B-155715, APR. 29, 1965

B-155715: Apr 29, 1965

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THE $20 PAYMENT REPRESENTS THE POSTING OF COLLATERAL WITH THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT TO RECOVER A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE USED BY YOUR COMMISSION WHICH HAD BEEN TOWED AWAY BY THE POLICE BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGALLY PARKED. THE CAR WAS PARKED NEAR OR IN FRONT OF THE COMMISSION'S HEADQUARTERS ON A PUBLIC STREET IN A "NO STANDING" ZONE SINCE THERE WERE NO PUBLIC PARKING SPACES NEAR THE COMMISSION'S HEADQUARTERS. WAS REIMBURSED FROM THE PETTY CASH FUND. THE REASON GIVEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT FOR DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM WAS THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR THE PAYMENT OF A FINE IMPOSED BY A COURT ON A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR AN OFFENSE COMMITTED BY HIM WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF.

B-155715, APR. 29, 1965

TO THE HONORABLE EDWARD D. RE, CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES:

LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1965, FROM THE CLERK OF THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF THAT PORTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT, DATED JANUARY 7, 1965, WHICH DENIED THE CLAIM OF LLOYD A. THOMAS, BUDGET OFFICER, FOR APPROVAL OF A PAYMENT OF $20 MADE FROM HIS PETTY CASH FUND.

THE $20 PAYMENT REPRESENTS THE POSTING OF COLLATERAL WITH THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT TO RECOVER A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE USED BY YOUR COMMISSION WHICH HAD BEEN TOWED AWAY BY THE POLICE BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGALLY PARKED. THE CAR WAS PARKED NEAR OR IN FRONT OF THE COMMISSION'S HEADQUARTERS ON A PUBLIC STREET IN A "NO STANDING" ZONE SINCE THERE WERE NO PUBLIC PARKING SPACES NEAR THE COMMISSION'S HEADQUARTERS. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE COMMISSION'S RECORDS SERVICES SUPERVISOR POSTED THE COLLATERAL TO RECOVER THE VEHICLE FROM THE POLICE. THE SUPERVISOR, APPARENTLY A VOLUNTEER IN THE MATTER, WAS REIMBURSED FROM THE PETTY CASH FUND.

THE REASON GIVEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT FOR DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM WAS THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR THE PAYMENT OF A FINE IMPOSED BY A COURT ON A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR AN OFFENSE COMMITTED BY HIM WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF, BUT NOT AS PART OF HIS, OFFICIAL DUTIES, CITING 31 COMP. GEN. 246; THAT SUCH FINE OR FORFEITUREOF COLLATERAL IS IMPOSED ON THE EMPLOYEE PERSONALLY AND PAYMENT THEREOF IS HIS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. IT WAS STATED IN THE SETTLEMENT THAT WHILE OTHER PARKING FACILITIES WERE NOT PROVIDED FOR THE VEHICLE THIS WOULD NOT AUTHORIZE THE DRIVER TO VIOLATE THE LAW AND PARK IN AN AREA WHERE PARKING IS PROHIBITED. WHILE WE INDICATED THEREIN THAT IT WOULD APPEAR THE DRIVER WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED TO PARK IN THAT AREA AND THEREFORE IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE COLLATERAL, WE STATED THAT IN ANY EVENT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE THEREFOR.

THE CLERK OF THE COMMISSION EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT THE INSTANT CASE DIFFERS FROM THE ONE CITED IN 31 COMP. GEN. 246. HE STATES THAT IN THE INSTANT CASE NO PARKING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AND THE DRIVER HAD BEEN SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED BY HIS SUPERIOR TO PARK THE VEHICLE IN THE AREA INVOLVED ON A STAND-BY BASIS FOR IMMEDIATE USE.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, IN THE INSTANT CASE COLLATERAL WAS NOT POSTED BY THE DRIVER BUT RATHER BY THE DRIVER'S SUPERVISOR, WHO IN TURN WAS REIMBURSED FROM THE PETTY CASH FUND. WHILE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WOULD HAVE NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO RETAIN A GOVERNMENT MOTOR VEHICLE PENDING POSTING OF COLLATERAL, THE SUPERVISOR WAS APPARENTLY UNAWARE OF THIS FACT AND POSTED THE COLLATERAL BECAUSE HE WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THIS WAS THE ONLY WAY TO RECOVER THE VEHICLE. MOREOVER, THE DRIVER WAS SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED BY HIS SUPERIOR TO PARK IN THE "NO STANDING" ZONE, ALTHOUGH WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY AUTHORITY IN THE SUPERIOR TO ISSUE SUCH INSTRUCTIONS. SEE WHITE V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 4 F.2D 163 AND CROSON V. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 2 F.2D 924. THE RECORD FURTHER DISCLOSES THAT THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN THE AREA HAD BEEN PARKING VEHICLES IN THE "NO STANDING" ZONE FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS WITHOUT INCIDENT PRIOR TO THE VEHICLE INVOLVED HERE BEING IMPOUNDED BY THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE AND SINCE WE UNDERSTAND THAT ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION TO PREVENT A REOCCURRENCE OF THE SITUATION, THE REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE APPROVED FOR PAYMENT.