B-81069, DECEMBER 2, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 337

B-81069: Dec 2, 1948

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FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WHERE THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL WAREHOUSE REGULARLY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF RECEIVING AND STORING PROPERTY IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED. ARISES ONLY WHEN SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE. THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO MOORCROFT WHERE THEY WERE STORED IN THE BASEMENT OF AN AUTO COURT BUILDING. FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES FOR THE PRECEDING 30 DAYS AS EVIDENCED BY A HAND-WRITTEN RECEIPT WHICH SHOWS IT WAS GIVEN IN PAYMENT FOR THE STORAGE OF THE FURNITURE. YOU REQUEST TO BE ADVISED AS TO THE PROPER FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT TWO FISCAL YEARS ARE INVOLVED IN THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY STORAGE FROM JUNE 24 TO JULY 24.

B-81069, DECEMBER 2, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 337

STORAGE - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - WAREHOUSE RECEIPT REQUIREMENT; FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WHERE THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL WAREHOUSE REGULARLY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF RECEIVING AND STORING PROPERTY IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED, A HANDWRITTEN RECEIPT ISSUED AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT FOR THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ANY AUTO COURT BUILDING MAY BE ACCEPTED AS MEETING THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, THAT A "RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL" BE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY STORAGE ON A COMMUTED BASIS. THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS AT NOT TO EXCEED THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ARISES ONLY WHEN SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE, SO THAT REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE FOR A PERIOD INVOLVING TWO FISCAL YEARS MAY BE MADE FROM THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CURRENT WHEN THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY PAID SUCH EXPENSES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO BECKHAM SWIFT, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, DECEMBER 2, 1948:

BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 20, 1948, THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 12, 1948, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION, IN FAVOR OF JOSEPH A. FALBO, IN THE AMOUNT OF $20, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF 2,670 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 24 TO JULY 24, 1948. TRAVEL ORDER NO. 548-338B, DATED APRIL 21, 1948, AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHEYENNE TO MOORCROFT, WYOMING. ON JUNE 24, 1948, THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO MOORCROFT WHERE THEY WERE STORED IN THE BASEMENT OF AN AUTO COURT BUILDING--- THERE BEING NO COMMERCIAL WAREHOUSE IN MOORCROFT. THE CLAIMANT PAID $30 ON JULY 24, 1948, FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES FOR THE PRECEDING 30 DAYS AS EVIDENCED BY A HAND-WRITTEN RECEIPT WHICH SHOWS IT WAS GIVEN IN PAYMENT FOR THE STORAGE OF THE FURNITURE. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT, SUPPORTED BY SUCH HANDWRITTEN RECEIPT EVEN THOUGH SAID RECEIPT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A "RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL," THE TERM EMPLOYED BY THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, ADDED THERETO BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, FEBRUARY 27, 1948, AS A CONDITION OF RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT. ALSO, IF THE VOUCHER BE PAYABLE, YOU REQUEST TO BE ADVISED AS TO THE PROPER FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT TWO FISCAL YEARS ARE INVOLVED IN THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY STORAGE FROM JUNE 24 TO JULY 24.

PARAGRAPH 12 (B) OF THE ABOVE-REFERRED-TO REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT AT A COMMUTED RATE, AS SPECIFIED THEREIN, OF EXPENSES FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PROVIDES THAT "ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY STORAGE SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY THE ORIGINAL OR CERTIFIED COPY OF THE RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL.' OBVIOUSLY, THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THAT REGULATION IS TO REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF THE BEST EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURE BY A CLAIMANT FOR THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AND IT IS COMMONLY KNOWN THAT SUCH STORAGE GENERALLY WOULD BE MADE IN A REGULARLY ESTABLISHED WAREHOUSE. THE TERM,"WAREHOUSE," IS SOMETIMES USED IN A VERY STRICT SENSE, AS A SOMEWHAT TECHNICAL TERM, REGULATED TO A CONSIDERABLE EXTENT BY STATUTE AS BEING A PLACE REGULARLY AND LAWFULLY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF RECEIVING AND STORING GOODS OF THE PUBLIC FOR PROFIT, AND, GENERALLY, THE TERM IS CONFINED TO THIS RESTRICTIVE SENSE; BUT THE TERM,"WAREHOUSE," IS ONE OF MUCH MORE COMPREHENSIVE IMPORT AND MAY BE ANY PLACE ADAPTED TO THE RECEPTION AND STORAGE OF GOODS AND MERCHANDISE. WHILE THE TERM,"RECEIPTED WAREHOUSE BILL," AS USED IN THE REGULATIONS ORDINARILY WOULD INFER THAT A BILL FOR THE TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE MUST BE ISSUED BY A "WAREHOUSE," AS THAT TERM COMMONLY IS ACCEPTED AND DEFINED IN THE RESTRICTIVE SENSE, YET, WHERE, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL WAREHOUSE REGULARLY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF RECEIVING AND STORING PROPERTY IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY, IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE TERM WAS INTENDED TO BE USED IN ITS MORE COMPREHENSIVE IMPORT AS INCLUDING ANY PLACE ADAPTED TO THE RECEPTION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE RECEIPTED BILL SHOWS THAT IT WAS ISSUED AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT FOR THE STORAGE OF FURNITURE, THE RECEIPT MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THE EXPENDITURE BY THE CLAIMANT.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PROPERLY ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE GOVERNMENT BECOMES OBLIGATED THEREFOR. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 25; 23 ID. 197, AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN. SECTION 12 (B) OF THE ABOVE- MENTIONED REGULATION PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS, AS SPECIFIED THEREIN, AT NOT TO EXCEED THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. PAYMENT FOR THE STORAGE EXPENSES IS TO BE MADE BY THE EMPLOYEE AND THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS ARISES ONLY WHEN SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN PAID BY AN EMPLOYEE. ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, THE INSTANT VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS OF TEMPORARY STORAGE EXPENSES ACTUALLY PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE ON JULY 24, 1948, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE 1949 FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION.