B-124057, JUN. 10, 1955

B-124057: Jun 10, 1955

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF APRIL 21. IT APPEARS THAT LIABILITY FOR SUCH SERVICES WAS THE PERSONAL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED AND THAT THE FAILURE TO BILL. THOSE INDIVIDUALS BENEFITING FROM THESE SERVICES AT THE TIME THEY WERE PERFORMED WAS DUE TO A MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO WHETHER. THE BRITISH AIR MINISTRY CONTENDS THAT THESE SERVICES WERE NOT INCLUDED. IT FURTHER APPEARS TO BE CONCEDED THAT IT WOULD BE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS TIME TO DETERMINE TO WHAT EXTENT LAUNDRY SERVICES WERE UTILIZED BY THE OCCUPANTS OF THE QUARTERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASCERTAINING THE AMOUNT DUE FROM EACH AND THAT. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE LAUNDRY SERVICES INVOLVED.

B-124057, JUN. 10, 1955

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF APRIL 21, 1955, FROM THE CHIEF, ADJUDICATIONS BRANCH, SETTLEMENTS DIVISION, AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, SUBMITTING CLAIMS OF THE BRITISH AIR MINISTRY IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF 186 POUNDS, 19 SHILLINGS AND 11 PENCE STERLING, FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CLAIMS COVER CHARGES FOR LAUNDRY SERVICES RENDERED BY THE ROYAL AIR FORCE FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AND THEIR DEPENDENTS WHILE QUARTERED AT ROYAL AIR FORCE STATIONS MILDENHALL AND BRIZE NORTON DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1950 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1951. IT APPEARS THAT LIABILITY FOR SUCH SERVICES WAS THE PERSONAL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED AND THAT THE FAILURE TO BILL, OR COLLECT FROM, THOSE INDIVIDUALS BENEFITING FROM THESE SERVICES AT THE TIME THEY WERE PERFORMED WAS DUE TO A MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BASIC AGREEMENT THEN IN EFFECT BETWEEN THE BRITISH AIR MINISTRY AND THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE COVERING THE USE OF ROYAL AIR FORCE QUARTERS. THE BRITISH AIR MINISTRY CONTENDS THAT THESE SERVICES WERE NOT INCLUDED. IT FURTHER APPEARS TO BE CONCEDED THAT IT WOULD BE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS TIME TO DETERMINE TO WHAT EXTENT LAUNDRY SERVICES WERE UTILIZED BY THE OCCUPANTS OF THE QUARTERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASCERTAINING THE AMOUNT DUE FROM EACH AND THAT, EVEN IF SOME APPROXIMATION THEREOF COULD BE MADE, THE COST OF ANY ATTEMPTED COLLECTION EFFORTS WOULD FAR EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH MIGHT BE REALIZED.

SINCE, ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS REPORTED, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE LAUNDRY SERVICES INVOLVED, IT IS UNNECESSARY TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH SERVICES WERE OR WERE NOT REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THE APPLICABLE BASIC AGREEMENT. THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE SERVICES WERE NOT ORDERED BY THE GOVERNMENT BUT WERE RENDERED SOLELY AT THE REQUEST AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY PERSONNEL. IT APPEARS TO BE RECOGNIZED THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH PERSONAL OBLIGATIONS AND ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED THAT THE MATTER BE FAVORABLY CONSIDERED UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413. THAT ACT AUTHORIZES THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES TO REPORT TO THE CONGRESS WITH HIS RECOMMENDATIONS THEREON, CLAIMS WHICH, IN HIS JUDGMENT, CONTAIN SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF CONSIDERATION BY THE CONGRESS. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT APPLY ONLY TO SUCH CASES AS MAY BE PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE THAT, FROM A STANDPOINT OF LEGAL LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT OR EQUITIES IN FAVOR OF THE CLAIMANT, ARE DESERVING OF SPECIAL CONSIDERATION AND WHICH THIS OFFICE COULD CONSIDER WITH A VIEW OF MAKING ALLOWANCE THEREON BUT FOR THE LACK OF ANY APPROPRIATION OR LAW AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CLAIMS. SEE 13 COMP. GEN. 406, 408. THE INSTANT CLAIM OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE FIRST CONDITION, AND SINCE THE GOVERNMENT DERIVED NO BENEFIT FROM THE LAUNDRY SERVICES FURNISHED AND WAS IN NOWISE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLAIMANT'S APPARENT NEGLIGENCE IN FAILING TO PRESENT ITS BILLS TO THOSE LIABLE THEREFORE CONCURRENTLY WITH THE RENDITION OF THE SERVICES, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE CLAIMS DO NOT PRESENT SUCH ELEMENTS OF EQUITY AS TO WARRANT BEING REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, SUPRA. ..END :