B-157877, FEB. 9, 1966

B-157877: Feb 9, 1966

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TO THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF OCTOBER 14 AND 15. FOR THIS SERVICE WHICH WAS COMPLETED JULY 30. CHARGES WERE ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND PAID PURSUANT TO BILL NO. THE AMOUNT OF $215.03 CLAIMED WAS PAID AS EVIDENCED BY VOUCHER 186208 DATED OCTOBER 22. CLAIM FOR $44.35 ADDITIONAL CHARGES WAS MADE AND THIS CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF AUGUST 31. IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT AN OVERCHARGE OF $19.11 HAD BEEN MADE AND YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REMIT SUCH AMOUNT BY OUR NOTICE OF OVERCHARGE (FORM 1003) DATED AUGUST 31. A DEDUCTION OF $19.11 WAS MADE ON OCTOBER 3. IT IS OBVIOUS IN THE LIGHT OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 26. WE CANNOT REGARD AS TIMELY THE SUBJECT REQUEST WHICH WAS RECEIVED HERE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER THE SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED.

B-157877, FEB. 9, 1966

TO THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF OCTOBER 14 AND 15, 1965, FILES YM-85 -D-PE-47806-M AND YM-85-D-PE-47902-M, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATES OF AUGUST 31, 1962, AND SEPTEMBER 14, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED THE CLAIMS OF THE FORMER PACIFIC ELECTRIC COMPANY (NOW SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY) (OUR CLAIMS TK-732610 AND TK-731808) FOR $44.35 AND $50.95 ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SUPPLEMENTAL BILLS NOS. D-PE-47806 AND D-PE-47902.

OUR CLAIM TK-732610 COVERS THE CLAIM FOR $44.35 ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE RENDERED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WZ-T-373592 DATED JULY 22, 1959. FOR THIS SERVICE WHICH WAS COMPLETED JULY 30, 1959, CHARGES WERE ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND PAID PURSUANT TO BILL NO. FPE-47806 DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1959. THE AMOUNT OF $215.03 CLAIMED WAS PAID AS EVIDENCED BY VOUCHER 186208 DATED OCTOBER 22, 1959, IN THE ACCOUNT OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE M. SECKINGER, ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER. BY SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. D-PE-47806-M OF JANUARY 10, 1962, CLAIM FOR $44.35 ADDITIONAL CHARGES WAS MADE AND THIS CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF AUGUST 31, 1962. OUR AUDIT OF THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT AN OVERCHARGE OF $19.11 HAD BEEN MADE AND YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REMIT SUCH AMOUNT BY OUR NOTICE OF OVERCHARGE (FORM 1003) DATED AUGUST 31, 1962. UPON YOUR FAILURE TO REMIT THE OVERCHARGE, A DEDUCTION OF $19.11 WAS MADE ON OCTOBER 3, 1962, FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOU UNDER BILL NO. DPE-47519-M-8/58. YOU NOW RENEW THE CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED.

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 IN THE LIGHT OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 26, 1958, 72 STAT. 860, 49 U.S.C.A. 66, GENERALLY BARRING TRANSPORTATION CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT MORE THAN THREE YEARS OLD, THAT AN INDEFINITE TIME FOR SUCH REVIEWS 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 THREE YEARS AFTER THE SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED. CONSIDERING YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1965, THEREFORE, AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SUBJECT SETTLEMENT, REVIEW IS DENIED BECAUSE THE REQUEST WAS NOT TIMELY FILED.

VIEWING YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1965, 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 PERIOD GOVERNING THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE. AT PRESENT, AS WELL AS AT THE TIME THE SERVICES IN QUESTION WERE PERFORMED, THE SETTLEMENT FUNCTIONS OF THIS OFFICE CONCERNING CLAIMS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES ARE AND WERE GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 26, 1958, 72 STAT. 860 (49 U.S.C.A. 66). THAT ACT FOREVER BARS EVERY CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SUCH SECTION UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN THREE FULL YEARS FROM THE DATE OF (1) ACCRUAL OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION THEREON, OR (2) PAYMENT OF CHARGES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED OR (3) SUBSEQUENT REFUND FOR OVERPAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES, OR (4) DEDUCTION OF THE OVERCHARGE FROM AMOUNTS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND DUE THE CARRIER, WHICHEVER IS LATER. THE TRANSPORTATION WAS COMPLETED, PAYMENT WAS MADE AND DEDUCTION EFFECTED, MORE THAN THREE YEARS BEFORE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1965. IT FOLLOWS, THEREFORE, THAT IF THIS LETTER IS VIEWED AS A NEW CLAIM, IT IS BARRED UNDER THE CITED STATUTE, AND WE ARE PRECLUDED FROM MAKING ANY FURTHER ALLOWANCE THEREON.

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1965, FILE YM-85-D-PE-47902-M, CONCERNS OUR CLAIM TK-731808 WHICH COVERS THE CLAIM FOR $50.95 ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE RENDERED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WZ-T-376259 DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1959. FOR THIS SERVICE, WHICH WAS COMPLETED NOVEMBER 25, 1959, CHARGES WERE ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND PAID PURSUANT TO BILL NO. FPE 47902 DATED JANUARY 14, 1960. THE AMOUNT OF $196.20 CLAIMED WAS PAID AS EVIDENCED BY VOUCHER 362170 DATED JANUARY 28, 1960, IN THE ACCOUNT OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE M. SECKINGER, ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER. BY SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. D-PE-47902-M OF JANUARY 10, 1962, CLAIM FOR $50.95 ADDITIONAL CHARGES WAS MADE AND THIS CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1962. OUR AUDIT OF THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT AN OVERCHARGE OF $17.43 HAD BEEN MADE AND YOU WERE REQUESTED TO REMIT SUCH AMOUNT BY OUR NOTICE OF OVERCHARGE (FORM 1003) DATED SEPTEMBER 11, 1962. SUCH AMOUNT WAS REFUNDED BY YOUR CHECK DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1962, RECEIVED HERE NOVEMBER 13, 1962. YOU NOW RENEW YOUR CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED.

AS EXPLAINED ABOVE, YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1965, FILE YM-85-D PE- 47902-M, IS NOT PROPERLY FOR REVIEW BECAUSE THE REQUEST WAS NOT TIMELY FILED.

VIEWING THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1965, AS A NEW CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $50.95 IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN QUESTION, WE FIND THAT IT IS PARTIALLY BARRED. THAT IS, AS EXPLAINED ABOVE, THE ACT OF AUGUST 26, 1958, FOREVER BARS EVERY CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SUCH SECTION UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN THREE FULL YEARS FROM THE FOUR DATES INDICATED ABOVE. THEREFORE, YOUR CLAIM EXCEPT AS TO THE AMOUNT OF $17.43 REFUNDED BY CHECK DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1962, RECEIVED HERE NOVEMBER 13, 1962, IS BARRED. CLAIM FOR ANY AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT REFUNDED CONSTITUTES A NEW CLAIM NOT RECEIVED WITHIN THE THREE YEAR STATUTORY PERIOD AND IS BARRED.

THEREFORE WE HAVE INSTRUCTED OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION TO RECOMPUTE THE CHARGES FOR THE SHIPMENT INVOLVED UNDER YOUR BILL NO. D PE-47902 (OUR CLAIM TK-731808) ON THE MERITS AND TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM IN AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING $17.43, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, THE BALANCE OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED BEING BARRED. YOU WILL RECEIVE NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT MAKING AN APPROPRIATE ALLOWANCE ON ACCOUNT OF THE AMOUNT NOT BARRED IN DUE COURSE.