B-146005, JUN. 21, 1961

B-146005: Jun 21, 1961

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

MILEAGE CLAIMED WHEN NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ON THE DATE SHOWN. REPORTS OF CALLS WHICH WERE NOT MADE ON THE DATES SHOWN AND ERRONEOUS REPORTS AS TO TIME SPENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY YOU DID NOT DISCLOSE THE TRUE FACTS UPON WHICH YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT. WHEN INACCURACIES ARE SHOWN TO EXIST AS TO CERTAIN ITEMS IN A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT THERE ARISES A DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE ACTUALLY AND LEGITIMATELY INCURRED. IT LONG HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REFUSE APPROVAL OF CLAIMS IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THERE IS A CONSIDERABLE DEGREE OF IRREGULARITY THUS RESERVING THE MATTER FOR THE SCRUTINY OF THE COURTS WHERE THE FACTS MAY BE JUDICIALLY DETERMINED UPON SWORN TESTIMONY AND COMPETENT EVIDENCE.

B-146005, JUN. 21, 1961

TO MR. EDWIN C. TOWNSEND:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 5, 1961, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 13, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR TRAVEL ALLEGEDLY PERFORMED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REGIONAL OFFICE, CLEVELAND, OHIO, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 16 TO JUNE 28, 1959.

AS STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED THAT YOUR CLAIM AND SUPPORTING PAPERS (DAILY WORK SHEETS) SHOW DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN MILEAGE CLAIMED AND SPEEDOMETER READINGS, MILEAGE CLAIMED WHEN NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ON THE DATE SHOWN, REPORTS OF CALLS WHICH WERE NOT MADE ON THE DATES SHOWN AND ERRONEOUS REPORTS AS TO TIME SPENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

IN EXPLANATION OF MILEAGE CLAIMED IN EXCESS OF THAT SHOWN BY THE SPEEDOMETER, YOU SAY IN LETTERS ADDRESSED TO US, THAT YOU USED ANOTHER CAR BUT DID NOT CHANGE THE SPEEDOMETER READINGS. CONCERNING THE OTHER ITEMS YOU SAY THAT YOU "ALWAYS SPREAD THE MILEAGE OUT AS IT WOULD NOT WORK IN THAT OFFICE TO PUT DOWN ALL YOUR MILEAGE IF IT AMOUNTED TO MUCH.'

FROM THE FOREGOING STATEMENTS, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY YOU DID NOT DISCLOSE THE TRUE FACTS UPON WHICH YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT. WHEN INACCURACIES ARE SHOWN TO EXIST AS TO CERTAIN ITEMS IN A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT THERE ARISES A DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE ACTUALLY AND LEGITIMATELY INCURRED.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REFUSE APPROVAL OF CLAIMS IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THERE IS A CONSIDERABLE DEGREE OF IRREGULARITY THUS RESERVING THE MATTER FOR THE SCRUTINY OF THE COURTS WHERE THE FACTS MAY BE JUDICIALLY DETERMINED UPON SWORN TESTIMONY AND COMPETENT EVIDENCE, AND A FORFEITURE DECLARED OR OTHER APPROPRIATE ACTION TAKEN. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 CT.CL. 288, 291; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CL. 316. THUS, OUR OFFICE MAY NOT PROPERLY AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 13, 1961, IS THEREFORE CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.