B-109692, JUL 29, 1952

B-109692: Jul 29, 1952

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S. ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27. THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO A DECISION ONLY ON A SPECIFIC QUESTION INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT AND THEN ONLY WHEN THE VOUCHER. IS SUBMITTED. 22 COMP. THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION IS NOT "PROPERLY BEFORE YOU FOR PAYMENT" SO AS TO ENABLE THIS OFFICE TO RENDER AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF ITS PAYMENT. THE REFUSAL TO RENDER THE REQUESTED DECISION IS WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMANT - THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY - TO SUBMIT ITS CLAIM FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED DIRECTLY TO THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. ALL PAPERS RECEIVED WITH YOUR REQUEST ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

B-109692, JUL 29, 1952

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MAJOR W. H. FISCHER, U. S. ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1952, FILE FOUSA-016, WITH ENCLOSURES, TRANSMITTED HERE BY 4TH INDORSEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, OFFICE CHIEF OF FINANCE, WASHINGTON 25, D. C., DATED MAY 13, 1952, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894 (28 STAT. 207; 31 U.S.C. 74).

THE ACT IN QUESTION PROVIDES THAT -

"DISBURSING OFFICERS, OR THE HEAD OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, OR OTHER ESTABLISHMENT NOT UNDER ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, MAY APPLY FOR AND THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SHALL RENDER HIS DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION INVOLVING A PAYMENT TO BE MADE BY THEM OR UNDER THEM ***."

THIS PROVISION HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE TO MEAN, IN THE CASE OF A DISBURSING OFFICER, THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO A DECISION ONLY ON A SPECIFIC QUESTION INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT AND THEN ONLY WHEN THE VOUCHER, PROPERLY CERTIFIED AND APPROVED, IS SUBMITTED. 22 COMP. GEN. 588, 25 COMP. DEC. 653. THE VOUCHER ATTACHED TO THE LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1952, FROM HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY CARIBBEAN, OFFICE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, FORT CLAYTON, CANAL ZONE, WHICH ACCOMPANIED YOUR REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION, HAS NOT BEEN CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, AND APPARENTLY THAT OFFICER HAS DETERMINED THAT THE SAID VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED IN ITS PRESENT FORM IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES EXPLAINED IN THE SAID LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1952. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION IS NOT "PROPERLY BEFORE YOU FOR PAYMENT" SO AS TO ENABLE THIS OFFICE TO RENDER AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF ITS PAYMENT.

WHILE THIS OFFICE MAY NOT RENDER AN ADVANCE DECISION IN THE CASE HERE INVOLVED, THE REFUSAL TO RENDER THE REQUESTED DECISION IS WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMANT - THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY - TO SUBMIT ITS CLAIM FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED DIRECTLY TO THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF SECTION 236 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, 42 STAT. 24; 31 U.S.C. 71, OR THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY TRANSMIT THE CLAIM TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. SEE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 50 - REVISED, 29 COMP. GEN. 539.

ALL PAPERS RECEIVED WITH YOUR REQUEST ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.