[Payment of Compensatory Damages Under Section 102 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991]

B-257334: Jun 30, 1995

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The Department of Agriculture (USDA) requested an decision on whether the: (1) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) should pay compensatory damages pursuant to the settlement of an employee's discrimination suit from its own appropriations or a special payment fund such as the one for tort claims; and (2) certifying officer should rely on verbal advice on the permissible amount for compensatory damages if the agreement does not specify an amount for compensatory damages. GAO held that the: (1) damages should be paid from FSIS appropriations, since they constitute a necessary expense incident to FSIS operations; (2) Judgement Fund is not available for payment of administrative awards; and (3) certifying officer should request that the lump sum amount be itemized in order to verify that the payment is statutorily permissible.

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