B-127466, APR. 13, 1956

B-127466: Apr 13, 1956

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WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT FOR 346 HOURS OF ANNUAL LEAVE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN TO YOUR CREDIT AT THE TIME OF YOUR SEPARATION IN JUNE 1954 FROM EMPLOYMENT WITH UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY. YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WAS BASED ON CHARGES OF IRREGULARITIES IN YOUR TIME AND ATTENDANCE REPORTS SINCE 1951. WHICH IRREGULARITIES WERE ADMITTED BY YOU FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR PRIOR TO YOUR SEPARATION. EACH DAY WHILE YOUR REQUIRED HOURS OF DUTY WERE FROM 12 TO 9 P.M. YOU HAD DUE NOTICE OF THE CHARGES AND WERE GRANTED A PERSONAL HEARING AND THE SEPARATION WAS SUSTAINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON APPEAL. WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED AS 2 HOURS' ANNUAL LEAVE EACH DAY DURING WHICH THOSE ABSENCE OCCURRED.

B-127466, APR. 13, 1956

TO MR. SAM PINTO:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 15, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 8, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT FOR 346 HOURS OF ANNUAL LEAVE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN TO YOUR CREDIT AT THE TIME OF YOUR SEPARATION IN JUNE 1954 FROM EMPLOYMENT WITH UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY.

YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WAS BASED ON CHARGES OF IRREGULARITIES IN YOUR TIME AND ATTENDANCE REPORTS SINCE 1951, WHICH IRREGULARITIES WERE ADMITTED BY YOU FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR PRIOR TO YOUR SEPARATION. THE IRREGULARITIES CONSISTED IN REPORTING TO WORK BETWEEN 12 AND 12:30 P.M. AND LEAVING BETWEEN 7 P.M. AND 8 P.M. EACH DAY WHILE YOUR REQUIRED HOURS OF DUTY WERE FROM 12 TO 9 P.M. YOU HAD DUE NOTICE OF THE CHARGES AND WERE GRANTED A PERSONAL HEARING AND THE SEPARATION WAS SUSTAINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON APPEAL.

YOUR LEAVE RECORD FAILED TO RECORD THE CHARGES FOR SUCH ABSENCES. SUCH ABSENCES AT THE BEGINNING AND ENDING OF YOUR TOUR OF DUTY, IF PROPERLY RECORDED, WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED AS 2 HOURS' ANNUAL LEAVE EACH DAY DURING WHICH THOSE ABSENCE OCCURRED, THAT IS, A MINIMUM CHARGE OF 1 HOUR FOR EACH ABSENCE AS REQUIRED BY THE ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE REGULATIONS. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND YOUR OWN ADMISSIONS THIS WOULD HAVE CANCELED OUT GENERALLY THE ANNUAL LEAVE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN TO YOUR CREDIT UPON SEPARATION.

SUPPORTED BY THE COURT'S RULING IN LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 C. CLS. 288, WE STATED IN 15 COMP. GEN. 466, AT PAGE 470, AS FOLLOWS:

"IT HAS LONG BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE, WHICH HAS HAD UNIFORM APPLICATION, THAT THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL REJECT OR DISALLOW ALL THOSE CLAIMS OR ACCOUNTS WHICH THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT TO BE TAINTED WITH FRAUD OR TO WHICH THEY BELIEVE THERE MAY BE SUBSTANTIAL DEFENSE IN LAW, OR AS TO THE VALIDITY OF WHICH THEY ARE IN DOUBT.' TO LIKE EFFECT IS OUR RULING IN 14 COMP. GEN. 150; 17 ID. 61.

SINCE THE DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN YOUR LEAVE RECORD AND YOUR TIME AND ATTENDANCE RECORD AS ESTABLISHED AT THE HEARING ON YOUR APPEAL MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO RECONSTRUCT ANY LEAVE ACCOUNT IN YOUR FAVOR, AND YOUR LEAVE ACCOUNT THUS BEING IN DOUBT, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, PURSUANT TO THE RULING IN THE DECISION ABOVE QUOTED AND OTHER AUTHORITIES CITED, HAD NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DISALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

UPON REVIEW WE HOLD THAT THE SETTLEMENT ACTION DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS PROPER, WHICH ACTION WE HEREBY SUSTAIN.