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The loss was the result of an armed robbery in which the cashier was killed. We concur in the determination of the Department of State that the cashier was carrying out his official duties and was without fault or negligence. Morrison: This is in response to your letter of March 7. He was accompanied in the official Embassy light-armored vehicle by an Embassy driver and a General Services Procurement Assistant. The sergeant was apprehended at a later date with cash remaining of $28. The Embassy was able to stop payment on the checks. Therefore the monetary loss to the U.S. government is $21. You have determined that Mr. Kesnel was discharging his official duties when the loss occurred and the loss was not the result of fraud or negligence on his part.

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B-260915 April 3, 1995

Under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527(a), we grant relief from liability for a loss of $21,276.70 to an alternate cashier for the American Embassy in Port Au Prince, Haiti. The loss was the result of an armed robbery in which the cashier was killed. We concur in the determination of the Department of State that the cashier was carrying out his official duties and was without fault or negligence.

Mr. Bruce Morrison Chairman Committee of Inquiry into Fiscal Irregularities Department of State

Dear Mr. Morrison:

This is in response to your letter of March 7, 1995, requesting that Mr. Jean Paul Kesnel, alternate cashier for the American Embassy in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, be relieved of liability for the loss by theft of funds in the amount of $21,276.70. We hereby grant your request and relieve Mr. Kesnel from liability for the loss.

On November 10, 1994, Mr. Kesnel went to Citibank in Port-au-Prince to obtain the payroll for the Embassy's Foreign Service National employees. According to Embassy policy, he was accompanied in the official Embassy light-armored vehicle by an Embassy driver and a General Services Procurement Assistant. After Mr. Kesnel obtained the funds, a Haitian Army Sergeant, Francois College, assigned to the Embassy to provide security to the Ambassador, shot and killed Mr. Kesnel and the Procurement Assistant and severely wounded the driver before taking the payroll consisting of $49,327.70 in cash and $2,138.22 in checks.

The sergeant was apprehended at a later date with cash remaining of $28,051.00. The Embassy was able to stop payment on the checks, therefore the monetary loss to the U.S. government is $21,276.70.

You have determined that Mr. Kesnel was discharging his official duties when the loss occurred and the loss was not the result of fraud or negligence on his part. Under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527(a), this Office may relieve an accountable officer of liability for physical loss of government funds if it concurs with the determination by the head of the agency, or any official delegated such authority, that the loss occurred while the officer was acting in his or her official capacity and was not the result of fault or negligence on the part of the officer. See B-235458, August 23, 1990. The record shows that the loss was the result of an armed robbery committed by Sergeant College. We have been advised that Mr. Kesnel, the Procurement Assistant, and the driver of the car knew Sergeant College and his role at the Embassy as a member of the protective security detail. Your investigation found no evidence to implicate Mr. Kesnel. We concur in the finding of the Department of State and that Mr. Kesnel was acting in discharge of his official duties and that he was without fault or negligence. Accordingly we grant Mr. Kesnel relief from liability for the loss.

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