B-149116, JUL. 20, 1962

B-149116: Jul 20, 1962

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WAYNE IRWIN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 22. LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN CARRYING OUT ITS AUDIT RESPONSIBILITY MAY ISSUE NOTICES OF OVERPAYMENT CALLING UPON THE RAILROADS TO REFUND THE AMOUNTS CONSIDERED TO BE OVERPAID AND IF SUCH AMOUNTS ARE NOT REFUNDED. YOUR PROPOSAL IS AS FOLLOWS: "1. WHEN THERE IS RECEIVED FROM ANY CARRIER A STATEMENT IN WRITING NOTIFYING YOUR OFFICE THAT THE CARRIER WILL NOT AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE OF JANUARY 1. THE GOVERNMENT WILL AGREE THAT. IT WILL NOT ISSUE ANY STATEMENTS OF OVERPAYMENT AGAINST SUCH CARRIER AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26. THE RAIL CARRIERS SHALL HAVE 18 MONTHS AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE OR 120 DAYS AFTER COLLECTION IS EFFECTED.

B-149116, JUL. 20, 1962

TO MR. WAYNE IRWIN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 22, 1962, FILE 10-3-25, SUBMITTING FOR OUR CONSIDERATION A PROPOSAL WHEREBY A TIME LIMIT WOULD BE ESTABLISHED AFTER WHICH NEITHER THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE NOR THE CARRIERS WOULD ASSERT OVERPAYMENTS OR UNDERCHARGES AS TO GOVERNMENT FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FURNISHED PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958. THIS CONNECTION, YOU REFER TO A SIMILAR ARRANGEMENT ALREADY IN EFFECT WITH RESPECT TO GOVERNMENT PASSENGER TRAFFIC.

YOU STATE THAT THE RAILROADS, GENERALLY, MAINTAIN AT CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE RECORDS OF GOVERNMENT FREIGHT SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958, LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN CARRYING OUT ITS AUDIT RESPONSIBILITY MAY ISSUE NOTICES OF OVERPAYMENT CALLING UPON THE RAILROADS TO REFUND THE AMOUNTS CONSIDERED TO BE OVERPAID AND IF SUCH AMOUNTS ARE NOT REFUNDED, DEDUCT SUCH OVERPAYMENTS FROM CURRENT BILLS PAYABLE TO THE CARRIER. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT THE RETENTION OF SUCH RECORDS HAS BEEN CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO PERMIT CARRIERS TO REPLY TO SUCH NOTICES OF OVERPAYMENT AND OTHERWISE PROTECT THEIR INTEREST AS TO ASSERTED OVERPAYMENTS. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU REFER TO THE FACT THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS COMPLETED ITS REAUDIT OF WARTIME FREIGHT VOUCHERS ON DECEMBER 31, 1961, AND HAS OTHERWISE COMPLETED ITS AUDIT OF GOVERNMENT SHIPMENTS THAT MOVED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958, TO THE EXTENT THAT FURTHER OVERPAYMENTS WOULD BE ISSUED.

YOUR PROPOSAL IS AS FOLLOWS:

"1. WHEN THERE IS RECEIVED FROM ANY CARRIER A STATEMENT IN WRITING NOTIFYING YOUR OFFICE THAT THE CARRIER WILL NOT AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE OF JANUARY 1, 1963, FILE ANY SUPPLEMENTAL BILLS OR OTHER CLAIMS AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958, THE GOVERNMENT WILL AGREE THAT, AFTER SUCH CUT-OFF DATE, IT WILL NOT ISSUE ANY STATEMENTS OF OVERPAYMENT AGAINST SUCH CARRIER AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958.

"2. AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 26, 1958,THE RAIL CARRIERS SHALL HAVE 18 MONTHS AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE OR 120 DAYS AFTER COLLECTION IS EFFECTED, WHICHEVER IS LATER, IN WHICH TO RECLAIM AMOUNTS REFUNDED OR COLLECTED THROUGH DEDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF STATEMENTS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE CUT-OFF DATE.

"3. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ACTION ON CLAIMS NOW ON FILE OR TO BE FILED BY THE CARRIERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 2 WILL BE CONSIDERED AND PROCESSED ON THEIR MERITS, SUBJECT TO THE USUAL REVIEW BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF ADVERSE ACTION UPON REQUEST OF THE CARRIER, AND THAT CLAIMS BY THE GOVERNMENT ON STATEMENTS OF OVERPAYMENT ISSUED PRIOR TO THE CUT-OFF DATE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PROCESSED TO COLLECTION AGAINST THE CARRIERS CONCERNED BY REFUND, DEDUCTION OR OTHER LEGAL MEANS.

"4. IT IS FURTHER UNDERSTOOD THAT THE FOREGOING ARRANGEMENT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY ABROGATE THE RIGHTS OF EITHER THE GOVERNMENT OR CARRIERS SO FAR AS LITIGATION IS CONCERNED.'

THIS WILL CONFIRM THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS COMPLETED ITS REAUDIT OF WARTIME PAYMENTS ON DECEMBER 31, 1961, AND DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE ANY FURTHER REAUDIT OF SUCH ITEMS. WITH RESPECT TO ITEMS OF PAYMENT FOR FREIGHT SERVICES FURNISHED SUBSEQUENT THERETO BUT PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958, OUR AUDIT IS SUBSTANTIALLY FINISHED, THOUGH THERE ARE SOME FEW ITEMS STILL SUBJECT TO AUDIT CONSIDERATION WHICH WILL BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1963.

WE APPRECIATE THAT THE VOLUMINOUS RECORDS BEING MAINTAINED BY THE CARRIERS ARE A MATTER OF CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE, NOT ONLY WITH RESPECT TO THE SPACE OCCUPIED, BUT THE CLERICAL PROCESSING OPERATIONS THAT BECOME INVOLVED. WE CAN ALSO PERCEIVE ADMINISTRATIVE ADVANTAGES TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CARRIERS IN AN ARRANGEMENT ALONG THE LINES OF THAT PRESENTED.

GENERALLY, WE ARE WILLING TO CONCUR IN YOUR PROPOSAL SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LANGUAGE CHANGES WHICH ARE REQUIRED. ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE AGREEABLE TO THE FOLLOWING ARRANGEMENT:

1. WHEN THERE IS RECEIVED HERE FROM ANY CARRIER A STATEMENT IN WRITING NOTIFYING US THAT IT WILL NOT AFTER JANUARY 1, 1963, FILE ANY SUPPLEMENTAL BILLS OR OTHER CLAIMS AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ASSURES SUCH CARRIER THAT, AFTER SUCH CUT-OFF DATE, IT WILL NOT ISSUE ANY STATEMENTS OF OVERPAYMENT AGAINST SUCH CARRIER AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR PRIOR TO AUGUST 26, 1958.

2. AS TO SHIPMENTS COMPLETED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 26, 1958, THE RAIL CARRIERS SHALL HAVE 18 MONTHS AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE OR 120 DAYS AFTER COLLECTION IS EFFECTED, WHICHEVER IS LATER, IN WHICH TO RECLAIM AMOUNTS REFUNDED OR COLLECTED THROUGH DEDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF STATEMENTS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE CUT OFF DATE.

3. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ACTION ON CLAIMS NOW ON FILE OR TO BE FILED BY THE CARRIERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 2 WILL BE CONSIDERED AND PROCESSED HERE ON THEIR MERITS SUBJECT TO THE USUAL REVIEW BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF ADVERSE ACTION, UPON REQUEST OVERPAYMENT ISSUED PRIOR TO THE CUT-OFF DATE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PROCESSED TO COLLECTION AGAINST THE CARRIERS CONCERNED BY REFUND, DEDUCTION OR OTHER LEGAL MEANS.

4. IT IS FURTHER UNDERSTOOD THAT THE FOREGOING ARRANGEMENT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY ABROGATE THE RIGHTS OF EITHER THE GOVERNMENT OR CARRIERS SO FAR AS LITIGATION IS CONCERNED.

IN ORDER TO HAVE THE ABOVE ARRANGEMENT IN EFFECT ON JANUARY 1, 1963, WRITTEN ACCEPTANCES OF THE CARRIERS SHOULD BE MADE PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 30, 1962, AND ADDRESSED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.