A-81277, NOVEMBER 13, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 487

A-81277: Nov 13, 1936

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SHOULD SHOW THE DATES ON WHICH THE LEAVE WAS GRANTED. SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS FALLING WITH A PERIOD NOT COVERED BY EARNED LEAVE ARE TO BE CONSIDERED IN COMPUTING AMOUNTS TO BE COLLECTED FROM EMPLOYEES SEPARATED FROM SERVICE BEFORE HAVING EARNED THE LEAVE PREVIOUSLY ADVANCED. AS FOLLOWS: THIS COMMISSION IS RECEIVING NUMEROUS REQUESTS FROM THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OUT OF THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS OF FORMER EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF LEAVE OVERPAYMENTS. PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS: "UNACCRUED LEAVE SHALL BE GRANTED ONLY WITH THE EXPRESS UNDERSTANDING THAT IF SUCH LEAVE IS NOT LATER EARNED DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR. DEDUCTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR THE UNEARNED PORTION FROM ANY SALARY DUE THE EMPLOYEE.

A-81277, NOVEMBER 13, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 487

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - ANNUAL AND SICK - RETIREMENT FUND DEDUCTIONS FOR ADVANCES UNEARNED ON SEPARATION FROM SERVICE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, REGARDING LEAVE OF ABSENCE ADVANCES UNEARNED BY EMPLOYEES PRIOR TO SEPARATION FROM SERVICE, SHOULD SHOW THE DATES ON WHICH THE LEAVE WAS GRANTED, THE EXACT PERIODS OF ALL ABSENCES, THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE EARNED TO DATE OF SEPARATION, THE RATE OF COMPENSATION AND THE COMPLETE TITLE OF THE APPROPRIATION UNDER WHICH PAID FOR THE UNEARNED LEAVE. SUCH CASES MAY BE DISPOSED OF BY SAID COMMISSION BY DEDUCTION FROM VOUCHERS IN PAYMENT OF ACCUMULATED RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS, THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS TO ACCOMPANY THE VOUCHERS, AND NEED NOT BE REFERRED TO GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT AS CLAIMS. SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS FALLING WITH A PERIOD NOT COVERED BY EARNED LEAVE ARE TO BE CONSIDERED IN COMPUTING AMOUNTS TO BE COLLECTED FROM EMPLOYEES SEPARATED FROM SERVICE BEFORE HAVING EARNED THE LEAVE PREVIOUSLY ADVANCED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NOVEMBER 13, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 22, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS COMMISSION IS RECEIVING NUMEROUS REQUESTS FROM THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OUT OF THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS OF FORMER EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF LEAVE OVERPAYMENTS. SECTIONS 3 AND 10 OF THE UNIFORM ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED IN EXECUTIVE ORDERS NO. 7409 AND 7410, RESPECTIVELY, DATED JULY 9, 1936, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"UNACCRUED LEAVE SHALL BE GRANTED ONLY WITH THE EXPRESS UNDERSTANDING THAT IF SUCH LEAVE IS NOT LATER EARNED DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR, DEDUCTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR THE UNEARNED PORTION FROM ANY SALARY DUE THE EMPLOYEE, OR ANY DEDUCTIONS IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF THE EMPLOYEE.

"IN THE CASE OF VOLUNTARY SEPARATION OR REMOVAL FOR CAUSE OF AN EMPLOYEE TO WHOM SICK LEAVE HAS BEEN ADVANCED IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THAT ACCUMULATED, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL REFUND THE AMOUNT PAID HIM FOR THE PERIOD OF SUCH EXCESS, OR DEDUCTION THEREFOR SHALL BE MADE FROM ANY SALARY DUE HIM OR FROM ANY DEDUCTIONS IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO HIS CREDIT. THIS PROVISION SHALL NOT APPLY IN CASES DEATH, RETIREMENT FOR AGE OR DISABILITY, REDUCTION OF FORCE, OR WHEN AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT IS UNABLE TO RETURN TO DUTY BECAUSE OF DISABILITY, EVIDENCE OF WHICH SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY AN ACCEPTABLE CERTIFICATE FROM A REGISTERED PRACTICING PHYSICIAN OR OTHER PRACTITIONER.'

NO PROCEDURE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF DEPARTMENTS MAKING CLAIMS AGAINST THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT OF EMPLOYEES HAS AS YET BEEN OUTLINED. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO ADVISE WHETHER SUCH CLAIMS MAY BE SETTLED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND TO THE PROPER APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE COMMISSION, OR IS IT NECESSARY THAT ALL SUCH CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT BE TREATED AS GOVERNMENT CLAIMS AND TRANSMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR FINAL DECISION. IN CASE THE LATTER METHOD IS TO BE FOLLOWED SHOULD THE PROCEDURE AS OUTLINED IN DECISION OF THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF DECEMBER 12, 1922 (A.D. 7202), TO THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR BE ADOPTED? THIS PROCEDURE WOULD INVOLVE A SUBMISSION TO THIS COMMISSION BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED OF THE NECESSARY FACTS TO ESTABLISH THE CLAIM; A COMPUTATION BY THE COMMISSION TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF THE AMOUNT OF INDEBTEDNESS REPORTED; CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE EMPLOYEE TO APPRISE HIM OF THE NATURE AND AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM PRESENTED AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING HIS CONSENT TO THE USE OF HIS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS IN SATISFACTION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS AND FOR THE FURTHER PURPOSE OF ACCORDING HIM THE PRIVILEGE OF PROTESTING THE CLAIM; THENCE A REFERENCE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR VERIFICATION OF THE ALLEGED OVERPAYMENT FROM THE RECORDS IN POSSESSION OF THAT OFFICE AND ISSUANCE OF INSTRUCTIONS FOR A TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED, OR FOR ANY OTHER DISPOSITION OF THE ACCOUNT THAT MAY BE DECIDED UPON. IF THIS PRACTICE IS TO BE ADOPTED IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DETAILED OUTLINE OF THE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BE FURNISHED.

