B-148837, MAY 21, 1962

B-148837: May 21, 1962

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MARY ELLEN PURCELL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 17. AN AUDIT EXCEPTION WAS ISSUED ON THE BASIS THAT YOU HAD BEEN OVERCREDITED PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR ACCRUED LEAVE ON YOUR FINAL PAY VOUCHER AT THE TIME OF YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. THE AMOUNT OVERPAID WAS STATED TO BE $152.52. ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE CREDITED AND PAID FOR 32 DAYS OF ACCRUED LEAVE IN THE AMOUNT OF $443.71. WHEREAS CREDIT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR ONLY 21 DAYS. YOU WERE FURNISHED A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE AMOUNT OF $152.52 WAS DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION THEN OF RECORD. IT APPEARED THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR 21 DAYS OF LEAVE TOTALING $291.19 RATHER THAN FOR 32 DAYS TOTALING $443.71 WHICH YOU WERE CREDITED AND PAID.

B-148837, MAY 21, 1962

TO MRS. MARY ELLEN PURCELL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 17, 1962, IN WHICH YOU QUESTION THE CORRECTNESS OF THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $194.12, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR 14 DAYS OF ACCRUED LEAVE UPON YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE ARMY NURSE CORPS ON AUGUST 12, 1959.

ON JULY 5, 1960, AN AUDIT EXCEPTION WAS ISSUED ON THE BASIS THAT YOU HAD BEEN OVERCREDITED PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR ACCRUED LEAVE ON YOUR FINAL PAY VOUCHER AT THE TIME OF YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. THE AMOUNT OVERPAID WAS STATED TO BE $152.52, ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE CREDITED AND PAID FOR 32 DAYS OF ACCRUED LEAVE IN THE AMOUNT OF $443.71, WHEREAS CREDIT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR ONLY 21 DAYS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $291.19. YOU WERE FURNISHED A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, BEING UNABLE TO COLLECT THE INDEBTEDNESS, REFERRED THE MATTER TO THE DEBT BRANCH, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CLAIMS DIVISION, FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION.

UPON THE CLAIMS DIVISION REQUEST FOR PAYMENT OF THE $152.52 INDEBTEDNESS, YOUR HUSBAND, MR. WILLIAM D. PURCELL, REQUESTED THAT THE MATTER OF THE INDEBTEDNESS BE RECHECKED. BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1961, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE AMOUNT OF $152.52 WAS DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION THEN OF RECORD. IT THEN APPEARED THAT YOU HAD EARNED 64 DAYS OF LEAVE AND HAD USED 43 DAYS AS FOLLOWS:

APRIL 20 TO MAY 4, 1958 - 15 DAYS

SEPTEMBER 20 TO 30, 1958 - 11 DAYS

APRIL 16 TO MAY 2, 1959 - 17 DAYS

HENCE, IT APPEARED THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR 21 DAYS OF LEAVE TOTALING $291.19 RATHER THAN FOR 32 DAYS TOTALING $443.71 WHICH YOU WERE CREDITED AND PAID. THE 11 DAYS OF LEAVE FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 20 TO 30, 1958, AROSE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRANSFER FROM LETTERMAN ARMY HOSPITAL, SAN FRANCISCO, TO FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY. YOUR ORDERS DATED MAY 16, 1958, REQUIRED YOU TO REPORT AT FORT DIX NOT LATER THAN OCTOBER 13, 1958, AND YOU WERE GRANTED LEAVE FOR 30 DAYS IN ADDITION TO TRAVEL TIME BY PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE. THE VOUCHER YOU SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRAVEL INDICATED THAT YOU DEPARTED LETTERMAN ARMY HOSPITAL ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1958, AND REPORTED AT FORT DIX ON OCTOBER 13, 1958. TWELVE DAYS WERE ALLOWED AS TRAVEL TIME (3,113 MILES DIVIDED BY 250 MILES PER DAY) AND THE BALANCE OF TIME--- SEPTEMBER 20 TO 30 (11 DAYS) WAS CHARGED AS LEAVE.

THEREAFTER, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REPORTED THAT YOU ENTERED A LEAVE STATUS AT LETTERMAN ARMY HOSPITAL ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1958. IN VIEW OF THIS REPORT AND UPON THE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST IN THE MATTER OF THE LATE HONORABLE SAM RAYBURN, THE ADJUTANT GENERAL WAS REQUESTED TO VERIFY YOUR USE OF LEAVE DURING THE MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1958. BY REPORT DATED DECEMBER 11, 1961, THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE REPORTED THAT YOU WERE ON LEAVE FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 17, 1958, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1958, A TOTAL OF 14 DAYS CHARGEABLE AS ORDINARY LEAVE. ON THE BASIS OF THIS REPORT A RECOMPUTATION OF ACCRUED LEAVE FOR WHICH PAY AND ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE CREDITED SHOWS THAT YOU EARNED 64 DAYS OF LEAVE AND THAT YOU WERE ON AUTHORIZED LEAVE A TOTAL OF 46 DAYS, LEAVING 18 DAYS OF UNUSED ACCRUED LEAVE ON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. SINCE YOU WERE CREDITED AND PAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR 32 DAYS OF ACCRUED LEAVE, YOU WERE OVERPAID FOR 14 DAYS IN THE AMOUNT OF $194.12, INSTEAD OF THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY REPORTED. THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE IS THE OFFICIAL CUSTODIAN OF PERSONNEL RECORDS OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY AND DETERMINATIONS MADE IN THAT OFFICE AS TO THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE TAKEN ARE MADE ON BEHALF OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY. 37 U.S.C. 33 (E) PROVIDES THAT SECRETARIAL DECISIONS ON SUCH MATTERS "SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY COURT OR BY ANY OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES.'

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF THE DEBT BRANCH OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN ADVISING YOU THAT THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS IS $194.12, WAS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW, IS SUSTAINED.