B-136275, JUN. 17, 1958

B-136275: Jun 17, 1958

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THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8 FOR THE REASON THAT. WEST WAS ERRONEOUSLY ALLOWED TO WORK TEN DAYS IN EXCESS OF THE 180-DAY LIMITATION. WEST WAS EMPLOYED ON APRIL 11. WEST'S DAILY SERVICE WAS MAINTAINED AT THE WORK UNIT OFFICE. THE EXPIRATION OF THE APPOINTMENT WAS OVERLOOKED UNTIL SUCH FACT WAS NOTED BY THE STATE OFFICE. WEST WAS REMOVED FROM THE ROLLS. THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION WE HAVE IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THE UNITED STATES IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO PAY FOR THE EXCESS TEN DAYS' SERVICES RENDERED BY MR. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT SUCH EXCESS SERVICES WERE NOT RENDERED PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS OR PROPER AUTHORITY. CLEARLY THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXTENSION OF THE APPOINTMENT BEYOND 180 WORKING DAYS IN A SERVICE YEAR.

B-136275, JUN. 17, 1958

TO MR. ARCHIE ROTH:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, 1958, IN BEHALF OF MR. CHARLES A. WEST, REQUESTS THAT WE RECONSIDER OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION FOR THE TEN DAYS HE WORKED IN EXCESS OF THE "LIMITATION OF 180 DAYS IN A SERVICE YEAR" SPECIFIED IN HIS EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY.

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8 FOR THE REASON THAT-- - NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT MR. WEST WAS ERRONEOUSLY ALLOWED TO WORK TEN DAYS IN EXCESS OF THE 180-DAY LIMITATION--- HIS DE FACTO STATUS DURING THOSE TEN DAYS DOES NOT SUPPORT A CLAIM FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION.

AS THE EXCESS SERVICE RESULTED PRINCIPALLY FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT OF THE 180-DAY LIMITATION IN MR. WEST'S APPOINTMENT, HOWEVER, YOU URGE THAT WE RECONSIDER MR. WEST'S CLAIM AS BEING ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. WEST WAS EMPLOYED ON APRIL 11, 1957, PURSUANT TO CIVIL SERVICE RULE VI, 5 C.F.R. 06, IN AN EXCEPTED POSITION. SECTION 6.111 (A) (5) OF THAT REGULATION--- WHICH AUTHORIZES TEMPORARY, INTERMITTENT, PART-TIME, OR SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AT GRADES NOT HIGHER THAN GS-5 OR EQUIVALENT --- EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S TOTAL EMPLOYMENT THEREUNDER "SHALL NOT EXCEED 180 WORKING DAYS IN ANY PERIOD OF TWELVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.' THE CONTROL RECORD OF MR. WEST'S DAILY SERVICE WAS MAINTAINED AT THE WORK UNIT OFFICE; HOWEVER, THE EXPIRATION OF THE APPOINTMENT WAS OVERLOOKED UNTIL SUCH FACT WAS NOTED BY THE STATE OFFICE--- WHICH HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS. IMMEDIATELY, UPON DETECTION OF THE LOCAL OFFICE'S ERROR, MR. WEST WAS REMOVED FROM THE ROLLS.

THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION WE HAVE IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THE UNITED STATES IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO PAY FOR THE EXCESS TEN DAYS' SERVICES RENDERED BY MR. WEST, AS OTHERWISE ANY PAYMENT THEREFOR WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT SUCH EXCESS SERVICES WERE NOT RENDERED PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS OR PROPER AUTHORITY, NOR UNDER AN EXPRESS OR IMPLIED CONTRACT, SUCH AS COULD SUPPORT A CLAIM FOR FAIR VALUE AS YOU URGE. CLEARLY THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXTENSION OF THE APPOINTMENT BEYOND 180 WORKING DAYS IN A SERVICE YEAR, NOR WERE MR. WEST'S EXCESS SERVICES REQUESTED BY AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO CONTRACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. AN INDIVIDUAL, IN DEALING WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES, MUST TAKE NOTICE OF THE EXTENT OF THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON THEM BY LAW. IF AUTHORITY TO ACT FOR THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT EXIST, NO CONTRACTUAL OR OTHER OBLIGATION CAN BE CREATED BY A VOLUNTARY DELIVERY OF GOODS OR RENDITION OF SERVICES, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY APPEAR THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN BENEFITED THEREBY. 18 COMP. GEN. 568. THEREFORE, OUR CONCLUSION IS THAT SINCE NO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION EXISTED OR WAS CREATED THE RECORD DOES NOT SUPPORT A CLAIM ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8, 1958, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.