B-92358, FEBRUARY 28, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 343

B-92358: Feb 28, 1950

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AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE STORED FOR 30 DAYS AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION AND 30 DAYS AT HIS NEW STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES INCURRED NOT TO EXCEED THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE FOR THE ENTIRE 60-DAY PERIOD UPON SUBMISSION OF PROPER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS. EVEN THOUGH THE TWO PERIODS WERE NOT CONTINUOUS AND THE CHARGES FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS EXCEEDED THE RATE ALLOWABLE FOR THAT PERIOD. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 18. LEMMON WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS. SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN. THE GOODS WERE SHIPPED BY CARRIER TO PORTLAND. 800 POUNDS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS WERE MOVED INTO HIS NEW RESIDENCE.

B-92358, FEBRUARY 28, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 343

TEMPORARY STORAGE - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9933, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE STORED FOR 30 DAYS AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION AND 30 DAYS AT HIS NEW STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES INCURRED NOT TO EXCEED THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE FOR THE ENTIRE 60-DAY PERIOD UPON SUBMISSION OF PROPER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE GOODS, EVEN THOUGH THE TWO PERIODS WERE NOT CONTINUOUS AND THE CHARGES FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS EXCEEDED THE RATE ALLOWABLE FOR THAT PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO M. E. FISHER, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FEBRUARY 28, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 18, 1950, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF PAUL E. LEMMON FOR $22.71, REPRESENTING ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR STORAGE, AND EXPENSES INCIDENTAL THERETO, OF APPROXIMATELY 2,000 POUNDS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT PORTLAND, OREGON, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION TO THAT POINT, AND REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 7-228-50, DATED SEPTEMBER 2, 1949, MR. LEMMON WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, SAN FERNANDO, CALIFORNIA, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, AND SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN. IT SEEMS THAT IN ANTICIPATION OF SAID TRANSFER, THE EMPLOYEE SOLD HIS HOME IN SAN FERNANDO, AND ON AUGUST 15, 1949, PLACED HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WEIGHING 6,800 POUNDS, IN STORAGE AT THAT LOCATION. ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1949, THE GOODS WERE SHIPPED BY CARRIER TO PORTLAND, AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS AMENDED, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCURRED, AS WELL AS FOR THE STORAGE AND EXPENSES INCIDENTAL THERETO ($34) COVERING THE 30-DAY STORAGE PERIOD AT SAN FERNANDO. UPON ARRIVAL IN PORTLAND, OREGON, 4,800 POUNDS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTS WERE MOVED INTO HIS NEW RESIDENCE, THE REMAINING 2,000 POUNDS (ESTIMATED WEIGHT BASED UPON CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF THE PROPERTY) BEING PLACED IN STORAGE--- PRESUMED BY THIS OFFICE TO BE STORAGE OF A "TEMPORARY" NATURE. THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $22.71, CONSISTING OF $5.21 FOR PREPARING THE GOODS FOR STORAGE, $10.50 WAREHOUSE HANDLING CHARGE, AND $7 FOR ACTUAL STORAGE ( SEPTEMBER 20 TO OCTOBER 20, 1949) OF THE GOODS AT PORTLAND.

THE QUESTIONS WHICH YOU PRESENT FOR CONSIDERATION ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

(1) IS THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR STORAGE COSTS AND EXPENSES INCIDENTAL THERETO FOR THE TWO 30-DAY PERIODS INVOLVED, THE COMBINED AMOUNTS ALLOWABLE FOR THE FULL SIXTY DAYS, I.E., $116.80?

(2) IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION NO. 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL THIS LIMITATION ALSO APPLY IF CLAIM FOR THE FINAL DRAYAGE COSTS FROM STORAGE TO RESIDENCE IS MADE WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER?

(3) AS NOTED ABOVE, THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS INVOLVED IS AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT BASED ON THE CUBIC MEASUREMENTS OF THE PROPERTY. IT IS UNLIKELY THAT ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE TO SECURE AN ACTUAL WEIGHT UNTIL THE GOODS ARE MOVED FROM STORAGE. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, MAY REIMBURSEMENT BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHT OR SHOULD SUCH ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS AS MAY BE FOUND DUE BE WITHHELD UNTIL AN ACTUAL WEIGHT CERTIFICATE IS AVAILABLE?

SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9933, PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TEMPORARY STORAGE CHARGES INCURRED IN CASE OF TRANSFERS OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT THE COMMUTED RATE OF $1.60 PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF STORAGE OF FRACTION THEREOF, PLUS 40 CENTS PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS OR FRACTION THEREOF, THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED "THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE STORAGE IN QUESTION.' IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE PRIMARY REASON FOR SPECIFYING THE HIGHER COMMUTED RATE FOR THE FIRST 30 DAYS' STORAGE WAS TO TAKE CARE OF INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF STORAGE--- IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER SUCH INCIDENTAL EXPENSES BE INCURRED WITHIN THE FIRST OR THE LAST 30 DAYS OF STORAGE. THUS, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE FACT THAT THE TOTAL EXPENSES FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS EXCEED THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE ON THE BASIS OF 40 CENTS PER HUNDRED POUNDS DOES NOT PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ENTIRE SUM EXPENDED AND CLAIMED FOR THAT PERIOD, PROVIDED THE TOTAL COST FOR THE 60-DAY PERIOD IS NOT IN EXCESS OF THE AGGREGATE ALLOWABLE UNDER THE ABOVE-REFERRED-TO EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR THE ENTIRE 60-DAY PERIOD (FOR EXAMPLE, $40 FOR 2,000 POUNDS). ACCORDINGLY, YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR THIRD QUESTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SINCE THE STORAGE PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE A SHOWING OF ACTUAL WEIGHT, THE VOUCHER SHOULD NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROPER EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL WEIGHT BE FURNISHED.

NO ANSWER TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS REQUIRED OR PROPER AT THIS TIME SINCE SAID QUESTION CONFINES ITSELF SOLELY TO AN ITEM OF EXPENSE AND QUESTION OF LAW NOT INVOLVED IN THE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION. SEE SECTION 3 OF PUBLIC LAW 389, 55 STAT. 875, 876.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER--- WHICH VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH--- SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.