B-200440, OCT 16, 1980

B-200440: Oct 16, 1980

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DIGEST: CLAIM FOR SERVICES ALLEGEDLY PROVIDED TO GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE PAID WHERE THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT RECORDS RELATING TO CLAIM AND CLAIMANT HAS NOT FURNISHED CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF VALIDITY OF CLAIM. THE CLAIM IS FOR MISCELLANEOUS GENERAL LABOR AND REPAIR SERVICES ALLEGEDLY PROVIDED DURING THE MONTHS PRECEDING THE KHMER ROUGE TAKEOVER OF APRIL 17. THAT THE CONTRACT AND RELATED PURCHASE ORDERS WERE DESTROYED THE FIRST DAY OF THE COMMUNIST OCCUPATION. HAS ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE THAT ALL RECORDS PERTAINING TO THIS PERIOD OF TIME HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. WE ARE NOT UNSYMPATHETIC TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONFRONTING CHAN THE MORNING OF APRIL 17. A CLAIMANT MUST FURNISH CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE VALIDITY OF HIS CLAIM WHERE GOVERNMENT RECORDS ARE UNAVAILABLE.

B-200440, OCT 16, 1980

DIGEST: CLAIM FOR SERVICES ALLEGEDLY PROVIDED TO GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE PAID WHERE THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT RECORDS RELATING TO CLAIM AND CLAIMANT HAS NOT FURNISHED CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF VALIDITY OF CLAIM.

MR. CHAN-SAMBO:

MR. CHAN-SAMBO (CHAN) APPEALS THE DENIAL OF HIS CLAIM FOR PAYMENT FOR SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (KHMER REPUBLIC), BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN ITS SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED APRIL 30, 1980. THE CLAIM IS FOR MISCELLANEOUS GENERAL LABOR AND REPAIR SERVICES ALLEGEDLY PROVIDED DURING THE MONTHS PRECEDING THE KHMER ROUGE TAKEOVER OF APRIL 17, 1975.

CHAN SUBMITTED INVOICES IN CAMBODIAN RIELS DATED MAY 28, 1978, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE REQUESTING PAYMENT IN UNITED STATES DOLLARS. STATED IN A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 21, 1979, THAT THE CONTRACT AND RELATED PURCHASE ORDERS WERE DESTROYED THE FIRST DAY OF THE COMMUNIST OCCUPATION, THE SAME DAY HE FLED THE COUNTRY. THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN BANGKOK, THAILAND, WHICH HAS ASSUMED THE ACCOUNTING AND PAYING RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FORMER UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN PHNOM PENH, HAS ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE THAT ALL RECORDS PERTAINING TO THIS PERIOD OF TIME HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.

THE CASE AT HAND INVOLVES AN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATION, AND WE ARE NOT UNSYMPATHETIC TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONFRONTING CHAN THE MORNING OF APRIL 17, 1975. IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE RISK TO HIS LIFE AND THE LIVES OF HIS FAMILY, CHAN DESTROYED ALL DOCUMENTS IDENTIFYING HIM AS A FRIEND OF THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, DESPITE THE POSSIBLE HARDSHIPS WHICH MAY ENSUE, WE REQUIRE EVIDENCE OF THE SERVICES PERFORMED IN ORDER TO PAY A CLAIM. THUS, A CLAIMANT MUST FURNISH CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE VALIDITY OF HIS CLAIM WHERE GOVERNMENT RECORDS ARE UNAVAILABLE. SEE M. RENE SANTONI, B-187877, APRIL 14, 1977, 77-1 CPD 325, AND CASES CITED THEREIN.

ACCORDINGLY, WE DECLINE TO MODIFY THE DECISION OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF APRIL 30, 1980.

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