A-39532, NOVEMBER 23, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 207

A-39532: Nov 23, 1931

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PAYMENT OF SUCH TO HIS WIDOW OR CHILDREN OR AS AN ASSET OF HIS ESTATE IS UNAUTHORIZED. 500 WHICH CLAIM IS BASED ON THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 18. THE SAME IS HEREBY. OVER 15 YEARS AFTER THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE FOR HIS RELIEF. FOR THE REASONS AS STATED ABOVE NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE IN THIS CASE.

A-39532, NOVEMBER 23, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 207

GRATUITIES - DEATH OF BENEFICIARY BEFORE PAYMENT WHERE CONGRESS APPROPRIATED MONEY FOR PERSONAL INJURIES RECEIVED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ISTHMIAN CANAL COMMISSION WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND SAID EMPLOYEE DIES 15 YEARS THEREAFTER WITHOUT EVER FILING CLAIM THEREFOR THE AMOUNT SO APPROPRIATED BEING A GRATUITY LAPSES WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S DEATH, AND PAYMENT OF SUCH TO HIS WIDOW OR CHILDREN OR AS AN ASSET OF HIS ESTATE IS UNAUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MRS. MARY LACKEY COMBS, EXECUTRIX, NOVEMBER 23, 1931:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR CLAIM AS EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF OSCAR F. LACKEY, DECEASED, FOR $1,500 WHICH CLAIM IS BASED ON THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 18, 1913, 37 STAT. 1372, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE DOLLARS AND THIRTY- EIGHT CENTS BE, AND THE SAME IS HEREBY, APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, TO PAY CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FOR PERSONAL INJURIES RECEIVED WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR DUTIES, WITHOUT ANY FAULT ON THEIR PART; THE SAME BEING IN FULL, THE RECEIPT OF THE SAME TO BE TAKEN IN EACH CASE AS FULL AND FINAL RELEASE AND DISCHARGE OF THE RESPECTIVE CLAIMS, NAMELY:

TO PAY ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO OSCAR F. LACKEY, FOR INJURIES RECEIVED WHILE IN THE EMPLOY OF THE ISTHMIAN CANAL COMMISSION AS ASSISTANT ENGINEER IN CONSTRUCTION OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON NOVEMBER TWENTY-FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIVE.

IT APPEARS THAT OSCAR F. LACKEY DIED DECEMBER 19, 1928, OVER 15 YEARS AFTER THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE FOR HIS RELIEF, WITHOUT EVER HAVING FILED CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT.

THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVATE ACT REFERRED TO ABOVE CONSTITUTED AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF A GRATUITY, IN THE NATURE OF A PERSONAL GRANT CONFERRING NO VESTED RIGHTS UNTIL REDUCED TO POSSESSION, AND SAID GRATUITY, BEFORE BEING REDUCED TO POSSESSION, COULD NOT BE MADE THE SUBJECT OF A TESTAMENTARY BEQUEST. MR. LACKEY, FROM FEBRUARY 18, 1913, TO DECEMBER 19, 1928, HAD AN INCHOATE RIGHT TO RECEIVE FROM THE GOVERNMENT THE BENEFITS UNDER THE ACT IN QUESTION BUT ON HIS DEATH, WITHOUT HAVING RECEIVED IT, SAID INCHOATE RIGHT EXPIRED AND DID NOT PASS TO HIS WIDOW OR CHILDREN, NOR AS AN ASSET OF HIS ESTATE. SEE SEMPLE V. UNITED STATES, 24 CT.CLS. 424-426; 16 COMP. DEC. 124; 26 ID. 1038; 1 COMP. GEN. 527; AND DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JULY 8, 1925, A-9127.

FOR THE REASONS AS STATED ABOVE NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE IN THIS CASE.