM 1 OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED CONTRACT, THE PORTLAND VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY PREPARED THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT AND PLACED THEM IN STORAGE IN THEIR WAREHOUSE IN PORTLAND, OREGON, PENDING SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS FROM MR. ELMES. THE PORTLAND VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY INFORMED THAT SHIPMENT WOULD NOT BE CONSUMMATED AND UPON PRESENTATION OF A BILLING, PAYMENT WAS MADE TO THEM FOR THAT PART OF THE MOVE WHICH THEY HAD COMPLETED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITEM 1 OF THE CONTRACT.

ON MARCH 21, 1948, MR. ELMES WAS TRANSFERRED FOR PERSONAL REASONS FROM HONOLULU, T.H. TO THE DISTRICT OFFICE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE AT EUGENE, OREGON. SINCE THIS TRANSFER WAS FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE AND AT HIS REQUEST, NO TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED. COST OF REPORTING TO THE NEW OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT EUGENE, OREGON, WAS BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. FOLLOWING ENTRANCE ON DUTY AT EUGENE, OREGON, MR. ELMES ARRANGED WITH THE PORTLAND VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY FOR THE TRANSFER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM STORAGE IN PORTLAND, OREGON TO HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN EUGENE, OREGON. THIS LATTER MOVE WAS MADE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE ATTACHED VOUCHER CONSTITUTES A CLAIM SUBMITTED BY MR. ELMES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM PORTLAND, OREGON TO EUGENE, OREGON UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 240-48 WHICH COVERED MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PORTLAND, OREGON TO HONOLULU, T.H. MR. ELMES BASES THE VALIDITY OF HIS CLAIM ON EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, TITLE 1, GENERAL, SECTIONS 5 AND 8, WHICH READ IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

" SEC. 5 TIME LIMIT.--- ALL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE. * * *

" SEC. 8. ORIGIN AND DESTINATION OF SHIPMENT.--- THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED HEREUNDER OR REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE ALLOWABLE WHETHER THE SHIPMENT ORIGINATES AT THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST OFFICIAL STATION OR AT SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR WHETHER THE POINT OF DESTINATION IS THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT SELECTED BY HIM, OR BOTH: PROVIDED, THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW. * * *"

IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORIZING LANGUAGE IN THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, UNCERTAINTY EXISTS AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING MR. ELMES FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM PORTLAND, OREGON TO EUGENE, OREGON UNDER AN AUTHORIZATION PROVIDING FOR SUCH EXPENSES FROM PORTLAND, OREGON TO HONOLULU, T.H., WHEN THE MOVE TO EUGENE, OREGON WAS BECAUSE OF A SECOND TRANSFER MADE FOR THE CONVENIENCE AND BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE AND AT HIS REQUEST, IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH NO EXPENSES WERE ALLOWED.

IN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 7, 1947, B-70546, 27 COMP. GEN. 267, TO YOU IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM SYLLABUS):

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 TO WHICH SHIPMENT WAS MADE WITHIN THE TWO- YEAR ALLOWABLE PERIOD IS ENTITLED, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT FROM THE FIRST TO THE THIRD STATION, ONLY, BASED UPON THE SHORT-TIME DISTANCE BETWEEN SUCH POINTS, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ACTUAL COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT.

SEE, ALSO, B-73197, MARCH 12, 1948 (27 COMP. GEN. 513); COMPARE B 71377, DECEMBER 12, 1947; 20 COMP. GEN. 568.

IN THE CASES CITED IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT EACH OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS--- EFFECTING THE TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY--- ISSUED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND INCLUDED AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WHEREAS, IN THE CASE HERE CONSIDERED THE TRANSFER FROM HAWAII TO THE UNITED STATES HAVING ISSUED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE--- AT HIS REQUEST--- THE TRAVEL ORDER OF MARCH 21, 1948, CONTAINED NO SUCH AUTHORIZATION. SINCE THE TRAVEL ORDER IN THE SECOND INSTANCE CONTAINED NO AUTHORITY FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS THIS EMPLOYEE ACQUIRED NO RIGHT TO PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS A RESULT OF ORDERS RETURNING HIM TO THE UNITED STATES FOR PERMANENT DUTY.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AND SECTION 4, TITLE I, OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN ANY CASE WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST. SINCE THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRANSPORTATION IS EXPRESSLY PRECLUDED IN ANY CASE WHERE THE TRANSFER IS EFFECTED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE, IT NECESSARILY MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT ANY AND ALL RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH THIS EMPLOYEE ACQUIRED UNDER SECTIONS 5 AND 8, TITLE I, AND SECTIONS 17 THROUGH 26, TITLE III, EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS A RESULT OF TRANSFER ORDERS DATED AUGUST 25, 1947, WAS RELINQUISHED AND THEREBY AUTOMATICALLY TERMINATED ON MARCH 31, 1948, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS DIRECTING HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. TO HOLD OTHERWISE WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE STATUTE AND TANTAMOUNT TO AMENDING OR SUPPLEMENTING THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.