A-401, MAY 22, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 974

A-401: May 22, 1925

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BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS UPON WHOSE CERTIFICATE THE CHARGE WAS ORIGINALLY RAISED AMENDING THE FINDINGS OF FACT AS TO THE VALUE OF THE LOST PROPERTY. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26. WAS BY DECISION OF MAY 8. SUTTON WAS CHARGED WITH $200 AS REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT FOR WHICH THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS HAD FOUND HIM CHARGEABLE ON ACCOUNT OF THE LOSS OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY (A GARAGE) FOR WHICH HE HAD BEEN RESPONSIBLE. SAID SETTLEMENT WAS AFFIRMED UPON RECONSIDERATION BY DECISION OF FEBRUARY 19. SUTTON WITH $50 INSTEAD OF $200 FOR REASONS STATED AS FOLLOWS: UPON A REEXAMINATION AND RECONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS CONCERNING THIS TRANSACTION THE FOLLOWING APPEARS: THAT THE GARAGE IN QUESTION WAS PURCHASED IN JULY OF 1913 AT A COST OF $200.

A-401, MAY 22, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 974

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PUBLIC PROPERTY - REVISION OF CHARGE RAISED ON ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE IN ORDER TO AUTHORIZE A REVISION ON THE RECORDS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF A CHARGE RAISED AGAINST A SUPERINTENDENT AND SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT OF THE INDIAN SERVICE, ON A CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS FINDING HIM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS OF CERTAIN PUBLIC PROPERTY INTRUSTED TO HIS CARE, THERE SHOULD BE FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 29, 1894, 28 STAT. 47, BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS UPON WHOSE CERTIFICATE THE CHARGE WAS ORIGINALLY RAISED AMENDING THE FINDINGS OF FACT AS TO THE VALUE OF THE LOST PROPERTY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 22, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26, 1925, IN WHICH YOU REFER TO SETTLEMENT NO. I-20658, DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1923, OF THE FINAL ACCOUNT OF M. A. SUTTON, SUPERINTENDENT AND SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, RED CLIFF INDIAN SCHOOL, WIS., WHICH SETTLEMENT, PURSUANT TO THE REQUEST OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, WAS BY DECISION OF MAY 8, 1924, A-401, REOPENED AND BY SETTLEMENT C-6009-IN, DATED JUNE 12, 1924, MR. SUTTON WAS CHARGED WITH $200 AS REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT FOR WHICH THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS HAD FOUND HIM CHARGEABLE ON ACCOUNT OF THE LOSS OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY (A GARAGE) FOR WHICH HE HAD BEEN RESPONSIBLE. SAID SETTLEMENT WAS AFFIRMED UPON RECONSIDERATION BY DECISION OF FEBRUARY 19, 1925. YOU REQUEST A REVISION OF THE SETTLEMENT SO AS TO CHARGE MR. SUTTON WITH $50 INSTEAD OF $200 FOR REASONS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

UPON A REEXAMINATION AND RECONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS CONCERNING THIS TRANSACTION THE FOLLOWING APPEARS:

THAT THE GARAGE IN QUESTION WAS PURCHASED IN JULY OF 1913 AT A COST OF $200; THAT THIS GARAGE HAS BEEN USED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS; THAT IT HAS BEEN MOVED FROM PLACE TO PLACE; AND THAT IN 1922, WHEN IT WAS OFFERED FOR SALE, THE HIGHEST BID RECEIVED WAS $50.

IN VIEW OF THE USE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS OBTAINED FROM THIS GARAGE, ITS AGE, AND ALLOWING THE PROPER AMOUNT FOR DETERIORATION, IT IS BELIEVED THAT ITS COMMERCIAL VALUE AT THIS TIME DOES NOT EXCEED $50 AND, THEREFORE, THAT MR. SUTTON SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR MORE THAN ITS PRESENT VALUATION AS DETERMINED BY THE ONE BID WHICH WAS RECEIVED.

THE ACT OF MARCH 29, 1894, 28 STAT. 47, PROVIDES IN PART:

THAT INSTEAD OF FORWARDING TO THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT RETURNS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY INTRUSTED TO THE POSSESSION OF OFFICERS OR AGENTS * * * THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, OR OTHER LIKE CHIEF OFFICERS IN ANY DEPARTMENT, BY, THROUGH, OR UNDER WHOM STORES, SUPPLIES, AND OTHER PUBLIC PROPERTY ARE RECEIVED FOR DISTRIBUTION, OR WHOSE DUTY IT IS TO RECEIVE OR EXAMINE RETURNS OF SUCH PROPERTY, SHALL CERTIFY TO THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR DEBITING ON THE PROPER ACCOUNT, ANY CHARGE AGAINST ANY OFFICER OR AGENT INTRUSTED WITH PUBLIC PROPERTY, ARISING FROM ANY LOSS, ACCRUING BY HIS FAULT, TO THE GOVERNMENT AS TO THE PROPERTY SO INTRUSTED TO HIM.

SEC. 2. THAT SAID CERTIFICATE SHALL SET FORTH THE CONDITION OF SUCH OFFICER'S OR AGENT'S PROPERTY RETURNS, THAT IT INCLUDES ALL CHARGES MADE UP TO ITS DATE AND NOT PREVIOUSLY CERTIFIED, THAT HE HAS HAD A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD AND HAS NOT BEEN RELIEVED OF RESPONSIBILITY; THE EFFECT OF SUCH CERTIFICATE, WHEN RECEIVED, SHALL BE THE SAME AS IF THE FACTS THEREIN SET FORTH HAD BEEN ASCERTAINED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN ACCOUNTING.

THE CHARGE OF $200 WAS MADE IN MR. SUTTON'S ACCOUNT UPON THE FACTS AS FOUND AND REPORTED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. THEREFORE, IN ORDER TO MAKE A COMPLETE RECORD THERE SHOULD BE FURNISHED THIS OFFICE A CERTIFICATE PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 29, 1894, SUPRA, AMENDING THE FINDINGS OF FACT AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGE AS REPORTED IN THE COMMISSIONER'S LETTER TO THIS OFFICE UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 28, 1923, AND ADHERED TO IN HIS LETTERS OF AUGUST 1 AND 29, 1924.