B-137292, SEP 24, 1958

B-137292: Sep 24, 1958

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PICKERING: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22. YOU STATE THAT YOU MADE SEVERAL TRIPS A DAY TO THE FINANCE AND QUARTERMASTER PROPERTY OFFICE AND AT TIMES YOU WERE ABLE TO GET GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER TIMES IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. ALSO YOU ALLEGE THAT MANY TIMES WHEN MATTERS OF IMPORTANCE NEEDED ATTENTION AND YOU FAILED TO GET GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ATTENDED TO HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR YOUR CAR. YOU ARE CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR 3. NO INFORMATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED AS TO WHY NO CLAIM WAS MADE AT OR ABOUT THE TIME THE TRIPS WERE PERFORMED. ANY CLAIM NOT RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED IS FOREVER BARRED.

B-137292, SEP 24, 1958

HEADNOTE-UNAVAILABLE PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. ROBERT H. PICKERING:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1958, RELATIVE TO THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 1, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF YOUR PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.

YOU SAY THAT WHILE EMPLOYED AT FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY, OVER A PERIOD OF 15 YEARS YOU USED YOUR CAR FREQUENTLY FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY WHILE WORKING FOR THE QUARTERMASTER CLOTHING SECTION. YOU STATE THAT YOU MADE SEVERAL TRIPS A DAY TO THE FINANCE AND QUARTERMASTER PROPERTY OFFICE AND AT TIMES YOU WERE ABLE TO GET GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER TIMES IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. ALSO YOU ALLEGE THAT MANY TIMES WHEN MATTERS OF IMPORTANCE NEEDED ATTENTION AND YOU FAILED TO GET GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ATTENDED TO HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR YOUR CAR. YOU ARE CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR 3,891 MILES. NO INFORMATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED AS TO WHY NO CLAIM WAS MADE AT OR ABOUT THE TIME THE TRIPS WERE PERFORMED, AND NO ITEMIZATION HAS BEEN FURNISHED COVERING THE VARIOUS TRIPS.

UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, ANY CLAIM NOT RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED IS FOREVER BARRED. THEREFORE, AS POINTED OUT IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 1, CONSIDERATION MAY NOT BE GIVEN THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM PRIOR TO MAY 6, 1948, SINCE YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE UNTIL MAY 6, 1958.

CONCERNING THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FROM MAY 6, 1948, THROUGH THE DATE OF YOUR RETIREMENT, JULY 31, 1957, IT HAS BEEN REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT A PART OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTIES WHILE WORKING AT FORT CAMPBELL WERE DEPOSITING FUNDS AND OBTAINING CHANGE AND THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS ASSIGNED TO THE POST QUARTERMASTER FOR OFFICIAL USE. THERE IS NO RECORD THAT THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL FOR USE OF YOUR PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN LIEU OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS OBTAINED AS REQUIRED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT IS SPECIFIC, ALSO, THAT THERE IS NO RECORD SHOWING THAT YOU REQUESTED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND HAD THE REQUEST REFUSED.

OUR OFFICE, HAVING NO FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, MUST NECESSARILY RELY ON THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO THE FACTUAL SITUATIONS ARISING IN THE MATTER. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF, IT IS THE INVARIABLE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN DISPUTED FACTS TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS. SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE PRESENT RECORD TO JUSTIFY THE REJECTION OF THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, PARTICULARLY THE LACK OF THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL REQUIRED BY THE STATUTORY REGULATIONS, NO PROPER BASIS EXISTS FOR OUR OFFICE TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 1, 1958, IS SUSTAINED.