B-117232, B-121690, DEC. 28, 1955

B-117232,B-121690: Dec 28, 1955

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 22. ASKING WHETHER WE WILL EXTEND (FROM THE END OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 84THCONGRESS) TO THE END OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THAT CONGRESS THE TIME DURING WHICH WE WILL NOT PRESS COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST THE DISBURSING OFFICERS INVOLVED (EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST) IN THOSE CASES WHERE REENLISTMENT BONUSES WERE PAID CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLE OF OUR DECISION OF MARCH 30. THE LETTER EXPLAINED THAT PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO VALIDATE SUCH PAYMENTS WAS TRANSMITTED TO THE CONGRESS ON JULY 13. IT IS ALSO REQUESTED THAT. SINCE A BILL (H.R. 7611) TO RELIEVE THOSE OFFICERS FROM LIABILITY TO REFUND SUCH PAYMENTS WAS INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON JULY 26.

B-117232, B-121690, DEC. 28, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1955, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER) RELATIVE TO OUR DECISION OF JUNE 29, 1955, B-121690 (34 COMP. GEN. 715), AND ASKING WHETHER WE WILL EXTEND (FROM THE END OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 84THCONGRESS) TO THE END OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THAT CONGRESS THE TIME DURING WHICH WE WILL NOT PRESS COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST THE DISBURSING OFFICERS INVOLVED (EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST) IN THOSE CASES WHERE REENLISTMENT BONUSES WERE PAID CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLE OF OUR DECISION OF MARCH 30, 1955, B-121690 (34 COMP. GEN. 483). THE LETTER EXPLAINED THAT PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO VALIDATE SUCH PAYMENTS WAS TRANSMITTED TO THE CONGRESS ON JULY 13, 1955, TOO LATE TO BE ACTED UPON AT THE FIRST SESSION. IT IS ALSO REQUESTED THAT, IN THE EVENT THE PRESENT CONGRESS FAILS TO ENACT THE PROPOSED VALIDATING LEGISLATION DURING ITS SECOND SESSION, THE ,REASONABLE TIME" REFERRED TO IN THE DECISION AFTER JUNE 29, 1955, WITHIN WHICH MEMBERS MIGHT MAKE NEW ELECTIONS BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN 30 DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE 84TH CONGRESS. THE LETTER ASKS FURTHER WHETHER OUR ANSWER TO SUCH QUESTIONS MAY BE APPLIED WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENTS OF THE TYPE INVOLVED IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 25, 1955, B-117232 (34 COMP. GEN. 470), RELATING TO RETROACTIVE TEMPORARY PROMOTION OF CERTAIN NAVAL RESERVE OFFICERS, SINCE A BILL (H.R. 7611) TO RELIEVE THOSE OFFICERS FROM LIABILITY TO REFUND SUCH PAYMENTS WAS INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON JULY 26, 1955, TOO LATE TO BE ACTED UPON IN THE FIRST SESSION OF THE 84TH CONGRESS. A DISCUSSION PERTAINING TO THE QUESTIONS IN THE REENLISTMENT BONUS CASES IS SET FORTH IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 126, MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, A COPY OF WHICH WAS TRANSMITTED WITH THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER.

SO LONG AS RELIEF LEGISLATION IS PENDING IN THE 84TH CONGRESS, WE WILL NOT PRESS COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST THE DISBURSING OFFICERS WHO MADE THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS INVOLVED IN THE TWO CLASSES OF CASES MENTIONED IN THE LETTER, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO AVOID SUBSTANTIAL PREJUDICE TO THE RIGHTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. ALSO, THOSE MEMBERS WHO ELECTED AND WERE PAID REENLISTMENT BONUSES ON THE BASIS OF COMPUTATIONS WHICH WERE HELD TO BE ERRONEOUS IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 30, 1955, MAY BE ALLOWED 30 DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE 84TH CONGRESS TO DISAVOW SUCH ELECTIONS, IN THE EVENT THE PROPOSED RELIEF LEGISLATION IS NOT ENACTED.