B-154966, SEP. 9, 1964

B-154966: Sep 9, 1964

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WHO HAS BEEN PLACED IN DEBT TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $250 AS THE RESULT OF A SHORTAGE IN CERTAIN FUNDS FOR WHICH HE WAS RESPONSIBLE. WHICH IS UNCOLLECTIBLE THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. UNDER THAT PROVISION OF LAW THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IS NOT GIVEN AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE POSTAL EMPLOYEES OF DEBTS THEY OWE TO THE UNITED STATES ON HIS OWN INITIATIVE. KOBIK IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES AND SINCE HE HAS NOT PROPOSED TO RELIEVE HIM OF THAT DEBT ADMINISTRATIVELY OUR OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO TAKE ANY ACTION IN THE CASE AT THIS TIME.

B-154966, SEP. 9, 1964

TO MR. SIDNEY A. GOODMAN, PRESIDENT:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1964, ON BEHALF OF MR. STANLEY KOBIK, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL POSTAL UNION, WHO HAS BEEN PLACED IN DEBT TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $250 AS THE RESULT OF A SHORTAGE IN CERTAIN FUNDS FOR WHICH HE WAS RESPONSIBLE. YOU ASK THAT WE TAKE ANY ACTION NECESSARY TO SET ASIDE THE POSTMASTER GENERAL'S DECISION REQUIRING MR. KOBIK TO PAY THE SUM INVOLVED.

WITH REGARD TO THE COLLECTION OF DEBTS WHICH BECOME DUE TO THE UNITED STATES AS A RESULT OF THE BUSINESS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, 39 U.S.C. 2401 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"/A) THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHALL---

"/1) COLLECT DEBTS DUE THE DEPARTMENT; AND

"/2) COLLECT AND REMIT FINES, PENALTIES, AND FORFEITURES ARISING OUT OF MATTERS AFFECTING THE DEPARTMENT.

"HE MAY REFER ANY DEBT, WHICH IS UNCOLLECTIBLE THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR COLLECTION.

"/B) IN ALL CASES OF DISABILITY OR ALLEGED LIABILITY FOR ANY SUM OF MONEY BY WAY OF DAMAGES OR OTHER WISE, UNDER ANY PROVISION OF LAW IN RELATION TO THE OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, OPERATIONS, OR BUSINESS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE INTERESTS OF THE DEPARTMENT PROBABLY REQUIRE THE EXERCISE OF HIS POWERS OVER THE SAME. UPON THE DETERMINATION THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, WITH THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND ON SUCH TERMS AS THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DEEMS JUST AND EXPEDIENT, MAY---

"/1) REMOVE THE DISABILITY; OR

"/2) COMPROMISE, RELEASE, OR DISCHARGE THE CLAIM FOR SUCH SUM OF MONEY AND DAMAGES.'

UNDER THAT PROVISION OF LAW THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IS NOT GIVEN AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE POSTAL EMPLOYEES OF DEBTS THEY OWE TO THE UNITED STATES ON HIS OWN INITIATIVE.

SINCE THE POSTMASTER GENERAL HAS DETERMINED THAT MR. KOBIK IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES AND SINCE HE HAS NOT PROPOSED TO RELIEVE HIM OF THAT DEBT ADMINISTRATIVELY OUR OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO TAKE ANY ACTION IN THE CASE AT THIS TIME.