AT PRESENT, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO UNIFORMITY IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF INDEBTEDNESS OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN GRANTED LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THAT EARNED. FOR EXAMPLE, A RECENT CLAIM WAS MADE FOR OVERPAYMENT OF UNEARNED LEAVE IN THE AMOUNT OF $45.04. THE ANNUAL SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE WAS $1,380.00. IT WAS REPORTED THAT HE HAD BEEN GRANTED 9 DAYS 6 HOURS 15 MINUTES ANNUAL LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THAT EARNED. THE DATES ON WHICH THE ANNUAL LEAVE WAS GRANTED WERE SHOWN AS FOLLOWS:

JULY 7 TO 11, INCLUSIVE.

JULY 15--- 5 HOURS 30 MINUTES (10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M., INCLUDING LUNCH).

JULY 16 TO 20, INCLUSIVE.

JULY 21--- 6 HOURS 45 MINUTES (8:30 A.M. TO 3:45 P.M., AND LUNCH).

THE TOTAL ELAPSED TIME COVERED BY THE LEAVE GRANTED INCLUDING SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY AND SUNDAY WAS THEREFORE 11 DAYS 5 HOURS 15 MINUTES, AND THE CLAIM IS BASED ON THE TOTAL ELAPSED TIME RATHER THAN ON THE EXACT TIME OF ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED.

THERE HAS ALSO BEEN RECEIVED A REQUEST FOR A SET-OFF, OF $19.40 AGAINST THE RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE. THE EMPLOYEE WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF $1,260.00 PER ANNUM AND WAS REMOVED FOR CAUSE ON AUGUST 24, 1936. AT THE DATE OF REMOVAL HE HAD BEEN GRANTED 25 DAYS 6 HOURS ANNUAL LEAVE, WHILE THERE HAD ACCRUED ONLY 17 DAYS 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES EARNED LEAVE. THE DEPARTMENT REPORTS A TOTAL INDEBTEDNESS ON ACCOUNT OF UNEARNED LEAVE OF $29.53 REPRESENTING A CHARGE OF 8 7/16 DAYS EXCESS LEAVE, $10.13 HAVING BEEN RECOVERED BY THE DEPARTMENT ON THE LAST PAYROLL, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $19.40 TO BE RECOVERED FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE DEPARTMENT BASES THE AMOUNT OF INDEBTEDNESS ON THE ACTUAL DAYS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE GRANTED AND THAT EARNED. THE DATES ON WHICH THE EXCESS LEAVE WAS TAKEN HAVE NOT BEEN FURNISHED, AND IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER THERE WERE ANY HOLIDAYS AND SUNDAYS FALLING WITHIN THE LEAVE PERIOD.

YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER HOLIDAYS AND SUNDAYS FALLING WITH A PERIOD OF ADVANCED ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE INDEBTEDNESS IN THE EVENT THE EMPLOYEE IS SEPARATED BEFORE HE HAS EARNED LEAVE SUFFICIENT TO COVER THE LEAVE GRANTED.

IN ORDER THAT UNIFORM PROCEDURE MAY BE FOLLOWED IN REPORTING THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS LEAVE TO YOUR COMMISSION FOR COLLECTION FROM ANY AMOUNTS STANDING TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS, THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS CONCERNED SHOULD FURNISH A DETAILED REPORT SHOWING THE DATES ON WHICH THE LEAVE WAS GRANTED, THE EXACT PERIODS OF ALL ABSENCES, THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE EARNED BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE TO DATE OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, HIS RATE OF COMPENSATION AND THE COMPLETE TITLE OF THE APPROPRIATION UNDER WHICH PAID FOR THE UNACCRUED LEAVE. ALL TIME ABSENT AFTER THE LEAVE EARNED WAS EXHAUSTED, INCLUDING ALL SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS FALLING WITHIN A PERIOD NOT COVERED BY EARNED LEAVE, IS TO BE CONSIDERED IN COMPUTING THE INDEBTEDNESS. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE RETIREMENT FUND THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY AS WAS ORIGINALLY CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION AS SALARY FOR THE PERIOD WHILE THE FORMER EMPLOYEE WAS ON UNACCRUED LEAVE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR INQUIRY WHETHER SUCH MATTERS SHOULD BE REFERRED HERE AS CLAIMS, CITING A.D. 7202 OF DECEMBER 12, 1922, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT INASMUCH AS THE VOUCHERS AND ACCOUNTS OF YOUR COMMISSION CONCERNING FINAL PAYMENTS OF ACCUMULATED RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS (EXCEPT DEATH CASES) ARE SUBMITTED HERE FOR AUDIT PRIOR TO PAYMENT, SUCH CASES NEED NOT BE SUBMITTED HERE AS CLAIMS. HOWEVER, THERE SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO SUCH VOUCHERS WHEN SUBMITTED FOR PREAUDIT THE REPORT MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNING THE FORMER EMPLOYEE'S INDEBTEDNESS IN ORDER THAT YOUR COMPUTATION THEREOF MAY BE READILY VERIFIED AND THE PREAUDIT CERTIFICATION APPROVE THE ISSUANCE OF A CHECK IN FAVOR OF THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, IN THE AMOUNT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS, FOR DEPOSIT TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION.