A-10984, SEPTEMBER 16, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 203

A-10984: Sep 16, 1925

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EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENT CLAIMS IN ADDITION TO THOSE SETTLED ADMINISTRATIVELY FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND IS OTHERWISE EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE. CREATING A PERMANENT FUND FROM WHICH MARINE WAR-RISK LOSSES ARE PAYABLE. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21. IS PAYABLE FROM THE SPECIAL-FUND APPROPRIATION "LOSSES ON WAR RISK INSURANCE OF AMERICAN VESSELS. YOU STATE THAT THERE IS NOW AVAILABLE IN THE SPECIAL FUND A BALANCE OF OVER A MILLION DOLLARS. AMENDED SECTION 3 OF THE PRIOR STATUTE TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: * * * ALL PROCEEDS OF THE AFORESAID PREMIUM AND FROM SALVAGE WHICH HAVE BEEN OR ARE HEREAFTER RECEIVED SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE BUREAU OF WAR RISK INSURANCE.

A-10984, SEPTEMBER 16, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 203

PAYMENTS, JUDGMENTS - MARINE INSURANCE UNDER THE ACTS OF FEBRUARY 18, 1904, 33 STAT. 41, AND APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422, THE AMOUNT OF ALL JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS MUST BE TRANSMITTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO CONGRESS FOR AN APPROPRIATION AND SETTLED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, EXCEPT WHERE THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND PROVIDING FOR THE GOVERNMENT OPERATION OR ACTIVITY OUT OF WHICH THE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENT CLAIMS IN ADDITION TO THOSE SETTLED ADMINISTRATIVELY FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND IS OTHERWISE EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE. AS THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1917, 40 STAT. 103, CREATING A PERMANENT FUND FROM WHICH MARINE WAR-RISK LOSSES ARE PAYABLE, MADE NO EXPRESS PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENT CLAIMS, THE PROCEDURE RELATIVE TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH A JUDGMENT MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF $161,957.16, PLUS INTEREST AT 6 PERCENT FROM FEBRUARY 11, 1917, AND COSTS, DUE THE STANDARD OIL CO. (NEW JERSEY) FROM THE UNITED STATES UNDER FINAL DECREE ENTERED IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY, UNDER MANDATE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONNECTION WITH THE LOSS OF THE STEAMSHIP LLAMA, IS PAYABLE FROM THE SPECIAL-FUND APPROPRIATION "LOSSES ON WAR RISK INSURANCE OF AMERICAN VESSELS, THEIR CARGOES, ETC. (SPECIAL FUND)," OR WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT SHOULD BE CERTIFIED TO CONGRESS FOR THE NECESSARY APPROPRIATION UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422. YOU STATE THAT THERE IS NOW AVAILABLE IN THE SPECIAL FUND A BALANCE OF OVER A MILLION DOLLARS.

THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1914, 38 STAT. 711, ESTABLISHED THE BUREAU OF WAR RISK INSURANCE AND AUTHORIZED THE ISSUANCE OF MARINE WAR-RISK INSURANCE ON AMERICAN VESSELS, FREIGHT, CARGO, ETC., AND AUTHORIZED THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU TO ADJUST CLAIMS FOR LOSSES. SECTION 7 OF THIS STATUTE APPROPRIATED $5,000,000 "FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING LOSSES ACCRUING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.' THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1917, 40 STAT. 103, AMENDED SECTION 3 OF THE PRIOR STATUTE TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

* * * ALL PROCEEDS OF THE AFORESAID PREMIUM AND FROM SALVAGE WHICH HAVE BEEN OR ARE HEREAFTER RECEIVED SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE BUREAU OF WAR RISK INSURANCE, AND IN ADDITION TO ALL OTHER APPROPRIATIONS MADE UNDER THE ACT ARE HEREBY PERMANENTLY APPROPRIATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING LOSSES AND RETURN PREMIUMS ACCRUING UNDER THIS ACT.

