B-153102, FEB. 11, 1964

B-153102: Feb 11, 1964

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SPRINGER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21. CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $195.73 REPRESENTING PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR 12 DAYS' ACCRUED LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THAT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY ON AUGUST 22. REQUEST FOR PAYMENT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE AMOUNT OF $242.14 BY LETTER TO YOU DATED JUNE 20. AS NO RESPONSE WAS RECEIVED FROM YOU TO THAT OR FOLLOW-UP LETTERS. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 1. AFTER DEVELOPMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THE AMOUNT OF YOUR DEBT WAS REDUCED TO $195.73 AS IS EXPLAINED IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION'S LETTER TO YOU DATED NOVEMBER 8.

B-153102, FEB. 11, 1964

TO MR. BUEL T. SPRINGER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1963, AND ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $195.73 REPRESENTING PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR 12 DAYS' ACCRUED LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THAT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY ON AUGUST 22, 1961, AS A WARRANT OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PURSUANT TO AN EXAMINATION OF YOUR MILITARY PAY ACCOUNT, REQUEST FOR PAYMENT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE AMOUNT OF $242.14 BY LETTER TO YOU DATED JUNE 20, 1962. AS NO RESPONSE WAS RECEIVED FROM YOU TO THAT OR FOLLOW-UP LETTERS, THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 1, 1962, AS AN ADMINISTRATIVELY UNCOLLECTIBLE INDEBTEDNESS. IN YOUR REPLY OF MAY 24, 1963, TO OUR COMMUNICATIONS YOU ALLEGED CERTAIN ERRORS IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS, AND AFTER DEVELOPMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THE AMOUNT OF YOUR DEBT WAS REDUCED TO $195.73 AS IS EXPLAINED IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION'S LETTER TO YOU DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1963.

YOU STATE THERE IS STILL TIME CHARGED TO YOU AS LEAVE WHICH YOU FEEL IS NOT JUSTIFIED, AND THAT DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 21, 1954, THROUGH JANUARY 6, 1955, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM CAMP CHAFFEE, ARKANSAS, AND YOU ARRIVED AT FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON, ON JANUARY 3, 1955, WHEREAS IN THE CLAIMS DIVISION'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1963, IT IS STATED THAT YOU ARRIVED AT FORT LEWIS BY RAIL ON JANUARY 6, 1955. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE DATE OF YOUR REPORTING AT FORT LEWIS SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS JANUARY 3, 1955, AND THAT YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED 10 DAYS AS TRAVEL TIME BY AUTOMOBILE RATHER THAN THE 4 DAYS ALLOWED AS TRAVEL TIME BY RAIL, THEREBY MAKING ONLY 3 DAYS CHARGEABLE TO LEAVE INSTEAD OF THE 12 DAYS CHARGED IN THE COMPUTATION OF YOUR LEAVE ACCOUNT. YOU ALSO STATE THAT THIS MATTER WAS BROUGHT UP AND A RULING IN YOUR FAVOR WAS MADE BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE FAR EAST. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE INFORMATION FURNISHED US BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DOES NOT SHOW ANY RULING OF THAT NATURE OR INDICATE A BASIS UPON WHICH SUCH A RULING COULD BE PROPERLY MADE.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 290, HEADQUARTERS 5TH ARMORED DIVISION, CAMP CHAFFEE, ARKANSAS, DATED DECEMBER 15, 1954, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 21, 1954, ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO THE OVERSEAS REPLACEMENT STATION AT FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON, WHERE YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT ON JANUARY 6, 1955 (PRIOR TO 1700 HOURS), FOR THE JANUARY SHIPMENT TO THE ARMED FORCES FAR EAST. THE ORDERS PROVIDED FOR 6 DAYS' DELAY EN ROUTE CHARGEABLE AS LEAVE.

IN THE PREPARATION OF THE ABOVE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS IT APPEARS THAT TRAVEL TIME WAS COMPUTED FOR TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 35-3085, DATED APRIL 1, 1953, WHICH PROVIDED A TRAVEL RATE OF 250 MILES A DAY PLUS A DAY FOR A FRACTION OF 250 MILES THAT IS 125 MILES OR GREATER "WHEN TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE.' THE REGULATION FURTHER PROVIDES THAT THE COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL TIME BY RAIL WILL BE GOVERNED BY THE APPLICABLE SCHEDULE, AND TIME DESIRED FOR TRAVEL OVER AND ABOVE THE ALLOWABLE TRAVEL TIME WILL BE AUTHORIZED ONLY AS LEAVE OR DELAY EN ROUTE CHARGEABLE AS LEAVE.

YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE COPY OF D.O. VOUCHER NO. 805462, FEBRUARY 1955 ACCOUNTS OF COLONEL J. M. RUDDY, FC, FORWARDED TO YOU WITH OUR CLAIMS DIVISION'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1963. YOU WILL NOTE THAT THE VOUCHER, WHICH BEARS YOUR PERSONAL CERTIFICATION MADE JANUARY 27, 1955, AS TO ITS CORRECTNESS, INDICATES THAT YOU DEPARTED CAMP CHAFFEE ON DECEMBER 21, 1954, AND PERFORMED THE TRAVEL TO FORT LEWIS, A DISTANCE OF 2,413 MILES, BY RAIL INSTEAD OF BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND THAT YOU ARRIVED IN FORT LEWIS AT 1600 HOURS ON JANUARY 6, 1955. A CHECK OF THE MORNING REPORT ENTRIES OF THE OVERSEAS REPLACEMENT STATION AT FORT LEWIS LIKEWISE SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED AT THAT STATION ON JANUARY 6, 1955. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE DISPROVING SUCH INFORMATION OF RECORD, AND SINCE THE ABOVE-CITED REGULATION IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRAVEL CLEARLY AUTHORIZED THE LONGER TRAVEL TIME FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE ONLY WHEN THE TRAVEL WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY SUCH MEANS, THE PRESENT RECORD AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR COMPUTING THE LEAVE CHARGEABLE TO YOU DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 21, 1954, TO JANUARY 6, 1955, ON EITHER THE PREMISE THAT YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL INVOLVED BY PRIVATE CONVEYANCE OR THAT YOU REPORTED AT THE FORT LEWIS REPLACEMENT STATION PRIOR TO JANUARY 6, 1955.

IT APPEARS THAT THE STATEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS IN THE CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1963, IS CORRECT, AND WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE RECORDS DID NOT REFLECT THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF LEAVE STANDING TO YOUR CREDIT AT THE TIME OF YOUR RELEASE IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT BOUND OR ESTOPPED BY AN ERRONEOUS PAYMENT MADE THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR BY ITS OFFICERS, WHETHER MADE UNDER MISTAKE OF FACT OR MISTAKE OF LAW. PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS ACQUIRE NO RIGHT TO THEM BUT ARE LIABLE IN EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE TO REFUND THEM. SEE 29 COMP. GEN. 520.

PAYMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND FORWARDED TO THE U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C.

A COPY OF YOUR MILITARY LEAVE RECORD FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1, 1954, TO AUGUST 22, 1961, UPON WHICH THE ORIGINAL STATEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS FOR ACCRUED LEAVE WAS BASED, IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.