B-149869, OCT 16, 1962

B-149869: Oct 16, 1962

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M.C.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24. YOUR CLAIM WAS SUBSTANTIATED BY A CERTIFICATE FROM THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE STATING THAT ITS RECORDS SHOW YOU PAID $40 ON APRIL 23. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 7. YOU STATE IN THAT CONNECTION THAT YOU ARE NOT CLAIMING TRAVEL EXPENSE OR PER DIEM BUT ONLY REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES PAID TO THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE. THAT THE REASON YOU DID NOT OBTAIN PRIOR AUTHORIZATION WAS THAT THE REGULATIONS STIPULATING PRIOR AUTHORIZATION WERE NOT IN EXISTENCE WHEN THE FEES WERE PAID. REIMBURSEMENT FOR FEES INCIDENT TO QUALIFICATION BY A PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTY BOARD WAS ALLOWED.

B-149869, OCT 16, 1962

TO ROBERT B. DICKERSON, COLONEL, M.C.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1962, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR ACTION IN SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 7, 1962, IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES TOTALING $187.50 PAID BY YOU IN OBTAINING CERTIFICATION BY THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE FOR PERIODS FROM APRIL 23, 1948, TO NOVEMBER 12, 1958.

YOUR CLAIM WAS SUBSTANTIATED BY A CERTIFICATE FROM THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE STATING THAT ITS RECORDS SHOW YOU PAID $40 ON APRIL 23, 1948, AS A WRITTEN EXAMINATION FEE, $10 ON FEBRUARY 23, 1949, AS A CERTIFICATE FEE, $125 ON AUGUST 8, 1953, AND FEBRUARY 18, 1955, AS SUBSPECIALTY FEES, AND $12.50 ON NOVEMBER 12, 1958, AS A CERTIFICATE FEE. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 7, 1962, FOR THE REASON THAT THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS REQUIRE PRIOR AUTHORIZATION AND THE ISSUANCE OF NECESSARY TRAVEL ORDERS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PERSONAL FUNDS PAID AS FEES AND THE RECORD INDICATED THAT YOU HAD OBTAINED NO SUCH AUTHORIZATION.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU CITE PARAGRAPH 6C OF ARMY REGULATIONS 40-219 (PROMULGATED APRIL 26, 1960) WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHERE AN OTHERWISE QUALIFIED OFFICER FAILED TO OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION PRIOR TO EXPENDING PERSONAL FUNDS FOR FEES INCIDENT TO OBTAINING CERTIFICATION BY PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTY BOARDS, THE APPROPRIATE COMMANDER MAY, UPON RECEIPT OF SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION THEREOF, AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, BUT NOT THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INVOLVED. YOU STATE IN THAT CONNECTION THAT YOU ARE NOT CLAIMING TRAVEL EXPENSE OR PER DIEM BUT ONLY REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES PAID TO THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, AND THAT THE REASON YOU DID NOT OBTAIN PRIOR AUTHORIZATION WAS THAT THE REGULATIONS STIPULATING PRIOR AUTHORIZATION WERE NOT IN EXISTENCE WHEN THE FEES WERE PAID.

PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE ON APRIL 26, 1960, OF THE REGULATION CITED BY YOU, REIMBURSEMENT FOR FEES INCIDENT TO QUALIFICATION BY A PROFESSIONAL SPECIALTY BOARD WAS ALLOWED, ALONG WITH ANY REQUIRED TRAVEL EXPENSES, ON THE BASIS THAT THEY WERE NECESSARY EXPENSES ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE GRANTED AUTHORITY TO APPEAR BEFORE THE BOARD, AND WAS MADE DEPENDENT ON THE EXISTENCE OF ORDERS DIRECTING TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE, CONTAINING EXPRESS AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXAMINATION FEES. SEE PARAGRAPHS 6 AND 7, ARMY REGULATIONS 40-219, DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1956, AND SEPTEMBER 26, 1958, WHICH SUPERSEDED DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGES 381479, DECEMBER 10, 1952, AND 477168, DECEMBER 24, 1953. IN VIEW OF THOSE REQUIREMENTS NO AUTHORITY EXISTED AT THE TIME THE FEES IN QUESTION WERE PAID FOR THEIR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT, AND SUCH REQUIREMENTS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS OVERCOME BY THE REGULATION OF APRIL 26, 1960, THE RULE BEING WELL ESTABLISHED THAT RETROSPECTIVE LAWS OR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS CREATING ANY OBLIGATION WITH RESPECT TO PAST TRANSACTIONS ARE INVALID. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 339 AND 31 ID. 619.

SINCE THE RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXAMINATION FEES IN QUESTION, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 7, 1962, IS SUSTAINED.