A-71862, AUGUST 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 118

A-71862: Aug 5, 1936

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OR THERE IS NOT INVOLVED ANY CORRECTION OF A MISTAKE IN FACT. 1936: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15. HOLDING THAT APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENTS FOR SPECIAL DRINKING WATER FURNISHED THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. THERE ARE DISCLOSED NO MATERIAL FACTS WHICH WERE NOT BEFORE COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL WHEN THE DECISION OF APRIL 30 WAS RENDERED BY HIM. SAID DECISION IS NOT NOW PROPERLY FOR RECONSIDERATION BY ME. SAID (PAGE 225): IT HAS REPEATEDLY BEEN HELD BY THIS COURT AND THE SUPREME COURT THAT THE FINAL DECISION OF A MATTER BY A PUBLIC OFFICER IS BINDING UPON HIS SUCCESSOR. THAT THE RIGHT OF AN INCUMBENT TO REVIEW A PREDECESSOR'SDECISION EXTENDS ONLY TO MISTAKES IN MATTERS OF FACT ARISING FROM ERRORS IN CALCULATION AND TO CASES OF REJECTED CLAIMS IN WHICH MATERIAL EVIDENCE IS AFTERWARD DISCOVERED AND PRODUCED.

A-71862, AUGUST 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 118

RECONSIDERATION OF DECISIONS OF THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES THE ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT RECONSIDER A FINAL DECISION OF A MATTER BY HIS PREDECESSOR IN OFFICE, THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, WHERE THERE HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ANY NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE, OR THERE IS NOT INVOLVED ANY CORRECTION OF A MISTAKE IN FACT, OR ERROR IN CALCULATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AUGUST 5, 1936:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15, 1936, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1936, HOLDING THAT APPROPRIATED MONEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENTS FOR SPECIAL DRINKING WATER FURNISHED THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, MILWAUKEE, WIS., BY THE WATER WISCONSIN CO. DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 1935.

YOU QUOTE IN YOUR LETTER A MEMORANDUM OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION WHEREIN HE SET FORTH AT LENGTH THE REASONS WHICH IN HIS OPINION JUSTIFIED THE PURCHASE OF THE SPECIAL DRINKING WATER, BUT THERE ARE DISCLOSED NO MATERIAL FACTS WHICH WERE NOT BEFORE COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL WHEN THE DECISION OF APRIL 30 WAS RENDERED BY HIM. ACCORDINGLY, SAID DECISION IS NOT NOW PROPERLY FOR RECONSIDERATION BY ME. IN THIS CONNECTION, SEE COTTON V. UNITED STATES, 29 CT.CLS. 207, WHEREIN CHIEF JUSTICE RICHARDSON, IN DELIVERING THE OPINION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS, SAID (PAGE 225):

IT HAS REPEATEDLY BEEN HELD BY THIS COURT AND THE SUPREME COURT THAT THE FINAL DECISION OF A MATTER BY A PUBLIC OFFICER IS BINDING UPON HIS SUCCESSOR, AND THAT THE RIGHT OF AN INCUMBENT TO REVIEW A PREDECESSOR'SDECISION EXTENDS ONLY TO MISTAKES IN MATTERS OF FACT ARISING FROM ERRORS IN CALCULATION AND TO CASES OF REJECTED CLAIMS IN WHICH MATERIAL EVIDENCE IS AFTERWARD DISCOVERED AND PRODUCED. (JACKSON'S CASE, 19 C.CLS.R., 504; DAY'S CASE, 21 C.CLS.R., 262; ROLLIN AND PRESBREY'S CASE, 23 C.CLS.R., 123, AND NUMEROUS AUTHORITIES CITED IN THOSE CASES.) SEE, ALSO, UNITED STATES V. BANK OF METROPOLIS, 15 PETERS 377, 401; UNITED STATES V. STONE, 2 WALL. 525, 537; NOBLE V. UNION RIVER LOGGING RAILROAD COMPANY, 147 U.S. 165; 1 COMP. GEN. 548; 2 ID. 5; AND 4 ID. 636.

THERE IS NOT INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT MATTER ANY CORRECTION OF A MISTAKE IN FACT, ERROR IN CALCULATION, OR THE PRODUCTION OF NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1936, MUST BE AND IS DENIED.