B-131000, MAY 20, 1957

B-131000: May 20, 1957

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM DATED AUGUST 1. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PAYMENT WAS REFUSED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR INSTITUTION HAD CLAIMED AND RECEIVED TUITION CHARGES AT A RATE PER COURSE IN EXCESS OF THAT PROPERLY DUE. THE PRINCIPLE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT IT IS THE PLAIN DUTY OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REFUSE APPROVAL AND TO PREVENT PAYMENT OF PUBLIC MONIES UNDER ANY AGREEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO WHICH THERE IS A REASONABLE SUSPICION OF IRREGULARITY.

B-131000, MAY 20, 1957

TO SOUTHERN TRAINING INSTITUTE, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM DATED AUGUST 1, 1950, FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR TRAINING FURNISHED TO VETERANS DURING THE MONTHS OF MARCH TO MAY 1950, INCLUSIVE, UNDER CONTRACT NO. V3020V-333 ENTERED INTO WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE II OF THE SERVICEMEN'S READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1944, 58 STAT. 284, 287.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PAYMENT WAS REFUSED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR INSTITUTION HAD CLAIMED AND RECEIVED TUITION CHARGES AT A RATE PER COURSE IN EXCESS OF THAT PROPERLY DUE, RESULTING IN OVERPAYMENTS OF APPROXIMATELY $19,423, DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. YOU APPEALED THIS ACTION TO THE VETERANS' EDUCATION APPEALS BOARD WHICH MADE A FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AS SET OUT IN ITS DECISION RENDERED JUNE 26, 1954, FIXING AN ADJUSTED RATE FOR THE COURSES IN QUESTION. INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE OF IRREGULARITIES AND POSSIBLE FRAUD ON THE PART OF YOUR INSTITUTION IN THE NEGOTIATION OF THE CONTRACT INVOLVED HAS ALSO BEEN MADE OF RECORD IN THIS CASE.

THE PRINCIPLE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT IT IS THE PLAIN DUTY OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REFUSE APPROVAL AND TO PREVENT PAYMENT OF PUBLIC MONIES UNDER ANY AGREEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO WHICH THERE IS A REASONABLE SUSPICION OF IRREGULARITY, COLLUSION, OR FRAUD, THUS RESERVING THE MATTER FOR SCRUTINY IN THE COURTS WHEN THE FACTS MAY BE JUDICIALLY DETERMINED UPON SWORN TESTIMONY AND COMPETENT EVIDENCE AND A FORFEITURE DECLARED OR OTHER APPROPRIATE ACTION TAKEN. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 C.CLS. 288, 291; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 C.CLS. 316, 319; GLOBE INDEMNITY COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 84 C.CLS. 587, 594; UNITED STATES V. PRESSER, 99 F.2D 819, AND HAMMERSCHMIDT V. UNITED STATES, 265 U.S. 182, 188.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR OFFICE MANIFESTLY WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN CERTIFYING FOR ALLOWANCE AND PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS ANY PART OF YOUR CLAIM.