B-121583, OCTOBER 22, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 191

B-121583: Oct 22, 1954

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A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHICH RENTS A BOX PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL QUARTER IS REQUIRED TO RENT THE BOX FOR NOT LESS THAN THE FULL QUARTER AND PAY THE FULL RENTAL IN THE EVENT THE BOX IS SURRENDERED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE RENTAL PERIOD. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21. THE HURON POSTMASTER WAS REQUESTED TO TERMINATE THE RENTAL OF THE BOX AS OF JULY 19. THE CHECK FOR $0.63 FOR 19 DAYS RENTAL WAS TENDERED THE HURON POSTMASTER BUT WAS RETURNED BY HIM ON THE GROUND THAT POSTAL REGULATIONS DID NOT PERMIT THE COLLECTION OF LESS THAN ON FULL QUARTER'S BOX RENT. ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF POST OFFICE BOX RENTALS BY VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WERE AUTHORIZED. PARAGRAPH 3 OF SECTION 486 OF THE 1940 REGULATION WHICH PROVIDED THAT NO PORTION OF THE RENTAL SHALL BE RETURNED WHEN A BOX IS SURRENDERED DURING A QUARTER.

B-121583, OCTOBER 22, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 191

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - POST OFFICES - BOX RENTS UNDER POST OFFICE REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE RENTING OF POST OFFICE BOXES, A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHICH RENTS A BOX PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL QUARTER IS REQUIRED TO RENT THE BOX FOR NOT LESS THAN THE FULL QUARTER AND PAY THE FULL RENTAL IN THE EVENT THE BOX IS SURRENDERED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE RENTAL PERIOD.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO ERNEST W. VOGT, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, OCTOBER 22, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1954, RO3-3.2, TRANSMITTING THROUGH THE CHIEF, FISCAL SECTION, WEATHER BUREAU, A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF THE POSTMASTER, HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.37, FOR RENTAL OF A POST OFFICE BOX AT HURON FOR TWO MONTHS AND TWELVE DAYS, AND REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT. YOU ALSO ENCLOSED A CHECK FOR $0.63 PAYABLE TO THE HURON POSTMASTER.

IT APPEARS FROM THE COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER THAT THE WEATHER BUREAU FACILITY LOCATED AT THE HURON AIRPORT ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO RENT THE POST OFFICE BOX IN QUESTION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1954. HOWEVER, WITH THE INAUGURATION OF MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT, THE HURON POSTMASTER WAS REQUESTED TO TERMINATE THE RENTAL OF THE BOX AS OF JULY 19, 1954. THE RENTAL FOR THE YEAR NOT HAVING BEEN PAID, THE CHECK FOR $0.63 FOR 19 DAYS RENTAL WAS TENDERED THE HURON POSTMASTER BUT WAS RETURNED BY HIM ON THE GROUND THAT POSTAL REGULATIONS DID NOT PERMIT THE COLLECTION OF LESS THAN ON FULL QUARTER'S BOX RENT.

IN DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JUNE 5, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 834, ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF POST OFFICE BOX RENTALS BY VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WERE AUTHORIZED. ALSO, THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF SUCH DECISION RECOGNIZED AS APPLICABLE TO SUCH PAYMENTS THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS THEN CURRENT, PARAGRAPH 3 OF SECTION 486 OF THE 1940 REGULATION WHICH PROVIDED THAT NO PORTION OF THE RENTAL SHALL BE RETURNED WHEN A BOX IS SURRENDERED DURING A QUARTER. THE CURRENT REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE RENTING OF POST OFFICE BOXES ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER X OF THE POSTAL MANUAL, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1954. IT IS CLEAR THEREFROM THAT, WHERE APPLICATION FOR RENTAL OF A BOX IS MADE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL QUARTER, THE BOX MAY BE RENTED FOR NOT LESS THAN A FULL FISCAL QUARTER AND THAT IN THE EVENT A "PATRON INCLUDING A GOVERNMENT AGENCY SURRENDERS A BOX PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH RENTAL HAS BEEN PAID NO PORTION OF THE RENTAL SHALL BE REFUNDED.' IN VIEW THEREOF, IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS DUE THE HURON POSTMASTER ONE FULL QUARTER'S RENTAL FOR THE BOX IN QUESTION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CHECK FOR $0.63 IS RETURNED FOR REDELIVERY TO THE HURON POSTMASTER AND THE VOUCHER, ALSO RETURNED HEREWITH, PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.