B-100527, MAY 16, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 451

B-100527: May 16, 1951

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WILL NOT BE CREDITED IN THE AUDIT OF HIS ACCOUNT FOR SUCH PAYMENT. IN WHICH ALL MILITARY STATIONS WERE ADVISED. EFF IMMEDIATELY PENDING REVISION OF PARA 96H SR 34-4805-1 VOU REC BY DISB OFFS FOR REIMBURSE OF TRANS OF ARMY DEPENDENTS WHICH ARE SUBMITTED UNDER POWER OF ATTORNEY WILL BE FWDD TO WASHINGTON FOUSA WASHINGTON 25. NO CLAIMS OF THIS TYPE WILL BE FWDD TO THE GAO CLAIMS DIV AS PREV DIR. 2. VOU COVERING REIMBURSE FOR ARMY DEPENDENTS TVL ( STANDARD FORM 1012 AND FD FORM 107) WILL BE SUBMITTED TO DISB OFFS IN TRIPLICATE AND ONE COPY OF ALL SUCH VOU TAKEN INTO DISB OFFS ACCOUNT WILL BE FWDD TO THE WASHINGTON FOUSA WASHINGTON 25 DC ATTN DEPENDENTS TVL BR. THESE COPIES WILL BEAR AN IMPRESSION OF THE DISB OFFS BRIEF BLOCK STAMP AND VOU NR.

B-100527, MAY 16, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 451

 

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PAYMENTS TO ATTORNEYS IN FACT PAYMENTS MADE BY A DISBURSING OFFICER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF AN ARMY OFFICER ON A VOUCHER SIGNED BY AN ATTORNEY IN FACT, PURSUANT TO POWER OF ATTORNEY EXECUTED BY THE OFFICER, WILL NOT BE CREDITED IN THE AUDIT OF HIS ACCOUNT FOR SUCH PAYMENT, IN VIEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE ITEM BEING PAID UNDER SUCH POWER COULD ALSO BE CLAIMED AND PAID TO THE PRINCIPAL AS PART OF HIS PAY AND ALLOWANCES BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER IN THE FIELD AND THEREBY RESULT IN DUPLICATE PAYMENTS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, MAY 16, 1951:

THERE RECENTLY HAS COME TO ATTENTION DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY STAFF MESSAGE WCL 34169, DATED DECEMBER 22, 1950, IN WHICH ALL MILITARY STATIONS WERE ADVISED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

1. EFF IMMEDIATELY PENDING REVISION OF PARA 96H SR 34-4805-1 VOU REC BY DISB OFFS FOR REIMBURSE OF TRANS OF ARMY DEPENDENTS WHICH ARE SUBMITTED UNDER POWER OF ATTORNEY WILL BE FWDD TO WASHINGTON FOUSA WASHINGTON 25, DC ATTN DEPENDENTS TVL BR. NO CLAIMS OF THIS TYPE WILL BE FWDD TO THE GAO CLAIMS DIV AS PREV DIR.

2. EFF IMMEDIATELY PENDING FURTHER REVISION OF SR 35-4805-1 IN PERTINENT PARA, VOU COVERING REIMBURSE FOR ARMY DEPENDENTS TVL ( STANDARD FORM 1012 AND FD FORM 107) WILL BE SUBMITTED TO DISB OFFS IN TRIPLICATE AND ONE COPY OF ALL SUCH VOU TAKEN INTO DISB OFFS ACCOUNT WILL BE FWDD TO THE WASHINGTON FOUSA WASHINGTON 25 DC ATTN DEPENDENTS TVL BR. THESE COPIES WILL BEAR AN IMPRESSION OF THE DISB OFFS BRIEF BLOCK STAMP AND VOU NR. ACTION WILL BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT PAYEES CORRECT SERIAL NR APPEARS ON ALL VOU.

