B-148880, JUN. 26, 1962

B-148880: Jun 26, 1962

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FMCR: WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 20. WHICH WERE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY WHILE YOU WERE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. WE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. THAT PAYMENTS OF THE ALLOTMENT WERE MADE FOR THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER 1958 THROUGH MAY 1959 IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $600. WHO WAS THE DEPUTY DISBURSING OFFICER. WHICH WAS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. PROVIDED: "OFFICERS HAVING CUSTODY OF MILITARY PAY RECORDS (DD FORMS 113) WILL MAINTAIN FILES OF ALLOTMENT AUTHORIZATIONS (NAVCOMPT FORMS 545). WHICH WILL BE MAINTAINED IN A SEPARATE CHRONOLOGICAL FILE TO FACILITATE FOLLOW UP ACTION REQUIRED BY PAR. 044414.

B-148880, JUN. 26, 1962

TO MASTER SERGEANT FREDERICK A. YOUNG, 308833, FMCR:

WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 20, 1962, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 6, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF AMOUNTS TOTALING $600, REPRESENTING CLASS H ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS FOR THE PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 1958 THROUGH MAY 1959, WHICH WERE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY WHILE YOU WERE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. ALSO, WE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1962, CONCERNING THE STATUS OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT ON NOVEMBER 17, 1958, YOU REGISTERED A CLASS H ALLOTMENT OF $100 A MONTH, FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD, IN FAVOR OF THE GENERAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, MIAMI, FLORIDA, WITH FIRST PAYMENT DECEMBER 1958, AND THAT PAYMENTS OF THE ALLOTMENT WERE MADE FOR THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER 1958 THROUGH MAY 1959 IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $600. YOU STATE THAT A SHORT TIME BEFORE THE TIME FOR THE FIRST PAYMENT OF THE ALLOTMENT YOU (1) PREPARED AN ALLOTMENT STOPPAGE REQUEST (NAVCOMPT FORM 545); (2) HAD IT WITNESSED BY THE "COMPANY OFFICER; " (3) ENTERED THE STOPPAGE OF THE ALLOTMENT ON YOUR PAY RECORD; (4) PRESENTED THE PAY RECORD AND NAVCOMPT FORM 545 TO CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DAWSON HARRIS, 012469, U.S. MARINE CORPS, WHO WAS THE DEPUTY DISBURSING OFFICER, FOR SIGNATURE; AND (5), FOLLOWING SIGNATURE BY CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER HARRIS, MARKED THE NAVCOMPT FORM 545 "AIR MAIL" IN RED PENCIL, AND PLACED IT IN THE MAIL BASKET, AT WHICH TIME YOU REMOVED THE GREEN RETAINED COPY AND PLACED IT "IN THE FILE.'

PARAGRAPH 044420, NAVY COMPTROLLER MANUAL, WHICH WAS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, PROVIDED:

"OFFICERS HAVING CUSTODY OF MILITARY PAY RECORDS (DD FORMS 113) WILL MAINTAIN FILES OF ALLOTMENT AUTHORIZATIONS (NAVCOMPT FORMS 545). THE GREEN RETAINED COPY, WHICH WILL BE MAINTAINED IN A SEPARATE CHRONOLOGICAL FILE TO FACILITATE FOLLOW UP ACTION REQUIRED BY PAR. 044414, MAY BE DESTROYED AFTER THE GOLDENROD ACKNOWLEDGMENT COPY IS RECEIVED FROM * * * THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS (CDC).' PARAGRAPH 044414, NAVY COMPTROLLER MANUAL, PROVIDED:

"AFTER ALLOWING FOR DELAYS IN THE MAIL NOT TO EXCEED 30 DAYS, THE DISBURSING OFFICER WILL TRANSMIT TO THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS (CDC) A LIST, PREPARED IN DUPLICATE, OF ALL NAVCOMPT FORMS 545 FOR WHICH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN RECEIVED. * * *" YOU SAY THAT YOU KNOW THAT THE GREEN RETAINED COPY OF THE NAVCOMPT FORM 545 WAS "IN THE FILE" BECAUSE AT A LATER DATE, WHILE CHECKING ON YOUR NSLI ALLOTMENT, YOU SAW IT THERE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 044414 WERE NOT COMPLIED WITH; THAT SUCH NONCOMPLIANCE RESULTED IN THE ERRONEOUS ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS; AND THAT, THEREFORE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS SO PAID.

THE STATEMENT OF CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DAWSON HARRIS, DATED JULY 20, 1960, IS AS FOLLOWS:

"DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE OR JULY 1959, WHILE SERVING AS DEPUTY OF MAJOR E. J. ROWE, USMC, I FIRST BECAME AWARE OF CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THIS CASE AND DISTINCTLY REMEMBER ADVISING A MSGT. FREDERICK A. YOUNG, 308833/2421, USMC, AFTER ASKING ME TO ACCOMPLISH THE ALLOTMENT STOP NOTICE (NAVCOMPT. 545) AND PAY RECORD ENTRY THAT HE SHOULD SEND IT OUT VIA AIR MAIL SINCE IT WAS DUE IN HEADQUARTERS WITHIN A COUPLE OF DAYS. HE LEFT MY OFFICE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE MAIL AND FILE ROOM WHICH WAS LOCATED NEXT DOOR BUT I AM UNABLE TO SAY THAT SUBJECT ALLOTMENT STOP NOTICE WAS PLACED IN THE OUT GOING MAIL BASKET. SINCE SGT. YOUNG HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF THE DISBURSING BRANCH FOR MANY YEARS I CONSIDERED HIM COMPETENT IN FOLLOWING THE SIMPLE PROCEDURE OF PROCESSING ALLOTMENTS. DURING OUR CONVERSATION HE MENTIONED THE FACT THAT HE WOULD REGISTER THE ALLOTMENT A MONTH OR TWO LATER AND HAD HIS INTENTIONS BEEN HONORABLE UPON DOING SO AT A LATER DATE THIS DISCREPANCY WOULD HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED SOONER.'

THE MAIL AND FILES CLERK, LANCE CORPORAL LIBBY A. BUNN, HAS STATED THAT HE DOES NOT REMEMBER EVER SEEING EITHER THE ORIGINAL ALLOTMENT STOPPAGE REQUEST OR ANY COPIES THEREOF. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT NO RECORD OF THE ALLOTMENT STOPPAGE EXISTS IN THE FILES OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER, MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, PARRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND THAT THE ALLOTMENT STOPPAGE WAS NEVER RECEIVED IN THE ALLOTMENT OFFICE, HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.

AFTER CAREFULLY REVIEWING YOUR CLAIM WE HAVE CONCLUDED (1) THAT YOU HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED THAT YOU WERE NOT AT FAULT IN THE MATTER AND (2) THAT YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS TOO DOUBTFUL TO WARRANT OUR HOLDING THAT PAYMENT OF SUCH AMOUNT TO YOU IS AUTHORIZED. THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOT REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT CLAIMS OF DOUBTFUL VALIDITY. SEE LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 CT.CL. 288; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CL. 316.