B-115800, DEC. 8, 1964

B-115800: Dec 8, 1964

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CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF YOUR INFORMING CERTAIN FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENTS BECAUSE AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR WAS MADE IN COMPUTING THEIR LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS AT THE TIME THEY WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE. YOU SAY THAT DURING AN AUDIT OF PAYROLLS OUR OFFICE BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION THE FACT THAT TEN RECENTLY SEPARATED EMPLOYEES OF YOUR NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE WERE PAID LESS THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID FOR ACCUMULATED AND ACCRUED ANNUAL LEAVE AT THE TIME OF THEIR SEPARATIONS AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 21. TWO ADMINISTRATIVE ERRORS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE UNDERPAYMENTS. ALL TEN EMPLOYEES WERE NOT COMPENSATED FOR THE HOLIDAYS WHICH OCCURRED WITHIN THE PERIODS COVERED BY THE LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS (SEE 41 COMP.

B-115800, DEC. 8, 1964

TO THE HONORABLE J. S. GLEASON, JR., ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1964, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF YOUR INFORMING CERTAIN FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENTS BECAUSE AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR WAS MADE IN COMPUTING THEIR LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS AT THE TIME THEY WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE.

YOU SAY THAT DURING AN AUDIT OF PAYROLLS OUR OFFICE BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION THE FACT THAT TEN RECENTLY SEPARATED EMPLOYEES OF YOUR NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE WERE PAID LESS THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID FOR ACCUMULATED AND ACCRUED ANNUAL LEAVE AT THE TIME OF THEIR SEPARATIONS AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 21, 1944, CH. 632, 58 STAT. 845, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 61B. TWO ADMINISTRATIVE ERRORS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE UNDERPAYMENTS, FIRST, ALL TEN EMPLOYEES WERE NOT COMPENSATED FOR THE HOLIDAYS WHICH OCCURRED WITHIN THE PERIODS COVERED BY THE LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS (SEE 41 COMP. GEN. 761) AND, SECOND, FIVE OF THE SAME EMPLOYEES WERE NOT ALLOWED THE STATUTORY INCREASE IN COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY COMPENSATION SCHEDULE II, SECTION 601 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1962, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1962, PUB.L. 87-792 (TITLE II), 76 STAT. 843, EVEN THOUGH THE PERIOD OF THEIR LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT EXTENDED BEYOND JANUARY 4, 1964, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THAT PAY INCREASE (SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 102, 105). BECAUSE OF THE ABOVE ERRORS THE TEN FORMER EMPLOYEES INVOLVED ARE ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS, HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR ENTITLEMENT AND APPARENTLY WILL NOT CLAIM THE AMOUNTS DUE UNLESS ADVISED THEREOF BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

WE HAVE HELD THAT AN AGENCY IS NOT REQUIRED TO NOTIFY AN EMPLOYEE OR FORMER EMPLOYEE THAT HE WAS UNDERPAID IN SOME PAST TRANSACTION. 26 COMP. GEN. 102, 106, AND CASES CITED THEREIN. ON THE OTHER HAND WE HAVE NOT OBJECTED TO PROPOSED ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION OTHERWISE LEGALLY DUE WITHOUT AWAITING THE FILING OF SPECIFIC CLAIMS THEREFOR, PARTICULARLY, WHERE THERE IS A RELATIVELY SHORT TIME ELAPSING BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL PAYMENTS AND SUCH ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 166, 173; 36 ID. 459; AND 38 ID. 56.

WE NOTE THAT THE CRIMINAL PROVISIONS FORMERLY CONTAINED IN 18 U.S.C. 283, WHICH PRESCRIBED PENALTIES FOR EMPLOYEES WHO AIDED OR ASSISTED IN THE PROSECUTION OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES WERE REPEALED AND REPLACED BY 18 U.S.C. 205, WHICH CONTAINS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT WORDING. SEE THE ACT OF OCTOBER 23, 1962, PUB.L. 87-849, 76 STAT. 1119. WHETHER OR NOT THAT STATUTE WOULD BE APPLICABLE IS A MATTER FOR DETERMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND/OR THE COURTS. IN THAT CONNECTION WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S "MEMORANDUM RE THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 87-849, 76 STAT. 1119, APPROVED OCTOBER 23, 1962," CONTAINED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER FOR FEBRUARY 1, 1963, 28 FED.REG. 985.

OTHER THAN THE FOREGOING WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO INFORMING THE FORMER EMPLOYEES THAT ADDITIONAL MONEYS ARE DUE THEM OR TO MAKING PAYMENTS OF SUCH ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS WHEN CURRENT ADDRESSES ARE AVAILABLE.