Request for Relief From Liability for Shortage in Imprest Funds
B-198949: Published: Jul 15, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1980.
- Full Report:
The Assistant Secretary for Administration of the Department of Housing and Urban Development requested that two employees of the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration be relieved of liability for a shortage of imprest funds. The front door of the office, where the two employees worked, had been forced open and the safe containing the imprest funds, vouchers, and receipts pertaining to them was stolen. The office had been secured for the afternoon on May 6, 1979. The burglary was discovered the next morning upon the arrival of an employee. The proper authorities were immediately notified. The FBI failed to link two possible suspects with the theft of the safe so the case remains in an open status, and the safe and its contents have not been recovered. It appears from the record that the funds and the documentation of payments made from the funds by the two cashiers were located in the stolen safe. There was no evidence in the record of fault, negligence, breach of security, or failure to observe requisite procedures to insure maximum safety by either of the two cashiers which could have resulted in the loss of the stolen funds. The agency determined that the losses occurred while the employees were acting in the discharge of their official duties, and occurred without fault or negligence on their part. GAO concurred with the agency's determiniation. Since all was lost, the entire imprest fund must be restored, and relief from liability was granted to the employees.