B-127927, SEP. 4, 1956

B-127927: Sep 4, 1956

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SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 2. YOUR LETTER STATES THAT FUNERAL EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $450 HAVE BEEN PAID FROM PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE DECEASED. THAT YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER FUNDS WHICH MAY BE CONTAINED IN HER ESTATE. THAT THE HOSPITAL RECORDS INDICATE THE NEAREST RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED IS A SON. WHO IS A PATIENT AT THE HOSPITAL. THE VOUCHER IS NOT PROPERLY BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. SINCE THE QUESTION OF APPLYING A PORTION OF THE PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE DECEASED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BURIAL FUND FOR THE SON DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE ARISEN AS A RESULT OF A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION OR PAYMENT. THE QUESTION IS NOT PROPERLY BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EITHER THE ACT OF JULY 31.

B-127927, SEP. 4, 1956

TO DR. WINFRED OVERHOLSER, SUPERINTENDENT, SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 2, 1956, FORWARDING FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT BY THIS OFFICE A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,537.53, REPRESENTING THE BALANCE OF FUNDS ON DEPOSIT AT SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL TO THE CREDIT OF ELIZABETH MAINWARING, NO. 61,181, DECEASED, AND PROPOSED TO BE PAID TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO 24 D.C. CODE 301 IN PARTIAL PAYMENT OF BOARD AND CARE DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 11, 1948, TO MARCH 1, 1956.

YOUR LETTER STATES THAT FUNERAL EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $450 HAVE BEEN PAID FROM PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE DECEASED, THAT YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER FUNDS WHICH MAY BE CONTAINED IN HER ESTATE, AND THAT THE HOSPITAL RECORDS INDICATE THE NEAREST RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED IS A SON, WHO IS A PATIENT AT THE HOSPITAL. ACCORDINGLY, TO INSURE BURIAL OF THE SON IN THE CEMETERY SITE PURCHASED BY THE MOTHER PRIOR TO HER ADMISSION, YOU REQUEST OUR CONSIDERATION OF ESTABLISHING A BURIAL FUND FOR THE SON IN THE AMOUNT OF $450 BY WITHHOLDING SUCH AMOUNT FROM THE PAYMENT OF $1,537.53, TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE ACCOMPLISHED ON THE VOUCHER FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER.

SINCE THE VOUCHER WOULD AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF ALL PERSONAL FUNDS PRESENTLY CREDITED TO THE ACCOUNT OF THE DECEASED, AND YOUR LETTER RAISES NO QUESTION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF SUCH PAYMENT, THE VOUCHER IS NOT PROPERLY BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. SEE GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 50, REVISED, SUPPLEMENT NO. 4, JUNE 14, 1955 (34 COMP. GEN. 747). ADDITIONALLY, SINCE THE QUESTION OF APPLYING A PORTION OF THE PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE DECEASED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BURIAL FUND FOR THE SON DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE ARISEN AS A RESULT OF A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION OR PAYMENT, THE QUESTION IS NOT PROPERLY BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EITHER THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 74, OR THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 31 U.S.C. 82 (D). SEE 22 COMP. GEN. 588; 26 ID. 797, 799.

THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE THE SETTLEMENT OF A DEBT DUE THE UNITED STATES IN AN AMOUNT LESS THAN THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS, AND SINCE THE PERSONAL FUNDS ON DEPOSIT WITH THE HOSPITAL IN THE INSTANT CASE ARE LESS THAN THE AMOUNT IN WHICH THE ESTATE OF THE DECEDENT IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES, IT FOLLOWS THAT WE WOULD BE UNABLE TO AUTHORIZE THE WITHHOLDING FROM SUCH FUNDS OF AN AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE AND PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES TO ESTABLISH THE FUND PROPOSED BY YOUR LETTER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, TOGETHER WITH THE SUPPORTING BILL FOR CARE AND TREATMENT, ARE RETURNED FOR COMPLETION OF PAYMENT PROCESSING BY YOUR AGENCY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, IN THE FULL AMOUNT SHOWN THEREON.