B-130678, MAR. 4, 1957

B-130678: Mar 4, 1957

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KOMNAD (IGOROT): WE HAVE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 6. THAT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE ON AUGUST 23. OR WARRANTS APPEARING TO HAVE BEEN PAID SHALL BE BARRED IF NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK. THE RECORDS OF OUR OFFICE SHOW THAT THE CHECK WAS NEGOTIATED AND PAID IN DUE COURSE. THE COURTS HAVE HELD THAT A GOVERNMENTAL OFFICIAL ORDINARILY LACKS POWER TO WAIVE STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ENACTED FOR THE GOVERNMENT'S BENEFIT. NOR IS IT POSSIBLE TO TAKE THE VIEW THAT THE PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY DELAYS THE RUNNING OF A STATUTE. COURTS HAVE UNIFORMLY HELD THAT A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS NOT TOLLED DURING THE PERIOD A CLAIM IS UNDER CONSIDERATION BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY.

B-130678, MAR. 4, 1957

TO MR. KOMNAD (IGOROT):

WE HAVE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 6, 1956, TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, IN WHICH YOU APPEAL FROM THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE IN DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF UNITED STATES DEPOSITORY CHECK FOR $350.34, DRAWN APRIL 8, 1946, BY J. R. LAUGHLIN, SYMBOL 212-770, TO YOUR ORDER. THAT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE ON AUGUST 23, 1956, FOR THE REASON THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN SIX YEARS FROM THE DATE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE THAT YOU NOT ONLY FILED TIMELY CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY INVOLVED, BUT INITIATED TRACERS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.

THE ENTIRE MATTER OF THE PROPRIETY OF DENYING A CLAIM OF THIS NATURE WHERE THE CLAIMANT HAS MADE TIMELY PRESENTATION OF HIS CLAIM TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY BUT NOT TO THIS OFFICE HAS HERETOFORE BEEN CAREFULLY CONSIDERED. IN THIS SITUATION IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 22, 1926, 44 STAT. 761, MUST BE STRICTLY FOLLOWED. THIS SECTION PROVIDES THAT "ALL CLAIMS ON ACCOUNT OF ANY CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT, OR WARRANTS APPEARING TO HAVE BEEN PAID SHALL BE BARRED IF NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT OR WARRANTS INVOLVED.' THE RECORDS OF OUR OFFICE SHOW THAT THE CHECK WAS NEGOTIATED AND PAID IN DUE COURSE.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, YOUR CLAIM DID NOT REACH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL AFTER THE AFORESAID SIX-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD HAD EXPIRED. CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE AFORESAID STATUTE MIGHT BE CONSTRUED TO PERMIT WAIVER IN THIS INSTANCE SINCE THE CLAIM HAD BEEN PRESENTED TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY WITHIN THE PERIOD SPECIFIED. HOWEVER, THE COURTS HAVE HELD THAT A GOVERNMENTAL OFFICIAL ORDINARILY LACKS POWER TO WAIVE STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ENACTED FOR THE GOVERNMENT'S BENEFIT. COMPAGNIE GENERALE TRANSATLANTIQUE V. UNITED STATES, 51 F.2D 1053; MAHONING COAL R. CO., ET AL. V. UNITED STATES, 28 F.2D 917; 53 C.J.S. LIMITATIONS OF ACTION 24. NOR IS IT POSSIBLE TO TAKE THE VIEW THAT THE PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY DELAYS THE RUNNING OF A STATUTE. COURTS HAVE UNIFORMLY HELD THAT A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS NOT TOLLED DURING THE PERIOD A CLAIM IS UNDER CONSIDERATION BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY. TAN V. UNITED STATES, 102 F.SUPP. 552, AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN; ARIBAS V. UNITED STATES, 110 F.SUPP. 267.

WHILE YOU MAY HAVE CORRESPONDED WITH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT RESPECTING THIS CHECK WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE, SUCH ACTION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED A COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1926 STATUTE. ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE ACTION HERETOFORE TAKEN IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK.