A-18583, MAY 31, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 776

A-18583: May 31, 1927

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WHERE THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE REQUIRED BY REGULATION IS NOT FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. AS FOLLOWS: IN THE COURSE OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE ALASKA GAME LAW THIS OFFICE FREQUENTLY RECEIVES REQUESTS FOR LICENSES TO BE ISSUED UNDER THE ALASKA GAME LAW WHICH ARE NOT ACCOMPANIED BY PROPERLY EXECUTED APPLICATIONS SHOWING THE APPLICANTS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE LICENSES WHICH THEY REQUEST. THE SYSTEM FOLLOWED IN SUCH CASES IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO LIST SUCH REQUESTS. AT THE SAME TIME WE CALL UPON THE APPLICANT TO SUPPLY A PROPERLY EXECUTED APPLICATION SHOWING WHETHER OR NOT HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE LICENSE REQUESTED. IN MOST INSTANCES AN APPLICATION IS RECEIVED OR INFORMATION SUPPLIED US WHICH EITHER SHOWS THE APPLICANT TO BE ELIGIBLE IN WHICH CASE A LICENSE IS ISSUED TO HIM.

A-18583, MAY 31, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 776

ACCOUNTING - LICENSE FEES - ALASKA GAME COMMISSION THE FEES DEPOSITED WITH MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA GAME COMMISSION FOR LICENSES WHICH CAN NOT BE ISSUED BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE ACCOMPANYING THE APPLICATION, MAY NEITHER BE FORFEITED NOR APPLIED AS HAVING BEEN EARNED, AND WHERE THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE REQUIRED BY REGULATION IS NOT FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, THE APPLICATION SHOULD BE REJECTED AND THE MONEY REFUNDED FROM THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT IN WHICH IT HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY DEPOSITED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 31, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED, PRESUMABLY BY YOUR DIRECTION, A LETTER DATED MAY 9, 1927, FROM THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE ALASKA GAME COMMISSION, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE COURSE OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE ALASKA GAME LAW THIS OFFICE FREQUENTLY RECEIVES REQUESTS FOR LICENSES TO BE ISSUED UNDER THE ALASKA GAME LAW WHICH ARE NOT ACCOMPANIED BY PROPERLY EXECUTED APPLICATIONS SHOWING THE APPLICANTS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE LICENSES WHICH THEY REQUEST. THE SYSTEM FOLLOWED IN SUCH CASES IS FOR THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO LIST SUCH REQUESTS, GIVING THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE APPLICANT, AMOUNT REMITTED, AND KIND OF LICENSE REQUESTED, THEN DEPOSIT THE MONEY IN THE USUAL MANNER BUT HOLD IT IN A SUSPENSE DIVISION IN OUR SPECIAL ACCOUNT, SYMBOL 79950. AT THE SAME TIME WE CALL UPON THE APPLICANT TO SUPPLY A PROPERLY EXECUTED APPLICATION SHOWING

WHETHER OR NOT HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE LICENSE REQUESTED. IN MOST INSTANCES AN APPLICATION IS RECEIVED OR INFORMATION SUPPLIED US WHICH EITHER SHOWS THE APPLICANT TO BE ELIGIBLE IN WHICH CASE A LICENSE IS ISSUED TO HIM; OR THAT HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE, IN WHICH CASE THE MONEY IS REFUNDED TO HIM. IN SOME INSTANCES, HOWEVER, NO REPLY IS RECEIVED AND AT TIMES WE HAVE GOOD REASON TO BELIEVE OR HAVE DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE APPLICANT HAS ENGAGED IN TRAPPING OR FUR BUYING AS THOUGH HE HAD HELD A LICENSE.

THE FAILURE OF PARTIES TO SUPPLY US WITH EITHER AN APPLICATION WHICH WILL ENABLE US TO ISSUE A LICENSE FOR THE MONEY WHICH WE HELD IN SUSPENSE, OR WITH INFORMATION WHICH WILL CAUSE US TO REFUND THE MONEY, IS CONSTANTLY INCREASING THE AMOUNT WHICH WE ARE COMPELLED TO HOLD IN SUSPENSE. THEREFORE REQUEST AUTHORITY FROM YOU TO FORFEIT SUCH MONEY WHEN IN OUR ESTIMATION THE APPLICANT HAS HAD AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO REPLY TO OUR REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING HIS CITIZENSHIP STATUS, AND TO TREAT SUCH MONEY AS THOUGH LICENSES HAD ACTUALLY BEEN ISSUED; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IF AT SOME FUTURE TIME THE APPLICANT PRESENTS EVIDENCE THAT HE DID NOT ENGAGE IN FUR BUYING, TRAPPING, ETC., FOR WHICH HE REQUESTED A LICENSE AND MADE REMITTANCE, THAT WE MAY REFUND TO HIM THE AMOUNT WHICH HE REMITTED.

I ANTICIPATE THAT WE WOULD MAKE SUCH SETTLEMENTS ONCE OR NOT MORE THAN TWICE A YEAR AND THEN ONLY AFTER WE HAD HELD THE FEE IN SUSPENSE ABOUT ONE YEAR.

SECTION 11 OF THE ALASKA GAME ACT OF JANUARY 13, 1925, 43 STAT. 744, PRESCRIBES THE FEES WHICH MUST ACCOMPANY APPLICATIONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF LICENSES THEREUNDER, AND SUBDIVISION K OF THAT SECTION, 43 STAT. 746, PROVIDES FOR THE DISPOSITION OF THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH LICENSE FEES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT SUCH OFFICER OR PERSON SELLING LICENSES SHALL, AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF EACH MONTH, TRANSMIT THE PROCEEDS THEREOF WITH A REPORT OF SUCH SALES TO THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WHO SHALL KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS THEREOF AND OF RECEIPTS FROM ALL OTHER SOURCES AND PROMPTLY TRANSMIT 50 PERCENTUM THEREOF TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, TO BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, AND 50 PERCENTUM THEREOF TO THE TREASURER OF THE TERRITORY TO BE COVERED INTO THE TERRITORIAL SCHOOL FUND.

I FIND NO AUTHORITY IN THE ACT IN QUESTION TO DECLARE A FORFEITURE OF THE FEES TENDERED FOR A LICENSE BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT THEREOF, NOR WOULD THERE APPEAR TO BE ANY GREATER JUSTIFICATION FOR SUCH A FORFEITURE THAN THERE WOULD BE FOR DECLARING FORFEITED ALL FEES TENDERED WHERE AN APPLICATION FOR LICENSE IS REFUSED.

AS A PRACTICAL PROCEDURE, IT WOULD APPEAR PROPER TO PROVIDE BY REGULATION FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF A LIMITED TIME TO PERFECT AN INSUFFICIENT APPLICATION FOR LICENSE AND UPON FAILURE TO DO SO WITHIN THE TIME LIMITED, TO REJECT THE APPLICATION AND RETURN THE FEE TENDERED THEREWITH.