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G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, TREASURY
FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the fol
To accompany S. 315)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 315) for the relief of G. F. Allen, chief disbursing officer, Treasury Department, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
The facts will be found fully set forth in Senate Report No. 15, Seventy-ninth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part
Your committee concur in the recommendation of the Senate.
of this report.
that the bill do pass.
(8. Ropt. No. 18, 79th Cong., 1st sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (8. 2070) for the relief of G. F. Allen, Chief Disbursing Officer, Treasury Department, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon, and recommend
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to relieve the Chief Disbursing Officer and certain officers and former officers of the Treasury Department of various suspensions, disallowances, and unavailable items in their accounts.
This bill was introduced at the request of the Treasury Department. The facts will be found fully set forth in the attached letter from the Honorable Herbert E. Gaston, Acting Secretary of the Treasury. The exhibits, referred to in said letter and consisting of 32 typewritten pages, are on file in the office of the Secretary of the Senate.
Washington, August 5, 1944. United States Senate, Washington, D. C. My Dear MR. PRESIDENT: There is transmitted here with for the convenience of the appropriate committee a suggested draft of legislation covering relief for the Chief Disbursing Officer and certain other officers and former officers of this
Department for various suspensions, disallowances, and unavailable items in their accounts. The Department has given careful consideration to the various items included in the suggested draft of legislation and recommends in the interest of economy and good fiscal administration that provision be made at this time for clearance of the amounts of the same from the fiscal officers' accounts. Such action will not affect the efforts of the Government to make recovery. Available evidence indicates that such officers acted in entire good faith and that they were not remiss in any respect in the exercise of their official duties.
An explanation of the items included in the bill follows:
SECTION 1. CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER Section 1 of the bill carries relief for the Chief Disbursing Officer, Treasury Department, not to exceed the amount of $709.51. A detailed statement identifying the 27 items making up this amount is enclosed as exhibit A.
The disbursements involved were made over a period of several years, and the amount is very small as compared with the many billions of dollars in payments made each year by the Division of Disbursement.
Each administrative office concerned, except the Commodore Perry Memorial and Peace Commission, the work of which is completed, has specifically recommended that legislative relief be sought in connection with the payments included herein.
Most of the items for which relief is needed are on account of payments of salary, mileage, travel, per diem, subsistence to employees, and the like. A great deal of effort has been expended in endeavoring to obtain refund of the amounts involved from the payees, and to effect clearance of the accounts of the Chief Disbursing Officer.
The payments involved were made by the Division of Disbursement under provisions of Executive Order No. 6166, dated June 10, 1933, on the basis of duly certified vouchers received from the administrative offices concerned, and the circumstances surrounding the disbursements indicate that reasonable care and attention were given in the performance of the disbursing duty. It appears that in most cases the Government received value for the expenditures.
SECTION 2. DISBURSING CLERKS Section 2 of the bill carries relief for former disbursing clerks, Treasury Department, in amounts not in excess of those stated below. Detailed statements identifying the items for which relief is sought for each officer are enclosed as exhibits B to L, inclusive:
Name of disbursing clerk
M. V. Bates, former disbursing clerk, Treasury Department, Lansing, Mich.
cisco, Calif. 8. 8. Ogdon, former disbursing clerk, Treasury Department, Jefferson City, Mo.. J. W. Reynar, former disbursing clerk, Treasury Department, Raleigh, N o. F. R. Shaw, former disbursing clerk, Treasury Department, Jefferson City, Mo.. L. V. Witcombe, former disbursing clerk, Treasury Department, Harrisburg, Pa..
58. 62 127.50 21. 47 93. 80
11. 48 300.08 55. 01
69, 854. 21
The relief sought for the former dishursing clerks cover 256 items, ranging from $0.21, to $2,574.28, disbursed over more than a 5-year period, from November 1935 to January 1941, from appropriations provided for emergency relief. These disbursements were made through the Emergency Relief Disbursing Organization established pursuant to Executive Order No. 7034, dated May 6, 1935, to disburse funds appropriated in the several emergency relief appropriation acts. In view of the fact that more than $15,000,000 were disbursed from emergency relief appropriations from the inception of the program through June 30, 1942, the amount for which relief is requested is exceptionally small.
SECTION I. CLEARANCE OF ACCOUNTS
The Department also recommends and has provided in section 3 of the draft transmitted herewith for a ocedure for clearing the accounts of the chief disbursing officer and former disbursing clerks of the Division of Disbursements for other suspensions or disallowances arising in their accounts on account of payments made during the period December 15, 1933, to March 31, 1942. The establishment of such procedure would be consistent with the provisions of Executive Order No. 6166, dated June 10, 1933, referred to above, and the act of December 29, 1941 (55 Stat. 875), as amended by the act of April 28, 1942 (56 Stat. 244). Under the provisions of the Executive order and the acts referred to, no disbursing officer should be held responsible for payments made in accordance with vouchers certified by duly authorized certifying officers.
