B-127855, AUG. 8, 1956

B-127855: Aug 8, 1956

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RALPH SOBEL: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR RECENT LETTERS MAKING FURTHER REFERENCE TO OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 29. WHEREIN YOU WERE ALLOWED $17.52 IN LIEU OF $124.50 CLAIMED IN CONNECTION WITH SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN MARCH 1 AND AUGUST 22. BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SETTLEMENT YOU WERE ALLOWED EIGHT HOURS' PENALTY TIME. THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS ALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THEREIN STATED. AS FOLLOWS: CHART 3 HOURS PENALTY TIME AT $2.19 $ 6.57 12 HOURS OVERTIME AT $3.29 39.48 8 HOURS (ONE DAY'S PAY WITHHELD) 16.73 $62.78 YOU AGAIN EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL FAILED TO KEEP AN ACCURATE RECORD OF THE HOURS YOU WERE REQUIRED TO WORK AND THAT AS A RESULT THEREOF YOU NEVER RECEIVED THE OVERTIME COMPENSATION AND PENALTY TIME PAY TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED.

B-127855, AUG. 8, 1956

TO MR. RALPH SOBEL:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR RECENT LETTERS MAKING FURTHER REFERENCE TO OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 29, 1956, WHEREIN YOU WERE ALLOWED $17.52 IN LIEU OF $124.50 CLAIMED IN CONNECTION WITH SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN MARCH 1 AND AUGUST 22, 1955, WHILE TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED AS A RADIO OFFICER WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, TRANSPORTATION CORPS, NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION, BROOKLYN ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.

BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SETTLEMENT YOU WERE ALLOWED EIGHT HOURS' PENALTY TIME--- $17.52, LESS WITHHOLDING TAX--- FOR THE DAY LOST IN CROSSING THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE ON MAY 28, 1955. THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS ALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THEREIN STATED.

IN YOUR RECENT LETTERS REVISING YOUR CLAIM YOU REQUEST THAT THE SETTLEMENT BE REVIEWED AND THAT YOU BE PAID THE SUM OF $62.75 ($62.78), AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

3 HOURS PENALTY TIME AT $2.19 $ 6.57

12 HOURS OVERTIME AT $3.29 39.48

8 HOURS (ONE DAY'S PAY WITHHELD) 16.73

$62.78

YOU AGAIN EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL FAILED TO KEEP AN ACCURATE RECORD OF THE HOURS YOU WERE REQUIRED TO WORK AND THAT AS A RESULT THEREOF YOU NEVER RECEIVED THE OVERTIME COMPENSATION AND PENALTY TIME PAY TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED. YOU STATE THAT THERE IS A CONFLICT IN THE HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT RECORDED BY YOU AND THOSE RECORDED BY THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL, AND THAT THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE YOUR RECORD AS BEING CORRECT. ALSO, YOU RENEW YOUR REQUEST FOR ONE DAY'S COMPENSATION FOR JUNE 20, 1955, WHICH IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED FROM YOUR FINAL PAY ON ACCOUNT OF "ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.'

THE MARINE PERSONNEL REGULATIONS (TRANSPORTATION CORPS PAMPHLET NO. 4), APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMY TRANSPORTATION CORPS ENGAGED ON VESSELS OPERATED BY THE UNITED STATES, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH WAGE PRACTICES PREVAILING IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY. THE CITED REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT SUCH OVERTIME WORK WILL BE SUBJECT TO AUDIT BY THE HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL AND REQUIRE OVERTIME WORK TO BE KEPT TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM CONSISTENT WITH OPERATING REQUIREMENTS. SECTION 1, PARAGRAPH 6.1-5 THEREOF, AS REVISED IN MARCH 1955, RELATING TO THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES:

"* * * IN THE ABSENCE OF FRAUD OR COLLUSION, OVERTIME WORK WHICH HAS BEEN RECORDED, CERTIFIED CORRECT BY THE DEPARTMENT HEAD AND APPROVED BY THE MASTER WILL BE PAID. * * *"

OUR FILE CONTAINS A STATEMENT SIGNED BY L. SEDERHOLT, FORMERLY MASTER OF U.S. ARMY VESSELS Y-487 AND FS-179, WHEREIN HE STATES THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION CLAIMED. PARAGRAPHS 2 AND 3 OF HIS STATEMENT READ, AS FOLLOWS:

"I APPROVED ALL OVERTIME HE WAS ENTITLED TO ACCORDING TO THE ARMY REGULATION FOR CIVILIAN SHIPS PERSONNEL (T C P 4), WHICH I HAD IN MY POSSESSION ON DEPARTURE FROM NEW YORK.

"HOWEVER, ON MY RETURN TO NEW YORK, A NEW T C P 4 WAS IN EXISTENCE. THE PAYMASTER MISS CHERICO APPROVED A NUMBER OF HOURS OVER AND ABOVE THOSE I HAVE APPROVED. YOU WILL NOTE ON THE TIME SHEET A NUMBER OF CORRECTIONS, WHICH I MADE ON REQUEST TO CORRESPOND WITH THE NEW RULINGS.'

A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF THE TIMESHEETS (AS CORRECTED), SHOWING THE HOURS YOU WORKED AND INDICATING THAT YOU WERE ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE ON JUNE 20, 1955, IS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE. THE COMMANDING GENERAL, HEADQUARTERS, BROOKLYN ARMY TERMINAL HAS MADE NO RECOMMENDATION FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. ON THE CONTRARY HIS REPORT STATES THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED ALL COMPENSATION FOUND DUE FOR THE SERVICES SHOWN BY THE CORRECTED TIMESHEETS, EXCEPT FOR EIGHT HOURS' PENALTY TIME (MAY 28, 1955) INCIDENT TO CROSSING THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE WESTBOUND. AS HEREINABOVE INDICATED PENALTY TIME PAY FOR SUCH CROSSING ON MAY 28, 1955, WAS ALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 29, 1956. MOREOVER, IN THE LIGHT OF THE QUOTED REGULATIONS, AND SINCE THE SERVICES FOR WHICH CLAIM IS MADE ARE NOT OFFICIALLY RECORDED AND ARE NOT CERTIFIED AS CORRECT BY THE DEPARTMENT HEAD OR APPROVED BY THE MASTER, IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM OR ANY PART THEREOF.

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED AND LONG FOLLOWED BY GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THAT IN THE EVENT OF A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FACTS STATED BY A CLAIMANT AND THOSE REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED, THE LATTER MUST BE ACCEPTED AS CONTROLLING. ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE PRIOR SETTLEMENT WAS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.