B-132336, AUG. 8, 1957

B-132336: Aug 8, 1957

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PLEASANT: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 13. THE DEBT WAS REDUCED FROM $900 TO $600 BY REASON OF PAYMENTS MADE BY YOU IN 1946 AND 1947 TOTALING $300 AS ITEMIZED IN OUR LETTER OF JUNE 4. IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH OVERPAYMENTS. THAT SUCH ALLOTMENT WAS DISCONTINUED EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31. THAT CHECKS WERE ISSUED FOR PAYMENTS UNDER SUCH AUTHORIZATION FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1943 THROUGH DECEMBER 1945. THAT PROPER DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY TO COMPENSATE FOR SUCH ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1943 THROUGH JUNE 1945. THAT NO SUCH DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY 1945. A RECENT REPORT SHOWS THAT THE CHECKS ISSUED TO COVER THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1945 THROUGH NOVEMBER 1945 WERE NEGOTIATED IN DUE COURSE AND PAID BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES.

B-132336, AUG. 8, 1957

TO DR. HYMAN A. PLEASANT:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 13, 1957, IN WHICH YOU QUESTION THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO COLLECT FROM YOU AN INDEBTEDNESS WHICH AROSE BY REASON OF THE PAYMENT OF CLASS E ALLOTMENT AT THE RATE OF $150 A MONTH TO YOUR WIFE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1945, THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 1945, WITHOUT ANY CORRESPONDING DEDUCTIONS ON YOUR PAY VOUCHERS. THE DEBT WAS REDUCED FROM $900 TO $600 BY REASON OF PAYMENTS MADE BY YOU IN 1946 AND 1947 TOTALING $300 AS ITEMIZED IN OUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1957. YOU REFER TO THE PAYMENTS MADE TO YOUR WIFE AS OVERPAYMENTS AND SAY THAT THE ARMY FINANCE DEPARTMENT, RATHER THAN YOU, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH OVERPAYMENTS.

RECORDS NOW IN THIS OFFICE SHOW THAT YOU EXECUTED A W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 29, ON AUGUST 19, 1943, AUTHORIZING A CLASS E ALLOTMENT OF YOUR PAY IN THE AMOUNT OF $150 A MONTH TO YOUR WIFE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1943; THAT SUCH ALLOTMENT WAS DISCONTINUED EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 1945, ON THE BASIS OF A W.B., A.G.O. FORM NO. 30-S, PREPARED BY REASON OF YOUR IMPENDING SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE ON MARCH 2, 1946; THAT CHECKS WERE ISSUED FOR PAYMENTS UNDER SUCH AUTHORIZATION FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1943 THROUGH DECEMBER 1945; THAT PROPER DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY TO COMPENSATE FOR SUCH ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS FOR THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER 1943 THROUGH JUNE 1945, ONLY; AND THAT NO SUCH DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY 1945, THROUGH DECEMBER 1945, RESULTING IN AN OVERPAYMENT OF $900 MENTIONED ABOVE. A RECENT REPORT SHOWS THAT THE CHECKS ISSUED TO COVER THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1945 THROUGH NOVEMBER 1945 WERE NEGOTIATED IN DUE COURSE AND PAID BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT REPORT SHOWS, ALSO, THAT THE CHECK ISSUED TO COVER THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 1945 WAS NOT PAID, BUT HAS BEEN REDEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY, THE SUM OF $150 REPRESENTING THE UNPAID CHECK FOR DECEMBER 1945 WAS IMPROPERLY INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. THEREFORE, IN ADDITION TO THE CREDIT OF $300 REPRESENTING YOUR PAYMENTS ON ACCOUNT, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR $150 REPRESENTING THE CHECK FOR DECEMBER 1945. YOUR INDEBTEDNESS IS THUS REDUCED TO $450 INSTEAD OF THE SUM OF $600 AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED.

THERE IS NO RECORD TO SHOW THAT YOU EXECUTED W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 30 ON OR ABOUT JULY 1, 1945--- THE DATE YOU STATE YOU REQUESTED DISCONTINUANCE OF YOUR ALLOTMENT BECAUSE OF THE DIVORCE ACTION FILED BY YOUR WIFE AT THAT TIME. THE ALLOTMENT INVOLVED HERE WAS PROPERLY AUTHORIZED AND DISCONTINUED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 35-5520, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1899, 30 STAT. 981, AS AMENDED, 10 U.S.C. 894, AND THE FACT THAT APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS WERE NOT MADE FROM YOUR PAY FOR EACH MONTH OF PAYMENT UNDER THAT AUTHORIZATION DOES NOT AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF THE PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY YOUR WIFE. THE CHECKS ISSUED TO MRS. PLEASANT IN PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOTMENT WERE NOT ISSUED ERRONEOUSLY. HENCE, NO FAULT LIES WITH THE OFFICE OF DEPENDENCY BENEFITS OR THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENTS AS MADE. THE ONLY ERROR OR OMISSION WAS YOUR FAILURE, AS THE ALLOTTER, TO MAKE APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY DURING A PORTION OF YOUR TOUR OF ACTIVE DUTY WHEN THE ALLOTMENT AUTHORIZATION WAS IN EFFECT. THUS, THE INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN YOUR CASE REPRESENTS AN OVERPAYMENT OF PAY IN THE AMOUNT OF $150 A MONTH FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1945, THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 1945--- ADJUSTED AS INDICATED ABOVE -- BY REASON OF YOUR FAILURE AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER, WHO CERTIFIED AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF YOUR OWN PAY VOUCHERS, TO ENTER APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS AGAINST YOUR PAY DURING SUCH PERIOD TO COMPENSATE FOR YOUR DULY AUTHORIZED ALLOTMENT. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 30 EXECUTED BY YOU TO REQUEST DISCONTINUANCE, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, OF THE ALLOTMENT TO YOUR WIFE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCH OVERPAYMENTS OF PAY IS CHARGEABLE TO ANY ONE OTHER THAN YOU.

ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS PAYMENT OF $450 OR A SUBSTANTIAL INITIAL PAYMENT IS RECEIVED HERE PROMPTLY, THE MATTER MUST, OF NECESSITY, BE REFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST YOU.

PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" AND FORWARDED TO U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, CLAIMS DIVISION, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA.