B-153748, APR. 7, 1964

B-153748: Apr 7, 1964

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: WE HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BY THE HONORABLE CARLETON J. MARGULIES WAS SEPARATED BY REDUCTION-IN-FORCE FROM HIS WAGE BOARD POSITION WG-6. HE WAS REEMPLOYED IN A WAGE BOARD POSITION W-06 AT PLATTSBURGH. HE WAS ADVISED THAT HIS RATE OF PAY HAD BEEN IMPROPERLY ESTABLISHED AT THE RATE OF $2.53 PER HOUR. BECAUSE THE REGULATIONS DID NOT PERMIT AN EMPLOYEE REINSTATED AFTER A BREAK IN SERVICE TO RECEIVE A SALARY RATE IN EXCESS OF THAT ESTABLISHED FOR THE POSITION IN WHICH HE WAS PLACED. THAT RATE WAS $2.17 PER HOUR AS INCREASED ON MAY 13. HIS COMPENSATION WAS RECOMPUTED UPON THE FOREGOING RATES RESULTING IN THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT SET OUT ABOVE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY WAS ENCOUNTERED IN THE INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AFM 40-1.

B-153748, APR. 7, 1964

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

WE HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BY THE HONORABLE CARLETON J. KING, MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, TO REVIEW THE INDEBTEDNESS OF MR. SALOMON Z. MARGULIES, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, PLATTSBURGH AIR FORCE BASE, NEW YORK, BECAUSE OF A PURPORTED OVERPAYMENT OF COMPENSATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,341.35.

REPORTS FROM YOUR DEPARTMENT SHOW THAT MR. MARGULIES WAS SEPARATED BY REDUCTION-IN-FORCE FROM HIS WAGE BOARD POSITION WG-6, STEP 2, $2.53 PER HOUR AT MITCHELL AIR FORCE BASE, NEW YORK, UPON DEACTIVATION OF THAT BASE. SUBSEQUENTLY, ON JULY 5, 1961, HE WAS REEMPLOYED IN A WAGE BOARD POSITION W-06 AT PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, AT SAME RATE OF COMPENSATION HE RECEIVED IN HIS PRIOR POSITION, NAMELY $2.53 PER HOUR. ON JULY 16, 1963, HE WAS ADVISED THAT HIS RATE OF PAY HAD BEEN IMPROPERLY ESTABLISHED AT THE RATE OF $2.53 PER HOUR, BECAUSE THE REGULATIONS DID NOT PERMIT AN EMPLOYEE REINSTATED AFTER A BREAK IN SERVICE TO RECEIVE A SALARY RATE IN EXCESS OF THAT ESTABLISHED FOR THE POSITION IN WHICH HE WAS PLACED. THAT RATE WAS $2.17 PER HOUR AS INCREASED ON MAY 13, 1962, TO $2.24 PER HOUR AND FURTHER INCREASED TO $2.32 PER HOUR ON MAY 26, 1963. HIS COMPENSATION WAS RECOMPUTED UPON THE FOREGOING RATES RESULTING IN THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT SET OUT ABOVE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY WAS ENCOUNTERED IN THE INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AFM 40-1, AF P9.7, PARAGRAPH 12, PARTICULARLY SUBPARAGRAPH B./10). MR. MARGULIES CONTENDS THAT SUBPARAGRAPH B./10) THEREOF APPLIES TO HIS CASE AND PERMITS PAYMENT OF THE $2.53 RATE.

AFTER CAREFULLY REVIEWING THE MATTER, INCLUDING THE FILE SUBMITTED BY CONGRESSMAN KING, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE ORIGINAL INTERPRETATION BY THE FIELD INSTALLATION CONCERNED WHICH RESULTED IN INITIALLY FIXING MR. MARGULIES' COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $2.53 PER HOUR WAS NOT UNREASONABLE UNDER THE PREVAILING CIRCUMSTANCES. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND AS ACTION WAS TAKEN ON JULY 20, 1963, TO PLACE THE EMPLOYEE IN THE PROPER SALARY RATE AS DETERMINED BY HIGHER AUTHORITY, THE INDEBTEDNESS BECAUSE OF SUCH PURPORTED OVERPAYMENT SHOULD BE CANCELED AND REFUND MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE OF ANY AMOUNTS COLLECTED FOR APPLICATION THERETO.