A-74922, JUNE 9, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1072

A-74922: Jun 9, 1936

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CHECKS - ENDORSEMENTS - CONDITIONAL - NONACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE ACCEPTANCE. AS FOLLOWS: THERE ARE BEING RECEIVED DAILY IN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FROM VARIOUS SOURCES A LARGE NUMBER OF CHECKS COVERING AMOUNTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT WHICH BEAR CONDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS PLACED THEREON BY THE REMITTERS OF THE CHECKS. THESE ENDORSEMENTS ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE REFUNDS REPRESENTED BY THE CHECKS CONSTITUTE FULL PAYMENT OF CLAIMS. IT CAN BE DETERMINED DEFINITELY THAT THE AMOUNTS ARE CORRECT. THE PROPRIETY OF ACCEPTING CHECKS CONTAINING THESE CONDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS IS QUESTIONABLE. IT IS CALLED TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT IN MANY INSTANCES IT IS KNOWN THAT THE MONEYS RECEIVED DO NOT ALWAYS COVER THE ENTIRE AMOUNTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT ON OVERPAYMENTS AND IN OTHERS.

A-74922, JUNE 9, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1072

CHECKS - ENDORSEMENTS - CONDITIONAL - NONACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE ACCEPTANCE, IN CONNECTION WITH DEBTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT, OF CHECKS BEARING CONDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS THAT THEY CONSTITUTE FULL PAYMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, JUNE 9, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE ARE BEING RECEIVED DAILY IN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FROM VARIOUS SOURCES A LARGE NUMBER OF CHECKS COVERING AMOUNTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT WHICH BEAR CONDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS PLACED THEREON BY THE REMITTERS OF THE CHECKS. THESE ENDORSEMENTS ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE REFUNDS REPRESENTED BY THE CHECKS CONSTITUTE FULL PAYMENT OF CLAIMS. SOME CASES, IT CAN BE DETERMINED DEFINITELY THAT THE AMOUNTS ARE CORRECT, AND AS TO THESE CHECKS NO QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF ACCEPTANCE FOR DEPOSIT. IN OTHER CASES, THE PROPRIETY OF ACCEPTING CHECKS CONTAINING THESE CONDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS IS QUESTIONABLE.

IT IS CALLED TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT IN MANY INSTANCES IT IS KNOWN THAT THE MONEYS RECEIVED DO NOT ALWAYS COVER THE ENTIRE AMOUNTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT ON OVERPAYMENTS AND IN OTHERS, IT MAY BE LATER DEVELOPED THAT FURTHER REFUNDS ARE DUE; THEREFORE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT CONDITIONAL TENDERS OF THIS CHARACTER SHOULD BE ACCEPTED WHEN IT IS KNOWN THAT THE CONDITIONS IMPOSED ARE NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE FACTS. IN OTHER WORDS, IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES THAT WOULD BE OTHERWISE CONTROLLING?

THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN RELUCTANT TO RETURN SUCH CHECKS FOR FEAR OF THE DIFFICULTIES THAT MIGHT ENSUE IN LATER OBTAINING EVEN THE AMOUNT ORIGINALLY OFFERED.

WHILE THE GENERAL RULE RELATING TO ACCORD AND SATISFACTION AMONG PRIVATE PARTIES IS NOT NECESSARILY APPLICABLE TO DEBTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT, THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE ACCEPTANCE BY YOUR ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH CHECKS AS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER NOT ONLY BECAUSE IT MAY INVOLVE THE GOVERNMENT IN LEGAL DIFFICULTIES BUT ALSO FOR THE REASON THAT THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE INVOLVED THE GIVING OF AN ACQUITTANCE OR RELEASE NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

IN ALL SUCH CASES OF CHECKS CONTAINING CONDITIONAL INDORSEMENTS THE CHECKS SHOULD BE RETURNED TO THE REMITTERS WITH THE ADVICE THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF CHECKS CONTAINING SUCH INDORSEMENTS.