B-144857, FEB. 21, 1961

B-144857: Feb 21, 1961

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT THE RECORD DID NOT DISCLOSE ANY NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT OR ANY OF ITS OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. THE BASIS FOR YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM IS THE FAILURE OF UNKNOWN PERSONNEL OF THE GOVERNMENT TO PROPERLY SAFEGUARD THE QUALITY OF FINISHED WORK DELIVERED UNDER THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION. YOU ALLEGE THAT THE NEGLIGENCE OF CERTAIN UNIDENTIFIED GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE LOSS SUSTAINED BY YOU. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO SETTLE CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT SOUNDING IN TORT. 1 COMP.

B-144857, FEB. 21, 1961

TO MR. WILLIAM G. FINN:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1960, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 19, 1959, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR $468,17 FOR DAMAGE TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (PORCELAIN, CRYSTALS AND CERTAIN OTHER ITEMS) WHILE OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.

THE LOSS OR DAMAGE OCCURRED ON JUNE 24, 1959, IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY YOU AT 21 QUAI DU 4 SEPTEMBER, BOULOGNE SUR-SEINE FRANCE, WHEN A BUILT-IN KITCHEN CABINET BROKE LOOSE FROM THE WALL AND CRASHED TO THE FLOOR DESTROYING SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF THE ITEMS INVOLVED. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT THE RECORD DID NOT DISCLOSE ANY NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT OR ANY OF ITS OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES.

THE BASIS FOR YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM IS THE FAILURE OF UNKNOWN PERSONNEL OF THE GOVERNMENT TO PROPERLY SAFEGUARD THE QUALITY OF FINISHED WORK DELIVERED UNDER THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION, PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO THE INSTALLATION OF THE KITCHEN CABINETS. OTHER WORDS, YOU ALLEGE THAT THE NEGLIGENCE OF CERTAIN UNIDENTIFIED GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE LOSS SUSTAINED BY YOU. THUS, YOUR CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO BE ONE SOUNDING IN TORT.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY PROVISION, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO SETTLE CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT SOUNDING IN TORT. 1 COMP. DEC. 283; 14 COMP. GEN. 855; 17 ID. 931. THUS, WE MAY NOT ALLOW YOUR CLAIM. HOWEVER, UNDER 5 U.S.C. 170G, THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PAY TORT CLAIMS IN THE MANNER AUTHORIZED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF 28 U.S.C. 2672, WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARISE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN CONNECTION WITH DEPARTMENT OF STATE OPERATIONS ABROAD.