B-77153, AUGUST 13, 1948 28 COMP. GEN. 95

B-77153: Aug 13, 1948

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REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 28. WOOD WAS TRANSFERRED FROM DENVER TO FORT COLLINS. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT NO BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED BY THE CARRIER COVERING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED. THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT WEIGHED. ALTHOUGH ADEQUATE SCALES AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE REGULATIONS WERE AVAILABLE THEREFOR. THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT MEASURED. SINCE THE CUBIC CONTENT THEREOF WAS NOT ASCERTAINED. THERE IS NO WAY TO DETERMINE THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE CARRIER ESTIMATED THE SHIPMENT TO WEIGH 1. SINCE THE CLAIM IS COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT AND APPLICABLE DISTANCE INVOLVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCHEDULE "A" OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805.

B-77153, AUGUST 13, 1948 28 COMP. GEN. 95

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF SHIPMENT A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHO FAILED TO FURNISH THE ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE (CUBIC FOOT MEASUREMENT) WEIGHT OF A SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 10 AND 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE COMMUTED (LUMP SUM) ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SECTION 12 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, BUT WHO DID FURNISH AN ACCEPTABLE STATEMENT OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT MAY BE ALLOWED THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED ON ACCOUNT OF THE SHIPMENT, SAID AMOUNT BEING LESS THAN THAT PAYABLE AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER BASED UPON THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS SHIPPED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO FRANK H. SHINER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 13, 1948.

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 28, 1948, FILE 375, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $30.85, IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM R. WOOD, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (WEIGHT NOT SHOWN) FROM DENVER TO FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 13, 1947, IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER SAID VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT, BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1947, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 20, 1947, MR. WOOD WAS TRANSFERRED FROM DENVER TO FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, FOR PERMANENT DUTY. THE ORDERS DIRECTING THE TRANSFER INCLUDED AUTHORIZATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946. OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 13, 1947, FOLLOWING THE RECEIPT OF ORDERS TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, IT APPEARS THAT MR. WOOD PROCURED THE SERVICES OF A COMMERCIAL CONCERN IN DENVER TO TRANSPORT HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HIS NEWLY ASSIGNED STATION AT FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, FOR WHICH HE EXPENDED THE SUM OF $25. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT NO BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED BY THE CARRIER COVERING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED; THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT WEIGHED, ALTHOUGH ADEQUATE SCALES AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE REGULATIONS WERE AVAILABLE THEREFOR; THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT MEASURED, AND SINCE THE CUBIC CONTENT THEREOF WAS NOT ASCERTAINED, THERE IS NO WAY TO DETERMINE THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TRANSPORTED. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE CARRIER ESTIMATED THE SHIPMENT TO WEIGH 1,075 POUNDS, AND THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT TIMES THE RATE PRESCRIBED FOR THE DISTANCE INVOLVED (SCHEDULE "A") EQUALS $30.85, THE SUM ALLEGED TO BE DUE.

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT, AND SINCE THE CLAIM IS COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT AND APPLICABLE DISTANCE INVOLVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCHEDULE "A" OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, YOU EXPRESS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

SECTION 10 (A) TITLE I, AND SECTIONS 12 AND 14, TITLE II, OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, PROVIDE, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 10. * * *

(A) STATEMENT OF WEIGHT. WHEN CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION ARE BASED UPON WEIGHT, THE ACTUAL (NOT ESTIMATED) WEIGHT SHALL BE SHOWN.

SEC. 12. COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES.--- 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 TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTATED 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 AN 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.

SEC. 14. EVIDENCE OF SHIPMENT.--- EMPLOYEES SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THE CARRIER'S ORIGINAL BILLS OF LADING, OR A CERTIFIED COPY THEREOF WHEN USING COMMON CARRIER SERVICE. IF NO BILL OF LADING IS REQUIRED OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING POINT OF ORIGIN, DESTINATION, AND WEIGHT SHALL BE REQUIRED. IN INSTANCES IN WHICH NO ADEQUATE SCALE IS LOCATED AT POINT OF ORIGIN OR AT ANY POINT WITHIN A RADIUS OF TEN MILES THEREOF, A CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT, BASED ON SEVEN POUNDS PER CUBIC FOOT OF PROPERLY LOADED VAN SPACE, MAY BE USED.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS--- WHICH WERE PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 (B) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 807--- AN EMPLOYEE MAY SELECT THE CARRIER AND THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT WHICH BEST SUIT HIS PURPOSES, BUT REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTATED (LUMP SUM) BASIS MAY NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY SCHEDULE "A" (SECTION 13) OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER--- COMPUTED UPON THE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT AND THE PRESCRIBED RATE PER HUNDRED POUNDS ACCORDING TO THE DISTANCE INVOLVED. AN EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SAID ACT DISCLOSES THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE PROVISION AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTATED (LUMP SUM) BASIS--- IN LIEU OF AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS--- WAS TO ELIMINATE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE AND EXPENSE ENTAILED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL MEANS AS REQUIRED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SAID ENACTMENT. HOWEVER, NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND IN SUCH LEGISLATIVE HISTORY INDICATING ANY INTENT ON THE PART OF THE CONGRESS TO REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE MAXIMUM RATES PRESCRIBED IN SCHEDULE "A," IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING THE ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OF EFFECTS TRANSPORTED AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 14 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805.

AS THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED FAILED TO FURNISH THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OR THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT (CUBIC FOOT MEASUREMENT) AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 10 AND 14 OF THE REGULATIONS, QUOTED ABOVE--- BUT DID FURNISH AN ACCEPTABLE STATEMENT OF THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT--- HE MAY BE ALLOWED NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED BY HIM ON ACCOUNT OF THE SHIPMENT, SAID AMOUNT BEING LESS THAN THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AS THE RATE PRESCRIBED IN SCHEDULE "A" OF THE REGULATIONS BASED IUPON THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $25, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTIONS.