B-142989, JUN. 28, 1960

B-142989: Jun 28, 1960

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WHICH CLEARLY SHOWS THAT YOU WERE ALLOWED $148.25 AS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOUND TO BE DUE FOR THE SERVICES IN QUESTION. CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: "CLAIMANT WAS PAID THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION DUE FOR HIS SERVICES FROM JULY 1. THERE IS NO RECORD OF HIS HAVING RENDERED ANY SERVICE IN THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS FROM FEB. 10 TO AUG. 5. HE WAS NOT EMPLOYED IN THE ENGINEER CORPS. "CLAIM FOR PERIODS OTHER THAN ABOVE ALLOWED IS DISALLOWED.'. THE RECORDS PERTAINING TO YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM HAD BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AND NO LONGER WERE AVAILABLE FOR RE-EXAMINATION. - CONTAINS ANY STATEMENT OR INFORMATION PURPORTING TO SHOW WHEREIN THE PRIOR SETTLEMENT WAS INCORRECT OR THAT THE PAYMENT THEREIN AUTHORIZED WAS NEVER RECEIVED.

B-142989, JUN. 28, 1960

TO MR. ANTONIO ESTEBAN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, CONCERNING YOUR PREVIOUS CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES YOU RENDERED AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES WAR DEPARTMENT, QUARTERMASTER CORPS, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1917, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1920.

ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1959, YOU TRANSMITTED A COPY OF SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. 0232953, DATED JUNE 30, 1930, WHICH YOU RECEIVED FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, CLAIMS DIVISION, WASHINGTON, .C., EFFECTING SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION DURING THE ABOVE MENTIONED PERIOD. THAT SETTLEMENT, WHICH CLEARLY SHOWS THAT YOU WERE ALLOWED $148.25 AS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOUND TO BE DUE FOR THE SERVICES IN QUESTION, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"CLAIMANT WAS PAID THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION DUE FOR HIS SERVICES FROM JULY 1, 1917 TO FEB. 9, 1918. THERE IS NO RECORD OF HIS HAVING RENDERED ANY SERVICE IN THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS FROM FEB. 10 TO AUG. 5, 1918, AND SUBSEQUENT TO SEPT. 30, 1920. HE WAS NOT EMPLOYED IN THE ENGINEER CORPS.

"CLAIM FOR PERIODS OTHER THAN ABOVE ALLOWED IS DISALLOWED.'

ON NOVEMBER 13, 1959, (CLAIM NO. Z 2053080), OUR OFFICES NOTIFIED YOU THAT, BECAUSE OF THE ELAPSED TIME BETWEEN THE DATE OF THE SETTLEMENT AND THE DATE OF YOUR LETTER OF INQUIRY, THE RECORDS PERTAINING TO YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM HAD BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AND NO LONGER WERE AVAILABLE FOR RE-EXAMINATION. IN YOUR RECENT LETTER YOU AGAIN REQUEST A REVIEW OF THE PRIOR ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER. HOWEVER, NEITHER OF YOUR RECENT LETTERS--- RECEIVED HERE MORE THAN 29 YEARS AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SETTLEMENT--- CONTAINS ANY STATEMENT OR INFORMATION PURPORTING TO SHOW WHEREIN THE PRIOR SETTLEMENT WAS INCORRECT OR THAT THE PAYMENT THEREIN AUTHORIZED WAS NEVER RECEIVED.

AS HEREINABOVE INDICATED, EVEN THOUGH ALL OFFICIAL PAPERS IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW, WE MUST PRESUME THAT THE PAYMENT AUTHORIZED BY OUR SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED. IN THAT CONNECTION WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1926, 44 STAT. 761 (31 U.S.C. 122), WHICH PROVIDES:

"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.'

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS SETTLED OVER 30 YEARS AGO, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NO RIGHT TO SETTLE STALE CLAIMS, NOR ARE THEY AUTHORIZED TO DIRECT PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT BASED SOLELY ON STATEMENTS FROM CLAIMANTS WHICH CANNOT BE VERIFIED OR CORROBORATED BY GOVERNMENT RECORDS.

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS SHALL REJECT OR DISALLOW ALL THOSE CLAIMS OR ACCOUNTS AS TO WHICH THEY BELIEVE THERE MAY BE SUBSTANTIAL DEFENSE IN LAW, OR AS TO THE VALIDITY OF WHICH THEY ARE IN DOUBT. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 C.CLS. 288; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 ID. 316, 319.

FOR THE REASONS HEREIN INDICATED, FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES PERFORMED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1920, NOW IS PRECLUDED. THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 30, 1930, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.