Request for Relief From Liability
B-199128, Nov 7, 1980
A request was made to GAO that an employee of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) be relieved from liability for an imprest fund loss. GAO is authorized to grant relief from liability for a physical loss to an accountable officer upon its concurrence with determinations by the agency head that: (1) the loss or deficiency occurred while the officer or agent was acting in the discharge of his official duties, or that it occurred by reason of the act or omission of a subordinate of the officer or agent, and (2) the loss or deficiency occurred without fault or negligence on the part of the officer or agent. NTSB made these determinations. The Board's lax control of access to the money made it impossible to say that the employee's negligence was the proximate cause of the loss. Three people had the combinations to the safe and cash box drawers. When the agency allows someone other than the accountable officer responsible for the fund to have the combination to the container in which the fund is kept, the container is not secure, and GAO must grant relief.