Justice and Law Enforcement:

Loss of Funds

B-198124: Published: Aug 13, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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A Coast Guard employee requested that GAO invoke provisions of the law requiring the government to initiate a suit against her to adjudicate the matter in the appropriate U.S. District Court. The employee, acting as an accountable officer, sustained a loss of funds from her account. An agency investigation determined that an unknown individual entered the employee's office and removed the money for which she was accountable from her safe. The investigating officer concluded that the employee was negligent in not issuing receipts for money placed in her custody and not making the required bank deposit. After reviewing these findings and conclusions, the agency refused to recommend that GAO grant relief from liability to the employee on the basis that she was not faultless in connection with the loss. A statute provides that when an agency head declines to recommend relief, GAO has no authority to grant relief. When the Coast Guard began collection action against the employee's pay, she requested that GAO initiate the litigation process.

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