A-7985, MARCH 11, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 749

A-7985: Mar 11, 1925

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WHICH POLICIES WERE HELD INVALID BY DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 13. WILL NOT BE DISTURBED. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO COLLECT PREMIUMS OR PAY INSURANCE INSTALLMENTS ON SUCH POLICIES SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 10. TO WHOM WAS ISSUED POLICY K-416265 FOR $3. QUARTERLY PREMIUMS HAVE BEEN PAID TO DECEMBER. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THIS BUREAU TO ACCEPT THE LAST QUARTERLY PREMIUM WHICH WAS PAID SUBSEQUENT TO YOUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 13. IT IS ASSUMED YOUR SUBMISSION RELATES EXCLUSIVELY TO POLICIES ISSUED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 13. TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY WHO HAVE HAD NO ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE. ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF A STATUTE BY DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ORDINARILY EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE OF STATUTE CONSTRUED AND NOT FROM THE DATE OF THE DECISION.

A-7985, MARCH 11, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 749

WAR RISK INSURANCE - OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY PREMIUMS COLLECTED, OR PAYMENTS OF INSURANCE MADE, PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, ON POLICIES OF WAR-RISKS INSURANCE ISSUED TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY BASED SOLELY UPON ATTENDANCE AT CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE, WHICH POLICIES WERE HELD INVALID BY DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 297, WILL NOT BE DISTURBED, BUT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO COLLECT PREMIUMS OR PAY INSURANCE INSTALLMENTS ON SUCH POLICIES SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, MARCH 11, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 10, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE VALIDITY OF, AND LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER WAR-RISK INSURANCE, POLICIES ISSUED TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, EFFECTIVE DATE OF DECISION OF THIS OFFICE HOLDING "THAT NEITHER THE WAR-RISK INSURANCE ACT NOR THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, AUTHORIZES THE ISSUANCE OF WAR-RISK INSURANCE POLICIES TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS, BASED SOLELY UPON ATTENDANCE AT A CAMP FOR INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE.' COMP. GEN. 297.

YOU ALSO STATE THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC CASE:

IN THE CASE OF CHESTER ROBINSON DOW, SECOND LIEUTENANT, INFANTRY, OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS, TO WHOM WAS ISSUED POLICY K-416265 FOR $3,500 OF INSURANCE ON THE 30-PAYMENT LIFE PLAN, QUARTERLY PREMIUMS HAVE BEEN PAID TO DECEMBER, 1924. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THIS BUREAU TO ACCEPT THE LAST QUARTERLY PREMIUM WHICH WAS PAID SUBSEQUENT TO YOUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, AND ANY FUTURE PREMIUMS ON THIS AND OTHER LIKE POLICIES OF WAR-RISK INSURANCE NOW HELD BY MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS.

IT IS ASSUMED YOUR SUBMISSION RELATES EXCLUSIVELY TO POLICIES ISSUED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY WHO HAVE HAD NO ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE, OTHER THAN ATTENDANCE AT A CAMP OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE THERETOFORE CONSIDERED BY YOU AS ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE. ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE BY MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY OF A NATURE CONTEMPLATED BY THE CONTROLLING STATUTE MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING VALIDATED POLICIES ISSUED PRIOR THERETO BASED SOLELY ON ATTENDANCE AT A CAMP OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE.

ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF A STATUTE BY DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ORDINARILY EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE OF STATUTE CONSTRUED AND NOT FROM THE DATE OF THE DECISION. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS THE CONTROLLING STATUTE AND NOT THE DECISION IN SUCH CASES THAT DETERMINES THE MATTER. ACCORDINGLY, AS POLICIES OF WAR RISK INSURANCE NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT AND THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT ARE INVALID, NO LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES MAY BE CONSIDERED AS EXISTING THEREUNDER. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WILL BE HELD THAT THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, WAS EFFECTIVE ONLY FROM ITS DATE SO FAR AS COLLECTIONS AND PAYMENTS UNDER THE POLICIES ARE CONCERNED. THEREFORE ALL COLLECTIONS AND PAYMENTS UNDER ALL OF SUCH POLICIES MADE PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924, EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, WILL NOT BE DISTURBED. 2 COMP. GEN. 743, 744. COLLECTIONS OF PREMIUMS AND PAYMENTS OF INSURANCE INSTALLMENTS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED SUBSEQUENT TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924.

IN THE CASE OF CHESTER ROBINSON DOW AND SIMILAR CASES YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO NOW COLLECT UNPAID PREMIUMS FOR PERIODS SUBSEQUENT TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1924.