B-81046, FEB 15, 1949

B-81046: Feb 15, 1949

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THE VOUCHER IS DRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE FINANCE MINISTER. IS STATED TO COVER 25 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL PERSONAL AND NON-PERSONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE AUSTRIA GOVERNMENT FOR THE OPERATION OF THE ALLIED CENSORSHIP IN AUSTRIA DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1. THE VOUCHER RECITES THAT THE SERVICES INVOLVED WERE PROCURED UNDER CONTRACT NO. A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER. THE CONTRACT ITSELF IS DATED MAY 10. WAS NOT EXECUTED BY THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT UNTIL MAY 20. WHICH WAS. THERE IS ALSO ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER A COPY OF COMMENT #2. IT IS STATED. ARE PAYABLE. WAS INTENDED TO COVER SERVICES RENDERED DIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES FORCES IN AUSTRIA. APPARENTLY WAS NOT INTENDED TO COVER THE SERVICES HERE INVOLVED WHICH WERE PERFORMED ON A QUADRIPARTITE BASIS.

B-81046, FEB 15, 1949

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL A. J. WORCOTT, F.D., U.S. ARMY:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED, BY REFERENCE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1948, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER.

THE VOUCHER IS DRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE FINANCE MINISTER, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRIA, IN THE AMOUNT OF $123,740.48, AND IS STATED TO COVER 25 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL PERSONAL AND NON-PERSONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE AUSTRIA GOVERNMENT FOR THE OPERATION OF THE ALLIED CENSORSHIP IN AUSTRIA DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1947, THROUGH MARCH 31, 1948. THE VOUCHER RECITES THAT THE SERVICES INVOLVED WERE PROCURED UNDER CONTRACT NO. W-VAC- 601-(8)-4, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, BY THE TERMS OF WHICH THE UNITED STATES AGREED TO PAY 25 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THE OPERATION OF THE ALLIED CENSORSHIP FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1948. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACT ITSELF IS DATED MAY 10, 1948, AND WAS NOT EXECUTED BY THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT UNTIL MAY 20, 1948, WHICH WAS, OF COURSE, SUBSEQUENT TO THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICES COVERED BY THE INSTANT VOUCHER. THERE IS ALSO ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER A COPY OF COMMENT #2, DATED OCTOBER 8, 1948, FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ARMY COMPTROLLER TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, WHICH REFERS TO AN AGREEMENT DATED JUNE 21, 1947, BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES FORCE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRIA, BY THE TERMS OF WHICH, IT IS STATED, SUPPLIES AND SERVICES FURNISHED THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AFTER JUNE 30, 1947, ARE PAYABLE. IT APPEARS FROM A LETTER ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, DATED JUNE 30, 1947, FROM HEADQUARTERS, U.S. FORCES IN AUSTRIA, TO THE AUSTRIAN MINISTER OF FINANCE, THAT THE AGREEMENT OF JUNE 21, 1947, WAS INTENDED TO COVER SERVICES RENDERED DIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES FORCES IN AUSTRIA, AND APPARENTLY WAS NOT INTENDED TO COVER THE SERVICES HERE INVOLVED WHICH WERE PERFORMED ON A QUADRIPARTITE BASIS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD INFORMALLY THAT WHILE NO WRITTEN CONTRACT WITH THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT COVERING THE INSTANT SERVICES WAS EXECUTED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF CONTRACT NO. W-VAC-601-(8)-4, THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT WAS GIVEN TO UNDERSTAND THAT UNDER THE "PAY-AS-YOU GO" POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES SHARE OF THE CENSORSHIP COSTS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THEREFORE, THE FACT THAT CONTRACT NO. W-VAC-601-(8) 4 WAS NOT EXECUTED UNTIL AFTER MOST OF THE SERVICES COVERED THEREBY HAD BEEN PERFORMED WOULD NOT APPEAR TO PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THE COSTS INVOLVED.

YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT THE STATEMENT OF TOTAL COSTS SUBMITTED BY THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTED PAID BILLS FOR NONPERSONAL EXPENSES NOR BY PAID PAYROLLS FOR THE PERSONAL SERVICES INVOLVED. THE REASONS FOR THE FAILURE TO FURNISH SUCH SUPPORTING EVIDENCE ARE STATED BY THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES FORCES IN AUSTRIA, IN A CERTIFICATE OF JUNE 10, 1948, ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

"5. DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE QUADRIPARTITE CENSORSHIP MISSION, AN OPERATION MAINTAINED COMPLETELY BY THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT UNDER ALLIED SUPERVISION (U.S., U.K., FRENCH AND SOVIET TECHNICAL ADVISORS), THE ORIGINAL INVOICES FOR NON-PERSONNEL SUPPLIES AND ORIGINAL PAYROLLS ARE UNOBTAINABLE FOR DISPATCH TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON. HOWEVER, THE UNDERSIGNED OR HIS REPRESENTATIVES, HAVE ACCESS TO ALL AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT FILES PERTAINING TOO QUADRIPARTITE CENSORSHIP EXPENDITURES AND IS SATISFIED THAT THE STATEMENT RENDERED FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1947 TO MARCH 1948 IS A TRUE STATEMENT BASED ON WAGES AND COSTS OF SUPPLIES PREVAILING FOR THE ABOVE STATED PERIOD, AS SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL INVOICES IN THE FILES OF THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT.

"6. ALL PURCHASES OF SUPPLIES FOR THE QUADRIPARTITE CENSORSHIP STATIONS, WHICH IS UNDER THE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR, IS PERFORMED BY A CENTRAL PURCHASING AGENCY WHICH PLACES SUPPLIES IN A CENTRAL WAREHOUSE AND FROM WHICH SUBORDINATE DEPARTMENTS DRAW AS REQUIRED. THEREFORE, THE ORIGINAL INVOICES DO NOT REFLECT ACTUAL PURCHASES FOR THE CENSORSHIP STATIONS.

IT MAY BE STATED GENERALLY THAT IT IS THE DUTY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED TO DETERMINE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE WHETHER AMOUNTS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED ON A "COST" BASIS ACTUALLY WERE EXPENDED BY THE CLAIMANT, AND WHETHER THE LABOR, MATERIALS, ETC., PURCHASED WERE NECESSARY FOR AND WERE USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK INVOLVED. AND, IN ORDER FOR THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE PROPERLY TO PERFORM ITS STATUTORY DUTY OF AUDITING VOUCHERS COVERING SUCH REIMBURSEMENT, THERE MUST BE FURNISHED WITH THE VOUCHERS EVIDENCE THAT THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED ACTUALLY WERE EXPENDED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK REQUIRED. HENCE, THIS OFFICE ORDINARILY REQUIRES, AS EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURES IN SUCH CASES, THE SUBMISSION OF ITEMIZED RECEIPTED INVOICES AND SIGNED PAYROLLS OR THEIR EQUIVALENT. SEE 20 COMP.GEN. 341; ID. 664; 21 ID. 180; ID. 593; 23 ID. 707.

IN THE PRESENT CASE IT APPEARS THAT ORIGINAL PAYROLLS AND ORIGINAL RECEIPTED INVOICES FOR THE MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES INVOLVED CANNOT BE FURNISHED FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH IN THE STATEMENT OF JUNE 10, 1948, BY THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE. THE VOUCHER IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ITEMIZATION OF THE COSTS CLAIMED AS CALLED FOR BY PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT NO. W-VAC-601-(8)-4 THAT THE ARTICLES AND SERVICES COVERED BY THE VOUCHER WERE RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND THAT THE PRICES CHARGED THEREFORE ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTRACT. ADDITION, THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE STATES IN HIS CERTIFICATE OF JUNE 10, 1948, THAT HE HAS ACCESS TO ALL AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT FILES PERTAINING TO THE EXPENDITURES INVOLVED AND IS SATISFIED THAT THE STATEMENT RENDERED IS A TRUE STATEMENT BASED ON WAGES AND COSTS OF SUPPLIES AS SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL INVOICE IN THE FILES OF THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT. IT IS ASSUMED FROM THE FOREGOING STATEMENT THAT THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE, OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE, HAS EXAMINED THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS IN THE FILES OF THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT, AND THAT HIS STATEMENT IS BASED ON SUCH EXAMINATION. IF SUCH BE THE CASE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE PERCEIVES NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE VOUCHER AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.