B-147939, APR. 3, 1962

B-147939: Apr 3, 1962

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L. THOMPSON: WE HAVE CONSIDERED YOUR REPLY OF FEBRUARY 16. THE EXCEPTION WAS STATED AGAINST YOU ON VOUCHER A-7109. REPRESENTING A LUMP-SUM DEATH BENEFIT OF $225 WHICH WAS AWARDED TO GEORGE HENRICHS AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF MYRON YORK. PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS PREVIOUSLY DUE THE WAGE EARNER FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1958 AT THE RATE OF $69.90 PER MONTH WERE ALSO AUTHORIZED TO GEORGE HENRICHS. WAS VERIFIED AND COMPUTED AS CORRECT BY THE CLAIMS AUTHORIZER. THE LATTER FIGURE WAS ACCEPTED BY YOU AS CORRECT RESULTING IN THE $30 OVERPAYMENT. THAT EFFORTS TO COLLECT THE $30 HAVE FAILED. IT IS NECESSARY TO RELY UPON COMPUTATIONS BY THE CLERICAL STAFF AS TO THE AMOUNTS DUE BECAUSE IT IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY FEASIBLE FOR CERTIFYING OFFICERS TO PERSONALLY ASSURE THEMSELVES THAT EACH AND EVERY ITEM IS PROPER FOR CERTIFICATION.

B-147939, APR. 3, 1962

TO MISS E. L. THOMPSON:

WE HAVE CONSIDERED YOUR REPLY OF FEBRUARY 16, 1962, REQUESTING THAT OUR AUDIT EXCEPTION TOTALING $30 ORIGINALLY ISSUED AGAINST YOU ON MAY 12, 1961, AND REISSUED ON FEBRUARY 5, 1962, BE REMOVED.

THE EXCEPTION WAS STATED AGAINST YOU ON VOUCHER A-7109, DECEMBER 1959 ACCOUNT OF H. L. CAVIN, REPRESENTING A LUMP-SUM DEATH BENEFIT OF $225 WHICH WAS AWARDED TO GEORGE HENRICHS AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF MYRON YORK. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LUMP SUM AWARD OF $255, PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS PREVIOUSLY DUE THE WAGE EARNER FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1958 AT THE RATE OF $69.90 PER MONTH WERE ALSO AUTHORIZED TO GEORGE HENRICHS. THE AMOUNT OF THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT, $225, WAS VERIFIED AND COMPUTED AS CORRECT BY THE CLAIMS AUTHORIZER, BUT THE REVIEWER OF THE CLAIM ERRONEOUSLY CARRIED THE AMOUNT ON THE SUMMARY BENEFIT SHEET AS $255. THE LATTER FIGURE WAS ACCEPTED BY YOU AS CORRECT RESULTING IN THE $30 OVERPAYMENT.

YOU SAY THAT THE DECEASED WAGE EARNER'S ESTATE HAS NOW BEEN CLOSED, THE EXECUTOR HAS BEEN DISCHARGED, AND THAT EFFORTS TO COLLECT THE $30 HAVE FAILED. AS REASONS FOR GRANTING RELIEF UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 875, 31 U.S.C. 82C, YOU CONTEND THAT BECAUSE OF THE LARGE VOLUME OF CERTIFICATIONS EACH MONTH, IT IS NECESSARY TO RELY UPON COMPUTATIONS BY THE CLERICAL STAFF AS TO THE AMOUNTS DUE BECAUSE IT IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY FEASIBLE FOR CERTIFYING OFFICERS TO PERSONALLY ASSURE THEMSELVES THAT EACH AND EVERY ITEM IS PROPER FOR CERTIFICATION. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT FORM OA-C101, DETERMINATION AWARD, IS THE OFFICIAL RECORD TO WHICH A CERTIFYING OFFICER WOULD HAVE RECOURSE IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE AMOUNT SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER WAS CORRECT AND DUE THE PAYEE; ALSO, THAT HAD YOU USED THIS FORM FOR REVIEW, YOUR REVIEW WOULD HAVE EXTENDED ONLY TO THE INFORMATION SHOWN IN ITEM 12 AND THAT INASMUCH AS THE $255 FIGURE APPEARED IN THAT ITEM, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE THAT SUCH FIGURE WAS INCORRECT.

APPARENTLY, THE ABOVE-STATED JUSTIFICATION IS BASED UPON THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON FORM OA-C101 WHICH PERTAINS TO ANNA YORK. THAT FORM, IN ITEM 12 DOES SHOW $255 AS THE LUMP-SUM DEATH PAYMENT AND, BASED ON THE PRIMARY AMOUNT DUE ANNA YORK, THAT FIGURE APPEARS TO BE CORRECT. HOWEVER, YOUR ERROR AROSE FROM COMPUTATIONS DERIVED FROM THE FORM OA-C101 WHICH DEALT WITH MYRON YORK. THAT FORM SHOWS QUITE CLEARLY IN ITEM 12 THAT $225 WAS THE AMOUNT DUE.

THEREFORE, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE $30 OVERPAYMENT WAS BASED ON OFFICIAL RECORDS AND THAT BY REASONABLE DILIGENCE AND INQUIRY THE TRUE FACTS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ASCERTAINED INASMUCH AS THE CORRECT AMOUNT WAS SHOWN ON THE FACE OF THE FORM YOU ORDINARILY WOULD REVIEW PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION. THUS, WE ARE WITHOUT A BASIS FOR RELIEVING YOU UNDER THE LAW CODIFIED AT 31 U.S.C. 82C AND SUCH RELIEF MUST BE DENIED.