B-119380, APR. 17, 1956

B-119380: Apr 17, 1956

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SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 17. THE AUTHORITY OF THIS OFFICE TO RENDER DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO QUESTIONS OF LAW INVOLVED IN PAYMENTS ON VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION. THAT AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29. THEY SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHER PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.'.

B-119380, APR. 17, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 17, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM MR. GEORGE HENSLEY, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, KANSAS RIVER PROJECTS, P.O. BOX 737, MCCOOK, NEBRASKA, REQUESTING, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF BILLING THE MANHATTAN LIGHTING EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $571.03, REPRESENTING EXCESS COSTS INCURRED BY THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF THE DEBTOR'S DEFAULT UNDER CONTRACT NO. 14 06-701-1684, DATED MARCH 18 1955.

THE AUTHORITY OF THIS OFFICE TO RENDER DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO QUESTIONS OF LAW INVOLVED IN PAYMENTS ON VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION. THAT AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE LIABILITY OF CERTIFYING OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES SHALL BE ENFORCED IN THE SAME MANNER AS NOW PROVIDED BY LAW WITH RESPECT TO ENFORCEMENT OF THE LIABILITY OF DISBURSING AND OTHER ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS; AND THEY SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHER PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.'

IN THE INSTANT MATTER, MR. HENSLEY HAS NOT SUBMITTED OR REFERRED TO ANY VOUCHER BEFORE HIM FOR CERTIFICATION. ACCORDINGLY, NO ADVANCE DECISION MAY BE RENDERED ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED.

SHOULD YOUR DEPARTMENT DESIRE THAT WE PASS UPON THE MERITS OF THE CHARGE IN VIEW OF THE FACTS REPORTED BY MR. HENSLEY, WE SHALL BE GLAD TO DO SO UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR REQUEST, ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND ANY COMMENTS YOUR DEPARTMENT MAY WISH TO MAKE IN THE MATTER. MR. HENSLEY'S LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1956, AND ENCLOSURES, SHOULD BE RETURNED HERE.