B-108452 May 15, 1952

B-108452: May 15, 1952

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Director: Reference is made to letter dated March 5. There was received a copy of the report proposed to be submitted by the Treasury Department explaining in detail the numerous items included in the draft and matter intended to justify their inclusion in the relief measure. The proposed report points out that the Treasury Department processes several hundred millions of transactions each year and that a few errors are inevitable. It is stated that the disbursing officers were not remiss in their official duties in connection with the involved payments and that they were made in good faith and without negligence on their part. The detailed schedules indicate that efforts to collect from the payees the amounts for which relief is sought have proven unsuccessful because of their lack of financial resources.

B-108452 May 15, 1952

The Honorable Frederick J. Lawton, Director Bureau of the Budget

My dear Mr. Director:

Reference is made to letter dated March 5, 1952, from the Assistant Director of Legislative Reference of your Bureau, forwarding, for an expression of the view of this office therein, a draft bill entitled "A BILL For the relief of Paul D Banning, Chief Disbursing Officer, Treasury Department, and or other purposes." With the said letter, there was received a copy of the report proposed to be submitted by the Treasury Department explaining in detail the numerous items included in the draft and matter intended to justify their inclusion in the relief measure.

Briefly, the draft bill would appropriate ($1,236.41 out of the Treasury, of which amount not to exceed $881.51 would be credited in the accounts of the chief disbursing officer or former chief disbursing officers and $14.90 in the account of Don ller Regional Disbursing Officer at New York, New York, to cover overdrafts therein or to proper payees but in amounts in excess of those administratively certified to be due. The proposed report points out that the Treasury Department processes several hundred millions of transactions each year and that a few errors are inevitable, Also, it is stated that the disbursing officers were not remiss in their official duties in connection with the involved payments and that they were made in good faith and without negligence on their part. The detailed schedules indicate that efforts to collect from the payees the amounts for which relief is sought have proven unsuccessful because of their lack of financial resources, because their whereabouts are unknown or because they have dies since receiving the amounts without leaving estates from which collection could be effected and the like.

Not to exceed $340, the balance of the amount which would be appropriated, would be authorized to be paid to the various named employees or former employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, in reimbursement of amounts paid by them from their personal funds on account of their acceptance of counterfeit bills in the course of their official collection duties. It is stated, in the proposed report of the Treasury Department, that the counterfeit bills appear to have been accepted in good faith and without negligence on the part of the employees who would be relieved under the draft bill.

There appears to be nothing in the records of this office to indicate that the payments by the involved disbursing officers occurred under circumstances other than as set in the proposed report of the Treasury Department. Also, had the shortages resulting from acceptance of counterfeit money not been recovered from the employees and had appropriate findings and recommendations been made to this office under the act of August 1, 1947, 61 Stat. 720, this office would have granted relief as to the said deficiencies making collection thereof from the involved employees personal funds unnecessary. Accordingly, this office is not required to object to favorable consideration of the draft bill.

Sincerely yours,

(Signed) Lindsay C. Warren Comptroller General of the United States