SECTION 9 OF THE SAME ACT APPROPRIATED $50,000,000 "FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING LOSSES AND RETURN PREMIUMS ACCRUING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

SECTION 7 OF THE SAME STATUTE AMENDED SECTION 5 OF THE FORMER STATUTE TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

* * * IN THE EVENT OF DISAGREEMENT AS TO THE CLAIM FOR LOSSES, OR AMOUNT THEREOF, BETWEEN THE SAID BUREAU AND THE PARTIES TO SUCH CONTRACT OF INSURANCE, AN ACTION ON THE CLAIM MAY BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, SITTING IN ADMIRALTY, IN THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE CLAIMANT OR HIS AGENT MAY RESIDE.

IT WAS UNDER THIS AUTHORITY OF LAW THAT THE COURT ACTION IN THE PRESENT CASE WAS BASED.

THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1918, 40 STAT. 898, AUTHORIZED THE PRESIDENT TO SUSPEND OPERATION OF SUCH ACTS "IN SO FAR AS THE DIVISION OF MARINE AND SEAMEN'S INSURANCE IS CONCERNED, WHICH SUSPENSION SHALL BE MADE IN ANY EVENT WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE END OF THE WAR, BUT SHALL NOT AFFECT ANY INSURANCE OUTSTANDING AT THE TIME OR ANY CLAIMS PENDING ADJUSTMENT.'

THE LOSS OF THE STEAMSHIP LLAMA OCCURRED IN AUGUST, 1915, AND THE PRESENT CLAIM, THEREFORE, FALLS WITHIN THE QUOTED EXCEPTION FROM THE EFFECT OF THE SUSPENSION OF THE ACT.

THE PERMANENT FUND APPROPRIATED BY THE QUOTED STATUTE WAS MADE AVAILABLE "FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING LOSSES AND RETURN PREMIUMS ACCRUING UNDER THIS ACT.' WERE IT NOT FOR OTHER EXPRESS STATUTES PROVIDING SPECIFICALLY THE MANNER OF PAYING JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES, UNQUESTIONABLY THE PERMANENT FUND WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENT IN THE PRESENT CASE.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 18, 1904, 33 STAT. 41, PROVIDES THAT THEREAFTER IN ALL CASES OF FINAL JUDGMENT RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES, PAYMENT THEREOF UNDER APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY CONGRESS SHALL BE MADE ON SETTLEMENTS BY THE AUDITOR FOR THE DEPARTMENT OR BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE HAVING JURISDICTION OF THE SUBJECT MATTER OUT OF WHICH THE CLAIM AROSE. UNDER THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS THE SUCCESSOR TO THE AUDITORS WITH RESPECT TO SETTLEMENTS UNDER THIS STATUTE.

THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422, UNDER THE HEADING "JUDGMENTS, UNITED STATES COURTS," PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER ESTIMATES FOR THE PAYMENT OF ALL JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING JUDGMENTS IN INDIAN DEPREDATION CLAIMS AND OF UNITED STATES COURTS SHALL BE TRANSMITTED TO CONGRESS THROUGH THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AS OTHER ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO BE TRANSMITTED.

IN VIEW OF THESE EXPRESS STATUTES, APPROPRIATIONS OR FUNDS PROVIDING FOR GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS OR ACTIVITIES, OUT OF WHICH THE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE, ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY JUDGMENTS, BUT THE AMOUNT THEREOF MUST BE ESTIMATED AND SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE ACTS. 27 COMP. DEC. 108, 262; 1 COMP. GEN. 540; DECISION OF AUGUST 17, 1925, A-10351. EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE ARE RECOGNIZED ONLY WHERE THE APPROPRIATIONS OR SPECIAL FUNDS FOR ACTIVITIES OUT OF WHICH THE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE EXPRESSLY INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, IN ADDITION TO THOSE CLAIMS SETTLED ADMINISTRATIVELY FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS ARE OTHERWISE EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE, 2 COMP. GEN. 501, 751, OR WHERE OTHER EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF LAW PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS, AS, FOR INSTANCE, SECTION 150, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1911, 36 STAT. 1138, RELATIVE TO CAUSES OF ACTION CERTIFIED TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS BY THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

AS THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1917, SUPRA, CREATING THE PERMANENT FUND FROM WHICH MARINE WAR RISK INSURANCE LOSSES ARE PAYABLE, MADE NO EXPRESS PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENT CLAIMS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY THE DISTRICT COURTS, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT THE PROCEDURE IN THIS CASE MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, SUPRA.