B-140473, JAN. 20, 1960

B-140473: Jan 20, 1960

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 10. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE COLLECTED OVERPAYMENTS ON AIR FORCE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS OF APPROXIMATELY $376. THAT THIS SUM WAS DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. IT IS SAID. WILL ENABLE THE AIR FORCE TO UTILIZE SOME OF THE FUNDS RECOVERED. THE COLLECTION OF AMOUNTS DETERMINED HERE TO BE DUE IS SUCH THAT FEW. OF THE COLLECTIONS OTHERWISE PROPER FOR CREDIT TO THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE PAYMENTS WERE MADE COULD BE DEPOSITED THERETO IN SUFFICIENT TIME FOR REOBLIGATION BY THE AIR FORCE DURING THE PERIOD OF OBLIGATION AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATIONS.

B-140473, JAN. 20, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 10, 1959, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING THAT COLLECTIONS MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM AIR FORCE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS, BE DEPOSITED TO THE APPROPRIATE AIR FORCE APPROPRIATION UNDER ACCOUNT 993 "APPROPRIATION REFUNDS ON TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONS AND THINGS," INSTEAD OF DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE COLLECTED OVERPAYMENTS ON AIR FORCE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS OF APPROXIMATELY $376,000 DURING AN 8-WEEK PERIOD IN THE EARLY PART OF THIS YEAR, AND THAT THIS SUM WAS DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. THE EFFECT OF THE REQUESTED ACTION, IT IS SAID, WILL ENABLE THE AIR FORCE TO UTILIZE SOME OF THE FUNDS RECOVERED.

THE TIME CYCLE INCIDENT TO THE RECEIPT AND POST AUDIT OF TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNTS, AND THE COLLECTION OF AMOUNTS DETERMINED HERE TO BE DUE IS SUCH THAT FEW, IF ANY, OF THE COLLECTIONS OTHERWISE PROPER FOR CREDIT TO THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE PAYMENTS WERE MADE COULD BE DEPOSITED THERETO IN SUFFICIENT TIME FOR REOBLIGATION BY THE AIR FORCE DURING THE PERIOD OF OBLIGATION AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATIONS. THUS, THE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF DEPOSITING SUCH COLLECTIONS TO AIR FORCE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS WOULD BE TO MAKE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE ONLY FOR THE PAYMENT OF LAWFUL OBLIGATIONS.

DEPOSIT TO THE SPECIFIC AIR FORCE APPROPRIATIONS OF ALL RECOVERIES ARISING FROM OVERPAYMENTS FROM AIR FORCE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS AS WOULD APPEAR TO BE CONTEMPLATED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S REQUEST IS NOT FEASIBLE. CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE WORK WOULD BE REQUIRED WITHOUT VALUE TO THE AIR FORCE SINCE MANY OF THE ITEMS DO NOT RELATE TO PRESENTLY USABLE APPROPRIATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE AMOUNTS BEING COLLECTED FROM REAUDIT OF WORLD WAR II ITEMS, ALTHOUGH PAID FROM ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS, WOULD NOT APPEAR APPROPRIATE FOR RETURN TO AIR FORCE ACCOUNTS.

THE DEPOSIT OF COLLECTIONS ARISING FROM OVERPAYMENTS FOR AIR FORCE TRANSPORTATION AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH 5 GAO 5060.10 CITED IN THE LETTER, WHICH REGULATION IS IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 (C) OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, 70 STAT. 648, 31 U.S.C. 701 (C). THAT SECTION PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT "* * * ANY COLLECTION MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MAY BE DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.' UNDER JUSTIFIABLE CIRCUMSTANCES AS PROVIDED IN 5 GAO 5060.10 (1), COLLECTIONS PROPERLY CREDITABLE TO AN APPROPRIATION REMAINING AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION OR EXPENDITURE AT THE TIME OF COLLECTION MAY BE SO APPLIED. THIS OFFICE RECOGNIZES THE DESIRABILITY OF SUCH APPLICATION IN ORDER THAT THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS MAY BE UTILIZED BY THE AGENCY.

WE BELIEVE THAT A PRACTICAL WORKING METHOD FOR UTILIZATION OF FUNDS WOULD BE AN ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY COLLECTIONS RECEIVED AFTER A DESIGNATED CURRENT DATE, APPLICABLE TO THE AIR FORCE APPROPRIATIONS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN TRANSFERRED TO "N" ACCOUNTS WILL BE DEPOSITED TO THE APPROPRIATE AIR FORCE APPROPRIATION, IDENTIFYING ONLY THE APPROPRIATION AND THE AMOUNT OF THE DEPOSIT.

THE PROCEDURE FOR IDENTIFYING ONLY THE APPROPRIATION AND THE AMOUNT OF THE DEPOSIT WOULD APPLY LIKEWISE TO THE TRANSPORTATION COLLECTIONS NOW BEING DEPOSITED BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THE AIR FORCE ACCOUNTS. HERETOFORE, SUCH DEPOSITS HAVE BEEN LISTED IN DETAIL IN ACCORDANCE WITH 5 GAO 5060.20. WE BELIEVE THAT NO REAL PURPOSE IS BEING SERVED BY SUCH DETAILED REPORTING AND RECORDING, AND THAT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE AIR FORCE TO HAVE THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OR REOBLIGATION CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY SIMPLY IDENTIFYING THE BASIC APPROPRIATION NUMBER AND THE AMOUNT OF EACH DEPOSIT. A REVISION OF 5 GAO 5060 TO ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY DETAILED REPORTING AND RECORDING OF THESE COLLECTIONS IS IN PROCESS.

COLLECTIONS WHICH ARE NOT READILY IDENTIFIABLE WITH THE APPLICABLE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION WILL BE DEPOSITED TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS AS HERETOFORE.

IF THE AIR FORCE DESIRES DEPOSIT OF USABLE FUNDS REPRESENTING RECOVERIES OF OVERPAYMENTS FROM AIR FORCE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS ON THE BASIS OUTLINED ABOVE, THE REQUEST SHOULD BE MADE TO THE DIRECTOR, TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.