B-13905, JANUARY 24, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 403

B-13905: Jan 24, 1941

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GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CLAIM AND AUDIT ACTION AS PRECEDENT WHERE AN INCOMPETENT VETERAN IS TRANSFERRED FROM ST. IS OBTAINED. 17 COMP. THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT OF AN ACCOUNT OR CLAIM DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SUCH AS ADMINISTRATIVE AND DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT AS GUIDES AND PRECEDENTS IN OBLIGATING AND DISBURSING PUBLIC MONEYS. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CASE OF JOSEPH N. WHO WAS DISCHARGED FROM ST. THE VETERAN IS STILL A PATIENT AT THE FACILITY. WHEN THE VETERAN WAS DISCHARGED FROM ST. A CHECK IN THIS AMOUNT WAS DRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE VETERAN AND FORWARDED TO HIM FOR HIS DISPOSITION.

B-13905, JANUARY 24, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 403

FUNDS OF INCOMPETENT VETERAN; GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CLAIM AND AUDIT ACTION AS PRECEDENT WHERE AN INCOMPETENT VETERAN IS TRANSFERRED FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, NOT ONLY PENSION FUNDS, BUT FUNDS DERIVED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES TO HIS CREDIT AT THE HOSPITAL MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY AS " TRUSTEE" FOR THE VETERAN, PROVIDED THE CONSENT OF THE DULY APPOINTED GUARDIAN, IF ANY, IS OBTAINED. 17 COMP. GEN. 120, AMPLIFIED. THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT OF AN ACCOUNT OR CLAIM DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SUCH AS ADMINISTRATIVE AND DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT AS GUIDES AND PRECEDENTS IN OBLIGATING AND DISBURSING PUBLIC MONEYS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, JANUARY 24, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CASE OF JOSEPH N. PALKA, C-2,769,188, AN INCOMPETENT WORLD WAR VETERAN, WHO WAS DISCHARGED FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C., AS UNIMPROVED ON APRIL 8, 1940, AND TRANSFERRED AS OF THE SAME DATE TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND. THE VETERAN IS STILL A PATIENT AT THE FACILITY.

WHEN THE VETERAN WAS DISCHARGED FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL HE HAD TO HIS CREDIT AT THAT INSTITUTION THE SUM OF $159.23 AND UNDER DATE OF MAY 14, 1940, A CHECK IN THIS AMOUNT WAS DRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE VETERAN AND FORWARDED TO HIM FOR HIS DISPOSITION. THIS CHECK WAS RETURNED UNENDORSED BY THE VETERAN TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. IN ACCORDANCE WITH INFORMAL INFORMATION FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, THE CHECK REFERRED TO ABOVE REPRESENTED $32.20 DERIVED FROM PENSION FUNDS PAID BY THIS ADMINISTRATION TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL AND HAS SINCE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, FOR CREDIT TO THE ACCOUNT OF THE VETERAN AT THAT FACILITY. THE REMAINING $127.03, DERIVED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES, IS BEING HELD BY THE HOSPITAL APPARENTLY PENDING AN APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN FOR THE VETERAN.

THE VETERAN IS HELD TO BE INCOMPETENT BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AND AN INSTITUTIONAL AWARD OF $6.00 PER MONTH WAS APPROVED EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1940, IN FAVOR OF THE MANAGER, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, PURSUANT TO VETERANS' REGULATIONS NO. 6 (C), PARAGRAPH VI (A). THE VETERAN IS SINGLE AND HAS NO DEPENDENTS.

SINCE THE RECORDS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION SHOW THAT THE VETERAN DOES NOT HAVE A GUARDIAN, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL WAS REQUESTED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1940, TO TRANSFER THE REMAINING SUM OF $127.03 TO THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, INASMUCH AS IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE VETERAN TO INCUR THE EXPENSE OF THE APPOINTMENT OF A GUARDIAN TO RECEIVE SO SMALL AN AMOUNT OF MONEY AS INVOLVED, AND ADVISED THAT THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF THE FACILITY IS A BONDED OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED BY LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES TO RECEIVE AND DISBURSE MONEYS FOR THE BENEFIT, AND IN BEHALF, OF THE INMATES OF THE INSTITUTION UNDER HIS JURISDICTION.

IN REPLY TO THIS REQUEST THE ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, ADVISED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1940, THAT THE INSTITUTION MUST AWAIT THE APPOINTMENT OF A FIDUCIARY TO RECEIVE THE PERSONAL FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE VETERAN AT THAT INSTITUTION. FURTHER ADVISED THAT THIS PROCEDURE IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH A NUMBER OF DECISIONS BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY THE DECISIONS OF JUNE 20, 1924, A-2080, AND MAY 3, 1926, A-13893, AND THAT THIS POINT WAS AGAIN AFFIRMED IN A LETTER ADDRESSED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO THE MANAGER, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, APRIL 24, 1935.

AS UNDERSTOOD, THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, DATED JUNE 20, 1924, A-2080, AND MAY 3, 1926, A-13893, TOGETHER WITH THE LETTER FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO THE MANAGER, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, APRIL 24, 1935, ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT AS CONCERNS BENEFITS PAID BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, AS BY WAY OF INSTITUTIONAL AWARDS, ANY BALANCE THEREOF HELD BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL FOR THE SOLE CREDIT OF AN INSANE VETERAN MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY TO WHICH THE INCOMPETENT VETERAN IS TRANSFERRED, WITH ASSENT OF GUARDIAN IF ONE IS SERVING; BUT THAT AS TO FUNDS SO HELD BUT DERIVED FROM OTHER SOURCES, SUCH TRANSFER MAY NOT BE MADE UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY ONE WHO IS LEGALLY QUALIFIED TO ACT FOR THE INCOMPETENT VETERAN. THE DISTINCTION MADE, BASED UPON REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO THE FORMER CLASS OF FUNDS, IS UNDERSTOOD, BUT IN VIEW OF OTHER CONSIDERATIONS IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT, AS TO THE LATTER TYPE, A SIMILAR PROCEDURE MAY NOT BE LEGALLY JUSTIFIED.

AS STATED HERETOFORE, IN VIEW OF THE SMALL AMOUNT OF INCOME NO FIDUCIARY HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO SERVE THE VETERAN. SINCE THE VETERAN IS STILL HOSPITALIZED IN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY, AS A BONDED OFFICIAL, IS SERVING AS TRUSTEE OF FUNDS DUE THE PATIENT. AN INSTITUTIONAL AWARD OF PENSION AT THE RATE OF $6.00 PER MONTH IS BEING PAID TO HIM REGULARLY (SEE R. AND P. 1230, 4150 AND R. AND P. R-1276 AND 1277).

THE PAYMENT OF FUNDS OTHER THAN COMPENSATION, PENSION, EMERGENCY OFFICERS' RETIREMENT, OR INSURANCE TO THE MANAGER OF A FACILITY ON THE ACCOUNT OF AN INCOMPETENT PATIENT THEREIN, IS NOT UNUSUAL AND IS RECOGNIZED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE EVENT NO FIDUCIARY IS SERVING. FUNDS DUE AS INCOMPETENT ENROLLEE OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AT TIME OF DISCHARGE FROM THE CORPS AND WHO IS HOSPITALIZED IN ONE OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES, IF NO FIDUCIARY IS SERVING, MAY BE PAID TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY UNDER WHOSE JURISDICTION HE COMES. FOR INSTANCE, IN THE CASE OF JAMES W. WALLACE, C-2, 751,220, A CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BY THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, CANADA IGUA, NEW YORK, APRIL 17, 1939, FOR THE AMOUNT OF $186.00, THE BALANCE OF PAY ON THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ACCOUNT OF THE ABOVE NAMED VETERAN. THE RECORDS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION SHOW THAT SETTLEMENT OF THIS CLAIM, CERTIFICATE NO. 547,429, WAS MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER DATE OF JULY 14, 1939.

