B-107438, JANUARY 29, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 340

B-107438: Jan 29, 1952

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WHO IS UNABLE TO FURNISH A CHECK NUMBER OR OTHER DATE SUFFICIENT FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO IDENTIFY THE PAYMENT RECORDS FAILS TO MEET THE BURDEN OF PROOF PLACED UPON IT AS A CLAIMANT TO FURNISH EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING ITS CLAIM. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 20-53452-42A. IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT A THOROUGH CHECK OF YOUR RECORDS FAILS TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO THE CHECK NUMBER OR DATE ON WHICH THE CHARGES ORIGINALLY WERE PAID. REPORT OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER STATES THAT THE "ENCLOSED BILL * * * CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY THIS OFFICE" AND " THE WAR DEPARTMENT ALSO CLAIM THEY HAVE NO RECORD OF HAVING PAID THESE BILLS.'.

B-107438, JANUARY 29, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 340

CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES - BURDEN OF PROOF A CARRIER, SUBMITTING A CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON A SHIPMENT OF CARTRIDGES AND SMALL ARMS, WHO IS UNABLE TO FURNISH A CHECK NUMBER OR OTHER DATE SUFFICIENT FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO IDENTIFY THE PAYMENT RECORDS FAILS TO MEET THE BURDEN OF PROOF PLACED UPON IT AS A CLAIMANT TO FURNISH EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING ITS CLAIM, AND THEREFORE, SAID CARRIER MAY NOT BE ALLOWED THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CLAIMED IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL BILL.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, JANUARY 29, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 20-53452-42A, DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1947, FOR $17.96 ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ALLEGEDLY DUE ON A SHIPMENT OF CARTRIDGES AND SMALL ARMS, ETC., WEIGHING 30,000 POUNDS, TRANSPORTED FROM SOUTH SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, TO IONA ISLAND, NEW YORK, UNDER BILL OF LADING NO. WQ-5529380, IN MARCH 1942.

THE RECORD CONSISTS OF THE BILL IN QUESTION SUPPORTED BY YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28, 1947, FILE 20-53452-42, ADDRESSED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT A THOROUGH CHECK OF YOUR RECORDS FAILS TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO THE CHECK NUMBER OR DATE ON WHICH THE CHARGES ORIGINALLY WERE PAID. REPORT OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER STATES THAT THE "ENCLOSED BILL * * * CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY THIS OFFICE" AND " THE WAR DEPARTMENT ALSO CLAIM THEY HAVE NO RECORD OF HAVING PAID THESE BILLS.'

THE PRESENT RECORD SHOWS, THEREFORE, THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN SUCH A SHIPMENT ARE UNABLE TO CITE THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT VOUCHER PERTAINING TO THE SUBJECT SHIPMENT, AND THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO FURNISH THE CHECK NUMBER OR ANY OTHER DATA THAT MIGHT SERVE TO IDENTIFY SUCH PAYMENT RECORD. THE SERVICE FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL CHARGES ARE CLAIMED IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN 1942 AND IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL 1947--- APPROXIMATELY FIVE YEARS LATER--- THAT YOU UNDERTOOK THE PRESENT TO THE UNITED STATES YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL CLAIMING ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON THE SHIPMENT IN QUESTION. IT WOULD SEEM THAT MORE TIMELY ACTION ON YOUR PART MIGHT HAVE PERMITTED THE ASSEMBLING OF A MORE SATISFACTORY RECORD.

THE BURDEN IS ON CLAIMANTS TO FURNISH EVIDENCE CLEARLY AND SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING THEIR CLAIMS (23 COMP. GEN. 907; 18 ID. 980; 17 ID. 831), AND THE RECORD, AS PRESENTED, DOES NOT ESTABLISH BY SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THE LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CLAIMED AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH EVIDENCE, THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO CERTIFY YOUR BILL FOR PAYMENT. SEE CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 C.1CLS. 316; LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 ID. 288.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CLAIMED IN YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.