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Washington: This letter is in response to your letter of March 27. The GAO does not have a position on the recovery of unclaimed and escheated funds and propriety by third parties. We have not addressed the propriety of third-party tracers informing citizens of money owed them by the government and offering to assist. We are not aware of any specific legal prohibition against such activities. We have also checked through our reports and have been unable to find a GAO report specifically about unclaimed and escheated funds held by government agencies. Which is currently pending before the Congress.

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B-230906 June 22, 1988

Mr. Lee B. Washington, Jr. 14721 Southwest 105th Court Miami, Florida 33176

Dear Mr. Washington:

This letter is in response to your letter of March 27, 1988 in which you inquired about the General Accounting Office's (GAO) position on unclaimed and escheated funds and property held by government agencies.

The GAO does not have a position on the recovery of unclaimed and escheated funds and propriety by third parties. We have not addressed the propriety of third-party tracers informing citizens of money owed them by the government and offering to assist, for a fee, in securing payment. However, we are not aware of any specific legal prohibition against such activities. See Comptroller General Decision B-229152.2 December 2, 1987 at page 2.

We have also checked through our reports and have been unable to find a GAO report specifically about unclaimed and escheated funds held by government agencies. You should contact state and federal agencies directly if you need more information about how they deal with unclaimed and escheated funds and property.

Finally we call your attention to the proposed "Unclaimed Property Act of 1987," S. 1612, which is currently pending before the Congress.

Sincerely yours,

ROBERT H. HUNTER Assistant General Counsel

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