B-119079, JUN. 13, 1956

B-119079: Jun 13, 1956

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TO THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR FILE 144-52-9-27-93626. THE COPY OF COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING SUBMITTED BY YOU WAS INDORSED "CONVERTIBLE AT DESTINATION TO GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING" AND THE RECORD SUBMITTED INDICATES THAT GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING T-52 PS-851 WAS ISSUED AT DESTINATION TO CONVERT THE COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING. WAS SUBMITTED TO THE U.S. THE BILL WAS RETURNED TO YOU WITH REQUEST THAT THE ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING OR A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY THEREOF BE FURNISHED. A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING WAS SUPPLIED TO THE U.S. THE CLAIM WAS REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WITH A REPORT THAT THE ORIGINAL GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING COULD NOT THEN BE LOCATED.

B-119079, JUN. 13, 1956

TO THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR FILE 144-52-9-27-93626, CONCERNING YOUR BILL FOR $54 FREIGHT CHARGES ON A SHIPMENT OF 1 CRATE OF MACHINERY, WEIGHT 4,000, SHIPPED FROM THE SAMUEL MACHINERY CO., 137 N. THIRD ST., PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, CONSIGNED TO MR. W. C. MARKS, 1402 W. 22ND ST., ANDERSON, INDIANA, ON A COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING, DATED MAY 22, 1942. THE COPY OF COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING SUBMITTED BY YOU WAS INDORSED "CONVERTIBLE AT DESTINATION TO GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING" AND THE RECORD SUBMITTED INDICATES THAT GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING T-52 PS-851 WAS ISSUED AT DESTINATION TO CONVERT THE COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING. APPARENTLY, IN SEPTEMBER 1942, YOUR COMPANY'S BILL 9-27 93626, CLAIMING $54 FOR THE SERVICES IN QUESTION, AND SUPPORTED BY THE ORIGINAL GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, WAS SUBMITTED TO THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR PAYMENT. THEREAFTER, ON AUGUST 7, 1944, THE BILL WAS RETURNED TO YOU WITH REQUEST THAT THE ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING OR A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY THEREOF BE FURNISHED. APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS LATER, A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING WAS SUPPLIED TO THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, 226 W. JACKSON BLVD., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. FOR SOME REASON NOT APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT THEREAFTER REQUESTED A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL BILL OF LADING ON FEBRUARY 18, 1947, AND AGAIN ON NOVEMBER 3, 1949, AFTER WHICH, ON FEBRUARY 5, 1951, THE CLAIM WAS REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WITH A REPORT THAT THE ORIGINAL GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING COULD NOT THEN BE LOCATED, AND STATING THAT "WE ARE UNABLE TO * * * DETERMINE IF ANY CHARGES WERE EVER PAID ON THAT BILL OF LADING.' THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FURTHER REPORTED THAT NO ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION COULD BE MADE BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF RECORDS CONCERNING THIS SHIPMENT. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON JULY 23, 1952, CLAIM TK-312107, BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, AND YOUR LETTER IS, IN EFFECT, A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THIS DISALLOWANCE.

AS YOU KNOW, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS NO FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE SHIPMENT IN QUESTION, AND MUST DEPEND ENTIRELY UPON THE RECORD SUBMITTED TO IT, INCLUDING ANY RECOMMENDATION MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY INVOLVED, WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS. ALL CLAIMANTS ARE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH THE CLEAR LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMANT TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. SEE, 23 COMP. GEN. 907, 18 ID. 980, AND 17 ID. 831. THE RECORD HERE STILL DOES NOT CONTAIN THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ALLEGEDLY ISSUED NOR A COPY THEREOF, OR OTHER INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO THE AUTHORITY FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THIS MACHINERY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, OR OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH SUCH FREIGHT CHARGES SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID.

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS PROPER AND IS SUSTAINED.