B-163267, FEB. 8, 1968

B-163267: Feb 8, 1968

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IN ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE THAT FILM WAS DELIVERED TO GOVT. OR THAT THERE WAS ANY AGREEMENT SUBJECTING THE GOVT. YOUR APPEAL WAS TRANSFERRED HERE IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF BUSINESS BECAUSE WE ARE AN ARM OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS WITH JURISDICTION TO SETTLE CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. IN CASES SUCH AS HERE WHERE THERE IS A DISPUTE AS TO THE ESSENTIAL FACTS IN THE MATTER THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS MUST ACCEPT THE EVIDENCE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY ERRONEOUS. TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO DOCUMENTATION THAT THE FILM WAS EVER DELIVERED OR ACCEPTED. THERE IS NOT OF RECORD THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE THAT THE UNITED STATES IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS.

B-163267, FEB. 8, 1968

CLAIMS - EVIDENCE DECISION REAFFIRMING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR LOSS OF FILM SENT TO ARMED FORCES INFORMATION AND EDUCATION SERVICES. IN ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE THAT FILM WAS DELIVERED TO GOVT. OR THAT THERE WAS ANY AGREEMENT SUBJECTING THE GOVT. TO LIABILITY FOR THE MISSING FILM, THE CLAIM MUST BE DISALLOWED.

TO MISS BERNICE BLOCK:

THE WHITE HOUSE HAS FORWARDED TO US YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 20, 1967, ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TO WHOM YOU REFERRED FOR SETTLEMENT THE LOSS OF YOUR FILM "THE BRIDGE.' YOUR APPEAL WAS TRANSFERRED HERE IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF BUSINESS BECAUSE WE ARE AN ARM OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS WITH JURISDICTION TO SETTLE CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

WE DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $175 IN OUR LETTER TO YOU OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1967, WITH THE EXPLANATION THAT MR. PAUL MURDOCK, ARMED FORCES INFORMATION AND EDUCATION SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DENIES THE GOVERNMENT EVER RECEIVED YOUR FILM. IN CASES SUCH AS HERE WHERE THERE IS A DISPUTE AS TO THE ESSENTIAL FACTS IN THE MATTER THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS MUST ACCEPT THE EVIDENCE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY ERRONEOUS.

THE UNITED STATES, AS ANY PRIVATE PERSON OR BUSINESS DEALING IN THE COMMERCIAL WORLD, WOULD BE LEGALLY LIABLE ONLY IF ITS AUTHORIZED OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES HAD ACCEPTED DELIVERY AND RETAINED THE FILM OR HAD ENTERED INTO A CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT WITH YOU OBLIGATING THE GOVERNMENT TO COMPENSATE IN THE EVENT OF ITS LOSS. TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO DOCUMENTATION THAT THE FILM WAS EVER DELIVERED OR ACCEPTED, NOR ANY AGREEMENT MAKING THE GOVERNMENT LIABLE FOR THE MISSING FILM. GENERALLY, TO PROVE A CLAIM SUCH AS YOURS, THE CLAIMANT MUST SUBMIT WRITTEN EVIDENCE IN THE FORM OF SHIPPING DOCUMENTS OR A CONTRACT IN WRITING SIGNED BY AN AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE OR OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THERE IS NOT OF RECORD THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE THAT THE UNITED STATES IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS. WE REGRET WE MUST AGAIN DISALLOW THE RELIEF YOU REQUEST.