B-150548, JAN. 22, 1963

B-150548: Jan 22, 1963

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IN YOUR OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A CERTIFYING OFFICER AT THE TIME OF MAKING THE OVERPAYMENT AGAINST WHICH OUR EXCEPTION WAS STATED. THIS DUPLICATE PAYMENT SUBSEQUENTLY WAS DETECTED BY OUR OFFICE DURING OUR EXAMINATION OF YOUR ACCOUNT AND AN EXCEPTION WAS STATED AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT ON JULY 14. THAT IS. IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: "THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES BE. HE HEREBY IS. FOR WHICH SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS WERE ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE. WHICH WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 17. HE HEREBY IS. FOR WHICH SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS WERE ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE. YOU WILL NOTE THAT THE DUPLICATE PAYMENT HERE INVOLVED OCCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PERIOD FOR WHICH CREDIT COULD BE ALLOWED UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 26.

B-150548, JAN. 22, 1963

TO LIEUTENANT HAROLD W. ANDERSON, USCG (RETIRED):

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1962, ACKNOWLEDGED DECEMBER 31, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 3, 1962, CLAIM NO. Z 2207849, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $55.55 PAID TO THE GOVERNMENT BY YOU IN SETTLEMENT OF AN EXCEPTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE. YOU ALLEGE THAT YOU, IN YOUR OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A CERTIFYING OFFICER AT THE TIME OF MAKING THE OVERPAYMENT AGAINST WHICH OUR EXCEPTION WAS STATED, FELL WITHIN THE PROTECTIVE RELIEF AFFORDED AND INTENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 310, 83D CONGRESS, 68 STAT. 29, AND THAT, HENCE, CREDIT SHOULD BE GIVEN IN YOUR ACCOUNT FOR THE OVERPAYMENT IN QUESTION AND THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU IN RESTITUTION THEREOF SHOULD BE REFUNDED.

THE RECORD BEFORE OUR OFFICE INDICATES THAT, IN YOUR OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A CERTIFYING OFFICER, YOU CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO ONE DONALD B. MILLER IN JULY 1947, A CLOTHING ALLOWANCE OF $55.55, WHEREAS SUCH ALLOWANCE HAD ALREADY BEEN PAID TO SAID PERSON IN JUNE 1947. THIS DUPLICATE PAYMENT SUBSEQUENTLY WAS DETECTED BY OUR OFFICE DURING OUR EXAMINATION OF YOUR ACCOUNT AND AN EXCEPTION WAS STATED AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT ON JULY 14, 1949, IN THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT, THAT IS, $55.55. AFTER THE FAILURE OF EFFORTS TO RECOVER THE DUPLICATE PAYMENT FROM DONALD B. MILLER, YOU CLEARED THE EXCEPTION BY PAYING THE GOVERNMENT $55.55 FROM YOUR PERSONAL FUNDS IN FOUR INSTALLMENTS--- $10 ON APRIL 15, 1953, MAY 21, 1953, AND JULY 15, 1953, AND $25.55 ON NOVEMBER 5, 1953.

THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1954, SUPRA, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THE ACT OF JULY 26, 1947 (61 STAT. 493), IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: "THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES BE, AND HE HEREBY IS, AUTHORIZED, THROUGH SUCH OFFICER AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, (A) TO RELIEVE DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS, INCLUDING SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, AND OF THE COAST GUARD, FROM ACCOUNTABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOSSES, OCCURRING BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 8, 1939, AND JULY 1, 1948, OF FUNDS, OR OF ACCOUNTS, PAPERS, RECORDS, VOUCHERS, OR DATA PERTAINING TO SAID FUNDS, FOR WHICH SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS WERE ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE; AND (B) TO ALLOW CREDITS, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS, FOR PAYMENTS MADE IN GOOD FAITH ON PUBLIC ACCOUNT DURING SAID PERIOD, NOTWITHSTANDING FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING LAW OR REGULATIONS PURSUANT THERETO: * *

THE ACT OF JULY 26, 1947, 61 STAT. 493, WHICH WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1954, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES BE, AND HE HEREBY IS, AUTHORIZED, THROUGH SUCH OFFICER AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, AND WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, (A) TO RELIEVE DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS, INCLUDING SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS, FROM ACCOUNTABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOSSES, OCCURRING BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 8, 1939, TO JULY 1, 1946, OF FUNDS, OR OF ACCOUNTS, PAPERS, RECORDS, VOUCHERS, OR DATA PERTAINING TO SAID FUNDS, FOR WHICH SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS WERE ACCOUNTABLE OR RESPONSIBLE; AND (B) TO ALLOW CREDITS, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF SAID OFFICERS OR AGENTS, FOR PAYMENTS MADE IN GOOD FAITH ON PUBLIC ACCOUNT DURING SAID PERIOD, NOTWITHSTANDING FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING LAW OR REGULATIONS PURSUANT THERETO: * * *.'

YOU WILL NOTE THAT THE DUPLICATE PAYMENT HERE INVOLVED OCCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PERIOD FOR WHICH CREDIT COULD BE ALLOWED UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 26, 1947. ALSO, THE ENTIRE TRANSACTIONS--- THE DUPLICATE PAYMENT, THE ISSUANCE OF THE EXCEPTION, AND YOUR REPAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT INVOLVED-- - OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1954. THE LATTER ACT EXTENDED THE PERIOD FOR WHICH CREDIT COULD BE ALLOWED TO JULY 1, 1948, WHICH COVERS THE TIME AT WHICH THE DUPLICATE PAYMENT WAS MADE BY YOU. HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT THAT AT THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THAT ACT YOUR ACCOUNT WAS IN BALANCE AND THERE WAS NO OUTSTANDING EXCEPTED PAYMENT AGAINST WHICH THE CREDIT AUTHORIZED BY THAT ACT COULD BE ALLOWED. THE ACT AUTHORIZES ONLY THE REMOVAL OF OUTSTANDING CHARGES INVOLVING LOSSES OR PAYMENTS INCURRED IN GOOD FAITH DURING THE SPECIFIED PERIOD IN THE ACCOUNTS OF CERTAIN DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS BY ALLOWING CREDIT FOR SUCH OUTSTANDING CHARGES. IT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE REFUND TO SUCH OFFICERS OF AMOUNTS DEPOSITED BY THEM IN SETTLEMENT OF THEIR ACCOUNTS.

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1956, PRIVATE LAW 652, 84TH CONGRESS, 70 STAT. A66, WHICH DIRECTED THE PAYMENT TO SPECIFICALLY NAMED DISBURSING OFFICERS AND FORMER DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES OF AMOUNTS REPRESENTING MONEYS PAID TO THE GOVERNMENT FROM THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS TO LIQUIDATE DEFICIENCIES INCURRED IN THEIR ACCOUNTS IN GOOD FAITH AND WITHOUT FRAUD OR COLLUSION ON THEIR PART. BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE COMMITTEES ON THE JUDICIARY, IN THEIR REPORTS NO. 1950, DATED MAY 1, 1956, AND NO. 660, DATED MAY 26, 1955, RESPECTIVELY, ON H.R. 6395 (WHICH BECAME PRIVATE LAW 652) STATED:

"EXISTING LAW (THE ACT OF JULY 26, 1947, 61 STAT. 493, AS AMENDED) AUTHORIZES THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES TO RELEASE DISBURSING OFFICERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOSSES OF FUNDS OR ACCOUNTS OCCURRING BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 8, 1939 TO JULY 1, 1948, IF THE LOSS WAS FREE FROM FRAUD OR COLLUSION AND INCURRED IN GOOD FAITH, AND TO ALLOW CREDITS IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THESE OFFICERS. THE OFFICERS COVERED BY THIS BILL WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE UNDER THIS LEGISLATION EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THEY PAID BACK THE DEFICIENCIES FROM THEIR OWN FUNDS * * * "

HENCE, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 3, 1962, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND.