A-57333, SEPTEMBER 15, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 223

A-57333: Sep 15, 1934

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TRANSPORTATION - LIVESTOCK - IN-TRANSIT CHARGES AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF THE FEEDING AND SERVICES COVERING THE INCIDENTAL CHARGES CLAIMED BY CARRIERS IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS OF LIVESTOCK IS NOT SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF TO JUSTIFY APPROVAL OF PAYMENT THEREOF FROM ACCOUNTABLE MONEYS. WHERE IN-TRANSIT SERVICES ARE PERFORMED BY OTHER THAN THE CARRIERS. AS FOLLOWS: WITH REFERENCE TO ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE IT WILL BE NOTED THAT RECEIPTS AS CALLED FOR IN PARAGRAPH 5 OF STANDARD FORM 1068 (PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FREIGHT OR EXPRESS) ARE IN SOME CASES IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN. IN VIEW OF THE FACT WE HAVE SEVERAL SUCH BILLS ON HAND FOR PAYMENT. INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE MAY PASS ITEMS COVERING FEEDING CHARGES FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT RECEIPTS PROVIDING THEY ARE ITEMIZED ON TRANSPORTATION BILLS.

A-57333, SEPTEMBER 15, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 223

TRANSPORTATION - LIVESTOCK - IN-TRANSIT CHARGES AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF THE FEEDING AND SERVICES COVERING THE INCIDENTAL CHARGES CLAIMED BY CARRIERS IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS OF LIVESTOCK IS NOT SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF TO JUSTIFY APPROVAL OF PAYMENT THEREOF FROM ACCOUNTABLE MONEYS. WHERE IN-TRANSIT SERVICES ARE PERFORMED BY OTHER THAN THE CARRIERS, CLAIMS BY THE LATTER FOR CHARGES THEREBY ACCRUING MUST BE SUPPORTED BY PAID RECEIPTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL SURPLUS RELIEF CORPORATION, SEPTEMBER 15, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1934, FILE .01, FROM P. J. OSTRYE, GENERAL AUDITOR, FEDERAL SURPLUS RELIEF CORPORATION, AS FOLLOWS:

WITH REFERENCE TO ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE IT WILL BE NOTED THAT RECEIPTS AS CALLED FOR IN PARAGRAPH 5 OF STANDARD FORM 1068 (PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FREIGHT OR EXPRESS) ARE IN SOME CASES IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT WE HAVE SEVERAL SUCH BILLS ON HAND FOR PAYMENT,INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE MAY PASS ITEMS COVERING FEEDING CHARGES FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT RECEIPTS PROVIDING THEY ARE ITEMIZED ON TRANSPORTATION BILLS.

THE CORRESPONDENCE SUBMITTED WITH THE FOREGOING APPARENTLY WAS INITIATED BY THE ASSISTANT GENERAL AUDITOR OF THE CHICAGO AND NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY CO., CHICAGO, ILL., IN A LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1934, FILE C-260 FLD, ADDRESSED TO "MR. W. H. QUIGG, DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC, 1734, NEW YORK AVENUE, WASHINGTON, D.C., " AS FOLLOWS:

INFORMATION HAS REACHED THIS OFFICE THAT WE WILL PROBABLY BE EXPECTED WHEN SUBMITTING BILLS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT (FEDERAL SURPLUS RELIEF CORP.) TO SUPPORT OUR CLAIM FOR SPECIAL CHARGES SUCH AS FEEDING, BEDDING, LABOR, ETC., FURNISHED IN TRANSIT BY SOME FORM OF CERTIFICATE FURNISHED BY THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE.

AT THE PRESENT TIME WE HAVE AN ERRONEOUS RUN OF EMACIATED CATTLE FROM THE DROUTH-STRICKEN TERRITORY IN THE WEST ORIGINATING AT STATIONS ON VARIOUS RAILROADS, CONCENTRATED AT OUR WEST CHICAGO STATION WHERE THEY ARE RETAINED FOR SEVERAL DAYS DURING WHICH PERIOD THEY ARE CARED FOR, FED, WATERED, ETC. THESE CATTLE ARE SORTED AND A NUMBER OF THEM ARE REBILLED TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE SOUTH OR SOUTHEAST, WE PRESUME, FOR GRAZING. THE BALANCE ARE FORWARDED ON THE ORIGINAL WAYBILLS TO THE UNION STOCK YARDS, CHICAGO, FOR SLAUGHTERING.

