B-146729, MAR. 11, 1964

B-146729: Mar 11, 1964

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WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR REPORT TO THE CONGRESS OF MAY 31. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THESE ACTIONS YOU BELIEVE THAT THE MOST FLAGRANT SITUATIONS WERE UNCOVERED AND APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN. YOU ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE COST OF FURTHER INVESTIGATIVE ACTION WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS PAID PRIOR TO JULY 2. THAT HAVE NOT BEEN INVESTIGATED. PARTICULARLY SINCE MANY OF THE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED OR DISCHARGED. IN VIEW OF THESE CONDITIONS AND WITH YOUR ASSURANCE THAT THE REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL WILL BE CONTINUOUSLY EVALUATED AND INVESTIGATIVE AND CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN AS NECESSARY. THAT HAVE NOT BEEN INVESTIGATED BE PASSED WITHOUT FURTHER QUESTION IS CONCURRED IN.

B-146729, MAR. 11, 1964

TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1963, SUMMARIZES THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE NAVY TO CORRECT AND PREVENT THE UNSATISFACTORY CONDITIONS DISCLOSED IN OUR REVIEW OF PAYMENTS OF SHORE PATROL ALLOWANCES, WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR REPORT TO THE CONGRESS OF MAY 31, 1962, ENTITLED ,FRAUDULENT CLAIMS AND UNECONOMICAL PRACTICES IN LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES PAID TO MEMBERS OF SHORE PATROLS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.' AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THESE ACTIONS YOU BELIEVE THAT THE MOST FLAGRANT SITUATIONS WERE UNCOVERED AND APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE COST OF FURTHER INVESTIGATIVE ACTION WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS PAID PRIOR TO JULY 2, 1962, WOULD BE PROHIBITIVE, AND WOULD NOT ADD MATERIALLY TO THE INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY GAINED ON THE OVERALL PROBLEM. YOU THEREFORE PROPOSE THAT CLAIMS PAID PRIOR TO JULY 2, 1962, THAT HAVE NOT BEEN INVESTIGATED, BE PASSED WITHOUT FURTHER QUESTION.

WE BELIEVE THAT A FORCEFUL AND AGGRESSIVE POLICY SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IN IDENTIFYING AND DISCIPLINING INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING IMPROPER PAYMENTS BASED ON FRAUDULENT OR MISSTATED CLAIMS. WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT TIMELY AND PERSISTENT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO RECOVER AMOUNTS IMPROPERLY RECEIVED BY PERSONS FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUDULENT ACTS. UNDESIRABLE PRECEDENTS ESTABLISHED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF A FIRM POLICY IN THIS RESPECT SHOULD BE AVOIDED.

HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE INSTRUCTION ISSUED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL GENERALLY CLARIFYING THE MATTERS WHICH RESULTED IN THE DIFFICULTIES DISCUSSED IN OUR REPORT AND IMPOSING ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STRENGTHENING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SHORE PATROL PROGRAM SHOULD MINIMIZE FUTURE IMPROPER PAYMENTS RESULTING FROM FRAUDULENT OR ERRONEOUS CLAIMS. ALSO, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE AGE FACTOR OF THE SHORE PATROL CLAIMS HERE INVOLVED MAKES INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF QUESTIONABLE CLAIMS DIFFICULT AND COSTLY, PARTICULARLY SINCE MANY OF THE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED OR DISCHARGED. ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THESE CONDITIONS AND WITH YOUR ASSURANCE THAT THE REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL WILL BE CONTINUOUSLY EVALUATED AND INVESTIGATIVE AND CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN AS NECESSARY, YOUR PROPOSAL THAT CLAIMS PAID PRIOR TO JULY 2, 1962, THAT HAVE NOT BEEN INVESTIGATED BE PASSED WITHOUT FURTHER QUESTION IS CONCURRED IN. WE WILL ALSO EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL INSTRUCTION AS A PART OF OUR CONTINUING REVIEW OF MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND WE WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF ANY DEFICIENCIES ENCOUNTERED IN OUR REVIEWS.