A-78666, SEPTEMBER 22, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 295

A-78666: Sep 22, 1936

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THE OFFICIAL PAY RECORDS ON FILE IN THIS SHOW THAT YOU WERE ERRONEOUSLY PAID AS A CAPTAIN FROM FEBRUARY 15 TO MARCH 31. REPRESENTING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY OF FIRST LIEUTENANT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED AND PAY OF CAPTAIN WHICH HE HAD PAID YOU CURRENTLY FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 15 TO MARCH 31. THEREAFTER YOU WERE PAID AS FIRST LIEUTENANT FROM APRIL 1 TO JUNE 30. COLLECTION BY THE PAYING OFFICER OF SAID INCREASE INCIDENT TO YOUR PROMOTION FROM FIRST LIEUTENANT TO CAPTAIN OF THE RESERVES WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN ORDER TO OBVIATE DISALLOWANCE IN HIS OFFICIAL DISBURSING ACCOUNTS WHICH WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED IN DUE COURSE UPON AUDIT THEREOF IN THIS OFFICE. IS THAT YOU ARE NOT ONLY ENTITLED TO RECOVERY OF THE $50.19 ITEM.

A-78666, SEPTEMBER 22, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 295

PAY - PROMOTIONS - OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS - VALIDATION OF INCREASED PAYMENTS THE ACT OF MAY 15, 1936, 49 STAT. 1275, RATIFYING AND VALIDATING PAYMENTS TO RESERVE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY OF INCREASED PAY AND ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF PROMOTION WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, AND DIRECTING THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO ALLOW CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICERS CONCERNED FOR SUCH PAYMENTS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE REFUND OF COLLECTIONS MADE FROM SUCH PAYEES BECAUSE OF SAID PAYMENTS NOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH INCREASES FOR PERIODS FOR WHICH NOT PREVIOUSLY PAID.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO CAPT. WILLIAM TROP, UNITED STATES ARMY, SEPTEMBER 22, 936:

THERE HAS BEEN GIVEN CONSIDERATION TO YOUR LETTERS OF APRIL 27 AND MAY 21, 1936, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0485918, DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1935, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY OF FIRST LIEUTENANT AND CAPTAIN, OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS, WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY FROM FEBRUARY 15 TO JUNE 30, 1934, AND REQUESTING, IN VIEW OF PUBLIC ACT NO. 590, SEVENTY-FOURTH CONGRESS, APPROVED MAY 15, 1936, 49 STAT. 1275, REFUND OF AMOUNTS DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY, REPRESENTING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMOUNTS RECEIVED AND PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF A FIRST LIEUTENANT.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU ACCEPTED PROMOTION TO FIRST LIEUTENANT, Q.M.C. RESERVE, JANUARY 14, 1930,; REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY AS SUCH JANUARY 9, 1934; AND WHILE SO SERVING YOU ACCEPTED PROMOTION TO CAPTAIN, Q.M.C. RESERVE, FEBRUARY 15, 1934. THE OFFICIAL PAY RECORDS ON FILE IN THIS SHOW THAT YOU WERE ERRONEOUSLY PAID AS A CAPTAIN FROM FEBRUARY 15 TO MARCH 31, 1934 (PER VOUCHERS 6967, MARCH, AND 6739, APRIL 1934, ACCOUNTS OF FINANCE OFFICER W. D. DABNEY); AND THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER, UPON DISCOVERY OF THE ERROR, COLLECTED FROM YOU ON VOUCHER 783 OF HIS AUGUST 1934 ACCOUNTS THE SUM OF $50.19, REPRESENTING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY OF FIRST LIEUTENANT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED AND PAY OF CAPTAIN WHICH HE HAD PAID YOU CURRENTLY FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 15 TO MARCH 31, 1934. THEREAFTER YOU WERE PAID AS FIRST LIEUTENANT FROM APRIL 1 TO JUNE 30, 1934.

SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 403, CONTINUED IN EFFECT BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 13, SUSPENDED INCREASES IN PAY BY REASON OF PROMOTION OF RESERVE OFFICERS WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934, AND COLLECTION BY THE PAYING OFFICER OF SAID INCREASE INCIDENT TO YOUR PROMOTION FROM FIRST LIEUTENANT TO CAPTAIN OF THE RESERVES WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN ORDER TO OBVIATE DISALLOWANCE IN HIS OFFICIAL DISBURSING ACCOUNTS WHICH WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED IN DUE COURSE UPON AUDIT THEREOF IN THIS OFFICE. APPARENTLY YOUR CLAIM, IN EFFECT, IS THAT YOU ARE NOT ONLY ENTITLED TO RECOVERY OF THE $50.19 ITEM, BUT ARE ALSO ENTITLED TO PAY AND ALLOWANCE OF A CAPTAIN, RESERVE, ON ACTIVE DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE AFORESAID ACT OF MAY 15, 1936, 49 STAT. 1275, WHICH PROVIDES:

THAT PAYMENTS MADE BY ARMY DISBURSING OFFICERS TO RESERVE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY OF INCREASED PAY AND ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF PROMOTION WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY ARE HEREBY RATIFIED AND VALIDATED, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY CONSTRUCTION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, AS CONTAINED BY SECTION 4A, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, AND SECTION 4A, TITLE 2, ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, AND THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SHALL ALLOW CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF SAID DISBURSING OFFICERS FOR PAYMENTS SO MADE IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE EFFECT OF THE PROVISION DIRECTING CREDIT TO BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS GOES NO FURTHER THAN TO LIMIT THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO THE PAYEES IN THE RECOVERY OF MONEYS INVOLVED IN THE ACCOUNT IN QUESTION AND DOES NOT AUTHORIZE REFUNDS OF SUCH COLLECTIONS ALREADY OBTAINED--- THE NET EFFECT OF THE ENACTMENT BEING SIMPLY TO RELEASE THE DISBURSING OFFICERS FROM LIABILITY AND NO OTHERS.

LEGISLATION DESIGNED FOR THE PROTECTION OF DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN CONSTRUED BY THE FORMER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY AS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICERS AND NOT FOR THOSE WHO RECEIVED THE PAYMENTS. SEE 15 COMP. DEC. 688; 79 MS COMP. DEC. 906, DATED DECEMBER 19, 1916; ID. 105, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1916; ID. 701, DATED DECEMBER 1, 1916; ID. 304, DATED OCTOBER 27, 1916; 65 ID. 585, DATED APRIL 29, 1913; 49 ID. 1267, DATED JUNE 15, 1909.

AS OF MAY 15, 1936, SO FAR AS THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE DISCLOSE, THERE WERE NO DISALLOWANCES OF PAY BECAUSE OF PROMOTION STANDING AGAINST THE OFFICIAL DISBURSING ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHO CREDITED YOU PAY OF A CAPTAIN FROM FEBRUARY 15 TO MARCH 31, 1934, HE HAVING COLLECTED THE EXCESS PRIOR TO PASSAGE OF THE RELIEF ACT OF THAT DATE, CONSEQUENTLY THERE WAS NOTHING UPON WHICH THE ACT COULD OPERATE, AND INASMUCH AS IT DID NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO THE PAYEE OF AMOUNTS PREVIOUSLY COLLECTED NO REFUNDMENT MAY LEGALLY BE MADE TO YOU UNDER THE ACT. THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW IS SUSTAINED.