B-210176(1), OCT 4, 1984

B-210176(1): Oct 4, 1984

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AS YOU ARE AWARE. THE SETTLEMENT FUNDS CURRENTLY ARE DEPOSITED IN THE U.S. ARE HELD IN TRUST BY ENERGY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE OVERCHARGED PURCHASERS OR CLASSES OF PURCHASERS. THE FUNDS ARE MANAGED BY ENERGY'S OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER. THE PURPOSE OF THIS LETTER IS TO PROVIDE NOTICE TO YOU AND YOUR SUBORDINATES THAT WHOEVER IS DESIGNATED CERTIFYING OFFICER AND SIGNS THE REQUEST FOR PAYMENT TO TREASURY WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME OIL FUNDS (OR ANOTHER FUNDS WHERE NO PRIOR FORMAL IDENTIFICATION OF PURCHASERS HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED). WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING AN ILLEGAL PAYMENT. WILL BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR REPAYMENT OF THE ILLEGAL AND IMPROPER DISTRIBUTION FROM THE ESCROW ACCOUNT. 31 U.S.C. 3528(A)(3) AND (A)(4).

B-210176(1), OCT 4, 1984

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

JOHN PAUL HODEL, THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY:

IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PLANS SHORTLY TO DISBURSE FUNDS TO THE GOVERNORS OF SIX WESTERN STATES AND TO THE DEFENSE FUEL SUPPLY CENTER, PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF A CONSENT ORDER BETWEEN ENERGY AND TIME OIL COMPANY SETTLING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE FORMER PROGRAM OF PETROLEUM PRICE AND ALLOCATION CONTROLS. AS YOU ARE AWARE, IT HAS LONG BEEN THE POSITION OF THIS OFFICE THAT ENERGY LACKS THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DISTRIBUTIONS OF SETTLEMENT FUNDS SUCH AS THOSE RECEIVED UNDER THE TIME OIL CONSENT ORDER WHERE ENERGY HAS MADE NO FORMAL ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE THE IDENTITIES OF THOSE PURCHASERS OR CLASSES OF PURCHASERS INJURED BY THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS, OR THE AMOUNTS OF THEIR INJURIES. COMG.GEN. 189 (1984); 62 COMG.GEN. 379 (1983); B-200170, APRIL 1, 1981; AND 60 COMG.GEN. 15 (1980).

THE SETTLEMENT FUNDS CURRENTLY ARE DEPOSITED IN THE U.S. TREASURY IN AN INTEREST-BEARING ESCROW ACCOUNT, AND ARE HELD IN TRUST BY ENERGY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE OVERCHARGED PURCHASERS OR CLASSES OF PURCHASERS. THE FUNDS ARE MANAGED BY ENERGY'S OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER, AND MAY BE DISBURSED BY THE TREASURY ONLY UPON RECEIPT OF A REQUEST FOR PAYMENT PREPARED AND CERTIFIED BY A DESIGNATED ENERGY OFFICIAL.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS LETTER IS TO PROVIDE NOTICE TO YOU AND YOUR SUBORDINATES THAT WHOEVER IS DESIGNATED CERTIFYING OFFICER AND SIGNS THE REQUEST FOR PAYMENT TO TREASURY WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME OIL FUNDS (OR ANOTHER FUNDS WHERE NO PRIOR FORMAL IDENTIFICATION OF PURCHASERS HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED), WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING AN ILLEGAL PAYMENT, AND WILL BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR REPAYMENT OF THE ILLEGAL AND IMPROPER DISTRIBUTION FROM THE ESCROW ACCOUNT. 31 U.S.C. 3528(A)(3) AND (A)(4).

COPIES OF THIS LETTER ARE BEING PROVIDED TO ENERGY'S COMPTROLLER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION, AND GENERAL COUNSEL, AND TO THE SOLICITOR, AND THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ECONOMIC REGULATORY ADMINISTRATION.