B-168920, FEB. 11, 1970

B-168920: Feb 11, 1970

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IN VIEW OF THE RELATIVELY SMALL SHIPMENTS AND SHORT-TERM NATURE A DEVIATION FROM 5 GAO 3017.20 AND 3017.30 TO PERMIT USE OF CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN PUERTO RICO IS APPROVED. SECRETARY: WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER DATED JANUARY 19. THESE SERVICES ARE TO BE FURNISHED BY LOCAL SMALL TRUCKING FIRMS WITHIN PUERTO RICO AND ARE INTENDED TO COVER SHIPMENTS OF SUPPLIES CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE 1970 CENSUS. HE STATES THAT IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO OBTAIN FROM THOSE FIRMS LETTERS OF AGREEMENT SIGNIFYING THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE USE OF COMMERCIAL FORMS AND PROCEDURES WITH THE SHIPMENTS MADE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE STANDARD FORM U.S.

B-168920, FEB. 11, 1970

TRANSPORTATION--IMPREST FUND--SMALL SHIPMENT DECISION TO SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AUTHORIZING THE MAKING OF CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FURNISHED BY LOCAL SMALL TRUCKING FIRMS IN PUERTO RICO. IN VIEW OF THE RELATIVELY SMALL SHIPMENTS AND SHORT-TERM NATURE A DEVIATION FROM 5 GAO 3017.20 AND 3017.30 TO PERMIT USE OF CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN PUERTO RICO IS APPROVED.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER DATED JANUARY 19, 1970, FROM MR. WILLIAM A. PRENTICE, ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF YOUR BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, ADDRESSED TO THE DIRECTOR OF OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, REQUESTING AUTHORITY FOR THE BUREAU TO DEVIATE FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES BY MAKING CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS FOR CERTAIN TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. THESE SERVICES ARE TO BE FURNISHED BY LOCAL SMALL TRUCKING FIRMS WITHIN PUERTO RICO AND ARE INTENDED TO COVER SHIPMENTS OF SUPPLIES CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE 1970 CENSUS.

ACCORDING TO MR. PRENTICE, IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THESE SHIPMENTS CAN BE HANDLED MORE EFFICIENTLY AND ECONOMICALLY BY LOCAL SMALL TRUCKING FIRMS. HE STATES THAT IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO OBTAIN FROM THOSE FIRMS LETTERS OF AGREEMENT SIGNIFYING THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE USE OF COMMERCIAL FORMS AND PROCEDURES WITH THE SHIPMENTS MADE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE STANDARD FORM U.S. GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. MOREOVER, EXPERIENCE IN 1960 DISCLOSED THAT MANY OF THE FIRMS WOULD NOT ACCEPT A JOB UNLESS IT INVOLVED CASH PAYMENT. MR. PRENTICE THEREFORE URGES THAT THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS BE GRANTED A WAIVER OF THE PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY 5 GAO 3017.20 AND 3017.30 AND BE GIVEN AUTHORITY TO MAKE CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS FOR THESE SHIPMENTS.

IN DISCUSSING THIS MATTER WITH A MEMBER OF OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BUREAU HAS ESTIMATED THAT THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES FOR THESE SHIPMENTS WILL AVERAGE $150; THAT 40 SHIPMENTS--20 IN FEBRUARY AND 20 IN MAY 1970--WILL BE MADE; AND THAT THE SUPPLIES WILL BE TRANSPORTED BETWEEN SAN JUAN AND ARECIBO, CAGUAS, HUMACAO, MAYAGUEZ, AND PONCE. THE REPRESENTATIVE HAS ALSO STATED THAT (1) A BUREAU FORM D-405 WILL BE USED AS THE ORDER TO THE TRUCKING COMPANY, THE CONSIGNEE'S CERTIFICATE OF RECEIPT OF SHIPMENT, AND THE COMPANY'S BILLING DOCUMENT AND (2) PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS WILL BE MADE TO THE TRUCKING COMPANIES BY THE CASHIER IN SAN JUAN.

IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED AND CONSIDERING THE LIMITED NUMBER OF RELATIVELY SMALL SHIPMENTS AND THE SHORT-TERM NATURE OF, AND THE URGENT NEED FOR, THE ABOVE-CITED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE DESIRED DEPARTURE FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE GAO MANUAL; THE SHIPPING AND PAYMENT RECORDS MAY BE RETAINED AT THE SITE, WHICH APPARENTLY WILL BE SAN JUAN. THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS IS THEREFORE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE PROPOSED CASH PAYMENTS FROM IMPREST FUNDS TO LOCAL SMALL TRUCKING FIRMS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, THAT THIS SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO THE MANUAL IS RESTRICTED TO THE ABOVE-CITED SHIPMENTS.

IN THESE TRANSACTIONS, THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR VERIFICATION THAT THE SERVICES FOR WHICH THE TRUCKING FIRMS CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT HAVE IN FACT BEEN FURNISHED. PAYMENTS OF THIS TYPE ARE NOT TO BE SCHEDULED ON VOUCHER-SCHEDULES COVERING VOUCHERS IN THE TRANSPORTATION SERIES, AND THE PAYMENT RECORDS SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED OR SOME SPECIAL SITUATION MAKES SUBMISSION NECESSARY. THEREFORE THE USUAL RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULES GOVERNING TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS WILL NOT BE APPLICABLE.