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THESE BILLS WERE RETURNED BY THE DIVISION WITH A LETTER DATED MAY 2. SINCE THEY WERE BARRED UNDER SECTION 322 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940. WHICHEVER IS LATER. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENTS OF PERSONAL EFFECTS INVOLVED WAS MADE IN 1961 AND 1962. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR BILLS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WERE PRESENTED TO THE MARINE CORPS. OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WAS OBLIGED TO RETURN YOUR BILLS BECAUSE THEY WERE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER THE SERVICE WAS PERFORMED. THE REFUSAL TO PAY YOUR BILLS IS PROPER NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE CLAIMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE MARINE CORPS WITHIN THE THREE-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD. THE LAW IS DESIGNED TO TERMINATE CONTROVERSY AFTER A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME AND TO AFFORD THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS THE CARRIERS PROTECTION FROM OLD CLAIMS ON WHICH RECORDS HAVE BECOME DESTROYED.

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B-157518, JUL. 20, 1967

TRANSPORTATION - FREIGHT CHARGES - CLAIMS BARRED BY 3-YR. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DECISION TO REA EXPRESS CO. AFFIRMING TRANSPORTATION DIV. ACTION IN RETURNING CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT OF SHIPMENTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MADE IN 1961 AND 1962 UNDER REQUIREMENTS IN 49 U.S.C. 66.

TO J. E. VAN SCOTER, DISTRICT ACCOUNTING MANAGER, REA EXPRESS:

WE REFER AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 23, 1967, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN RETURNING WITHOUT PAYMENT YOUR CLAIMS ON BILLS NUMBERED C-6-10197, C-8 8794, C-6-7016 AND D- 3-11168. THESE BILLS WERE RETURNED BY THE DIVISION WITH A LETTER DATED MAY 2, 1966, SINCE THEY WERE BARRED UNDER SECTION 322 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 85-762, 49 U.S.C. 66.

SECTION 322, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"* * * THAT EVERY CLAIM COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN THREE YEARS (NOT INCLUDING ANY TIME OF WAR) FROM THE DATE OF (1) ACCRUAL OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION THEREON, OR (2) PAYMENT OF CHARGES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED, OR (3) SUBSEQUENT REFUND FOR OVERPAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES, OR (4) DEDUCTION MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, WHICHEVER IS LATER;,

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENTS OF PERSONAL EFFECTS INVOLVED WAS MADE IN 1961 AND 1962. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR BILLS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WERE PRESENTED TO THE MARINE CORPS, WASHINGTON, D. C; WITHIN THREE YEARS AFTER DELIVERY. THE MARINE CORPS, HOWEVER, REFERRED THE BILLS TO OUR OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENTS---THE EVENT WHICH FIXED THE TIME THE CAUSE OF ACTION FIRST ACCRUED. IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WAS OBLIGED TO RETURN YOUR BILLS BECAUSE THEY WERE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER THE SERVICE WAS PERFORMED.

THE REFUSAL TO PAY YOUR BILLS IS PROPER NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE CLAIMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE MARINE CORPS WITHIN THE THREE-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD. THE LAW IS DESIGNED TO TERMINATE CONTROVERSY AFTER A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME AND TO AFFORD THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS THE CARRIERS PROTECTION FROM OLD CLAIMS ON WHICH RECORDS HAVE BECOME DESTROYED, LOST OR IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN.

PUBLISHED REGULATIONS OF OUR OFFICE, 4 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS 54.6 (A), PROVIDE:

"THE FILING OF A CLAIM WITH SOME OTHER AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS STATUTE; THE CLAIM MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 3 YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED;, AND, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 54.6,"A CLAIMANT MAY FILE A CLAIM DIRECT WITH THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, PARTICULARLY IF THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY PERIOD OF LIMITATION IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE;, IF PARTICULAR COMPLETE DOCUMENTARY SUPPORT IS NOT AVAILABLE WHEN A CARRIER FINDS IT NECESSARY TO FILE ITS CLAIM WITH OUR OFFICE IN ORDER TO AVOID LOSING ITS RIGHT, BECAUSE OF THE TIME BAR, TO COLLECT CHARGES BELIEVED TO BE DUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, SUCH EVIDENCE AS MAY BE ASSEMBLED AFTER DILIGENT EFFORT SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM.

AS WE HAVE INDICATED, FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIMS HERE WOULD BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. THE ACTION OF OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN RETURNING THE CLAIMS IS THEREFORE AFFIRMED.

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