B-97685, DEC 20, 1951

B-97685: Dec 20, 1951

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER. YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16. WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN EXCEPTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.35. MAY NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MC -225261 AND MC-225262 WERE NOT USED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S MOTHER-IN-LAW. THE SAID EXCEPTION WAS BASED UPON INFORMATION THAT MRS. GREEN ACTUALLY IS THE EMPLOYEE'S MOTHER-IN-LAW. PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED IS IMPROPER AND. THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE FOR COLLECTION. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT MR. LINSCOTT IS IN THE EMPLOY OF THE PATENT OFFICE. WHERE PERSONS INVOLVED IN OVERPAYMENTS CURRENTLY ARE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES.

B-97685, DEC 20, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER, DATED AUGUST 23, 1950, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, REQUESTING ADMINISTRATIVE CLEARANCE OF A GROUP OF 21 EXCEPTIONS TOTALING $3,012.19 STATED BY THIS OFFICE AGAINST PAYMENTS OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM TO EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION. YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16, 1950, B -97685, THAT THE SAID EXCEPTIONS WOULD BE REMOVED FOR THE REASONS EXPLAINED THEREIN.

IT NOW HAS BEEN DETERMINED, HOWEVER, THAT ONE OF THE VOUCHERS INVOLVED, VOUCHER NO. 434768, SEPTEMBER 1946 ACCOUNT OF E. J. BRENNAN, PAID TO JACK H. LINSCOTT, WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN EXCEPTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.35, WITH ADDITIONAL OBJECTIONS TOTALING $86.24, STATED FOR THE REASON, AMONG OTHERS THAT THE VALUE OF A ONE-WAY FARE, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, TO WASHINGTON, D. C., $37.07, AND A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF TAXI FARES, 60 CENTS, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MC -225261 AND MC-225262 WERE NOT USED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S MOTHER-IN-LAW. WHILE TRAVEL ORDER M-18-C DATED JUNE 20, 1946, PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S WIFE, SON, DAUGHTER AND MOTHER (MRS. MARY GREEN) WOULD BE ALLOWED AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, AND REGULATIONS PROVIDED THEREUNDER, THE SAID EXCEPTION WAS BASED UPON INFORMATION THAT MRS. GREEN ACTUALLY IS THE EMPLOYEE'S MOTHER-IN-LAW. THEREFORE, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, SINCE THE TERM "IMMEDIATE FAMILIES" AS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION HERE CONCERNED MAY NOT, IN VIEW OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS 9587 (PART II) DATED JULY 6, 1945, AND 9805 DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946, BE EXTENDED TO INCLUDE THE PARENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE (SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 211; 22 ID. 1139, AND CASES CITED THEREIN), PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED IS IMPROPER AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ADEQUATE EXPLANATION, THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE FOR COLLECTION. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT NO REPLY TO DATE HAS BEEN RECEIVED IN RESPECT TO THIS PORTION OF THE EXCEPTION, AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT MR. LINSCOTT IS IN THE EMPLOY OF THE PATENT OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

IN CASES, SUCH AS THIS, WHERE PERSONS INVOLVED IN OVERPAYMENTS CURRENTLY ARE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES, THE EXCEPTIONS MAY BE SATISFIED BY COLLECTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 633, 81ST CONGRESS, 64 STAT. 393, AND RELIEF TO THE CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS NOT REQUIRED. MOREOVER, WERE SUCH RELIEF NOW TO BE GRANTED IN RESPECT TO VOUCHER 434768, SUPRA, THE RIGHT TO WITHHOLD THE CURRENT COMPENSATION OF THE PAYEE UNTIL THE OVERPAYMENT IS SATISFIED MIGHT BE LOST - SUCH RIGHT BEING DEPENDENT UPON CHARGE BEING RAISED FOR THE OVERPAYMENT IN THE CERTIFYING OFFICERS' ACCOUNT. THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 16, 1950, INSOFAR AS IT CONCERNED RELIEF OF THE CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER 434768, IS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY AND THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN INSTRUCTED TO RETAIN THE EXCEPTION AGAINST THE SAID VOUCHER PENDING ATTEMPTS BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION OF YOUR DEPARTMENT TO COLLECT THE AMOUNT OF $53.87 (ONE WAY FARE $37.07; LOWER BERTH $9.25; TRANSPORTATION TAX $6.95; TAXI FARE $.60) PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 633.