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Compared with the work executed in the previous fiscal year, there was an increase of 187.66 per cent in national bank and Federal reserve notes; 9.79 per cent in internal-revenue stamps; and 30.04 per cent in customs stamps; and a decrease of 3.36 per cent in United States notes, certificates, and bonds; 1 per cent in United States postage stamps, including parcel-post stamps; and 13.07 per cent in checks, drafts, and miscellaneous; or a net increase for all classes of 9.76 per cent.
DIVISION OF SPECIAL AGENTS.
The field service of the Special Agents Division of the Treasury Department, charged with the detection and prevention of frauds upon the customs revenue and offenses against prohibitory customs laws, has accomplished important results of a tangible character, including the recoveries of money paid into the Treasury as follows: Offers in compromise.
$125, 250. 02 Increased duties: Undervaluation...
57, 389. 99 Classification...
42, 475. 72 Fines paid in criminal actions..
26, 265. 60 Other fines, penalties, and forfeitures recovered and paid.
12, 309. 76 Excess drawback recovered....
15, 476. 41 Total....
279, 167. 50 These payments were the result of original information secured by field agents, and represent losses of duty incurred in the ordinary routine of administration and the imposition of fines, penalties, and forfeitures because of fraud, mistake, or other irregularities on the part of importers or shippers. The money recoveries have been supplemented by 289 seizures of imported merchandise for various offenses, the appraised valuation of which was $348,135.40. In addition, investigations conducted by agents have resulted in the institution of 42 suits for value, involving claims on the part of the Government amounting to $4,604,975.73. The tangible results of the work of the field force in money, property, and valid claims pending in suit thus amount to $5,232,278.63
In the enforcement of the several opium acts, agents have made 182 arrests for violations of the customs laws prohibiting the importation of opium, and 142 seizures, embracing 1,142 5-tael tins of smoking opium and 80 pounds of crude opium. They have also made 70 arrests for violation of the internal-revenue laws and 40 seizures under the provisions thereof. Many cases developed in the course of their investigations involving violations of internal-revenue laws, State laws, and municipal ordinances have been reported to the appropriaté authorities for prosecution.
The increased demand for American manufactures due to the war in Europe has increased applications for the benefit of drawback on imported materials used therein. More rigid requirements on the part of the Treasury Department in the administration of the drawback law have greatly increased the difficulty of investigation. Notwithstanding the growing intricacy of the work, agents in the field have during the fiscal year made 363 investigations upon original applications and 225 investigations of a supplemental character
covering new articles claimed by manufacturers to come under rates already prescribed.
In addition to the current work on drawback this service has begun and partially completed a reinvestigation of all old drawback rates established prior to January 1, 1912. This work involved the reestablishment of some 1,120 rates. Many old drawback rates have been abolished and many suspended, and about 2,500 rates are included in factory reinvestigations. All of these new rates are being established in accordance with the policy of close administration recently adopted by the department, which greatly increased the difficulty and labor of investigation. The actual work of investigation has been in progress during the latter part of the fiscal year, and more than 33 per cent of the same has been accomplished. The agent in charge of this work reports that in his judgment it will be completed by the end of the calendar year.
The growing importance of this work can be appreciated when it is understood that the refunds resulting therefrom have reached the approximate amount of $9,000,000 annually, and the high degree of efficiency and notable results shown in the work of the agents call for commendation. The work of investigation has been accomplished without additional expense to the revenue through the services of agents made available therefor by the decrease in importations and consequent decrease in fraudulent operations with reference thereto.
The several sections of the act of October 3, 1913, which permit the free entry under bond of materials and articles of foreign origin for the construction and repair of vessels and the cancellation of such bonds when the merchandise actually is incorporated in the vessels for which intended, extends a privilege obviously susceptible to misuse. For this reason it has become the practice of this service to investigate all entries under these sections with the view to ascertaining their compliance with the conditions defined in the statute. Agents of the service during the fiscal year have made 729 investigations of this character, reporting adversely upon 75, which resulted in the collection of revenue amounting to $7,119.77. The practice is known to importers and brokers and operates as a deterrent to abuse of the privilege and prevents extensive fraud.
In addition to the foregoing activities, the field agents have accomplished important results in assisting collectors of customs in the enforcement of the navigation laws.
Gratifying as is the foregoing showing of efficiency in the special agency service during the fiscal year, the showing of economy in its operation is equally satisfactory. The entire service, including the administrative office, has been paid in salaries and reimbursement of expenses the sum of $301,629.02. For the fiscal year 1914 similar expenditures amounted to $324,523.79, making a decrease in expenditures for the fiscal year just closed of $22,894.77. The three appropriations under which the service is paid have been carefully expended with the view to both economy and efficiency. Out of the one appropriation of $200,000 for the detection and prevention of frauds upon the customs the sum of $47,393.13 will be covered into the Treasury as unexpended.
OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT.
The following statements show in general the projects authorized by Congress and in detail the financial operations of the Office of the Supervising Architect for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915:
New buildings completed and occupied at the close of the preceding fiscal
824 Number of marine hospitals and quarantine stations.
54 New buildings completed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915. 88 Purchased completed (Galveston, Tex., appraisers' stores).....
Treasury Department, June 30, 1915..
119 Awarded and completed during the fiscal year 1915 (Burlington, N.J.)... 1 Contracts for new buildings in force July 1, 1915.....
118 Total number of buildings completed and in course of erection June 30, 1915....
1,085 Builings authorized prior to act of Mar. 4, 1913, not under contract June 30, 1915...
52 Buildings authorized in act of Mar. 4, 1913, not under contract June 30, 1915...
302 Building authorized in act of Mar. 4, 1915 (Forsyth, Ga.).
355 Total buildings completed, in course of erection, or authorized (not including extensions)...
June 30, 1915....
June 30, 1915....
Contracts completed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915:
Does not include buildings erected by the Treasury Department and transferred, on completion, to the custody of other departments. Includes extensions which, on complotion, become merged with the original structure and cease to be carried separately.
Includes buildings not as yet erected which, on completion, will be transferred to the custody of other departments.
Contracts awarded during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915:
Total.... The above statement does not include the following: Major mechanical contracts in force July 1, 1915, 6; miscellaneous projects placed under contract during the fiscal year 1915, all of which required the preparation of specifications, and in many instances drawings, and which involved in one case (New York barge office, dock, and ferry rack, etc.) contract liabilities of approximately $100,000, and in other instances run as high as $20,000, approximately, 508. Numerous repair contracts.
Statement of appropriations made during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915. The legislative, sundry civil
, and general deficiency appropriation acts carrying appropriations for tho fiscal year 1915 were not approved until the beginning of the fiscal year.
The legislative act, approved July 16, 1914, carried the appropriation for "Salaries, office of Supervising Architect," in amount $220,800.
The sundry civil act, approved August 1, 1914, carried appropriations as follows: For sites, construction, etc.
$6,087, 010. 94 For rent of buildings..
64, 561. 22 For special reappropriations.
196, 699.52 For marine hospitals.
6, 500.00 For quarantine stations.
75, 200.00 Total....
6, 429, 971. 68 For annual appropriations for repairs, equipment, operation, and general expenses.
7, 025, 630. 62 Total, sundry civil act..
... 13, 455, 602.30 The general deficiency act, approved July 29, 1914, carried special appropriations aggregating $2,198,822.50.
In addition to the foregoing, a spocial act (Memphis, Tenn.) was approved July 17, 1914, carrying an appropriation of $50,000.
The grand total of the foregoing acts for special and annual appropriations aggregates $15,925,224.80.
Summary of acts carrying appropriations for the fiscal year 1916. The urgent deficiency act, approved January 25, 1915, carried an appropriation for rent of building at Raleigh, N. C., in amount $1,200.
The sundry civil act, approved March 3, 1915, carried appropriations as follows:
For sites only...
$57, 750.00 For sites and buildings.
5, 250, 300.00 For buildings only
4,729, 000.00 For extensions...
1, 894, 000.00 For rent of buildings..
183, 700.00 For special projects, including quarantine station, Portland, Oreg., $23,620....
$12, 220, 170.00 For repairs and preservation..
750, 000.00 For mechanical equipment.
450, 000.00 For vaults and safes...
100, 000.00 For general expenses.
563, 560.00 For architectural competitions.
65,000.00 For operating force...
2, 750,000.00 For furniture and repairs of same......
900, 000.00 For operating supplies....
1, 625, 000.00 For Salamanca (N. Y.) ground rent..
7.50 For lands and other property of the United States....
7, 203, 867.50 The general deficiency act, approved March 4, 1915, carried amounts for special appropriations aggregating $80,811.50.
The legislative act, approved March 4, 1915, carried an appropriation for "Salaries, Office of Supervising Architect,” in amount $220,800.
A special act, approved March 4, 1915, carried an appropriation for “Post office, Forsyth, Ga.,” in amount $50,000.
The grand total of the foregoing acts for special and annual appropriations is $19,776,849.
Statement of appropriations for public buildinys, July 1, 1914, to June 30, 1915.
EXPENDITURES DURING THE FISCAL YEAR.
$218, 189.96 1, 288, 597.04 9, 641, 281.95 1,430, 094.74 314, 065.79
91, 677.92 772, 965. 41 455, 206.48
119, 131.78 1, 553, 115.41
20, 378. 08 608, 306.73
919, 101. 12 2, 595, 064.81
46.11 37, 344.77
20,064, 568. 10
CONTRACT LIABILITIES EXISTING ON JUNE 30, 1915.
8, 887.86 504, 750.00 7, 640, 159.00 769, 646. 67 52, 837.21 35, 142. 67 164, 978.02 132, 939.48 38, 386.44