AS I HAVE STATED IN THE FOREGOING, LIVESTOCK IS COMING TO US FROM DIFFERENT POINTS IN THE WEST AND THE CATTLE HAVE BEEN FED AND RESTED AT VARIOUS STATIONS EN ROUTE, IN SOME CASES AT MARKETS LOCATED AT SOUTH ST. PAUL, SIOUX CITY, ETC., AND WE ARE RECEIVING INFORMATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE SERVICE HAS BEEN PERFORMED AND PAID FOR AND WE, OF COURSE, ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE COLLECTION IN ORDER TO REIMBURSE OUR OUTSTANDING. CONNECTION WITH ORDINARY LIVESTOCK, IT NEVER HAS BEEN EXPECTED TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT FOR SERVICES OF THIS NATURE AND IT IS ALMOST AN IMPOSSIBILITY AT THIS TIME TO TRACE THESE SHIPMENTS BACK TO THE VARIOUS FEEDING PLACES AND OBTAIN RECEIPTS FOR SERVICES AND WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF OUR INFORMATION REGARDING THE NECESSITY OF THESE CERTIFICATES OR RECEIPTS ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OR IF OUR BILLS WILL BE HONORED FOR PAYMENT IN THE SAME MANNER AS WE RECEIVE OUR PAYMENT ON COMMERCIAL SHIPMENTS BY SHOWING THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES, WEIGHT, RATE, ETC., AND ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF THE FEEDING AND SERVICES COVERING THE INCIDENTAL CHARGES.

YOU REALIZE, OF COURSE, THAT THE PRESENT CONDITION, IS TO TAKE CARE OF AN EMERGENCY AND THE MOVEMENT IS UNUSUALLY LARGE, WHICH WE EXPECT WILL CONTINUE FOR SOME TIME, AND WE WERE OF THE OPINION THAT THE SAME CONSIDERATION WOULD SURELY BE APPLIED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

YOUR PROMPT REPLY TO ENABLE US TO PREPARE BILLS AS THEY SHOULD BE AND TO EXPEDITE HANDLING WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1934, IS NOT CONSISTENT FOR IF THE CARRIER HAS THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO SHOW "AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT" ETC., IT WOULD SEEM OBVIOUS THAT IT WOULD NOT BE "ALMOST AN IMPOSSIBILITY * * * TO TRACE THESE SHIPMENTS BACK TO THE VARIOUS FEEDING PLACES," ETC.

CONSIDERED AS A WHOLE IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE CARRIER'S OBJECTIVE IS TO AVOID BEING REQUIRED TO FURNISH RECEIPTS TO SUPPORT ITS CLAIMS FOR SERVICE AND FEED CHARGES TO BE PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS, NOT BECAUSE SUCH RECEIPTS CANNOT BE OBTAINED BUT BECAUSE THE TRAFFIC IS SO CONSIDERABLE THAT A GREAT NUMBER OF RECEIPTS IS INVOLVED AND THEIR SECURING WILL REQUIRE CONSIDERABLE EFFORT ON THE PART OF THE CARRIER. IN THIS CONNECTION THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE OBVIOUS, NAMELY, THAT IT IS HARDLY LIKELY THAT THE CARRIERS' WHOSE AGENTS AT THE SERVICING POINTS IN TRANSIT MADE PAYMENTS OF CARRIERS' FUNDS FOR SUCH SERVICES WOULD ALLOW SUCH AGENTS CREDIT IN THEIR STATION ACCOUNTS UNLESS SUCH PAYMENTS WERE SUPPORTED BY PAYEES' RECEIPTS. IT IS NOT APPARENT, THEREFORE, WHY THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO ACCEPT ANY LESS EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CARRIER'S CLAIMS FOR PAYMENTS TO BE MADE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. FURTHERMORE, THE VOLUME OF THIS TRAFFIC INDICATES THAT CLAIMS AS FOR FEEDING AND SERVICE WILL INVOLVE A CONSIDERABLE SUM MAKING IT EVEN LESS PERSUASIVE THAT THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE FOLLOWED BY THIS OFFICE IN THIS MATTER, NAMELY, TO REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION BY CARRIERS OF PAID RECEIPTS TO SUPPORT CHARGES CLAIMED FOR SERVICING LIVESTOCK IN TRANSIT WHERE THE SERVICING WAS NOT PERFORMED BY THE CARRIER, SHOULD BE MODIFIED. THE REQUIREMENT IS NOT NEW, THE CARRIERS GENERALLY HAVE BEEN AWARE OF IT, AND IN ADDITION HAVE HAD THEIR ATTENTION SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED TO IN PARAGRAPH 5 OF "INSTRUCTIONS TO CARRIERS" ON STANDARD FORM NO. 1068 (PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FREIGHT OR EXPRESS), VIZ:

WHEN ADDITIONAL CHARGES, SUCH AS FEEDING, * * * ETC., ARE MADE A PART OF THIS ACCOUNT, THEY MUST BE STATED AS SEPARATE ITEMS, AND IF PAID TO OTHER FIRM OR CORPORATION, TO BE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPT.

IT HAS NOT BEEN MADE EVIDENT WHEREIN THE SITUATION HERE CONSIDERED CALLS FOR THE CARRIER TO BE RELIEVED FROM THE DUTY TO SUPPORT ITS CLAIMS IN THE CUSTOMARY MANNER AND, ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THIS OFFICE MAY NOT APPROVE CHARGES IN THE USE OF ACCOUNTABLE MONEYS FOR ITEMS COVERING FEEDING CHARGES WITHOUT RECEIPTS EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE ITEMIZED ON TRANSPORTATION BILLS.