A-26745, MAY 22, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 615

A-26745: May 22, 1929

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PUBLIC PROPERTY DAMAGED IN TRANSIT - RECOVERIES FROM CARRIERS RECOVERIES FROM COMMON CARRIERS EITHER IN ACTUAL CASH OR BY DEDUCTIONS FROM THE CARRIER'S BILLS FOR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY WHILE IN TRANSIT ARE FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. 21 COMP. IN WHICH THE SUM OF $21.78 WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS (GOVERNMENT PROPERTY DAMAGED IN TRANSIT). YOU STATE THAT THE COST OF THE MACHINE AND OF THE REPAIR OF TRANSIT DAMAGE THERETO WAS CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO AND THAT THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AGAINST WHICH DAMAGES WERE OFFSET WERE CHARGEABLE TO THE SAME FUND.

A-26745, MAY 22, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 615

PUBLIC PROPERTY DAMAGED IN TRANSIT - RECOVERIES FROM CARRIERS RECOVERIES FROM COMMON CARRIERS EITHER IN ACTUAL CASH OR BY DEDUCTIONS FROM THE CARRIER'S BILLS FOR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY WHILE IN TRANSIT ARE FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. 21 COMP. DEC. 632 DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 22, 1929:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 23, 1929, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT NO. T-62264, OF FEBRUARY 11, 1929, IN FAVOR OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD CO., IN WHICH THE SUM OF $21.78 WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS (GOVERNMENT PROPERTY DAMAGED IN TRANSIT), NOTWITHSTANDING THE REQUEST OF YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT SUCH SUM BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, OFFICE OF INFORMATION, 9.'

YOU STATE THAT THE COST OF THE MACHINE AND OF THE REPAIR OF TRANSIT DAMAGE THERETO WAS CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO AND THAT THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AGAINST WHICH DAMAGES WERE OFFSET WERE CHARGEABLE TO THE SAME FUND; AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE ACTION REQUESTED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO BE AUTHORIZED UNDER DECISION 21 COMP. DEC. 632.

THE GENERAL RULE IN CONNECTION WITH MONEY COLLECTED FROM COMMON CARRIERS, EITHER IN ACTUAL CASH OR BY DEDUCTIONS FROM OTHER BILLS, FOR THE VALUE OF GOVERNMENT MATERIAL OR EQUIPMENT LOST OR DAMAGED IN TRANSIT, IS THAT THE FUNDS ARE FOR DISPOSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3617, REVISED STATUTES; THAT IS, THE AMOUNT COLLECTED IS FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. 22 COMP. DEC. 379; ID. 704; DECISION OF MARCH 14, 1925, A-8333. SEE, ALSO, 14 COMP. DEC. 87; 20 ID. 349; 3 COMP. GEN. 808; 5 ID. 928.

THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE RULE IS IN CASES COMING STRICTLY WITHIN THE HOLDING OF THE DECISION CITED BY YOU, 21 COMP. DEC. 632, WHICH IS TO THE EFFECT THAT WHERE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF A CLAIM FOR FREIGHT CHARGES AN AMOUNT IS WITHHELD OR DEDUCTED THEREFROM OFFSETTING THE AMOUNT PAID FOR DAMAGES FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION, AND THE SUM FOUND DUE THE CLAIMANT CARRIER MERELY REDUCED, NO CHARGE SHOULD BE RAISED AGAINST SAID APPROPRIATION FOR THE AMOUNT THUS SET OFF. THE EXCEPTION COVERED BY THIS DECISION APPLIES ONLY IN CASES IN WHICH THE FREIGHT BILL UPON THE SHIPMENT OF THE PROPERTY DAMAGED OR LOST IS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT PAID FOR REPAIRS, IN WHICH CASES WHERE THE SAME APPROPRIATION IS INVOLVED, THE BILL IS MERELY REDUCED AND THE AMOUNT OF THE EXPENSES OF REPAIRS IS ALLOWED TO REMAIN TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION.

IN THE CASE NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION IT APPEARS THAT THE FREIGHT BILL ON THE GRAPHOTYPE MACHINE WHICH WAS DAMAGED WAS $6.74 AND THE AMOUNT PAID FOR DAMAGES $21.78. IN ORDER TO COLLECT THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR REPAIRS IT WAS, ACCORDINGLY, NECESSARY TO USE AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE THE CARRIER ON OTHER BILLS TO COVER THE ENTIRE AMOUNT AND SUCH ACTION WAS TAKEN BY APPLYING THERETO PART OF AN AMOUNT DUE THE CARRIER UNDER ANOTHER BILL PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION ,SALARIES AND EXPENSES, FOOD, DRUG, AND INSECTICIDE ADMINISTRATION, 1929.' THERE WAS THUS NOT INVOLVED A CASE OF THE REDUCTION OF THE CARRIER'S BILL FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE PARTICULAR PROPERTY DAMAGED, PAYABLE FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION, AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE DECISION 21 COMP. DEC. 632, BUT A CASE INVOLVING AN ORDINARY COLLECTION FROM THE CARRIER FOR DAMAGE TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, AND, UNDER THE GENERAL RULE HEREINBEFORE SET FORTH, THE AMOUNT SO COLLECTED WAS FOR DEPOSITING AND COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN THE SETTLEMENT HEREIN REFERRED TO WAS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.