B-88587, B-90528 August 21, 1951

B-88587,B-90528: Aug 21, 1951

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Iverson: Reference is made to your letter of July 26. It appears that such funds were corporate moneys which had been deposited with the Treasury solely for banking and checking usage. It appears that accountability to the Government was fullly discharged by the proper issurance of checks in accordance with the Institute's requirements and directions. Since no settlement authority is exercised by the General Accounting Office. The provisions of the relief act are not applicable. Is for determination by the Institute. Were it otherwise applicable. You are advised that. It is not felt.

B-88587, B-90528 August 21, 1951

Mr. Kenneth R. Iverson, President The Institute of Inter-American Affairs

Dear Mr. Iverson:

Reference is made to your letter of July 26, 1950, recommending and requesting that relief be granted to Mary Grace Rand and J. R. Cyle, employment of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs, and Assistant Disbursing Officers, Treasury Department, under provisions of the yet approved August 1, 1947, 61 gant. 720, for a shortage of $3,820.

You report that the shortage resulted from the fraudulant raising of the amounts of two checks and the forgery of an endorsement on a third check, without fault or negligence on the part of the officers concerned, after the checks had been drawn by them (January, April and May, 1948), against funds in an account maintained by the Treasury Department (in Guatemla currency)with the Bango Agricola Mercantile (Guatemala) in the name of Paul N. Banning, Chief Disbursing Officer, Treasury Department. It appears that such funds were corporate moneys which had been deposited with the Treasury solely for banking and checking usage, as required by section 302 of the Government Corporation Control Act, 59 Stat. 601 31 U.S.C. 841, in accordance with customary arrangements for that purpose.

The relief of disbursing officers contemplated by provisions of the act of August 1, 1947, necessarily implies the existence of accountability to the Government for an item concerning which credit properly has been or may be denied or a charge raised. In the present matter, it appears that accountability to the Government was fullly discharged by the proper issurance of checks in accordance with the Institute's requirements and directions--credit for the amounts of the checks negotiated being allowable in th audit reconciliation of the Treasurer's account.

From the viewpoint of accountability to the Institute, since no settlement authority is exercised by the General Accounting Office, the provisions of the relief act are not applicable. Any responsibilities of the offficers as agents or employee of the Institute for carrying out ints directions, or for the consequences thereof, is for determination by the Institute-- the concern of this Office being limited to reporting audit findings to the Congress in accordance with requirements of the Government Corporation Control Act.

It may be obseved that the reported circumstances of the shortages, and your determination that it occurred through no fault of neglience on the part of the officers involved, would seem to justify granting relief under the act, were it otherwise applicable. In view thereof, and considerating also the broad powers of the Institute as a corporation, you are advised that, should the Institute relieve the officers concerned of any liability in the matter, it is not felt, on the basis of the present record, that such action would require criticism in the audit reports of this Office.

Sincerely yours,

Lindsay C. Warren Comptroller General of the United States