B-59153, FEBRUARY 6, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 429

B-59153: Feb 6, 1948

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IS NOT. IT IS DESIRABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SIMPLIFYING AND EXPEDITING THE FINAL AUDIT THAT ARRANGEMENTS BE MADE AT AN EARLY DATE. SINCE THE ACCOUNTS CURRENT OF DISBURSING OFFICERS OF GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS WILL BE SUBMITTED DIRECT TO THE CORPORATION FOR RETENTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 50 OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT. ARE NOT REQUIRED. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12. SUBMITTING FOR DECISION CERTAIN QUESTIONS THAT HAVE CONFRONTED THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FORMERLY UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY). THIS REQUIREMENT IS BEING CONSIDERED AS MEANING THAT WE WILL NO LONGER TRANSMIT OR FORWARD COPIES OF SUCH DOCUMENTS (COLLECTION DOCUMENTS.

B-59153, FEBRUARY 6, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 429

CORPORATIONS - GOVERNMENT - REGULATIONS UNDER GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 40 OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, 27 COMP. GEN. 789, REQUIRING GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS TO PRESERVE ACCOUNTS, BOOKS, CHECKS, ETC., AND TO MAKE SUCH RECORDS AVAILABLE TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR AUDIT PURPOSES, COPIES OF SAID RECORDS NO LONGER NEED BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE IN THE PAST. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE EXCEPTION FROM LIABILITY GRANTED CERTIFYING OFFICERS BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, FOR OVERPAYMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION SERVICES DUE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE TO VERIFY RATES, ETC., IS NOT, AS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS OF GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS, MODIFIED BY THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, 27 COMP. GEN. 789, IT IS DESIRABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SIMPLIFYING AND EXPEDITING THE FINAL AUDIT THAT ARRANGEMENTS BE MADE AT AN EARLY DATE, THROUGH THE CORPORATION AUDITS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, TO OBTAIN A RATE AUDIT OF TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS ON AN ADVISORY BASIS. GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, 27 COMP. GEN. 789, NEED NOT SUBMIT DIRECT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IN COMPLIANCE WITH GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 99, STANDARD FORM NO. 1097 FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADJUSTING ERRONEOUS CHARGES OR CREDITS IN LIMITATIONS OR PROJECT ACCOUNTS WITHIN THE SAME APPROPRIATION, BUT, RATHER, SUCH ADJUSTMENTS ON THE BOOKS OF THE CORPORATION MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF JOURNAL VOUCHERS SUPPORTED BY PERTINENT INFORMATION AND DATA. SINCE THE ACCOUNTS CURRENT OF DISBURSING OFFICERS OF GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS WILL BE SUBMITTED DIRECT TO THE CORPORATION FOR RETENTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 50 OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, 27 COMP. GEN. 789, THE FURNISHING OF STANDARD FORM NO. 1095, SUMMARY STATEMENT OF DISBURSEMENTS AND COLLECTIONS BY APPROPRIATION LIMITATIONS, REQUIRED BY GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 83, WITH EACH DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS CURRENT MAY BE DISCONTINUED. CLAIMS AGAINST FUNDS OF GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, 27 COMP. GEN. 789, ARE NOT REQUIRED, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS, TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT; HOWEVER, ADVANCE DECISIONS MAY BE REQUESTED OF THIS OFFICE IN RESPECT OF PAYMENT IN DOUBTFUL CASES, PARTICULARLY WHERE THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS SUBJECT TO ACCOUNTING MIGHT BE INVOLVED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE PUBLIC HOUSING COMMISSIONER, FEBRUARY 6, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1947, SUBMITTING FOR DECISION CERTAIN QUESTIONS THAT HAVE CONFRONTED THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FORMERLY UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY), WHOLLY-OWNED GOVERNMENT CORPORATION, IN COMPLYING WITH REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 789 ( APPEN.). THE QUESTIONS MAY BE CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED INDIVIDUALLY, AS FOLLOWS:

(1) SECTION 40 PROVIDES THAT THE ACCOUNTS, BOOKS, RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS AS ENUMERATED THEREIN ,SHALL BE PRESERVED BY THE RESPECTIVE CORPORATIONS" AND MADE AVAILABLE TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CENTRAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR USE IN MAKING AUDITS. THIS REQUIREMENT IS BEING CONSIDERED AS MEANING THAT WE WILL NO LONGER TRANSMIT OR FORWARD COPIES OF SUCH DOCUMENTS (COLLECTION DOCUMENTS, CONTRACTS, VOUCHERS, ETC.) TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON AS HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE IN THE PAST UNDER THE GOVERNING GENERAL REGULATIONS,. IN LIEU THEREOF THE ORIGINALS OF SUCH DOCUMENTS (OR COPIES IN SOME INSTANCES) WILL BE RETAINED BY THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION FOR USE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CITED REGULATION.

PLEASE ADVISE WHETHER OUR INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT OR NOT.

YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 40 IS CORRECT.

(2) UNDER PUBLIC LAW 389--- 77TH CONGRESS, APPROVED DECEMBER 29, 1941, CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR OVERPAYMENTS FOR CERTAIN TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WHERE SUCH OVERPAYMENTS OCCUR "SOLELY BECAUSE THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION MADE PRIOR TO PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION BILL DID NOT INCLUDE A VERIFICATION OF TRANSPORTATION RATES, FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION, OR LAND-GRANT DEDUCTIONS.'

THIS EXCEPTION FROM LIABILITY WAS PRESUMABLY BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT SUCH FACTORS, AS AFFECTING PAYMENTS, WOULD BE PROPERLY DETERMINED IN THE REGULAR POST-AUDIT OF EXPENDITURES BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND WHERE NECESSARY, ADJUSTMENTS WOULD BE MADE DIRECT WITH CARRIERS BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

HOW WILL THE FINAL AUDIT BE HANDLED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS TYPE OF PAYMENT MADE ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1948? WILL THE EXCEPTION FROM LIABILITY REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR CERTIFYING OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION?

THE REFERRED-TO PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 875, ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE REGULATIONS. THAT IS TO SAY, THE EXCEPTION FROM LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN OVERPAYMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IS STATUTORY AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO MODIFICATION BY REGULATION. SEE, ALSO, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 306. HOWEVER, IT IS EMINENTLY DESIRABLE THAT AN ARRANGEMENT BE MADE THROUGH THE CORPORATION AUDITS DIVISION AT AN EARLY DATE TO OBTAIN A RATE AUDIT OF TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS ON AN ADVISORY BASIS. BY SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT THERE CAN BE SECURED AT COST THE BENEFITS OF THE RATE AUDIT FACILITIES OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, INSURING COMPLETION OF THIS PHASE OF THE CORPORATION'S WORK IN AN APPROVED MANNER THAT WILL BOTH SIMPLIFY AND EXPEDITE THE FINAL AUDIT.

(3) GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATION NO. 99 DATED NOVEMBER 20, 1943 ( PARAGRAPH 3 (B) IN PART) REQUIRES THAT REQUEST FOR CORRECTION IN APPROPRIATION, FUND, LIMITATION, AND OFFICIAL PROJECT ACCOUNTS ( STANDARD FORM 1097) COVERING "ADJUSTMENT OF ERRONEOUS CHARGES OR CREDITS IN LIMITATION OR PROJECT ACCOUNTS, WITHIN THE SAME APPROPRIATION" BE SUBMITTED DIRECT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON FOR PROCESSING SINCE THIS TYPE OF ACTION DOES NOT AFFECT THE CASH ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER.

WILL THIS STANDARD FORM AND RELATED PROCEDURE BE CONTINUED FOR THIS TYPE OF ADJUSTMENT ENTRY ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1948? IN LIEU THEREOF MAY SUCH ADJUSTMENTS BE MADE IN THE BOOKS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION BY MEANS OF JOURNAL VOUCHERS? SUCH JOURNAL VOUCHERS WOULD, OF COURSE, BE FULLY SUPPORTED BY PERTINENT DATA AND REFERENCE TO THE CORRECTING JOURNAL VOUCHER WOULD BE MADE ON THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS INVOLVED.

