B-145129, MAR. 23, 1961

B-145129: Mar 23, 1961

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ESQUIRE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20. WHILE HE WAS ENROLLED IN AN APPRENTICE TRAINING COURSE AT NELSON'S BAKERY. FRASER'S INDEBTEDNESS WAS REPORTED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REGIONAL OFFICE AT BOSTON. AS THE RESULT OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE REGIONAL OFFICE IT WAS FOUND THAT THE MATTER OF THIS INDEBTEDNESS WAS CONSIDERED BY THE REGIONAL COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS IN A DECISION DATED AUGUST 7. IN WHICH THE OPINION WAS EXPRESSED THAT THE TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT WAS NEGLIGENT IN NOT REPORTING THE CORRECT TRAINING WAGE RATE TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT IF RECOVERY IS MADE FROM THE VETERAN. IT THUS APPEARS THERE IS A JOINT LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE VETERAN AND NELSON'S BAKERY FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT REPORTED TO BE DUE IN THIS CASE.

B-145129, MAR. 23, 1961

TO JOHN P. DONNELLY, ESQUIRE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1960, SUBMITTING ON BEHALF OF MR. WILLIAM B. FRASER AN OFFER TO PAY THE SUM OF $250 IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $541.90, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENTS OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE MADE TO THE DEBTOR BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 21, 1955, THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 1956, WHILE HE WAS ENROLLED IN AN APPRENTICE TRAINING COURSE AT NELSON'S BAKERY, 14 LEBANON STREET, MALDEN, MASSACHUSETTS, AS AN APPRENTICE BAKER UNDER THE VETERANS READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1952, 66 STAT. 663.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UNDER DATE OF MARCH 12, 1960, MR. FRASER'S INDEBTEDNESS WAS REPORTED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REGIONAL OFFICE AT BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AS UNCOLLECTIBLE. AS THE RESULT OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE REGIONAL OFFICE IT WAS FOUND THAT THE MATTER OF THIS INDEBTEDNESS WAS CONSIDERED BY THE REGIONAL COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS IN A DECISION DATED AUGUST 7, 1957, IN WHICH THE OPINION WAS EXPRESSED THAT THE TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT WAS NEGLIGENT IN NOT REPORTING THE CORRECT TRAINING WAGE RATE TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION; THAT THIS RESULTED IN AN OVERPAYMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE, AND THAT, ACCORDINGLY, THE TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENTS, BUT SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT IF RECOVERY IS MADE FROM THE VETERAN. IN AN OPINION DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1959, THE BOARD OF WAIVERS AND FORFEITURES AFFIRMED THE HOLDING IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 7, 1957, INSOFAR AS THE SAME PERTAINED TO NELSON'S BAKERY. IT THUS APPEARS THERE IS A JOINT LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE VETERAN AND NELSON'S BAKERY FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT REPORTED TO BE DUE IN THIS CASE.

UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 28, 1960, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION MADE DEMAND UPON NELSON'S BAKERY FOR PAYMENT, AND THEREAFTER THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1961, STATING THAT THE CHECK FOR $250, TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1960, CONSTITUTED AN OFFER TO SETTLE THE JOINT INDEBTEDNESS OF THE PARTIES. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT AN OFFER IN COMPROMISE. HOWEVER, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS VESTED WITH SUCH AUTHORITY AND UNDER DATE OF MARCH 3, 1961, WE REFERRED THE MATTER OF THE OFFER TO THAT OFFICIAL FOR CONSIDERATION. THERE HAS NOW BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE A LETTER DATED MARCH 15, 1961, ADVISING THAT THE OFFER OF SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN REJECTED.

IN TRANSMITTING THE OFFER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR CONSIDERATION, WE SUBSTANTIALLY DOCUMENTED THE REFERENCE IN ORDER THAT THE DEPARTMENT MIGHT BE IN POSSESSION OF ALL THE FACTS CONCERNING THE INDEBTEDNESS. WHILE NOT SO STATED IN THE LETTER OF MARCH 15, 1961, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE OFFER WAS REJECTED AS BEING INADEQUATE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. ACCORDINGLY, BOTH THE VETERAN AND NELSON'S BAKERY REMAIN INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE AMOUNT OF $541.90, AND IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF WE MAY BE ADVISED WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER AS TO THE INTENTION OF THE DEBTORS RESPECTING PAYMENT. WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE FACTS IN THIS CASE AND WE WOULD BE WILLING TO RECOMMEND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THE ACCEPTANCE OF AN OFFER OF $375 IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIM. IT MAY BE ADDED THAT IF THIS INDEBTEDNESS IS NOT ADJUSTED EITHER THROUGH PAYMENT OR BY THE SUBMISSION OF AN ACCEPTABLE OFFER IN COMPROMISE, WE WILL HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO REFER THE MATTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR ACTION TO ENFORCE PAYMENT.

THE CHECK TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1960, IS RETURNED HEREWITH.