B-134782, JAN. 16, 1958

B-134782: Jan 16, 1958

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THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS THE BALANCE DUE ON ACCOUNT OF OVERPAYMENT OF COMPENSATION BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MADE TO YOU IN YOUR CAPACITY AS GUARDIAN OF CYNTHIA TOMANATA (NOW SULLIVAN) WHILE YOU WERE SUPERINTENDENT. WAS ILLEGAL. THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WAS REQUESTED TO RECONSIDER THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. HOLDING THAT THE OVERPAYMENT IS NOT WAIVED. A COPY OF THE COMPLETE DECISION WAS SENT TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF AUGUST 16. THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS IS AUTHORIZED UNDER 38 U.S.C. 708. SUCH DECISIONS SHALL HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS THOUGH RENDERED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR. THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS IS THE OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO VETERANS' BENEFITS.

B-134782, JAN. 16, 1958

TO MR. AUSTIN F. LADD:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1957, PROTESTS YOUR REPORTED INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES FOR $100.73.

THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS THE BALANCE DUE ON ACCOUNT OF OVERPAYMENT OF COMPENSATION BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MADE TO YOU IN YOUR CAPACITY AS GUARDIAN OF CYNTHIA TOMANATA (NOW SULLIVAN) WHILE YOU WERE SUPERINTENDENT, TRUXTON CANON AGENCY. SINCE MARRIAGE TERMINATES THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION, THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION SUBSEQUENT TO THE MARRIAGE OF CYNTHIA TOMANATA ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1953, WAS ILLEGAL.

IN LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1957, OUR OFFICE ADVISED YOU THAT ON THE BASIS OF THE ADDITIONAL FACTS FURNISHED TO US IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 16, 1957, THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WAS REQUESTED TO RECONSIDER THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. IN LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1957, THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ADVISED US THAT YOUR CASE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE REGIONAL COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS WHICH RENDERED A DECISION ON JULY 30, 1957, HOLDING THAT THE OVERPAYMENT IS NOT WAIVED. A COPY OF THE COMPLETE DECISION WAS SENT TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF AUGUST 16, 1957.

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1957, YOU SAY THAT YOU CANNOT AGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS AND STILL CONTEND THAT YOU EXERCISED ALL POSSIBLE PRECAUTION TO PREVENT THE MAKING OF UNLAWFUL PAYMENTS TO THE MINOR.

THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS IS AUTHORIZED UNDER 38 U.S.C. 708, TO DELEGATE AUTHORITY TO RENDER DECISIONS, AND SUCH DECISIONS SHALL HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS THOUGH RENDERED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR. UNDER VA REGULATION 1024B THE AFOREMENTIONED AUTHORITY HAS BEEN DELEGATED TO THE COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS; THEREFORE, THE DECISION RENDERED BY THE WAIVERS COMMITTEE REGARDING YOUR CASE HAS THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS THOUGH RENDERED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR.

THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS IS THE OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO VETERANS' BENEFITS. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 11A-2, TITLE 38, U.S. CODE (IN EFFECT AT THE TIME), THE DECISIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS ARE MADE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE PARTIES, BOTH AS TO LAW AND THE FACTS AND NO OTHER OFFICIAL OR ANY COURT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS POWER OR JURISDICTION TO REVIEW HIS DECISIONS ON SUCH MATTERS. LYNCH V. UNITED STATES, 292 U.S. 571, 587; SILBERSCHEIN V. UNITED STATES, 266 U.S. 221; VAN HORNE V. HINES, 122 F.2D 207; UNITED STATES V. MROCK, 88 F.2D 888, 890. THE CASE UNDER SOCIAL SECURITY, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CASE WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

THEREFORE, THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO QUESTION THE DETERMINATION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN THIS MATTER AND UNDER LAW WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DEMAND PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION. WE REQUEST THAT YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER FOR $100.73, MADE PAYABLE TO "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" BE FORWARDED TO U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :