B-145467, APR. 26, 1961

B-145467: Apr 26, 1961

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE CONSULTANT FOR LOGISTICS. THE TYPES OF CLAIMS INVOLVED ARE DESCRIBED IN AN ATTACHED NARRATIVE STATEMENT. IN EXPLANATION OF THE PURPOSES AND THE NEED FOR THE PROPOSED OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES IT IS STATED THAT. "UNDER THESE AGREEMENTS THE ONUS IS UPON THE LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY TO COLLECT AND ACCOUNT FOR ALL CALLS INITIATED FROM THE COMPANY'S FACILITIES. THE CALL IS COMPLETED THROUGH A CONNECTING LONG LINES TELEPHONE COMPANY. THE LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY NOR THE ACS ARE GUILTY OF NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE AT FAULT. "OFFICIALS OF THE ACS ARE OF THE OPINION THAT SUCH PROBLEMS SHOULD BE HANDLED AND ADJUSTED BY THE ACS IN THE MANNER NOW EMPLOYED BY THE MAJOR LONG LINES TELEPHONE COMPANIES.

B-145467, APR. 26, 1961

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE CONSULTANT FOR LOGISTICS, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, A LETTER DATED MARCH 28, 1961, REQUESTING OUR APPROVAL OF SPECIAL OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES ENTITLED "TOLL SERVICE FAULT PROCEDURE" PROPOSED BY THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER FOR USE OF THE ALASKA COMMUNICATION SYSTEM (ACS) IN THE SETTLEMENT AND ADJUSTMENT OF CERTAIN TYPES OF CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENTS WITH INDEPENDENT TELEPHONE COMPANIES IN ALASKA. THE TYPES OF CLAIMS INVOLVED ARE DESCRIBED IN AN ATTACHED NARRATIVE STATEMENT.

IN EXPLANATION OF THE PURPOSES AND THE NEED FOR THE PROPOSED OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES IT IS STATED THAT---

"ACS OWNS AND OPERATES LONG DISTANCE TOLL SWITCHBOARDS IN ALASKA INCIDENT TO ITS ASSIGNED MISSION IN THE FIELD OF PUBLIC OFFERING COMMUNICATIONS AS THE COMMERCIAL LONG LINES CARRIER WITHIN ALASKA. IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE FUNCTIONS IT ENTERS INTO INTERCONNECTION ARRANGEMENTS WITH BOTH LOCAL AND INTERSTATE CARRIERS WHICH CALL FOR THE COLLECTION OF TOLLS BY THE LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANIES FROM SUBSCRIBERS AND USERS, AND REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH COMPANIES FROM ACS COLLECTIONS AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. (ACT OF 23 MAY 1941, 55 STAT. 190, 48 U.S.C. 311.)

"UNDER THESE AGREEMENTS THE ONUS IS UPON THE LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY TO COLLECT AND ACCOUNT FOR ALL CALLS INITIATED FROM THE COMPANY'S FACILITIES, FOR WHICH THE ACS BILLS THEM ACCORDINGLY, ON A MONTHLY BASIS, CREDITING THE COMPANY WITH AMOUNTS DUE THE LATTER FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO ACS ON EACH MESSAGE (INCLUDING LONG DISTANCE CALLS) AS PRESCRIBED IN THE AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, SITUATIONS ARISE IN WHICH THE LOCAL COMPANY CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AT FAULT IN FAILING TO COLLECT FOR A CALL, AND THE CALLER HIMSELF DENIES ALL RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR. YET, THE CALL IS COMPLETED THROUGH A CONNECTING LONG LINES TELEPHONE COMPANY, WHICH PROPERLY LOOKS TO THE ACS FOR REIMBURSEMENT. WHERE NEITHER THE SUBSCRIBER, THE LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY NOR THE ACS ARE GUILTY OF NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE AT FAULT, THE QUESTION OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE CHARGE ARISES. SIMILAR SITUATIONS ARISE IN THE HANDLING OF TELEGRAMS.

"OFFICIALS OF THE ACS ARE OF THE OPINION THAT SUCH PROBLEMS SHOULD BE HANDLED AND ADJUSTED BY THE ACS IN THE MANNER NOW EMPLOYED BY THE MAJOR LONG LINES TELEPHONE COMPANIES, PARTICULARLY THOSE OF THE BELL SYSTEM. COPY OF THE BELL SYSTEM INSTRUCTIONS HAS BEEN APPENDED TO THE NARRATIVE STATEMENT.) THE ADOPTION OF SIMILAR PROCEDURES WOULD ALLOW THE ACS TO DETERMINE THE BASIS FOR THE LOSS, AND IN PROPER CASES, TO ADJUST AND SETTLE THE ACCOUNT BY WRITING OFF THE LOSSES ARISING THEREFROM.'

THE PURPOSES OF THE NEW PROCEDURES APPEAR TO BE REASONABLE AND THE MEANS PROPOSED FOR ACCOMPLISHING SUCH PURPOSES APPEAR TO PROVIDE A PRACTICAL SOLUTION TO DIFFICULT OPERATING PROBLEMS, WITH THE MINOR EXCEPTION OF COIN BOX COLLECTIONS. (INCLOSURE NO. 2, PAGE 7, ITEM B.) WITH RESPECT TO SUCH COLLECTIONS, INVOLVING SITUATIONS WHERE A PERSON WHO FAILS TO PUT EXTRA MONEY IN A PAY TELEPHONE IS A SUBSCRIBER OF THE CONNECTING COMPANY, IT WOULD SEEM PROPER TO CONSIDER THE UNDERCOLLECTION AS A BAD DEBT OF THE CONNECTING COMPANY FOR WHICH THERE SHOULD BE NO ADJUSTMENT.

OTHER THAN THE FOREGOING, THE OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES AS PROPOSED ARE APPROVED. IT IS REQUESTED ..END :