B-136099, JUL. 3, 1958

B-136099: Jul 3, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WHICH WAS NOT ALLOWED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. WHICH IN ITS RECOVERED STATE WAS VALUED AT APPROXIMATELY $1. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED TO ITS OWNER. CLAIM WAS FILED WITH THAT DEPARTMENT FOR $2. THE CLAIM WAS CONSIDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2733 AS ONE FOR LOSS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY INCIDENT TO NONCOMBATANT ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $450.50. 000 TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION AND PROVIDES THAT NO CLAIM MAY BE PAID UNLESS THE AMOUNT TENDERED IS ACCEPTED BY THE CLAIMANT IN FULL SATISFACTION THEREOF. SUBJECT TO APPEAL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY WITHIN 30 DAYS OF NOTICE OF THE AWARD WILL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY AWARD SHALL CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE RELEASE OF ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

B-136099, JUL. 3, 1958

TO MR. HARRY KISLOFF, COUNSELLOR AT LAW:

BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1957, YOU REQUESTED US TO CONSIDER, UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413, 31 U.S.C. 236, THAT PORTION OF THE CLAIM OF TWIN SISTERS, INC., OWNER OF THE FISHING VESSEL HELEN M, FOR SERVICES RENDERED IN RECOVERING A UNITED STATES ARMY RADIO CONTROLLED AERIAL TARGET (DRONE) FROM THE SEA AND RETURNING IT TO GOVERNMENT CUSTODY, WHICH WAS NOT ALLOWED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

IT APPEARS THAT ON OCTOBER 5, 1956, THE HELEN M. OBSERVED THE DRONE ENTANGLED IN ITS NETS, BROUGHT IT ABOARD AND TURNED IT OVER TO THE COAST GUARD STATION AT GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS. THE DRONE, WHICH IN ITS RECOVERED STATE WAS VALUED AT APPROXIMATELY $1,000, WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED TO ITS OWNER, THE UNITED STATES ARMY, AND CLAIM WAS FILED WITH THAT DEPARTMENT FOR $2,000.50. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED CONSISTED OF $450.50 DAMAGES TO NETS AND GEAR LOST OR DESTROYED IN TAKING ABOARD THE DRONE, $550 FOR TIME LOST FROM FISHING AND THE VALUE OF THE DRONE, $1,000. THE CLAIM WAS CONSIDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2733 AS ONE FOR LOSS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY INCIDENT TO NONCOMBATANT ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $450.50. YOU REQUEST US TO CONSIDER RECOMMENDING TO THE CONGRESS PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED $1,550 UNDER 31 U.S.C. 236.

10 U.S.C. 2733 AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF A MILITARY DEPARTMENT, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, TO ALLOW CERTAIN CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES NOT IN EXCESS OF $1,000 INCIDENT TO NONCOMBAT ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT. IT PROVIDES THAT HE MAY REPORT SUCH CLAIMS IN EXCESS OF $1,000 TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION AND PROVIDES THAT NO CLAIM MAY BE PAID UNLESS THE AMOUNT TENDERED IS ACCEPTED BY THE CLAIMANT IN FULL SATISFACTION THEREOF. THE APPLICABLE ARMY REGULATIONS, AR 25-25, PROVIDE THAT THE ACTION OF THE APPROVING AUTHORITY IN APPROVING OR DISAPPROVING THE CLAIM IN WHOLE OR PART, SUBJECT TO APPEAL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY WITHIN 30 DAYS OF NOTICE OF THE AWARD WILL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY AWARD SHALL CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE RELEASE OF ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 31 U.S.C. 236, PROVIDES:

"WHEN THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM OR DEMAND IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, HE SHALL SUBMIT THE SAME TO THE CONGRESS BY A SPECIAL REPORT CONTAINING THE MATERIAL FACTS AND HIS RECOMMENDATION THEREON.'

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT APPLY ONLY TO SUCH CASES AS PRESENTED TO OUR 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 OF THE CONGRESS AND WHICH WE COULD CONSIDER WITH A VIEW OF MAKING ALLOWANCE THEREON BUT FOR THE LACK OF ANY AUTHORIZED PREVIOUSLY ENACTED STATUTORY LAW OR APPROPRIATIONS MADE IN PURSUANCE OF SUCH LAWS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CLAIMS. 13 COMP. GEN. 406.

MANIFESTLY WHERE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS AUTHORITY TO SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS IN THE AMOUNTS LESS THAN $1,000 AND BEEN GIVEN FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSE TOGETHER WITH AUTHORITY TO REPORT CLAIMS IN EXCESS OF THAT AMOUNT TO THE CONGRESS, OUR OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER THE CLAIM WITH A VIEW TO ITS ALLOWANCE. ALSO WHERE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS CONSIDERED THE CLAIM AND FINALLY ALLOWED THE SAME IN PART AND SUCH SUM HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE CLAIMANT, THEREBY RELEASING THE UNITED STATES FROM LIABILITY, WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN REPORTING ANY FURTHER AMOUNT CLAIMED TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION.

WE, ACCORDINGLY, DO NOT FIND THE CLAIM ONE WHICH WE PROPERLY ARE AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED TO REPORT TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION AND MUST DECLINE TO DO SO. ..END :