B-151347, MAY 7, 1963

B-151347: May 7, 1963

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SUCH LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN LETTER OF JULY 6. ADVISING YOU THAT WE HAD NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS BELIEVED DUE INCIDENT TO YOUR MILITARY SERVICE FROM WHICH YOU WERE DISCHARGED ON JULY 7. YOU STATE IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "* * * I HAVE BEEN SINCE 1946 TRYING TO GET SOME BACK PAY FROM THE U.S. ALL ACCOUNTS WHATEVER IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED. YOU WERE ADVISED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN LETTER OF JULY 6. THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL APRIL 30. CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS BARRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1940 ACT. WHILE AN EARLIER INQUIRY FROM YOU CONCERNING AN OTHERWISE UNIDENTIFIED CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE.

B-151347, MAY 7, 1963

TO MR. GARNETT KEYS:

YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 5, 1963, ADDRESSED TO THE HONORABLE JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HAS BEEN RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE FOR REPLY. SUCH LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN LETTER OF JULY 6, 1962, ADVISING YOU THAT WE HAD NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS BELIEVED DUE INCIDENT TO YOUR MILITARY SERVICE FROM WHICH YOU WERE DISCHARGED ON JULY 7, 1946.

YOU STATE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * I HAVE BEEN SINCE 1946 TRYING TO GET SOME BACK PAY FROM THE U.S. ARMY. 15 MONTHS TO BE EXACT. I FILED THIS CLAIM IN 1946. I GOT THE CARD GIVING ME CLAIM NUMBER. I NEVER HEARD ANY MORE FROM THEM. SO LAST YEAR I WROTE THE V.A. IN WASHINGTON, THEY IN TURN SENT IT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THEY REFUSE TO ACT ON THIS BECAUSE THEY SAID I DIDN-T FILE IT SOON ENOUGH AFTER HOSTILITIES CEASED. * * *.'

31 U.S.C. 71 PROVIDES THAT ALL CLAIMS AND DEMANDS WHATEVER BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST IT, AND ALL ACCOUNTS WHATEVER IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED, EITHER AS DEBTOR OR CREDITOR, SHALL BE SETTLED AND ADJUSTED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A PROVIDES THAT ANY CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES (WITH EXCEPTIONS NOT MATERIAL HERE) COGNIZABLE BY THIS OFFICE UNDER SECTION 71 SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY SHALL BE RECEIVED HERE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED.

YOU WERE ADVISED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN LETTER OF JULY 6, 1962, THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL APRIL 30, 1962, AND THAT SINCE MORE THAN 10 YEARS HAD ELAPSED SINCE THE DATE YOUR CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED, CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS BARRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1940 ACT. WHILE AN EARLIER INQUIRY FROM YOU CONCERNING AN OTHERWISE UNIDENTIFIED CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1948, THAT NEITHER THIS OFFICE NOR THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE HAD ANY RECORD OF THE CLAIM TO WHICH YOU REFERRED. NOTHING FURTHER WAS HEARD FROM YOU UNTIL 1962.

THE RECEIPT OF A CLAIM BY SOME AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT OTHER THAN THIS OFFICE DOES NOT PREVENT THE STATUTORY TIME FOR FILING FROM EXPIRING. HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY THE 1940 ACT IS NOT A MERE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS BUT IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO HAVE CLAIMS CONSIDERED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION BARTLESVILLE ZINC COMPANY V. MELLON, 56 F.2D 154, AND CARPENTER V. UNITED STATES, 56 F.2D 828. NO EXCEPTIONS MAY BE MADE TO THE STATUTE NOR MAY ANY EXTENSIONS OF TIME WITHIN WHICH CLAIMS MAY BE FILED BE GRANTED BY OUR OFFICE. SINCE MORE THAN 10 YEARS HAD ELAPSED SINCE YOUR CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED, WE ARE PRECLUDED BY THE BARRING ACT FROM CONSIDERING IT.