B-147596, NOV. 29, 1961

B-147596: Nov 29, 1961

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THE REASON YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY REPORTED ON AUGUST 28. THAT THE 15 MINUTES OCCURRING BEFORE COMMENCEMENT OF THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY WAS NEVER "OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED FOR PAY PURPOSES.'. UNLESS OVERTIME IS OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED WE ARE POWERLESS UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED LAW TO ALLOW A CLAIM FOR OVERTIME. THE FACT THAT AN ENTRY MAY HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE SUPERVISOR'S HANDBOOK AS ALLEGED BY YOU APPARENTLY HAS NOT BEEN REGARDED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS OVERTIME "OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE STATUTE. MUST BE AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED. YOU ARE INFORMED THAT UNDER THE LAW THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. 31 U.S.C. 74 (FIRST PARAGRAPH).

B-147596, NOV. 29, 1961

TO MR. CLAUDE S. COUNTRYMAN:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 4, 1961, PROTESTS OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION AT OVERTIME RATES FOR SERVICES ALLEGEDLY PERFORMED IN REPORTING 15 MINUTES EARLY EACH WORKSHIFT AS A SECURITY POLICE OFFICER AT THE SCHENECTADY GENERAL DEPOT, SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, SINCE MARCH 1956.

SECTION 201 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 911, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"ALL HOURS OF WORK OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED IN EXCESS OF FORTY HOURS IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK PERFORMED BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES * * * SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE OVERTIME * * *.'

AS WE ADVISED YOU IN OUR SETTLEMENT, THE REASON YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY REPORTED ON AUGUST 28, 1961, THAT THE 15 MINUTES OCCURRING BEFORE COMMENCEMENT OF THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY WAS NEVER "OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED FOR PAY PURPOSES.' UNLESS OVERTIME IS OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED WE ARE POWERLESS UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED LAW TO ALLOW A CLAIM FOR OVERTIME. THE FACT THAT AN ENTRY MAY HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE SUPERVISOR'S HANDBOOK AS ALLEGED BY YOU APPARENTLY HAS NOT BEEN REGARDED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS OVERTIME "OFFICIALLY ORDERED OR APPROVED" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE STATUTE.

WHILE YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH OUR REASONS FOR DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, YOUR LETTER DOES NOT BRING TO THE RECORD ANY PERTINENT INFORMATION NOT HERETOFORE CONSIDERED. THEREFORE, UPON REVIEW OF YOUR CLAIM, ON THE PRESENT RECORD OUR SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1961, MUST BE AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.

REGARDING YOUR INQUIRY ABOUT THE RECOURSE AVAILABLE TO YOU IN DISPUTING OUR DECISION, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT UNDER THE LAW THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. 31 U.S.C. 74 (FIRST PARAGRAPH). THERE IS NO PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED FOR APPEALING FROM SUCH DECISIONS, BUT WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1346 AND 1491 OF TITLE 28 OF THE U.S.C. CONCERNING MATTERS COGNIZABLE IN THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS WHERE ACTIONS MAY BE CONSIDERED DE NOVO.