B-132723, AUG. 28, 1957

B-132723: Aug 28, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

REQUESTED PERMISSION TO HIRE LABORERS FOR EXPLORATION WORK ON THE BUILDING AND THAT HE WAS PROPERLY INSTRUCTED BY THE CHIEF. THAT THE HIRING WAS TO BE DONE THROUGH THE SUPERINTENDENT. THIS PROCEDURE WAS FOLLOWED. GJESSING IS A PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECT AND HIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AS TO DETAILED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS IS UNDERSTANDABLE. WHILE THE ACTION TAKEN BY HIM WAS NOT IN CONFORMITY WITH ESTABLISHED HIRING PROCEDURES. HIS ACTIONS IN THE MATTER UNDOUBTEDLY WERE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND IN A MANNER WHICH HE THOUGHT WOULD FACILITATE THE PROJECT AND BEST SERVE THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST.'. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT NO PERSON IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE HIMSELF A VOLUNTARY CREDITOR OF THE GOVERNMENT BY INCURRING AND PAYING OBLIGATIONS WHICH HE IS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED TO INCUR AND PAY TO THE CREDITORS OF THE GOVERNMENT. 8 COMP.

B-132723, AUG. 28, 1957

TO MR. BENJAMIN F. GIBSON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. FREDERIK C. GJESSING MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $183.49 REPRESENTS PERSONAL FUNDS EXPENDED BY MR. GJESSING FOR THE HIRE OF THESE LABORERS FOR WORK ON A GOVERNMENT OWNED BUILDING IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. GJESSING, A PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECT, EMPLOYED BY THE EASTERN OFFICE, DIVISION OF DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, REQUESTED PERMISSION TO HIRE LABORERS FOR EXPLORATION WORK ON THE BUILDING AND THAT HE WAS PROPERLY INSTRUCTED BY THE CHIEF, EASTERN OFFICE, DIVISION OF DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, THAT THE HIRING WAS TO BE DONE THROUGH THE SUPERINTENDENT, VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. HOWEVER, THE SUPERINTENDENT ERRONEOUSLY ADVISED MR. GJESSING TO HIRE THE LABORERS, PAY THEM FOR THEIR SERVICES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS AND TO OBTAIN RECEIPTS THEREFOR. THIS PROCEDURE WAS FOLLOWED. YOU SAY "MR. GJESSING IS A PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECT AND HIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AS TO DETAILED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS IS UNDERSTANDABLE, AND WHILE THE ACTION TAKEN BY HIM WAS NOT IN CONFORMITY WITH ESTABLISHED HIRING PROCEDURES, HIS ACTIONS IN THE MATTER UNDOUBTEDLY WERE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND IN A MANNER WHICH HE THOUGHT WOULD FACILITATE THE PROJECT AND BEST SERVE THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST.'

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT NO PERSON IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE HIMSELF A VOLUNTARY CREDITOR OF THE GOVERNMENT BY INCURRING AND PAYING OBLIGATIONS WHICH HE IS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED TO INCUR AND PAY TO THE CREDITORS OF THE GOVERNMENT. 8 COMP. DEC. 584; 11 ID. 486; 12 ID. 308; 24 ID. 155; 26 ID. 1071; 2 COMP. GEN. 581; 3 ID. 70 AND 633, 5 ID. 818; 6 ID. 412. HOWEVER, SINCE THE EMPLOYEE, WHO WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH GOVERNMENT HIRING PROCEDURES, FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT IN HIRING THE LABORERS, AND SINCE THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED THE BENEFIT OF THE SERVICES SO PAID FOR, AND, ALSO, THAT THE LABORERS WERE HIRED AT THE WAGE RATE SET BY THE VIRGIN ISLANDS PUBLIC WORKS WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE EXPENDITURES SO MADE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. A CITATION TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE VOUCHER.