A-30853, A-30854, MARCH 18, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 411

A-30853,A-30854: Mar 18, 1930

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ARMY - POST EXCHANGES - POST RESTAURANTS - INDEBTEDNESS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES SINCE THE DEBT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO A POST EXCHANGE OR A POST RESTAURANT IS NOT A DEBT DUE THE UNITED STATES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT DUE SUCH EMPLOYEE AS REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS AT THE TERMINATION OF HIS SERVICE THE AMOUNT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO A POST EXCHANGE OR A POST RESTAURANT. 1930: THERE HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIMS OF JESSIE WILLIAMS AND JOSEPH L. IT APPEARS THAT THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS HAS DETERMINED THAT THERE IS TO THE CREDIT OF JESSIE WILLIAMS ON ACCOUNT OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS MADE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29.

A-30853, A-30854, MARCH 18, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 411

ARMY - POST EXCHANGES - POST RESTAURANTS - INDEBTEDNESS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES SINCE THE DEBT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO A POST EXCHANGE OR A POST RESTAURANT IS NOT A DEBT DUE THE UNITED STATES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT DUE SUCH EMPLOYEE AS REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS AT THE TERMINATION OF HIS SERVICE THE AMOUNT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO A POST EXCHANGE OR A POST RESTAURANT.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 18, 1930:

THERE HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIMS OF JESSIE WILLIAMS AND JOSEPH L. HOGAN, FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM THEIR SALARIES AS EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT FROM OCTOBER 1, 1923, TO NOVEMBER 12, 1929, AND FROM AUGUST 1, 1920, TO DECEMBER 10, 1929, RESPECTIVELY.

IT APPEARS THAT THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS HAS DETERMINED THAT THERE IS TO THE CREDIT OF JESSIE WILLIAMS ON ACCOUNT OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS MADE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1920, 41 STAT. 614, AND JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 904, THE SUM OF $145.28, AGAINST WHICH THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAS SET UP A CLAIM FOR $9.25, AND TO THE CREDIT OF JOSEPH L. HOGAN, $648.64, AGAINST WHICH THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAS SET UP A CLAIM FOR $67.03.

THE WAR DEPARTMENT'S CLAIM OF $9.25 AGAINST JESSIE WILLIAMS IS BASED ON AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE POST RESTAURANT AT THE SAN ANTONIO, TEX., AIR DEPOT.

THE ARMY REGULATIONS (210-100) GOVERNING POST RESTAURANTS PROVIDE THAT FUNDS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION THEREOF WILL BE OBTAINED PREFERABLY BY SUBSCRIPTIONS OF THE PERSONNEL OF THE STATION AND IN ALL CASES WILL BE SECURED BY NOTES FOR THE AMOUNTS SUBSCRIBED, BEARING INTEREST AT NOT TO EXCEED THE LOCAL LEGAL RATE. IN NO CASE ARE PUBLIC FUNDS TO BE USED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THESE RESTAURANTS. SINCE PUBLIC FUNDS ARE NOT INVOLVED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OR OPERATION OF POST RESTAURANTS AND SINCE THE ONLY CONNECTION OF SUCH RESTAURANTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT THEY ARE ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED WITH THE SANCTION OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, AN INDEBTEDNESS TO A POST RESTAURANT CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES. HENCE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE IN THE RETIREMENT FUND, THE AMOUNT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE POST RESTAURANT. SEE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 11, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 353, RELATIVE TO INDEBTEDNESS TO A POST EXCHANGE.

THE WAR DEPARTMENT'S CLAIM AGAINST JOSEPH L. HOGAN IS BASED ON HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE POST EXCHANGE AT FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEX. IT WAS HELD IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 11, 1930, CITED, THAT SINCE THE INDEBTEDNESS OF CIVIL EMPLOYEES TO A POST EXCHANGE IS NOT AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OT OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF WAGES DUE SUCH AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TERMINATION OF HIS SERVICE, THE AMOUNT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE POST EXCHANGE. THE RULE WOULD APPLY WITH EVEN GREATER FORCE TO THE INSTANT CASE.

IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW THE CLAIMS ASSERTED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT AGAINST THE AMOUNTS IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF JESSIE WILLIAMS AND JOSEPH L. HOGAN AND THAT EACH CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID THE ENTIRE AMOUNT TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.