B-112907, NOV 24, 1952

B-112907: Nov 24, 1952

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OTHERS CONCERNED: IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT MANY CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF DISCOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED IN PAYING ACCOUNTS ARE BEING FORWARDED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THEY INVOLVE NO DOUBTFUL QUESTION OF LAW OR FACT AND ENTITLEMENT TO REFUND IS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED. NOT ONLY IS THERE A DELAY IN MAKING REFUND TO THE CLAIMANT. AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE IS PLACED UPON THE GOVERNMENT WHICH IS UNNECESSARY AND IN MANY CASES NOT OTHERWISE COMMENSURATE WITH THE AMOUNT INVOLVED. GEN. 537 IT WAS STATED (P.539): "IN CASES IN WHICH THERE IS INVOLVED ANY QUESTION. IN THE INTEREST OF MAKING PROMPT PAYMENTS AND TO SAVE THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THE DISCOUNT IF IT SUBSEQUENTLY SHOULD BE DETERMINED TO HAVE BEEN PROPERLY DEDUCTIBLE AT THE TIME OF PAYMENT.

B-112907, NOV 24, 1952

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

TO THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OTHERS CONCERNED:

IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT MANY CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF DISCOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED IN PAYING ACCOUNTS ARE BEING FORWARDED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THEY INVOLVE NO DOUBTFUL QUESTION OF LAW OR FACT AND ENTITLEMENT TO REFUND IS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED. IN SUCH CASES, NOT ONLY IS THERE A DELAY IN MAKING REFUND TO THE CLAIMANT, BUT AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE IS PLACED UPON THE GOVERNMENT WHICH IS UNNECESSARY AND IN MANY CASES NOT OTHERWISE COMMENSURATE WITH THE AMOUNT INVOLVED.

IN DECISION DATED MARCH 1, 1928, PUBLISHED AT 7 COMP. GEN. 537 IT WAS STATED (P.539):

"IN CASES IN WHICH THERE IS INVOLVED ANY QUESTION, AS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PAYEE, OF THE RIGHT TO DEDUCT THE DISCOUNT, IN THE INTEREST OF MAKING PROMPT PAYMENTS AND TO SAVE THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THE DISCOUNT IF IT SUBSEQUENTLY SHOULD BE DETERMINED TO HAVE BEEN PROPERLY DEDUCTIBLE AT THE TIME OF PAYMENT, THE DISCOUNT SHOULD BE DEDUCTED AND PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE TENDERED TO PAYEE, WHO IF NOT SATISFIED, MAY ACCEPT THE PAYMENT UNDER PROTEST AND FILE CLAIM IN THIS OFFICE EITHER DIRECTLY OR THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT, FOR A REFUND OF THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED."

WHILE THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATEMENT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 50-REVISED, IT DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THAT CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF DISCOUNTS ARBITRARILY DEDUCTED BEFORE ALL FACTS WERE AVAILABLE, OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON WHERE THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMANT TO REFUND, SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT. ON THE CONTRARY, SUCH CASES ARE FOR PAYMENT ADMINISTRATIVELY, AND HEREAFTER SHOULD BE HANDLED ACCORDINGLY.