B-151384, MAY 29, 1963

B-151384: May 29, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

NINA INGA LEMAS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 11. WHO WAS DISCHARGED SEPTEMBER 17. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT 43 YEARS HAD ELAPSED SINCE THE DATE OF DISCHARGE AND THAT WHERE A LONG PERIOD OF TIME HAS ELAPSED BETWEEN THE DATE OF DISCHARGE AND THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF A CLAIM ARISING THEREFROM. DURING WHICH PERIOD THE RECORDS NECESSARY TO EITHER JUSTIFY OR REFUTE A CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW. THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT THE MATTER WAS SETTLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF LAW. WHICH WOULD HAVE SHOWN THE NAME OF THE ALLOTTEE AND CHECK INFORMATION. HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 7. ARE NOT IN EXISTENCE.

B-151384, MAY 29, 1963

TO MRS. NINA INGA LEMAS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 11, 1963, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 4, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU FOR WORLD WAR I ALLOTMENT ADJUSTMENT FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 1919, INCIDENT TO THE ARMY SERVICE OF YOUR HUSBAND, ROBERT INGE, PRIVATE, COMPANY L, 37TH INFANTRY, WHO WAS DISCHARGED SEPTEMBER 17, 1919. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT 43 YEARS HAD ELAPSED SINCE THE DATE OF DISCHARGE AND THAT WHERE A LONG PERIOD OF TIME HAS ELAPSED BETWEEN THE DATE OF DISCHARGE AND THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF A CLAIM ARISING THEREFROM, DURING WHICH PERIOD THE RECORDS NECESSARY TO EITHER JUSTIFY OR REFUTE A CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW, THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT THE MATTER WAS SETTLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF LAW. YOU STATE THAT YOU DO NOT "CONSIDER THAT A VERY GOOD REASON FOR NOT SENDING ME WHAT THE GOVERNMENT OWES ME.'

CLASS A ALLOTMENT RECORDS FOR THE WORLD WAR I PERIOD, WHICH WOULD HAVE SHOWN THE NAME OF THE ALLOTTEE AND CHECK INFORMATION, HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1943, CH. 192, 57 STAT. 380, 44 U.S.C. 366, ET SEQ. THEREFORE,RECORDS FROM WHICH THE VALIDITY OF YOUR CLAIM COULD BE DETERMINED AND WHETHER SUCH CLAIM HAS BEEN PAID, ARE NOT IN EXISTENCE, AND, AS YOU WERE INFORMED IN OFFICE LETTER DATED APRIL 4, 1963, THERE IS A PRESUMPTION THAT THE MATTER WAS SETTLED ACCORDING TO LAW.

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE TRANSACTION FROM WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS SAID TO ARISE TOOK PLACE NEARLY 44 YEARS AGO, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE NO RIGHT TO CONSIDER AND SETTLE STALE CLAIMS, NOR ARE THEY AUTHORIZED TO DIRECT PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT BASED SOLELY ON STATEMENTS FROM CLAIMANTS WHICH CANNOT BE VERIFIED OR CORROBORATED BY GOVERNMENT RECORDS. THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE VALIDITY AND NONPAYMENT OF A CLAIM HAVE CONSISTENTLY REFUSED TO ALLOW A CLAIM WHERE THE CLAIMANT HAS SLEPT ON HIS RIGHTS FOR A LONG PERIOD OF YEARS. SEE 4 COMP. DEC. 276; 5 COMP. DEC. 281, 285; AND 4 COMP. GEN. 805.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLAIM BEING FILED PROMPTLY, THERE IS ALSO FOR CONSIDERATION THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, WHICH PROVIDES THAT "EVERY CLAIM * * * AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE * * * SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM * * * SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED.'

SINCE YOUR CLAIM, RECEIVED MARCH 21, 1963, WAS THE FIRST CLAIM FROM YOU WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER SUCH CLAIM.