A-13579, MAY 24, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 932

A-13579: May 24, 1926

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TO THE EFFECT THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CERTAIN DAMAGES TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR AND THE AMOUNT OF THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF REPAIRS IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE AMOUNT TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND. REPRESENTING COST OF REPAIRS TO A MAIL TRUCK WHICH IS REPORTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED AS THE RESULT OF THE CARELESS DRIVING OF THE FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE. THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE A COPY OF THE DETAILED REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATION OF THE COLLISION AND EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT MCCORMICK WAS CITED TO SHOW CAUSE. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: WHENEVER GOVERNMENT PROPERTY OF ANY KIND IS LOST OR DAMAGED THROUGH THE CARELESSNESS.

A-13579, MAY 24, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 932

RETIREMENT FUND, SET-OFF - POSTAL EMPLOYEES AN ADMINISTRATIVE FINDING BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 58 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1924, AFTER AN EMPLOYEE HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CERTAIN DAMAGES TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR AND THE AMOUNT OF THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF REPAIRS IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE AMOUNT TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 24, 1926:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER A PORTION OF THE AMOUNT ($34.95) IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF JOHN T. MCCORMICK, FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE, NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., MAY BE APPLIED TO OFFSET A CLAIM OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $20.24, REPRESENTING COST OF REPAIRS TO A MAIL TRUCK WHICH IS REPORTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED AS THE RESULT OF THE CARELESS DRIVING OF THE FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE, OR WHETHER THE FULL AMOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND SHOULD BE REFUNDED TO THE FORMER EMPLOYEE.

THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE A COPY OF THE DETAILED REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATION OF THE COLLISION AND EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT MCCORMICK WAS CITED TO SHOW CAUSE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 58 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1924, WHY HE SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF THE REPAIRS TO THE MAIL TRUCK, BUT THAT HE MADE NO ANSWER. HE DOES, HOWEVER, DENY THE CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND.

SECTION 58 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1924, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

WHENEVER GOVERNMENT PROPERTY OF ANY KIND IS LOST OR DAMAGED THROUGH THE CARELESSNESS, NEGLIGENCE, WILLFULNESS, OR MALICE OF A POSTAL EMPLOYEE, THE FACTS SHOULD BE REPORTED BY THE POSTMASTER TO THE PROPER BUREAU OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER SUCH POSTAL EMPLOYEE SHALL BE HELD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY SO LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED.

2. WHENEVER IN PURSUANCE OF THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH A POSTAL EMPLOYEE IS HELD TO BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALUE OF ANY GOVERNMENT PROPERTY LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED BY HIM, THE POSTMASTER AT THE POST OFFICE TO WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ATTACHED SHALL WITHHOLD FROM SUCH EMPLOYEE ANY AND ALL SALARY OR COMPENSATION DUE SUCH EMPLOYEE UNTIL HE HAS PAID OVER TO THE POSTMASTER SUCH AMOUNT OF MONEY AS THE DEPARTMENT MAY DETERMINE TO BE THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED. THE POSTMASTER SHALL ACCOUNT FOR SUCH MONEY IN HIS QUARTERLY POSTAL ACCOUNT UNDER THE HEAD OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

AN ADMINISTRATIVE FINDING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, AFTER AN EMPLOYEE HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGES TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, AND IF A FORMER EMPLOYEE IS DETERMINED TO HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE, THE AMOUNT OF THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF REPAIRS IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE AMOUNT TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND.

YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO APPLY THE AMOUNT OF $20.24 TO THE CREDIT OF JOHN T. MCCORMICK IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND IN SATISFACTION OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CLAIM AGAINST HIM ON ACCOUNT OF THE DAMAGE TO ITS PROPERTY, SAID AMOUNT TO BE DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, AND TO PAY THE BALANCE TO THE FORMER EMPLOYEE, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.