STANDARD FORM 1097 IS NOT REQUIRED. NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS ON THE BOOKS OF THE CORPORATION MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF JOURNAL VOUCHERS SUPPORTED BY PERTINENT INFORMATION AND DATA.

(4) GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATION NO. 83 REQUIRES THE PREPARATION OF A SUMMARY STATEMENT OF DISBURSEMENTS AND COLLECTIONS BY APPROPRIATION LIMITATIONS ( STANDARD FORM 1095) FOR SUBMISSION WITH EACH DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT CURRENT. THE STATEMENT IS PREPARED FROM INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE BOOKS AND RECORDS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION WHICH IS NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE TO THE USERS OF THE ACCOUNTS CURRENT.

BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 1948, THE ACCOUNTS CURRENT OF DISBURSING OFFICERS WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION FOR RETENTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 50 OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATION CONTROL ACT. SINCE THE INFORMATION REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF DISBURSEMENTS AND COLLECTIONS BY LIMITATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE BOOKS AND RECORDS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE REVIEW AND AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNT CURRENT, MAY THE PREPARATION OF THE SUMMARY STATEMENT ON STANDARD FORM 1095 BE DISCONTINUED?

THE FURNISHING OF SUMMARY STATEMENTS ON STANDARD FORM 1095 MAY BE DISCONTINUED.

(6) THE GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF CERTAIN TYPES OF CLAIMS TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT. INCLUDED IN THIS TYPE OF SUBMISSION ARE SUCH THINGS AS DEATH CLAIMS, CLAIMS AGAINST TENANTS (PARTICULARLY VACATED TENANTS) FOR UNPAID RENTS, ETC., CLAIMS AGAINST EMPLOYEES NO LONGER EMPLOYED BY THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND REPORTS OF IRREGULARITIES WHICH MIGHT RESULT IN A CLAIM AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE.

INFORMAL DISCUSSION OF THESE MATTERS WAS HELD WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR OFFICE. HOWEVER, NO DEFINITE UNDERSTANDING WAS REACHED AS TO THE HANDLING OF THESE ITEMS ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1948.

IT WAS TENTATIVELY UNDERSTOOD THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE TO SUBMIT SUCH ITEMS TO THE CORPORATION AUDITS DIVISION FOR HANDLING PENDING THE ISSUANCE OF REVISED INSTRUCTIONS. THIS MATTER IS PRESENTED HEREIN FOR SUCH FURTHER CONSIDERATION AS YOU DEEM ADVISABLE.

IT WAS NOT INTENDED UNDER THE REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION TO THIS OFFICE OF CLAIMS AGAINST GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS. IN FACT, SUCH A REQUIREMENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY GIVEN TO THE VARIOUS CORPORATIONS GENERALLY (1) TO SUE AND TO BE SUED IN THEIR OWN NAMES AND (2) TO SETTLE THEIR OWN CLAIMS OR TO HAVE THEIR FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TREATED AS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE, AND, ALSO, TO BE INAPPROPRIATE IN ANY CASE WHERE SUCH SUBMISSION WAS NOT DIRECTED BY SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW. HOWEVER, NEITHER WAS IT INTENDED TO DEPRIVE ANY CORPORATION OF RECOURSE TO THIS OFFICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING DECISIONS CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT IN DOUBTFUL CASES, PARTICULARLY WHERE THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS SUBJECT TO ACCOUNTING UNDER THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF 1921, AND RELATED LAWS, MIGHT BE INVOLVED. HENCE, ALTHOUGH DECISIONS MAY BE OBTAINED UPON REQUEST THEREFOR PRIOR TO PAYMENT, CLAIMS AGAINST FUNDS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION NEED NO LONGER BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR SETTLEMENT. COURSE, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT CERTAIN TYPES OF CLAIMS REQUIRED TO BE SETTLED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, UNDER PROVISIONS OF LAW SUCH AS ARE CONTAINED IN THE " STALE CHECK ACT" OF JULY 11, 1947, 61 STAT. 308, ARE NOT PROPERLY TO BE REGARDED AS CLAIMS AGAINST THE CORPORATION.