B-127190, MAR. 19, 1956

B-127190: Mar 19, 1956

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REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE PAYROLL VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED COVERING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO THREE FORMER EMPLOYEES ARISING FROM A CORRECTION OF YOUR RECORDS TO SHOW THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GRANTED ADDITIONAL LONGEVITY INCREASES RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE. NO CLAIMS SIGNED BY THE RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN FILED. UPON COMPLETION OF THE 10 YEARS THEY EACH WERE GRANTED ONE LONGEVITY STEP. THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION WERE TRANSFERRED MARCH 30. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN ADDITIONAL LONGEVITY STEPS BEFORE THEIR TRANSFER. SUCH LONGEVITY STEPS HAVE BEEN PROCESSED RETROACTIVELY BUT YOUR DOUBT REGARDING THE PROPOSED PAYMENT TO THE EMPLOYEES APPEARS TO ARISE FROM CERTAIN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE CITED BY YOU.

B-127190, MAR. 19, 1956

TO MR. HAROLD P. KELLS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE PAYROLL VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED COVERING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO THREE FORMER EMPLOYEES ARISING FROM A CORRECTION OF YOUR RECORDS TO SHOW THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GRANTED ADDITIONAL LONGEVITY INCREASES RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE. NO CLAIMS SIGNED BY THE RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN FILED.

IT APPEARS THAT THESE EMPLOYEES HAD SERVED 5 AND 6 YEARS, RESPECTIVELY, AT THE TOP SALARY STEPS OF THEIR GRADES BUT COULD NOT BE GRANTED LONGEVITY INCREASES UNTIL THEY HAD COMPLETED 10 YEARS OF SERVICE, AND UPON COMPLETION OF THE 10 YEARS THEY EACH WERE GRANTED ONE LONGEVITY STEP. THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION WERE TRANSFERRED MARCH 30, 1955, TO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, AND THAT STATION HAS CALLED YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS AND THE DECISION OF OUR OFFICE IN 34 COMP. GEN. 680, THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN ADDITIONAL LONGEVITY STEPS BEFORE THEIR TRANSFER. SUCH LONGEVITY STEPS HAVE BEEN PROCESSED RETROACTIVELY BUT YOUR DOUBT REGARDING THE PROPOSED PAYMENT TO THE EMPLOYEES APPEARS TO ARISE FROM CERTAIN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE CITED BY YOU--- NOTABLY 23 COMP. GEN. 398, 721; 24 ID. 9; 26 ID. 102; 27 ID. 499--- REQUIRING GENERALLY THAT CLAIMS FOR BACK SALARY BY EMPLOYEES NO LONGER ON THE ROLLS OF THE AGENCY BE REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.

IN 24 COMP. GEN. 9, ONE OF THE DECISIONS CITED BY YOU, WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS THAT---

"WHERE COMPENSATION IS NOT PAID CURRENTLY TO AN EMPLOYEE, OR WHERE HE IS UNDERPAID AND SUCH UNDERPAYMENT IS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL SOME TIME LATER, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO MAKE SUCH PAYMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE OR TO ENCOURAGE THE FILING OF A CLAIM THEREFOR.

"IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 236, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED, IT HAS BEEN THE INVARIABLE RULE--- SUCH AS THAT PRESCRIBED BY GENERAL REGULATION NO. 50--- THAT ALL SUCH CLAIMS MUST BE OVER THE SIGNATURE OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF ONE ACTING FOR HIM PURSUANT TO A DULY EXECUTED POWER OF ATTORNEY.'

HOWEVER, AS THE EMPLOYEES ARE STILL IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE--- ALTHOUGH NOT NOW IN YOUR AGENCY--- AND THEIR ADDRESSES ARE READILY ASCERTAINABLE FROM THE AGENCY IN WHICH NOW EMPLOYED COMPLIANCE WITH THE GENERAL RULE WILL NOT BE INSISTED UPON IN THIS INSTANCE. COMPARE 27 COMP. GEN. 407; ALSO, B-48036, MARCH 7, 1945.

THE PAYROLL, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.