A-10123, JULY 20, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 42

A-10123: Jul 20, 1925

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1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13. AS AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCEDURE AND STATE AS FOLLOWS: IT HAS BEEN AND IS THE PRACTICE IN THESE CASES. AFTER THE FACTS HAVE BEEN DETERMINED. FOR THE CHIEF INSPECTOR TO WRITE TO THE POSTMASTER BY WHOM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY IS PAYABLE. THE POSTMASTER IS FURTHER INSTRUCTED TO SUBMIT THE CHIEF INSPECTOR'S LETTER WITH HIS POSTAL ACCOUNT IN LIEU OF THE USUAL VOUCHER ORDINARILY SIGNED BY THE EMPLOYEE. WHERE THE RESPONSIBILITY OR GUILT IS ADMITTED BY THE EMPLOYEE. OR IS ESTABLISHED BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. IN CASES IN WHICH THE RESPONSIBILITY OR GUILT IS DENIED OR IS DOUBTFUL.

A-10123, JULY 20, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 42

ACCOUNTING, SET-OFF - INDEBTEDNESS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES THIS DECISION INVOLVES THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE FOR EFFECTING A SET- OFF AGAINST COMPENSATION DUE POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO LIQUIDATE ANY INDEBTEDNESS DUE THE UNITED STATES CAUSED BY THE PAYMENT OF INDEMNITIES OR SHORTAGE IN ACCOUNTS RESULTING FROM CRIMINALITY OR NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE EMPLOYEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JULY 20, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1925, REQUESTING CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE FOR EFFECTING SET-OFF OF COMPENSATION DUE POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO LIQUIDATE INDEBTEDNESS DUE THE UNITED STATES CAUSED BY PAYMENT OF INDEMNITIES OR SHORTAGE IN ACCOUNTS RESULTING FROM CRIMINALITY OR NEGLIGENCE.

YOU CITE 21 COMP. DEC. 617, AS AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCEDURE AND STATE AS FOLLOWS:

IT HAS BEEN AND IS THE PRACTICE IN THESE CASES, AFTER THE FACTS HAVE BEEN DETERMINED, FOR THE CHIEF INSPECTOR TO WRITE TO THE POSTMASTER BY WHOM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY IS PAYABLE, DIRECTING HIM TO TAKE CREDIT ON HIS APPROPRIATE PAY ROLL FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARY DUE THE EMPLOYEE, AND AT THE SAME TIME TO DEPOSIT THIS SUM AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS IN CLAIMS BASED ON INDEMNITY PROPERLY PAID OR AS SURPLUS FUNDS IN CLAIMS BASED ON SHORTAGES IN ONE OF THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNTS OF THE POSTMASTER. THE POSTMASTER IS FURTHER INSTRUCTED TO SUBMIT THE CHIEF INSPECTOR'S LETTER WITH HIS POSTAL ACCOUNT IN LIEU OF THE USUAL VOUCHER ORDINARILY SIGNED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT AS TO THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WITHHOLD FROM THE AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE AN EMPLOYEE ON ACCOUNT OF SALARY, THE AMOUNT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 639, AND 3 ID. 772, AND THE CASES THEREIN CITED.

WHERE THE RESPONSIBILITY OR GUILT IS ADMITTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, OR IS ESTABLISHED BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, AND THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT OTHERWISE MAKE GOOD THE LOSS, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROCEDURE TO THE EXTENT THAT IT REQUIRES THE WITHHOLDING AND DEPOSITING OF THE AMOUNT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IN SUCH CASES THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO SIGN THE PAY ROLL, VOUCHER, OR RECEIPT FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF SALARY OR COMPENSATION EARNED, THE AMOUNT WITHHELD TO LIQUIDATE THE INDEBTEDNESS BEING TREATED AS A COLLECTION AND RECEIPT THEREFORE GIVEN TO THE EMPLOYEE. THIS WOULD APPEAR NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE RECORD OF THE TRANSACTION AND TO AVOID THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE CLAIMS ARISING THEREFROM. IF IN SUCH A CASE THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD REFUSE TO SIGN THE PAY ROLL, VOUCHER, OR RECEIPT, AND IN CASES IN WHICH THE RESPONSIBILITY OR GUILT IS DENIED OR IS DOUBTFUL, THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE WITHHELD WITHOUT DEPOSIT, AND THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM THEREFOR, TOGETHER WITH A COMPLETE STATEMENT ACCOMPANIED BY THE EVIDENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CLAIM AGAINST HIM, SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.