B-143129, JUL. 15, 1960

B-143129: Jul 15, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR ASKED IF WE WOULD OBJECT IF ACCUMULATED INTEREST CHARGES WERE CANCELLED ON DELINQUENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENTS AGAINST TWO NON-INDIAN WATER USERS ON THE FLATHEAD INDIAN IRRIGATION PROJECT IN MONTANA. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT YOUR RECORDS INDICATE THE ORIGINAL BILLS FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 1. APPARENTLY NO CONCERTED EFFORT WAS MADE TO COLLECT THEM UNTIL THEY SUBSEQUENTLY WERE DISCOVERED DURING AN AUDIT OF THE PROJECT ACCOUNTS. IT IS STATED THAT NO RECORD IS NOW AVAILABLE TO INDICATE WHETHER THE FLATHEAD DISTRICT IN WHICH THE LAND IS LOCATED ATTEMPTED TO RECORD THE CHARGES WITH THE COUNTY AS PROPORTIONAL PART OF THE ASSESSMENT AGAINST THE DISTRICT OR WHETHER THE LANDS IN 1931 HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THE DISTRICT.

B-143129, JUL. 15, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

BY LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1960, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR ASKED IF WE WOULD OBJECT IF ACCUMULATED INTEREST CHARGES WERE CANCELLED ON DELINQUENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENTS AGAINST TWO NON-INDIAN WATER USERS ON THE FLATHEAD INDIAN IRRIGATION PROJECT IN MONTANA. THE ASSESSMENTS DATE BACK TO THE YEARS 1931-1933 IN THE AMOUNTS OF $104.34 AND $93.75 AND THE ACCUMULATED INTEREST TO FEBRUARY 28, 1959, AMOUNTS TO $164.30 AND $157.50 RESPECTIVELY.

IT IS EXPLAINED THAT YOUR RECORDS INDICATE THE ORIGINAL BILLS FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 1, 1931, BUT APPARENTLY NO CONCERTED EFFORT WAS MADE TO COLLECT THEM UNTIL THEY SUBSEQUENTLY WERE DISCOVERED DURING AN AUDIT OF THE PROJECT ACCOUNTS. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT NO RECORD IS NOW AVAILABLE TO INDICATE WHETHER THE FLATHEAD DISTRICT IN WHICH THE LAND IS LOCATED ATTEMPTED TO RECORD THE CHARGES WITH THE COUNTY AS PROPORTIONAL PART OF THE ASSESSMENT AGAINST THE DISTRICT OR WHETHER THE LANDS IN 1931 HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THE DISTRICT. THE DEBTORS FIRST DENIED THE OBLIGATIONS BUT AFTER CONSIDERABLE DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE CHARGES WERE MADE NOW HAVE AGREED TO PAY THE INITIAL CHARGES BUT HAVE OBJECTED TO THE PAYMENT OF ACCRUED INTEREST CHARGES.

WE AGREE THAT, IN VIEW OF THE TIME WHICH ELAPSED WITHOUT FURTHER COLLECTION ACTION HAVING BEEN TAKEN AND BECAUSE OF THE APPARENT CONFUSED CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE CHARGES WERE ASSESSED, THE OBJECTIONS RAISED BY THE DEBTORS ARE NOT WITHOUT MERIT.

ACCORDINGLY, IF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNTS DUE ARE PROMPTLY PAID IN FULL, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE CANCELLATION OF THE PENALTY CHARGES IN THESE TWO CASES.