B-128298, OCT. 2, 1956

B-128298: Oct 2, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO BOARD OF STATE HARBOR COMMISSIONERS FOR THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 14. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THESE BILLS WERE NOT PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR PAYMENT UNTIL THE EARLY PART OF 1954. YOUR BILLS WERE TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE WITHOUT ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION THAT THE CHARGES WERE PROPER. AS A RESULT OF THE LONG DELAY FOR WHICH YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE AND FOR WHICH NO EXPLANATION HAS BEEN OFFERED. THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO ASSEMBLE A RECORD ESTABLISHING THAT THE CHARGES CLAIMED ARE. WHEN DOUBT EXISTS THAT A CLAIM IS PROPER FOR PAYMENT. THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW PAYMENT. THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR $992.34 APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CORRECT.

B-128298, OCT. 2, 1956

TO BOARD OF STATE HARBOR COMMISSIONERS FOR THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 14, 1956, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON BILL NOS. B- 3595, B-3672, B-4856 AND B-5402, IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $992.34, REPRESENTING CHARGES ALLEGED TO BE OWING TO THE STATE BELT RAILROAD FOR HOLDING AND SWITCHING SERVICES PERFORMED FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DURING THE YEARS 1945, 1946 AND 1947.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THESE BILLS WERE NOT PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR PAYMENT UNTIL THE EARLY PART OF 1954--- A PERIOD OF FROM SEVEN TO NINE YEARS AFTER THE SERVICES HAD BEEN PERFORMED. IN TRANSMITTING THE BILLS TO OUR OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT, THE OAKLAND ARMY BASE STATED THAT ALL RECORDS PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1949, HAD BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO COMPETENT AUTHORITY, AND THAT THE CHARGES COULD NOT BE VERIFIED. THEREFORE, YOUR BILLS WERE TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE WITHOUT ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION THAT THE CHARGES WERE PROPER, AND WITHOUT A SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATION AS TO PAYMENT.

AS A RESULT OF THE LONG DELAY FOR WHICH YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE AND FOR WHICH NO EXPLANATION HAS BEEN OFFERED, THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO ASSEMBLE A RECORD ESTABLISHING THAT THE CHARGES CLAIMED ARE, IN FACT, OWING. WHEN DOUBT EXISTS THAT A CLAIM IS PROPER FOR PAYMENT, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW PAYMENT. SEE CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 C.CLS. 316, 319; LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 C.CLS. 288, 291.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR $992.34 APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CORRECT, AND IT IS SUSTAINED.