ADDITIONAL TRAVEL PAY DUE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1919, IN THE CASE OF JAMES B. HILDEBRANT, C-1, 649,626, REFERENCE " SERV- 1790588-HBB," OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, APPEARS PROPER FOR PAYMENT TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY IN WHICH THE INCOMPETENT VETERAN IS A PATIENT. ALL SUCH MONEY PAID TO THE MANAGERS OF FACILITIES IS PLACED TO THE VETERAN'S CREDIT UNDER GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 80 ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AUGUST 15, 1934, TO BE USED FOR THE NEEDS AND COMFORTS OF THE PATIENT TO WHOM CREDITED.

ANY OTHER FUNDS HELD TO THE VETERAN'S CREDIT BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS MUST HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT EITHER AS BAILEE WITHOUT HIRE, OR IN A TRUST, OR QUASI-TRUST CAPACITY. IF THE LAW, OR TRUST INSTRUMENT, UNDER WHICH THE MONEY, OR OTHER THING, IS RECEIVED, DOES NOT PROVIDE OTHERWISE THE BAILEE OR TRUSTEE IS AMPLY PROTECTED IF HE, ACTING IN GOOD FAITH AND THAT DEGREE OF CARE TO WHICH BAILEE AND TRUSTEES ARE RESPECTIVELY HELD, TURNS OVER SUCH FUNDS TO ANOTHER BAILEE OR TRUSTEE OF EQUAL DEGREE WITH HIMSELF, AND FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE BAILOR OR CESTUI QUE TRUST. BOTH THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS AND THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY ARE RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, BOTH ARE AUTHORIZED BY LAW OR REGULATION, OR BOTH, TO RECEIVE AND DISPOSE OF FUNDS ON BEHALF OF INSANE INMATES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE INSTITUTIONS--- ACTING IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY, RATHER THAN INDIVIDUAL. BOTH DEPOSIT SUCH FUNDS IN THE TREASURY TO THE PATIENT'S ACCOUNT, AND THE DISPOSITION OF SUCH FUNDS IS GOVERNED BY REGULATIONS WHERE NOT PRESCRIBED BY LAW. THE MANAGER IS BONDED, WHICH BOND WOULD PROTECT THE BAILOR OR CESTUI QUE TRUST PRIMARILY, AND SECONDARILY, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL. IF THE FUNDS BELONG TO THE PATIENT--- WHETHER FROM GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS OR PRIVATE GAIN--- IT WOULD SEEM CLEAR THERE COULD BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THEIR TRANSFER WITH HIM TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. IF DONATED FUNDS, OF COURSE, THE CONSENT OF THE DONOR SHOULD BE SECURED, IF PRACTICABLE.

FROM THE ACCOUNTING POINT OF VIEW, IT WOULD SEEM IMMATERIAL WHETHER SUCH FUNDS BE HELD IN THE TREASURY IN THE PATIENTS' FUNDS ACCOUNT, ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, OR SAME ACCOUNT, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY; AND THE TRANSFER MAY READILY BE MADE BY THE ISSUANCE OF A CHECK ON THE ONE, THE AMOUNT THEREOF BEING DEPOSITED IN THE OTHER. IN THE LONG VIEW, IT SIMPLY IS A QUESTION OF WHICH RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT OFFICER MAY WITHDRAW SUCH FUNDS FOR THE USE OF THE VETERAN.

THIS ADMINISTRATION IS NOT INFORMED AS TO THE SOURCE OF THE MONEY ON DEPOSIT IN "PERSONAL FUNDS OF PATIENTS, ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL" TO THE CREDIT OF JOSEPH N. PALKA, AND IT IS NOT BELIEVED TO BE RELEVANT, BUT IT DOES APPEAR TO THIS ADMINISTRATION, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITING OTHERWISE, THAT IT MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY AT PERRY POINT, MARYLAND, TO BE PLACED TO THE VETERAN'S CREDIT IN THAT FACILITY TO BE USED FOR HIS CREATURE NEEDS AND COMFORTS AS THEY ARISE. THIS ACTION WILL ELIMINATE THE NECESSITY AND THE EXPENSE OF HAVING A FIDUCIARY APPOINTED TO RECEIVE THE MONEY IN QUESTION, FOR IF A FIDUCIARY IS APPOINTED HE WILL IN TURN FORWARD THESE FUNDS TO THE MANAGER, MINUS THE COST OF APPOINTMENT AND THE FIDUCIARY'S COMMISSION.

THIS QUESTION IS SUBMITTED TO YOU FOR CONSIDERATION AND YOUR DECISION IN THE PREMISES.

WHILE THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IN THIS MATTER FINDS SUPPORT IN THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES ON JUNE 20, 1924, AND MAY 3, 1926, UNDER DOCKET NO. A-2080 AND A-13893 (5 COMP. GEN. 890), RESPECTIVELY, CITED IN THE FIFTH AND SIXTH PARAGRAPHS OF YOUR LETTER, CERTAIN LAWS ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF SAID DECISIONS WOULD APPEAR TO RENDER SAID DECISIONS NO LONGER OPERATIVE. SEE, FOR INSTANCE, SECTION 17 OF TITLE I OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 8, 11, WHICH REPEALED "ALL PUBLIC LAWS GRANTING MEDICAL OR HOSPITAL TREATMENT * * * TO VETERANS * * *; " SECTION 6, IBID., AUTHORIZING, UNDER PROPER REGULATIONS, THE FURNISHING OF DOMICILIARY CARE, ETC., TO VETERANS SUFFERING FROM NEUROPSYCHIATRIC AILMENTS; AND SECTION 5, IBID., WHICH RENDERS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ALL DECISIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS RELATIVE TO THE MATTERS ARISING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH TITLE. SEE, ALSO, TITLE III OF THE ACT APPROVED MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 524, WHEREIN VARIOUS MATTERS PERTAINING TO VETERANS ARE SET FORTH.

THE LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1935, REFERRED TO IN THE LAST PART OF PARAGRAPH 5 AND THE FIRST PART OF PARAGRAPH 6 OF YOUR LETTER, AS AFFIRMING THE POINT COVERED IN THE DECISIONS OF JUNE 20, 1924, AND MAY 3, 1926, WAS NOT A DECISION BY "THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO THE MANAGER, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PERRY POINT, MD., " AS YOUR LETTER SUGGESTS, BUT RATHER IT REPRESENTS A SETTLEMENT BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE, DISALLOWING CLAIM NO. 10487055 IN AMOUNT OF $46.67, FILED BY THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT PERRY POINT, MD., AS " TRUSTEE"--- THE AMOUNT INVOLVED REPRESENTING THE FINAL PAY OF GEORGE W. KUHNS, AN INCOMPETENT VETERAN WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, SUPRA, UNDER DATE OF JUNE 28, 1933. IN THAT CONNECTION, AS WELL AS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE IN THE OTHER CASES REFERRED TO IN PARAGRAPHS 8 AND 9 OF YOUR LETTER, IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OR SETTLEMENT OF AN ACCOUNT OR CLAIM DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES AS ADMINISTRATIVE AND DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT AS GUIDES AND PRECEDENTS IN OBLIGATING AND DISBURSING PUBLIC MONEYS. 11 COMP. GEN. 367; 17 ID. 445; 18 ID. 609.

SECTION 4761, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) (1) ALL FUNDS RECEIVED AT A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY FROM ANY SOURCE FOR THE NECESSITIES, COMFORTS, AND DESIRES OF INDIVIDUAL INCOMPETENT PATIENTS OR INCOMPETENT MEMBERS (UNDER THE GENERAL SUBJECT " PERSONAL FUNDS OF PATIENTS," R. AND P. 4760 TO 4788, INCLUSIVE, ALL REFERENCES TO PATIENTS WILL APPLY EQUALLY TO MEMBERS), AND FUNDS CONTRIBUTED FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE, ENTERTAINMENT OR USE OF PATIENTS INDIVIDUALLY OR AS A GROUP OR FOR SPECIFIED PURPOSES, AS WELL AS FUNDS OF PATIENTS DECEASED, ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE, MORIBUND OR UNCONSCIOUS, WILL BE TURNED OVER TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY WHO, AS TRUSTEE, WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION AND EXPENDITURE OF ALL SUCH FUNDS AS HEREINAFTER PROVIDED * * *.

PARAGRAPH (B) (1) OF THE SAME SECTION PROVIDES:

MANAGERS AND ACTING MEMBERS OF VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF FUNDS OF INCOMPETENT, DECEASED, DISCHARGED, AND MORIBUND AND UNCONSCIOUS BENEFICIARIES, AND CONTRIBUTED FUNDS, AND WILL BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH BOND RUNNING TO THE UNITED STATES * * *. SECTION 4777 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART:

FUNDS OF AN INCOMPETENT BENEFICIARY TRANSFERRED TO OR WHO MAY ELOPE AND IS SUBSEQUENTLY ADMITTED TO ANOTHER VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY WILL BE FORWARDED IMMEDIATELY TO THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY HAVING CUSTODY OF THE BENEFICIARY. * * *

IN VIEW OF THE BROAD POWERS VESTED BY LAW IN THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS WITH RESPECT TO THE DOMICILIARY CARE OF VETERANS, THE MANAGERS OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES BEING CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHER SOURCES, IT MAY WELL BE SAID THAT THE TRANSFER OF PERSONAL FUNDS, AS WELL AS "PENSION" FUNDS, TO THE CREDIT OF A VETERAN COMMITTED TO ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL AND WHO IS LATER TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, IS CONSISTENT AND COMPATIBLE WITH EXISTING LAW APPLICABLE TO ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, NAMELY, THAT PART OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 2, 1909, 35 STAT. 593, PROVIDING--

* * * THAT IN THE CASE OF ANY PENSIONER TRANSFERRED TO THE HOSPITAL FROM THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS (NOW A PART OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION), ANY PENSION MONEY TO HIS CREDIT AT SAID HOME AT THE TIME OF HIS SAID TRANSFER SHALL BE TRANSFERRED WITH HIM TO SAID HOSPITAL AND PLACED TO HIS CREDIT THEREIN, TO BE EXPENDED AS HEREINBEFORE PROVIDED, AND IN CASE OF HIS RETURN FROM SAID HOSPITAL TO THE HOME ANY BALANCE TO HIS CREDIT AT SAID HOSPITAL SHALL IN LIKE MANNER BE TRANSFERRED TO SAID HOME, TO BE EXPENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES ESTABLISHED IN REGARD THERETO. * * *

SEE, ALSO, 17 COMP. GEN. 120, WHERE IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

WHERE A PENSIONER INMATE OF ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL IS TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, PENSION MONEYS CREDITED TO THE VETERANS' ACCOUNT WHILE AT THE HOSPITAL SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE FACILITY CONCERNED. 16 COMP. GEN. 522, DISTINGUISHED.

WHILE THE DECISION IN 17 COMP. GEN. 120 SPECIFICALLY REFERS ONLY TO PENSION FUNDS, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO A SIMILAR TRANSFER OF PERSONAL FUNDS, THAT IS TO SAY, FUNDS FROM PRIVATE SOURCES, PROVIDED THE CONSENT OF THE DULY APPOINTED GUARDIAN, IF ANY, IS OBTAINED, IT APPEARING THAT SUCH PERSONAL FUNDS PROPERLY COULD BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE VETERAN'S ACCOUNT AT THE FACILITY IF ADMITTED OTHERWISE THAN BY TRANSFER FROM ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, AND THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT THAT SUCH FUNDS BE RETAINED BY ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL UPON SUCH TRANSFER OF THE PATIENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT NO GUARDIAN HAS BEEN APPOINTED FOR THE VETERAN HERE INVOLVED, IT BEING SUGGESTED THAT THE AMOUNT TO HIS CREDIT WOULD NOT WARRANT SUCH ACTION. IT APPEARS, ALSO, THAT HE HAS NO DEPENDENTS AND NO KNOWN RELATIVES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A SISTER LIVING IN SCHENECTADY, N.Y.

SPECIFICALLY, THEREFORE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PERSONAL FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF JOSEPH N. PALKA ON DEPOSIT AT ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, IN "PERSONAL FUNDS OF PATIENTS," MAY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DULY APPOINTED GUARDIAN, BE TRANSFERRED TO THE MANAGER OF THE INVOLVED VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, AS "TRUSTEE" FOR MR. PALKA, THE FUNDS SO DEPOSITED BEING FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE VETERAN.