THUS, IT APPARENTLY IS INTENDED THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF MILITARY DEPENDENTS SHALL BE MADE GENERALLY BY DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE FIELD, EXCEPT THAT ANY SUCH CLAIMS BY ATTORNEYS IN FACT WILL BE ROUTED TO THE WASHINGTON FINANCE OFFICE AND THAT PAYMENT WILL BE EFFECTED BY THAT OFFICE IN ALL SUCH CASES WHERE ITS RECORDS DO NOT SHOW THAT PAYMENT THERETOFORE HAS BEEN MADE TO THE PRINCIPAL BY ANOTHER DISBURSING OFFICER. IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1942, B-28292 (22 COMP. GEN. 258), IT WAS HELD THAT A POWER OF ATTORNEY EXECUTED BY AN ARMY OFFICER AUTHORIZING AN ATTORNEY IN FACT TO DEMAND PAYMENT OF MONEYS FROM THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF AN ITEM WHICH ALSO CAN BE CLAIMED BY AND PAID TO THE PRINCIPAL BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER CANNOT BE RECOGNIZED FOR THE EVIDENT REASON THAT TO PERMIT PAYMENT UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES TO ATTORNEYS IN FACT INEVITABLY WOULD RESULT IN DUPLICATE PAYMENTS, GIVING RISE TO A NECESSITY FOR OBTAINING REFUNDS WITH THE ATTENDANT POSSIBILITY OF LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN MANY INSTANCES. HOWEVER, PURSUANT OF THE CLAIM IMMEDIATELY INVOLVED IN SUCH DECISION, THAT OF AN OFFICER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS FILED BY THE OFFICER'S WIFE UNDER A POWER OF ATTORNEY, WAS AUTHORIZED UPON THE CONDITION THAT IN NO EVENT COULD THE ITEM BE PAID TO THE OFFICER AT HIS POST OF DUTY, AND UPON THE FURTHER CONDITION THAT THE FINANCE OFFICE AT WASHINGTON, D.C., ONLY WAS AUTHORIZED TO PAY SUCH CLAIMS.

PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM CONSIDERED IN THE SAID DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1942, NOTWITHSTANDING THE RESTRICTIVE CONDITIONS STIPULATED THEREIN, WAS THEN POSSIBLE, BUT IN VIEW OF THE INSTRUCTIONS QUOTED ABOVE IT APPEARS THAT THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CLAIM IS NO LONGER LIMITED TO THE FINANCE OFFICE HERE, DISBURSING OFFICERS GENERALLY NOW BEING AUTHORIZED TO REIMBURSE MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS. HENCE, THE BASIS FOR RECOGNIZING CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL FILED UNDER POWERS OF ATTORNEY NO LONGER EXISTS. THAT DUPLICATE PAYMENTS WILL RESULT UNDER A PROCEDURE WHICH PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS TO THE PRINCIPAL BY DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE FIELD AND AT THE SAME TIME AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR SUCH REIMBURSEMENT FILED UNDER POWERS OF ATTORNEY IS AMPLY ILLUSTRATED BY THE CASE OF MRS. CATHERINE D. CLARKE, NOW BEFORE THIS OFFICE, IN WHICH MRS. CLARKE ORIGINALLY REQUESTED REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE IN ADVISING HER THAT A CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS FILED BY HER UNDER A POWER OF ATTORNEY EXECUTED BY HER HUSBAND, SERGEANT FIRST CLASS BERKELEY CLARKE, COULD NOT BE RECOGNIZED, BUT WHO SINCE HAS REQUESTED THAT HER APPEAL BE DISREGARDED AS SHE HAS BEEN INFORMED BY HER HUSBAND THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED RECENTLY HAS BEEN COLLECTED BY HIM AT HIS HEADQUARTERS IN KOREA. FURTHER, UPON AN EXAMINATION OF SAID DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY STAFF MESSAGE WCL 34169 IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT IT WILL PROVE INEFFECTIVE TO PREVENT DUPLICATE PAYMENTS AND THAT, AT BEST, IT WILL SERVE ONLY TO DETECT DUPLICATE PAYMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN MADE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS ON ACCOUNT OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL MADE ON VOUCHERS SIGNED BY ATTORNEYS IN FACT MAY NO LONGER BE ALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OF DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS.