B-159913, NOV. 14, 1966

B-159913: Nov 14, 1966

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO LETTER DATED AUGUST 9. WHICH ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY. ARE INSUFFICIENT. THERE ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY SUCH ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY. TO THE EXTENT THAT THE AMOUNTS OF SUCH RECEIPTS ARE IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED * * *.'. COLLECTION IS MADE BY CUSTOMS AND SUCH COLLECTION CREDITED TO THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT "202442 OVERTIME SERVICE. IT IS NOT PROPOSED TO CHANGE THIS PROCEDURE. THE PRESENT INQUIRY CONCERNS A PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE WHEN A CUSTOMS EMPLOYEE PAID FROM THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION RENDERS THE OVERTIME SERVICE WHICH IS REIMBURSED BY THE COAST GUARD TO CUSTOMS.

B-159913, NOV. 14, 1966

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:

THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO LETTER DATED AUGUST 9, 1966, FILE REFERENCE FAS 148.2 WB, FROM THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY REQUESTING APPROVAL OF A PROPOSAL FOR ELIMINATING THE USE OF CERTAIN FORMS PRESENTLY REQUIRED IN MAKING COLLECTIONS OF OVERTIME SERVICES AND ALSO ELIMINATING THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AND THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH COLLECTIONS.

SECTION 382B, TITLE 5, OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDES FOR EXTRA PAY FOR OVERTIME SERVICES OF COAST GUARD OFFICIALS AND CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES IN CONNECTION WITH INSPECTION OF VESSELS OR THEIR EQUIPMENT, AND SUPPLYING OR SIGNING ON OR DISCHARGING CREWS OF VESSELS. SAID SECTION FURTHER PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE SAID EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME SERVICES SHALL BE PAID BY THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF SUCH VESSEL TO THE LOCAL UNITED STATES COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE WHO SHALL DEPOSIT SUCH COLLECTION INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO AN APPROPRIATELY DESIGNATED RECEIPT ACCOUNT. * * * PROVIDED, THAT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1936, AND THEREAFTER, THE AMOUNTS OF SUCH COLLECTIONS RECEIVED BY THE SAID COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS; AND THE PAYMENTS OF SUCH EXTRA COMPENSATION TO THE SEVERAL EMPLOYEES ENTITLED THERETO SHALL BE MADE FROM THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE COAST GUARD: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS, WHICH ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY, ARE INSUFFICIENT, THERE ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY SUCH ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE AMOUNTS OF SUCH RECEIPTS ARE IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED * * *.'

UNDER PRESENT PROCEDURE, AS EXPLAINED IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 9, WHEN COAST GUARD PERSONNEL RENDER THE SERVICE, THEY PREPARE A BILL ON COAST GUARD FORM 832. COLLECTION IS MADE BY CUSTOMS AND SUCH COLLECTION CREDITED TO THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT "202442 OVERTIME SERVICE, MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION.' IT IS NOT PROPOSED TO CHANGE THIS PROCEDURE. THE PRESENT INQUIRY CONCERNS A PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE WHEN A CUSTOMS EMPLOYEE PAID FROM THE CUSTOMS APPROPRIATION RENDERS THE OVERTIME SERVICE WHICH IS REIMBURSED BY THE COAST GUARD TO CUSTOMS. IT IS STATED THAT UNDER PRESENT PROCEDURE OVERTIME SERVICES RENDERED BY CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ACTING AS SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS ARE BILLED TO THE PRIVATE INTERESTS BY CUSTOMS ON COAST GUARD FORM 832. THE COLLECTIONS ARE CREDITED TO THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT "202442.' THE COAST GUARD IS THEN BILLED BY STANDARD FORM 1080 FOR THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION EARNED BY THE CUSTOMS EMPLOYEE, AND THE AMOUNT COLLECTED THEREBY IS CREDITED AS A REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CUSTOMS ANNUAL APPROPRIATION.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT YOUR OFFICE IS IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING MUCH OF YOUR PRESENT ACCOUNTING DETAIL TO AN ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM, AND THAT TO HAVE A TOTALLY INTEGRATED SYSTEM IT IS DESIRED TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES IN PRESENT PROCEDURES RELATING TO COAST GUARD FUNCTIONS:

"A. THE OVERTIME SERVICES WHEN RENDERED BY A CUSTOMS EMPLOYEE WILL BE BILLED TO THE PARTY-IN-INTEREST ON A NOTICE OF AMOUNT DUE, CUSTOMS FORM 6084 (SEE EXHIBIT A) INSTEAD OF USING COAST GUARD FORM 832 (SEE EXHIBIT B). A DESCRIPTION OF THE SERVICE WILL BE INDICATED IN THE CHARGE COLUMN BY "OTS - USCG" (OVERTIME SERVICE, U.S. COAST GUARD). THE NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE RENDERING THE SERVICE, TIME CHARGED, BASIC PAY AND A FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURE OF THE SERVICE WILL NOT BE SHOWN ON THE FORM. HOWEVER, SUCH INFORMATION WILL BE AVAILABLE WITHIN OUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM FOR VERIFICATION. COLLECTIONS FROM THE PARTY-IN INTEREST WILL BE CREDITED AS A REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CUSTOMS CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES.

"B. SEMI-ANNUALLY WE WOULD FURNISH THE COAST GUARD INFORMATION OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FOR OVERTIME SERVICES RENDERED BY CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES. SUCH AMOUNT WOULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE COAST GUARD TO THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT ,202442 OVERTIME SERVICE, MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION.'"

ALTHOUGH THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN PROCEDURE WOULD REVISE THE PRESENT TIMING FOR THE DEPOSIT AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS OF THE AMOUNTS COLLECTED FOR THE RENDITION OF OVERTIME SERVICES, THE REQUIREMENT FOR DEPOSIT WILL BE MET. THEREFORE, WE HAVE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED PROCEDURE SUBJECT TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ADEQUATE ACCOUNTING CONTROLS TO ASSURE THAT THE AMOUNT OF EXPENDITURES FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS OF BOTH THE COAST GUARD AND THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS AND THE AMOUNTS DEPOSITED AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS ARE THE SAME AMOUNTS AS WOULD RESULT UNDER THE PRESENT PROCEDURES AND THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED EACH YEAR TO THE COAST GUARD FOR THESE INSPECTION SERVICES IS NOT EXCEEDED.