A-74046, MAY 5, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 962

A-74046: May 5, 1936

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OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - LIABILITY - OVERPAYMENTS BECAUSE OF ERRONEOUS CALCULATIONS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ERROR IN CALCULATION RESULTING IN AN OVERPAYMENT AND DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT THEREOF IN A DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT HAVE NO CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON THE BASIS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION REQUIRING THEM TO REIMBURSE THE DISBURSING OFFICER. WHICH LATTER AMOUNT IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN REFUNDED TO J. WERE DEPOSITED IN SATISFACTION OF A DISALLOWANCE IN THAT SUM BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON ACCOUNT OF VOUCHER NO. 27449. THIS VOUCHER IS. IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THE OVERPAYMENT DISALLOWED WAS THE RESULT OF AN ARITHMETICAL ERROR READILY DETECTIBLE BY ADDING TWO AMOUNTS STATED ON THE VOUCHER AND DEDUCTING THE TOTAL FROM A THIRD AMOUNT.

A-74046, MAY 5, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 962

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - LIABILITY - OVERPAYMENTS BECAUSE OF ERRONEOUS CALCULATIONS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ERROR IN CALCULATION RESULTING IN AN OVERPAYMENT AND DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT THEREOF IN A DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT HAVE NO CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON THE BASIS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION REQUIRING THEM TO REIMBURSE THE DISBURSING OFFICER, THAT BEING A MATTER BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND THE EMPLOYEES.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 5, 1936:

H. W. LADY HAS FILED CLAIM IN THIS OFFICE FOR REFUND OF $10, REPRESENTING $5 WITHHELD FROM HIS SALARY AS FIELD AUDITOR, AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION, DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 16 TO 30, 1934, VOUCHER NO. 24911, ACCOUNT OF W. R. FUCHS, SYMBOL 78-005, MAY 1934; AND $5 WITHHELD FROM THE SALARY OF J. W. PARK, BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 1 TO 30, 1934, VOUCHER NO. 225079, ACCOUNT OF W. R. FUCHS, MAY 1934, WHICH LATTER AMOUNT IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN REFUNDED TO J. W. PARK BY THE CLAIMANT.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT DISAPPROVING THE CLAIM STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE TWO AMOUNTS DEDUCTED, $10 IN ALL, WERE DEPOSITED IN SATISFACTION OF A DISALLOWANCE IN THAT SUM BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON ACCOUNT OF VOUCHER NO. 27449, PAID TO J. N. HOTTEL, PURCELLVILLE, VA., APRIL 1, 1931, IN THE ACCOUNT OF A. ZAPPONE, DISBURSING CLERK, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. THIS VOUCHER IS, OF COURSE, ON FILE IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. BY REFERENCE THERETO, IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THE OVERPAYMENT DISALLOWED WAS THE RESULT OF AN ARITHMETICAL ERROR READILY DETECTIBLE BY ADDING TWO AMOUNTS STATED ON THE VOUCHER AND DEDUCTING THE TOTAL FROM A THIRD AMOUNT, ALSO STATED ON THE VOUCHER. IT WAS BY THIS PROCESS THAT THE ERROR WAS DISCOVERED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IT SEEMS THAT MR. LADY, SERVING AT THE TIME IN A CLERICAL CAPACITY IN THE FARMERS' SEED LOAN OFFICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT (SINCE TRANSFERRED TO THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION) MADE THE ERROR IN COMPUTATION. MR. PARK SIGNED THE VOUCHER AS APPROVING OFFICER WITHOUT DETECTING THE ERROR. THIS LATTER CIRCUMSTANCE ACCOUNTS APPARENTLY FOR MR. PARK'S WILLINGNESS TO MEET HALF OF THE DISALLOWANCE.

THERE WAS INVOLVED IN THE AUDIT ACTION SIMPLY THE USUAL PROCEDURE OF MAKING A DISALLOWANCE OF AN OVERPAYMENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS AND A REFUND BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER IN SETTLEMENT OF THE DIFFERENCE IN HIS ACCOUNTS CERTIFIED BY THIS OFFICE. THE RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OVERPAYMENT DUE TO ARITHMETICAL CALCULATION WAS PRIMARILY THAT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHOSE ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED AND THE CASE CLOSED (7 COMP. GEN. 797). THE TRANSACTION REQUIRES NO FURTHER ACTION BY THIS OFFICE. THE CLERK OR CLERKS WHO MADE THE ERROR IN CALCULATION IN THE FIRST INSTANCE AND WHO WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUIRED TO MAKE REIMBURSEMENT HAVE NO CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY REASON THEREOF ON THE BASIS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN REQUIRING THEM TO REIMBURSE THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHO MADE THE PAYMENT. THAT IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND THE CLERKS (7 COMP. GEN. 548).