B-176058, AUG 4, 1972

B-176058: Aug 4, 1972

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THE REMAINDER OF THE CLAIM IS DENIED SINCE MR. FARMER WAS CHARGEABLE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE ONE YEAR FILING PROVISION. FARMER WAS APPOINTED TO THE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER ON NOVEMBER 6. FARMER AS IS REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964 ED.). A LETTER WAS RECEIVED IN YOUR OFFICE FROM MR. SKUPNIEWITZ STATED: "THERE ARE NO RECORDS AVAILABLE IN THIS OFFICE BY WHICH I CAN VERIFY OR DISPROVE THE STATEMENT THAT VOUCHERS FOR THESE SERVICES WERE TIMELY SUBMITTED TO THE PREVIOUS CLERK. THE STATUTES REGULATING THE RENDITION OF ACCOUNTS BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS WERE CODIFIED AT 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964 ED.). FOR WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE. ARE BARRED SINCE MR. FARMER IS CHARGEABLE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THIS PROVISION OF THE LAW PROHIBITING PAYMENT OF FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED MORE THAN ONE YEAR PRIOR TO THE DATE THE ACCOUNT IS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT. 15 COMP.

B-176058, AUG 4, 1972

U.S. COMMISSIONER - PAYMENT OF FEES - STATEMENT OF SERVICES DECISION ALLOWING IN PART A CLAIM BY EMMET H. FARMER, JR., FOR THE STATUTORY FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED AS A FORMER U.S. COMMISSIONER FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN FOR THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 24, 1968, THROUGH JANUARY 31, 1971. SINCE THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. FARMER DID PRESENT A STATEMENT OF SERVICES TO THE CLERK OF THE DISTRICT COURT AS REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964), HE MAY BE PAID FEES THAT REPRESENT SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 29, 1968, AND NOVEMBER 29, 1969, AND SERVICES RENDERED AFTER DECEMBER 20, 1970. THE REMAINDER OF THE CLAIM IS DENIED SINCE MR. FARMER WAS CHARGEABLE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE ONE YEAR FILING PROVISION.

TO MR. ROWLAND F. KIRKS:

BY LETTER OF MAY 24, 1972, THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER MR. EMMET H. FARMER, JR., IN VIEW OF THE TIME LIMITATION FOR SUBMITTING ACCOUNTS, MAY BE PAID THE STATUTORY FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED AS A FORMER UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN DURING THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 24, 1968, THROUGH JANUARY 31, 1971.

MR. FARMER WAS APPOINTED TO THE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER ON NOVEMBER 6, 1967. FROM THAT DATE UNTIL DECEMBER 20, 1971, YOUR OFFICE APPARENTLY HAD RECEIVED NO QUARTERLY REPORTS FROM MR. FARMER AS IS REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964 ED.) NOR ANY OTHER INQUIRIES FROM HIM AS TO WHY HE HAD NOT BEEN PAID FOR SERVICES RENDERED OVER A PERIOD OF TIME IN EXCESS OF 3 YEARS. ON DECEMBER 20, 1971, A LETTER WAS RECEIVED IN YOUR OFFICE FROM MR. FARMER STATING THAT HE HAD SUBMITTED "SOMETIME IN THE PAST" AN ACCOUNT TO THE THEN CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, MR. JOHN R. ADAMS, BUT HE HAD NEVER HEARD ANYTHING FROM HIM NOR HAD HE RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR THE FEES CLAIMED. MR. ADAMS DIED ON JUNE 28, 1971. ON APRIL 8, 1972, MR. FARMER SUBMITTED A PAY VOUCHER TO THE PRESENT CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN, MR. JOSEPH W. SKUPNIEWITZ. IN A LETTER TO THE ASSISTANT CHIEF AUDITOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURT, DATED APRIL 11, 1972, MR. SKUPNIEWITZ STATED:

"THERE ARE NO RECORDS AVAILABLE IN THIS OFFICE BY WHICH I CAN VERIFY OR DISPROVE THE STATEMENT THAT VOUCHERS FOR THESE SERVICES WERE TIMELY SUBMITTED TO THE PREVIOUS CLERK, MR. JOHN R. ADAMS, WHO DIED LAST SUMMER.

THE STATUTES REGULATING THE RENDITION OF ACCOUNTS BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS WERE CODIFIED AT 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964 ED.) AND PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE ACCOUNTS OF EACH UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER SHALL BE RENDERED QUARTERLY, IN DUPLICATE, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, AND TRANSMITTED TO THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE COMMISSIONER RESIDES. THE CLERK SHALL FILE THE DUPLICATE IN HIS OFFICE AND TRANSMIT THE ORIGINAL TO THE DIRECTOR. THE COURT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO APPROVE SUCH ACCOUNTS.

"FEES OF A COMMISSIONER, FOR WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE, SHALL BE PAID ONLY UPON RENDITION OF ACCOUNTS WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES, AND APPROVAL OF SUCH ACCOUNTS BY THE DIRECTOR. SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE SUBJECT TO SETTLEMENT IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND ANY ADJUSTMENTS NECESSITATED THEREBY."

PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 29, 1968, ARE BARRED SINCE MR. FARMER IS CHARGEABLE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THIS PROVISION OF THE LAW PROHIBITING PAYMENT OF FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED MORE THAN ONE YEAR PRIOR TO THE DATE THE ACCOUNT IS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT. 15 COMP. GEN. 323 (1935). HOWEVER, AS TO SUBSEQUENT SERVICES BY LETTER OF JUNE 22, 1972, MR. FARMER FORWARDED TO US A COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 29, 1969, ADDRESSED TO MR. ADAMS SUBMITTING THE THEN CURRENT SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED. FROM THIS LETTER AND THE LETTER FROM MR. FARMER RECEIVED IN YOUR OFFICE ON DECEMBER 20, 1971, WE HAVE CONCLUDED THAT MR. FARMER PRESENTED HIS ACCOUNTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH 28 U.S.C. 636 (1964 ED.) ON NOVEMBER 29, 1969, AND DECEMBER 20, 1971.

ACCORDINGLY, MR. FARMER MAY BE PAID FOR FEES THAT REPRESENT SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 29, 1968, AND NOVEMBER 29, 1969, AND THAT REPRESENT SERVICES RENDERED AFTER DECEMBER 20, 1970.

THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH THE SUBMISSION, TOGETHER WITH COPIES OF THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FURNISHED OUR OFFICE BY MR. FARMER, ARE ENCLOSED HEREWITH.