The provision of a method for clearing the accounts of the chief disbursing officer and former disbursing clerks would result in an economy of approximately $28,500 on an annual basis representing the salaries of 13 employees engaged in work incident to handling records and correspondence relating to suspensions and disallowances. The requirements that the Secretary of the Treasury shall certify that in his opinion there is no evidence of fraud in connection with items involved in similar to provisions included in previous relief bills to protect the interests of the United States.
SECTION 4. RELIEF FOR CERTIFYING OFFICERS Section 4 of the bill provides that no charge shall be made against the certifying officer responsible for the certification of vouchers pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 6166, dated June 10, 1933, and any charge heretofore made against any such officer shall be removed, for the amount of any payment for which credit is allowed under sections 1, 2, and 3 of the bill, where the head of the department or establishment concerned, or his duly authorized representative, shall certify to the Comptroller General of the United States that the payment appears to have been made without fraud on the part of the certifying officer. It is believed that this provision, with respect to the items included under sections 1, 2, and 3 of the bill, is just and fair and in the interest of good fiscal administration. The disbursements involved were all made before April 1, 1942, the effective date of Public Law 389, approved December 29, 1941, providing a method of relieving certifying officers.
SECTION 6. UNAVAILABLE ITEMS IN ACCOUNTS OF TREASURERS OF THE UNITED
Section 5 of the bill provides for allowing credit in the accounts of W. 0. Woods, former Treasurer of the United States, and W. A. Julian, Treasurer of the United States, for sums not to exceed $1,164,93 and $63,334.51, respectively, representing unavailable items in their accounts as former' Treasurer and Treasurer of the United States. The items for which relief is requested are similar to those for which relief has been granted in similar bills enacted in the past, involving padded pay rolls, fraudulent negotiation of checks, and the like. In cases of checks illegall y negotiated the Treasurer has no means of detecting the illegal character of the endorsements of the checks presented to him for payment. A detailed statement identifying the items for which relief is sought for W. 0. Woods, former Treasurer of the United States, is enclosed as exhibit M, and for W. A. Julian, Treasurer of the United States, as exhibit N.
It should be noted with respect to the items for which relief is requested for the former Treasurer and Treasurer of the United States that because of the large number of payments involved, it is not practicable to obtain separate monthly vouchers in connection with payments of veterans' compensation and pensions, and occasionally payments continue to be certified to the disbursing officer after the death or remarriage of parties entitled. The procedure for paying such benefits is in accordance with the act of August 17, 1912, as amended (U. 8. C., 1940 ed., title 38, sec. 50).
SECTION 1. OTHER UNAVAILABLE ITEMS REQUIRING APPROPRIATIONS FROM TRB
GENERAL FUNDS OF THE TREASURY
The bill provides for an appropriation of $10,224.08, to cover the following items:
(1) The sum of $30 to clear an overdraft in the official checking account of T. A. Dillon, former State disbursing clerk, Indianapolis, Ind., which resulted when a substitute check was inadvertently issued for $32.25, instead of $2.25, the amount of the voucher.
(2) The sum of $1,728.46 to be credited to the Treasurer's account in order to adjust unavailable items resulting from (a) payment of three checks, apparently on forged endorsements, for an amount totaling $547.46, the checks having been lost in the Office of the Treasurer of the United States after payment; (b) difference of $844 between the value of a stolen package of currency and the amount recovered following apprehension of the thieves by the Secret Service; (c) payment of a check for $57 on a forged endorsement; (d) shortages totaling $57 arising in the daily accounts of two bond tellers engaged in selling War bonds; and (e) shortages totaling $223 arising in the accounts of the Chief, Savings Bond Section, in connection with bond-selling activities at the Ringling Bros. Circus, at Christmas and during War loan drives.
(3) The sum of $8,465.62 to be credited to the account of Edwin H. Dresel, superintendent, United States mint, Philadelphia, Pa., representing the value of a bag of gold the absence of which from a vault in the Philadelphia, Pa., mint was discovered in February 1937. Thorough investigation by the Secret Service at that time and subsequent inquiries have failed to disclose the manner in which this shortage occurred. The loss was sustained without negligence on the part of the superintendent, who did not personally have the combination or other independent access to the vault involved. This item includes $5,000, the face value of the coins, and $3,465.62 of increment resulting from the reduction in the weight of the gold dollar. The accounts of Edwin H. Dressel rendered to the General Accounting Office stand charged with the amount.
The Department would appreciate it if you would lay the matter before the Senate. A similar communication has been transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is
HERBERT E. Gaston,