B-140561, OCT. 12, 1959

B-140561: Oct 12, 1959

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EDDIE MCFAE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6. OFFICE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST RECEIVED HERE ON NOVEMBER 5. THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9. RECORDS SHOW FURTHER THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN ON YOUR CLAIM WAS ANSWERED BY OFFICE LETTER DATED DECEMBER 31. WHEREIN YOU WERE FULLY ADVISED WHY THIS OFFICE COULD NOT LEGALLY CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM. YOU WERE AGAIN ADVISED OF THE STATUTORY PROHIBITION AGAINST CONSIDERING YOUR CLAIM. IT MAKES THE TIMELY RECEIPT OF A CLAIM A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE CLAIM CONSIDERED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT WHERE CLAIMANTS HAVE SLEPT ON THEIR RIGHTS UNTIL THE STATUTORY PERIOD FOR FILING CLAIMS HAS PASSED.

B-140561, OCT. 12, 1959

TO MR. EDDIE MCFAE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1959, RELATIVE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ALLOTMENT FOR A MINOR CHILD WHICH YOU BELIEVE TO BE DUE YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR ARMY SERVICE IN WORLD WAR I, SERVICE NO. 895 475.

OFFICE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST RECEIVED HERE ON NOVEMBER 5, 1958, AND THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE BARRING OF ANY CLAIM COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IF NOT RECEIVED HERE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE THE CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED. THE ACT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT WHENEVER ANY CLAIM SO BARRED SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IT SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE CLAIMANT WITH A COPY OF THE ACT AND SUCH ACTION SHALL BE A COMPLETE RESPONSE WITHOUT FURTHER COMMUNICATION.

RECORDS SHOW FURTHER THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN ON YOUR CLAIM WAS ANSWERED BY OFFICE LETTER DATED DECEMBER 31, 1958, WHEREIN YOU WERE FULLY ADVISED WHY THIS OFFICE COULD NOT LEGALLY CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM. YOU SUBMITTED A SIMILAR CLAIM DATED APRIL 3, 1959, RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE FROM THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA, ON MAY 18, 1959. IN REPLY DATED JUNE 4, 1959, YOU WERE AGAIN ADVISED OF THE STATUTORY PROHIBITION AGAINST CONSIDERING YOUR CLAIM.

THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, HAS BEEN HELD TO BE MORE THAN A MERE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. IT MAKES THE TIMELY RECEIPT OF A CLAIM A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE CLAIM CONSIDERED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT WHERE CLAIMANTS HAVE SLEPT ON THEIR RIGHTS UNTIL THE STATUTORY PERIOD FOR FILING CLAIMS HAS PASSED, THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR DELAY SHOULD BE LEFT WITH THE CLAIMANTS AND NOT BE SHIFTED TO THE GOVERNMENT. FOR THESE REASONS, WE MAY NOT CONSIDER THE MERITS OF YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, BASED UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, THE ACTION TAKEN IN OFFICE LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 31, 1958, AND JUNE 4, 1959, WAS PROPER AND IS AFFIRMED.