A-24975, NOVEMBER 7, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 244

A-24975: Nov 7, 1928

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DISBURSING OFFICERS - LIABILITY - NAVY WHEN A PAY ACCOUNT IS TRANSFERRED TO A DISBURSING OFFICER WHO IS IN POSSESSION OF THE FACTS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ACCOUNT AND TO PAY THE CORRECT BALANCE HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM HIS FAILURE TO MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS. CORSER'S PERSONAL PAY ACCOUNT WAS CLOSED AS OF JANUARY 11. " THE PAY ACCOUNT WAS CLOSED ON THE ROLLS OF LIEUTENANT VASEY. TAKEN UP BY THE LATTER AS ACCOUNT NO. 1594 ON THE IDENTICAL CREW ROLL FROM WHICH THE ACCOUNT WAS TRANSFERRED. " NO CHECK AGE FOR THE ALLOTMENT WAS MADE BY LIEUTENANT STUBBS IN CORSER'S ACCOUNT AFTER JANUARY. NOR WAS NOTICE TO STOP THE ALLOTMENT GIVEN THE NAVY ALLOTMENT OFFICE ALTHOUGH THE ALLOTMENT WAS PAID TO MATURITY OF 21 MONTHS.

A-24975, NOVEMBER 7, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 244

DISBURSING OFFICERS - LIABILITY - NAVY WHEN A PAY ACCOUNT IS TRANSFERRED TO A DISBURSING OFFICER WHO IS IN POSSESSION OF THE FACTS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ACCOUNT AND TO PAY THE CORRECT BALANCE HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM HIS FAILURE TO MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 7, 1928:

THERE HAS ARISEN A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALLOTMENT OVERPAYMENTS AGGREGATING $200 IN THE CASE OF CHAUNCY MILLARD CORSER, FORMERLY SEAMAN, FIRST CLASS, UNITED STATES NAVY, THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS HAVING BEEN MADE AT THE RATE OF $40 PER MONTH FROM FEBRUARY TO JUNE, 1928, INCLUSIVE.

THE PERTINENT RECORDS SHOW THAT CORSER, WHILE SERVING ABOARD THE U.S.S. IDAHO, REGISTERED ONE ALLOTMENT TO THE NATIONAL UNION BANK, JACKSON, MICH., AT $40 PER MONTH FOR 21 MONTHS, FIRST PAYMENT OCTOBER, 1926; CORSER'S PERSONAL PAY ACCOUNT WAS CLOSED AS OF JANUARY 11, 1927, ON THE CREW ROLL U.S.S. IDAHO (NO. 575) BY LIEUT. H. S. STUBBS (SC), UNITED STATES NAVY, AND TRANSFERRED TO LIEUT. ROBERT C. VASEY (SC), UNITED STATES NAVY, AT THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, PUGET SOUND, WASH., THE TRANSFER PAY ACCOUNT SHOWING THE $40 ALLOTMENT LAST CHECKED FOR JANUARY, 1927, AND AS HAVING BEEN REGISTERED FOR 21 MONTHS "/FIRST PAYMENT) OCT. -26," "/MONTH AND YEAR EXPIRATION) JUN. -28; " THE PAY ACCOUNT WAS CLOSED ON THE ROLLS OF LIEUTENANT VASEY, NAVAL HOSPITAL, PUGET SOUND, NINE DAYS LATER, JANUARY 20, 1927, AND RETRANSFERRED BY THAT OFFICER TO LIEUTENANT STUBBS, U.S.S. IDAHO, AND TAKEN UP BY THE LATTER AS ACCOUNT NO. 1594 ON THE IDENTICAL CREW ROLL FROM WHICH THE ACCOUNT WAS TRANSFERRED, THE TRANSFER PAY ACCOUNT FROM LIEUTENANT VASEY SHOWING THE ALLOTMENT AT $40 PER MONTH FOR 21 MONTHS LAST CHARGED FOR JANUARY, 1927,"FIRST PAYMENT) OCT. 26," "/MONTH AND YEAR EXPIRATION) JAN. 28; " NO CHECK AGE FOR THE ALLOTMENT WAS MADE BY LIEUTENANT STUBBS IN CORSER'S ACCOUNT AFTER JANUARY, 1928, NOR WAS NOTICE TO STOP THE ALLOTMENT GIVEN THE NAVY ALLOTMENT OFFICE ALTHOUGH THE ALLOTMENT WAS PAID TO MATURITY OF 21 MONTHS, THAT IS, THROUGH JUNE, 1928, BY THAT OFFICE.

IT IS, OF COURSE, APPARENT AN ERROR, EITHER TYPOGRAPHICAL OR IN COMPUTATION AND EXTENSION, WAS MADE BY LIEUTENANT VASEY IN THE TRANSFER PAY ACCOUNT IN THAT HE STATED "/MONTH AND YEAR EXPIRATION)" OF ALLOTMENT AS "JAN. 28" INSTEAD OF "JUNE -28" SHOWN ON THE TRANSFER TO HIM BY LIEUTENANT STUBBS. IT IS EQUALLY APPARENT, HOWEVER, THAT THIS ERROR WAS MANIFEST ON THE FACE OF THE VOUCHER AND COULD NOT HAVE OPERATED TO MISLEAD EVEN A CASUAL OBSERVER AS TO THE TRUE SITUATION, THE CORRECT DATE ALLOTMENT BECAME EFFECTIVE AND THE PERIOD IT WAS TO RUN ALSO BEING STATED. THE ALLOTMENT, MOREOVER, WAS REGISTERED ABOARD THE U.S.S. IDAHO ON WHICH CORSER SERVED DURING ITS ENTIRE PERIOD EXCEPT FOR THE NINE DAYS HE WAS IN THE NAVAL HOSPITAL AT PUGET SOUND; THE RECORDS OF THE ALLOTMENT WERE READILY AVAILABLE HIS CREW ROLL UNDER ACCOUNT NO. 575 BEARS A CORRECT NOTATION OF CORSER'S ALLOTMENT, WHICH NOTATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR REFERENCE IN TAKING UP THE ACCOUNT ON THE SAME ROLL UNDER NO. 1594; IT, THEREFORE, APPEARS THE ACCOUNT WAS TRANSFERRED AND TAKEN UP ON THE IDAHO DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 1927, AND CHECKED THEREAFTER FROM FEBRUARY, 1927, TO JANUARY, 1928, INCLUSIVE, AND THEN CHECK AGE WAS STOPPED.

A DISBURSING OFFICER IN POSSESSION OF THE FACTS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS IN A PAY ACCOUNT AND TO PAY THE CORRECT BALANCE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM HIS FAILURE TO MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS. 15 COMP. DEC. 306; 60 MS.ID. 1579, 133 S. AND A. MEMO. 2017; 3 MS. COMP. GEN. 277; 5 COMP. GEN. 63; 6 ID. 522. LIEUTENANT STUBBS WAS IN POSSESSION OF ALL THE FACTS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE THE CORRECT ADJUSTMENTS IN CORSER'S PAY ACCOUNT AND HAD HE MADE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO OVERPAYMENT. CREDIT, ACCORDINGLY, MUST BE DISALLOWED IN HIS OFFICIAL ACCOUNT AND ACTION IN THAT RESPECT BY THIS OFFICE WILL BE TAKEN AT ONCE. MAJOR SMITH'S CASE, 14 CT.CLS. 114; STEVENS V. UNITED STATES, 41 CT.CLS. 344, 351.