A-5952, NOVEMBER 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 434

A-5952: Nov 8, 1924

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POST EXCHANGE FUNDS - ACCOUNTABILITY UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS COMPOSING A MARINE CORPS POST EXCHANGE COUNCIL ARE PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSSES TO THE EXCHANGE GROWING OUT OF THEIR NEGLIGENCE OR LACK OF DUE CARE AND DILIGENCE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES. WHERE SUCH RESPONSIBILITY IS ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED AND THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAY PAYMENT OF THE SUM DEDUCTED TO THE POST EXCHANGE IS AUTHORIZED. THE REPORT OF THE BOARD APPOINTED TO CONDUCT THIS INVESTIGATION SHOWED THAT THE LOSS WAS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE AND LACK OF CARE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES BY THE EXCHANGE OFFICER AND MEMBERS OF THE EXCHANGE COUNCIL. E. DAVIS PAID THE SUM OF $70 IN CASH AND THE SUM OF $855.16 WAS DEDUCTED FROM PAYMENTS MADE THE OFFICERS.

A-5952, NOVEMBER 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 434

POST EXCHANGE FUNDS - ACCOUNTABILITY UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS COMPOSING A MARINE CORPS POST EXCHANGE COUNCIL ARE PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSSES TO THE EXCHANGE GROWING OUT OF THEIR NEGLIGENCE OR LACK OF DUE CARE AND DILIGENCE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES, AND WHERE SUCH RESPONSIBILITY IS ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED AND THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAY PAYMENT OF THE SUM DEDUCTED TO THE POST EXCHANGE IS AUTHORIZED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 8, 1924:

THERE HAS BEEN REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. M-235329-N, DATED OCTOBER 8, 1923, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF THE POST EXCHANGE, SECOND REGIMENT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, FOR $855.16, THE AMOUNT CHECKED AGAINST THE PAY OF THE FOLLOWING OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE EXCHANGE COUNCIL APPOINTED UNDER ARTICLE 1207, MARINE CORPS MANUAL:

CHART

NAME OF OFFICER AMOUNT CHECKED

MAJ. R. E. DAVIS ---------------------------------- $29.29

CAPT. MARTIN CANAVAN ------------------------------ 99.29

CAPT. L. G. WAYT ---------------------------------- 99.29

CAPT. R. L. IAMS ---------------------------------- 528.00 LT.

W. F. MCDONNELL -------------------------------99.29

TOTAL -------------------------------------- 855.16

DURING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 3 TO DECEMBER 6, 1922, THE SECOND REGIMENT POST EXCHANGE AT CAPE HAITIEN, REPUBLIC OF HAITI, SUFFERED A LOSS OF $925.18. THE BRIGADE COMMANDER, FIRST BRIGADE, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, WHICH INCLUDES THE SECOND REGIMENT, ORDERED AN INVESTIGATION, AND THE REPORT OF THE BOARD APPOINTED TO CONDUCT THIS INVESTIGATION SHOWED THAT THE LOSS WAS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE AND LACK OF CARE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES BY THE EXCHANGE OFFICER AND MEMBERS OF THE EXCHANGE COUNCIL, CONSISTING OF THE OFFICERS LISTED ABOVE. THE BRIGADE COMMANDER ORDERED THE PAY ACCOUNTS OF THE OFFICERS FOUND TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS CHECKED. MAJOR R. E. DAVIS PAID THE SUM OF $70 IN CASH AND THE SUM OF $855.16 WAS DEDUCTED FROM PAYMENTS MADE THE OFFICERS.

THE AUTHORITY FOR THIS CHECK AGE IS FOUND IN THE MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE REGULATIONS, ARTICLE 1207, PARAGRAPH 11, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE MEMBERS OF AN EXCHANGE COUNCIL WILL BE HELD PECUNIARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSSES TO AN EXCHANGE DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OR LACK OF DUE CARE AND DILIGENCE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES. * * *

AFTER THE DEDUCTIONS HAD BEEN MADE APPLICABLE WAS MADE TO THIS OFFICE BY THE POST EXCHANGE OFFICER FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS AND PAYMENT REFUSED BY THE SETTLEMENT HERE UNDER REVIEW.

THE FIXING OF THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SHORTAGE WAS AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER. ALTHOUGH THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IN THIS CONNECTION HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT M-67431-N, NOVEMBER 22, 1923, BY WHICH WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF CAPT. R. L. IAMS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, FOR THE PAY WITHHELD, AND HAS SUGGESTED THAT "THE AMOUNT WAS ILLEGALLY CHECKED.' THERE IS NO SUGGESTION THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE FIXING OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SHORTAGE WAS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS.

THE COLLECTIONS HAVING BEEN MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPERIORS OF THE OFFICERS CONCERNED, FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF REIMBURSING THE POST EXCHANGE FOR THE LOSS SUSTAINED THROUGH THEIR ACTS, SUCH WITHHOLDING BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNBROKEN AND LONG CONTINUED, ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE, ACQUIESCED IN BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, AND HELD TO BE LEGAL AND PROPER BY THE COURTS, PAYMENT TO SAID POST EXCHANGE OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FOR ITS ACCOUNT IS AUTHORIZED. SEE 19 COMP. DEC. 496, AND THE AUTHORITIES CITED THEREIN. IT APPEARS THAT BY SETTLEMENT NO. 148437-N, DATED MAY 6, 1924, THE SUM OF $99.29, DEDUCTED FROM THE PAY OF CAPT. MARTIN CANAVAN, WAS REFUNDED TO HIM, THUS LEAVING AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT TO THE POST EXCHANGE THE SUM OF ONLY $755.87.

UPON REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT IS REVISED, AND THERE IS CERTIFIED AS DUE THE CLAIMANT THE SUM OF $755.87.

THE REFUND OF $99.29 TO CAPT. MARTIN CANAVAN BY SETTLEMENT NO. 148437-N DATED MAY 6, 1924, WAS IMPROPER. HOWEVER, AS IT APPEARS THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT BY HIS SUPERIORS, AND TO PAY THE AMOUNT WHEN RECEIVED TO THE POST EXCHANGE, INQUIRY WILL BE MADE TO ASCERTAIN IF IT HAS BEEN DONE. IF NOT, THE AMOUNT THEREIN ALLOWED WILL BE DISALLOWED AND WHEN COLLECTED WILL BE PAID TO THE POST EXCHANGE IN CONNECTION WITH ITS PRESENT CLAIM.