B-156233, DEC. 20, 1965

B-156233: Dec 20, 1965

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TO SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24. THE SETTLEMENT REFERRED TO WAS MADE MORE THAN TEN YEARS BEFORE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT AN INDEFINITE TIME MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. WE CANNOT REGARD AS TIMELY THE SUBJECT REQUEST WHICH WAS RECEIVED HERE MORE THAN TEN YEARS AFTER THE SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED. REVIEW IS DENIED BECAUSE THE REQUEST WAS NOT TIMELY FILED. WE ARE UNABLE TO CONSIDER IT ON THE MERITS BECAUSE OF THE EXPIRATION OF THE STATUTORY TIME PERIOD GOVERNING THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE. AT THE TIME THE SERVICES IN QUESTION WERE PERFORMED. THE SETTLEMENT FUNCTIONS OF THIS OFFICE CONCERNING CLAIMS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WERE GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9.

B-156233, DEC. 20, 1965

TO SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1965, YOUR FILE YM-85-D-403284, RELATIVE TO A LETTER FROM OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION DATED DECEMBER 1, 1954, WHICH UPHELD THE DISALLOWANCE (IN A SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 1, 1954) OF $1,085.97 CLAIMED FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES COVERED BY YOUR BILL NO. 403284. YOU RENEW YOUR CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED. THE SETTLEMENT REFERRED TO WAS MADE MORE THAN TEN YEARS BEFORE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER.

THE REGULATIONS OF THIS OFFICE PROVIDE FOR REVIEW, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, OF A CLAIM SETTLED HERE, UPON APPLICATION OF THE CLAIMANT OR HIS DULY AUTHORIZED ATTORNEY OR AGENT. WHILE SUCH REGULATIONS DO NOT PLACE A SPECIFIC TIME LIMIT UPON REQUESTS FOR REVIEW, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT AN INDEFINITE TIME MAY NOT BE ALLOWED, AND THAT A REQUEST FOR REVIEW SHOULD BE RECEIVED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FROM THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT. WITHOUT ATTEMPTING A STRICT DEFINITION OF WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE A REASONABLE TIME IN ALL CASES, WE CANNOT REGARD AS TIMELY THE SUBJECT REQUEST WHICH WAS RECEIVED HERE MORE THAN TEN YEARS AFTER THE SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED. CONSIDERING YOUR LETTER, THEREFORE, AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SUBJECT SETTLEMENT, REVIEW IS DENIED BECAUSE THE REQUEST WAS NOT TIMELY FILED.

VIEWING YOUR LETTER AS A NEW CLAIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN QUESTION, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONSIDER IT ON THE MERITS BECAUSE OF THE EXPIRATION OF THE STATUTORY TIME PERIOD GOVERNING THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE. AT THE TIME THE SERVICES IN QUESTION WERE PERFORMED, THE SETTLEMENT FUNCTIONS OF THIS OFFICE CONCERNING CLAIMS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WERE GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061 (31 U.S.C. 71A). THAT ACT FOREVER BARS EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNLESS SUCH CLAIM BE RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM ACCRUED. THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FOUR SHIPMENTS INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED MORE THAN TEN YEARS BEFORE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1965. IT FOLLOWS, THEREFORE, THAT IF YOUR LETTER IS VIEWED AS A NEW CLAIM, IT IS ONE WHICH ACCRUED MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO AND, BECAUSE OF THE CITED STATUTE, IS BARRED FROM CONSIDERATION HERE ON THE MERITS.

YOUR BILL NO. D-403284-M, DATED MAY 8, 1964, FOR $2,111.34 ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON ONE OF THE FOUR SHIPMENTS (GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WT-184435) WHICH PREVIOUSLY WAS COVERED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1954, IS ALSO BARRED BECAUSE YOUR CLAIM ACCRUED MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO.