B-152284, SEP. 18, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 281

B-152284: Sep 18, 1963

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- CONTAINING ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON A PREVIOUS MONTH'S DA FORM 1379 IS ACCEPTABLE FOR PAY PURPOSES WHERE THE CORRECTIVE ENTRY IS PROMPTLY MADE AND IS SUPPORTED BY A FULL AND COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF THE CAUSE OF THE ERROR. PAYMENT MAY NOT BE MADE UNDER SUPPLEMENTAL PAYROLLS TO AN OFFICER FOR ATTENDANCE AT TRAINING ASSEMBLIES WHICH WERE RECORDED 4 MONTHS SUBSEQUENT TO THE TRAINING WITHOUT EXPLANATION FOR THE DELAYED RECORDING. IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AS SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO VALIDATE PAYMENT OF THE INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING. A RESERVE OFFICER WHO ATTENDED INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING ASSEMBLIES UNDER VERBAL ORDERS WHICH WERE CONFIRMED AFTER AN UNREASONABLE DELAY AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION MAY NOT BE PAID FOR THE ASSEMBLIES HE ATTENDED FROM THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS.

B-152284, SEP. 18, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 281

PAY - DRILL - TRAINING ASSEMBLIES - EVIDENCE. PAY - DRILL - TRAINING ASSEMBLIES - AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENT ALTHOUGH A DA FORM 1379--- UNITED STATES ARMY RESERVE UNIT RECORD OF RESERVE TRAINING--- CONTAINING ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON A PREVIOUS MONTH'S DA FORM 1379 IS ACCEPTABLE FOR PAY PURPOSES WHERE THE CORRECTIVE ENTRY IS PROMPTLY MADE AND IS SUPPORTED BY A FULL AND COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF THE CAUSE OF THE ERROR, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE MADE UNDER SUPPLEMENTAL PAYROLLS TO AN OFFICER FOR ATTENDANCE AT TRAINING ASSEMBLIES WHICH WERE RECORDED 4 MONTHS SUBSEQUENT TO THE TRAINING WITHOUT EXPLANATION FOR THE DELAYED RECORDING, OR CONTEMPORANEOUS CORROBORATING EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CORRECTION, THE UNEXPLAINED CORRECTION, NEITHER INCREASING NOR DECREASING THE SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS OF THE OFFICER, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AS SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO VALIDATE PAYMENT OF THE INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING. A RESERVE OFFICER WHO ATTENDED INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING ASSEMBLIES UNDER VERBAL ORDERS WHICH WERE CONFIRMED AFTER AN UNREASONABLE DELAY AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION MAY NOT BE PAID FOR THE ASSEMBLIES HE ATTENDED FROM THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS, THE DELAYED WRITTEN ORDERS CONSTITUTING RETROACTIVE ORDERS ARE WITHOUT EFFECT TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE VESTED RIGHTS OF THE OFFICER, AND ARE NOT PROPER ASSIGNMENT ORDERS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT FOR THE ASSEMBLIES ATTENDED FROM THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS.

TO MAJOR J. R. NOGUERA, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1963:

BY INDORSEMENT DATED AUGUST 13, 1963, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE TRANSMITTED HERE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1963, SUBMITTING TWO SUPPLEMENTAL INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING ARMY RESERVE PAYROLLS, WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS, COVERING THE PERIODS JANUARY 1 TO MARCH 31, 1961, AND APRIL 1 TO JUNE 30, 1961, FOR O- 5210214, FOR INACTIVE DUTY ASSEMBLIES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ATTENDED ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO LIEUTENANT DANIEL J. RYAN, BY HIM DURING THOSE PERIODS. YOUR REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED D.O. NUMBER DO-A-722 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

IT IS STATED IN THE SUPPORTING PAPERS THAT ON JANUARY 18, 1961, LIEUTENANT RYAN REQUESTED ASSIGNMENT TO COMPANY A, SECOND ENGINEER TRAINING BATTALION, 2420TH ERTC, WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, UPON RELEASE FROM ASSIGNMENT FOR ANNUAL TRAINING WITH XXI UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS CON.GP., INDIANTOWN GAP MILITARY RESERVATION, PENNSYLVANIA; THAT THE REQUEST WAS GRANTED AND BY VERBAL ORDERS OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL ON JANUARY 18, 1961, HE WAS TRANSFERRED; THAT THESE VERBAL ORDERS OF CHANGE OF ASSIGNMENT WERE NOT REDUCED TO WRITING UNTIL THE ISSUANCE ON MAY 15, 1961, OF PARAGRAPH 88, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 95, XXI UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS, INDIANTOWN GAP MILITARY RESERVATION, PENNSYLVANIA; THAT DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 18 THROUGH MAY 15, 1961, LIEUTENANT RYAN ATTENDED RESERVE UNIT TRAINING ASSEMBLIES WITH THE PURPORTED ASSIGNED UNIT ON 11 SEPARATE DAYS, ONE ASSEMBLY BEING A MULTIPLE ASSEMBLY; THAT HIS NAME WAS RECORDED AND HIS ATTENDANCE AT RESERVE UNIT TRAINING ASSEMBLIES NOTED ON U.S. ARMY RESERVE UNIT RECORD OF RESERVE TRAINING, DA FORM 1379, FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 1961, BUT WAS OMITTED FROM THE FORMS FOR THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, MARCH AND APRIL 1961; THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 95, PARAGRAPH 88, HIS NAME AND RECORD OF ATTENDANCE WERE ENTERED FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 1961, DA FORM 1379; AND THAT HIS ATTENDANCE AT ASSEMBLIES DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, MARCH AND APRIL WAS NOT PROPERLY RECORDED UNTIL AUGUST 1961.

IN ADDITION TO THE QUESTION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYROLLS SUBMITTED, TWO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARE ASKED:

A. IS DA FORM 1379 CONTAINING ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON PREVIOUS MONTH'S DA FORM 1379 ACCEPTABLE FOR PAY PURPOSES?

B. DO WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT ORDERS, WHICH CONFIRM VERBAL ORDERS PREVIOUSLY GIVEN, CONSTITUTE PROPER ASSIGNMENT ORDERS SO AS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS?

IN YOUR LERTER YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION DATED JUNE 17, 1957, B 131458, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD:

THE ABOVE-QUOTED ARMY REGULATIONS (AR 140-185, DATED APRIL 15, 1955)REGARDING DA FORMS 1379 AND 1380 ARE SIMILAR IN MANY RESPECTS TO NATIONAL GUARD REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO NGB FORM 100 AND IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD, WITH RESPECT TO NATIONAL GUARD PERSONNEL, THAT PAYMENT ON A SUPPLEMENTAL ROLL CONTAINING DATA NOT SHOWN TO BE BASED ON A CONTEMPORANEOUS RECORD OF TRAINING, AND WHICH WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY REMARKS ON THE ORIGINAL ROLL, MAY NOT BE MADE. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 808, 29 COMP. GEN. 223, AND B-95786, DATED AUGUST 21, 1950. WE PERCEIVE NO BASIS FOR REACHING A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENT ON A SUPPLEMENTAL PAYROLL COVERING TRAINING ASSEMBLIES OF A RESERVE ORGANIZATION WHERE THE DATA SHOWN ON THAT PAYROLL IS INCONSISTENT WITH OR CONTRARY TO THE FACTS SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL PAYROLL WHICH IS BASED ON THE RECORD OF DUTY MADE AT THE TIME THE DUTY IS PERFORMED. * * *.

YOU STATE THAT THE ARMY REGULATIONS CONSIDERED IN THE ABOVE DECISION DID NOT PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CORRECTING ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON A PREVIOUS DA FORM 1379, BUT THAT SINCE JUNE 6, 1960, AR 140-185 (CURRENT AR 140-185 IS DATED APRIL 7, 1961) HAS PROVIDED FOR THE USE OF THE REMARKS SECTION OF THE CURRENT DA FORM 1379 TO RECORD ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON A PREVIOUS DA FORM 1379.

YOU ALSO CALL ATTENTION TO OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 3, 1958, B 134395, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT "ONLY ATTENDANCE PURSUANT TO PROPER ASSIGNMENT ORDERS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS ATTENDANCE WITHIN THE LANGUAGE AND INTENT OF THE REGULATIONS.' IT WAS ALSO STATED IN THIS LATTER DECISION THAT---

WRITTEN ORDERS WHICH PURPORT TO CONFIRM VERBAL ORDERS PRESUMABLY GIVEN AFTER ATTENDANCE AT THE ASSEMBLIES INVOLVED ARE OBVIOUSLY RETROACTIVE ORDERS. WE HAVE HELD GENERALLY FOR MANY YEARS THAT RETROACTIVE ORDERS ARE WITHOUT EFFECT TO EITHER INCREASE OR DECREASE VESTED RIGHTS OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL. * * *.

IN ARMY REGULATIONS 140-185, JUNE 6, 1960, IT IS PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

3. FORMS USED. A. UNIT RECORD OF RESERVE TRAINING (DA FORM 1379). SEE AR 330-26 AND SECTION II.

B. RECORD OF INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF RESERVE DUTY TRAINING (DA FORM 1380) (SEC. III).

6. PURPOSE. DA FORM 1379 (UNIT RECORD OF RESERVE TRAINING) IS USED IN ARMY RESERVE PERSONNEL ACCOUNTING AS AN EQUIVALENT DOCUMENT TO THE ACTIVE ARMY MORNING REPORT AND MONTHLY PERSONNEL ROSTERS. IT WILL BE USED---

A. TO RECORD THE AUTHORIZED ATTENDANCE OF ASSIGNED AND ATTACHED PERSONNEL AT A UNIT ASSEMBLY OR DRILL.

C. AS A SOURCE DOCUMENT FOR PREPARATION AND SUPPORT OF MILITARY PAY VOUCHERS (DA FORM 2139) AND RELATED DOCUMENTS.

D. TO TRANSMIT TO AREA MACHINE RECORDS UNITS DATA AS TO RETIREMENT POINTS EARNED, REASSIGNMENT, SEPARATIONS, MOS CHANGES, GRADE CHANGES, AND OTHER PERSONNEL DATA.

8. PREPARATION. USAR UNIT COMMANDERS WILL COMPLETE THE DA FORM 1379 RECEIVED FROM THE SERVICING MRU BY ENTERING REQUIRED DATA AS INDICATED IN PARAGRAPHS 10 THROUGH 15.

9. VERIFICATION OF ATTENDANCE. ATTENDANCE WILL BE VERIFIED AND RECORDED AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF EACH ASSEMBLY OR DRILL PERIOD (UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY AREA COMMANDERS).

10. ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL. A. ADDITIONS WILL BE LISTED ON THE FRONT OF THE FORM FOLLOWING THE LAST ENTRY OF THE MECHANICALLY PREPARED REPORT IDENTIFIED BY THE HEADING "ASSIGNED PERSONNEL.' DATA LISTED WILL INCLUDE THE NAME, GRADE, SERVICE NUMBER, BRANCH (FOR OFFICERS), DUTY MOS, LAST UNIT OF ASSIGNMENT, EFFECTIVE DATE AND AUTHORITY FOR THE CHANGE, DATE OF ENLISTMENT OR REENLISTMENT, DATE RETIREMENT YEAR ENDS, AND SUCH OTHER DATA AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY AREA COMMANDERS.

15. REMARKS (ITEM 3, DA FORM 1379). ENTER UNDER "REMARKS" THE NAME, GRADE, SERVICE NUMBER AND DATE OF ASSEMBLY AND IDENTIFY THE REASON FOR ENTRY TO RECORD---

C. ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON PREVIOUS ROSTERS. * * *.

ALTHOUGH THE REGULATIONS NOW AUTHORIZED CORRECTION OF ERRORS OF OMISSION OR COMMISSION ON DA FORM 1379 ON SUBSEQUENT FORMS, SUCH CORRECTIONS, IF UNSUPPORTED, CANNOT INCREASE OR DECREASE THE SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS OF THE PERSON AFFECTED. THE BASIC EVIDENCE OF THE RIGHT MUST HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE AT THE TIME ALLEGED, AND IT IS ONLY THE PHYSICAL ERRORS WHICH MAY BE CORRECTED. FOR EXAMPLE, IN B-131458, JUNE 17, 1957, NO CONTEMPORANEOUS RECORD WAS MADE WHICH WOULD SHOW THE ASSEMBLIES, IF ANY, ATTENDED BY THE MEMBER, NOR WAS THERE ANY INDICATION AS TO WHY THE FACT OF ATTENDANCE AT ASSEMBLIES WAS NOT RECORDED IRRESPECTIVE OF RECEIPT OF ORDERS; IN B-134395, FEBRUARY 3, 1958, ALTHOUGH A RECORD OF ATTENDANCE AT ASSEMBLIES WAS CONTEMPORANEOUSLY MADE, SUCH RECORD SHOWED THAT THE MEMBER WAS IN A "NON-PAY" STATUS, AND THE DATE OR DATES OF THE VERBAL ORDERS PURPORTED TO HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED LATER IN WRITING WERE NOT SPECIFIED OR OTHERWISE IDENTIFIED. SEE ALSO B-139870, AUGUST 13, 1959. COMPARE B 144672, MARCH 22, 1961.

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT RETROACTIVE ORDERS GENERALLY ARE WITHOUT EFFECT TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE VESTED PAY RIGHTS OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL. ALSO, IT HAS LONG BEEN THE RULE THAT VERBAL ORDERS MUST BE CONFIRMED IN WRITING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES.

IN THE PRESENT MATTER THE EXTRACT PAGE FROM SPECIAL ORDER NO. 95, DATED MAY 15, 1961, CONTAINS PARAGRAPHS CONFIRMING VERBAL ORDERS TO OTHER MEMBERS ISSUED IN MAY 1951, BUT NO REASON IS GIVEN FOR THE EXTENDED DELAY- -- FROM JANUARY TO MAY 1961--- IN THE CASE OF THIS MEMBER. FURTHERMORE, NO EXPLANATION IS GIVEN FOR THE OMISSION OF THE MEMBER'S NAME FROM DA FORM 1379 FOR THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, MARCH AND APRIL 1961, AND THE INCLUSION OF HIS NAME IN THE REPORTS FOR FEBRUARY AND MAY 1961. WHILE THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZED CORRECTIONS TO BE MADE, UNEXPLAINED CORRECTIONS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SUPPORTING EVIDENCE IN VALIDATION OF PAY AND ALLOWANCE VOUCHERS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE SUPPLEMENTARY PAYROLLS, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS, ARE BEING RETAINED HERE.

YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CANNOT BE ANSWERED WITH AN UNQUALIFIED AFFIRMATIVE OR NEGATIVE ANSWER. AS INDICATED ABOVE THE ENTRIES MUST BE SUPPORTED BY SOME CONTEMPORANEOUS CORROBORATING EVIDENCE.

HOWEVER, QUESTION A MAY BE ANSWERED AS FOLLOWS: GENERALLY, A DA FORM 1379 CONTAINING ENTRIES OF TRAINING OMITTED OR ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED ON A PREVIOUS MONTH'S DA FORM 1379 IS ACCEPTABLE FOR PAY PURPOSES WHERE THE CORRECTIVE ENTRY IS PROMPTLY MADE AND IS SUPPORTED BY A FULL AND COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF THE CAUSE OF THE ERROR. QUESTION B IS ANSWERED BY STATING THAT WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT ORDERS WHICH CONFIRM VERBAL ORDERS ACTUALLY GIVEN CONSTITUTE PROPER ASSIGNMENT ORDERS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT FOR ASSEMBLIES ATTENDED FROM THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS, PROVIDED THE VERBAL ORDERS ARE PROMPTLY CONFIRMED, OR AN EXPLANATION IS FURNISHED FOR THE DELAY IN TAKING SUCH ACTION. SEE B-125517, MARCH 30, 1956.