B-157436, SEP. 7, 1965

B-157436: Sep 7, 1965

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THE COMMISSION'S RESPONSE THERETO WAS UNFAVORABLE. IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSAL IT IS STATED THAT THE COMBINING OF THE FORMS WOULD REDUCE THE CONFUSION. THE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IN PROCESSING CLAIMS FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE SET FORTH IN CHAPTER 2500 OF TITLE 4 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES. WHICH ARE BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. THE AGENCY WILL REQUEST THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR. IF NO BENEFICIARY WAS DESIGNATED. WHEN THERE IS NO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR SURVIVING SPOUSE. THE AGENCY WILL RECEIVE CLAIMS. BECAUSE CONSIDERABLY LESS INFORMATION IS USUALLY REQUIRED TO MAKE A SETTLEMENT WITH A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR A SURVIVING SPOUSE THAN IS REQUIRED TO MAKE A SETTLEMENT WITH OTHERS WHO MIGHT HAVE A CLAIM ON THE UNPAID COMPENSATION.

B-157436, SEP. 7, 1965

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1965, REFERENCE OIR 255:KLW, THE HEAD, EMPLOYMENT SYSTEMS BRANCH, OFFICE OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, SUBMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION A PROPOSAL THAT STANDARD FORM 1153, CLAIM OF DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY AND/OR SURVIVING SPOUSE FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, BE COMBINED WITH STANDARD FORM 1155, CLAIM FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE (NO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR SURVIVING SPOUSE).

THE PROPOSAL, WHICH APPARENTLY ORIGINATED WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL AMMUNITION DEPOT, HAWTHORNE, NEVADA, UNDER THE SELECTIVE CURTAILMENT OF REPORTS AND PAPERWORK PROJECT, ORIGINALLY INCLUDED STANDARD FORM 2800 AND FORM FE-6 PERTAINING TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT PROGRAM AND THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM BOTH ADMINISTERED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE COMMISSION'S RESPONSE THERETO WAS UNFAVORABLE. WE SHALL CONSIDER THE PROPOSAL ONLY AS TO STANDARD FORMS 1153 AND 1155.

IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSAL IT IS STATED THAT THE COMBINING OF THE FORMS WOULD REDUCE THE CONFUSION, DOUBT AND EMBARRASSMENT TO BOTH THE APPLICANT AND THE COUNSELOR, REDUCE THE TIME REQUIRED TO REVIEW EACH REGULATION ON EACH APPLICATION, MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO USE LOWER GRADE LEVEL HELP, REDUCE THE REQUIRED FILING SPACE, IMPROVE ACCURACY AND PRODUCE MORE TIMELY RESULTS.

THE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IN PROCESSING CLAIMS FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION OF DECEASED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE SET FORTH IN CHAPTER 2500 OF TITLE 4 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES. THESE PROCEDURES, WHICH ARE BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 61F-61K, REQUIRE, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT, AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE DEATH OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, THE AGENCY WILL REQUEST THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR, IF NO BENEFICIARY WAS DESIGNATED, THE SURVIVING SPOUSE TO EXECUTE A STANDARD FORM 1153. WHEN THERE IS NO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR SURVIVING SPOUSE, THE AGENCY WILL RECEIVE CLAIMS, IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE ESTABLISHED IN 5 U.S.C. 61F, ON A STANDARD FORM 1155. BECAUSE CONSIDERABLY LESS INFORMATION IS USUALLY REQUIRED TO MAKE A SETTLEMENT WITH A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OR A SURVIVING SPOUSE THAN IS REQUIRED TO MAKE A SETTLEMENT WITH OTHERS WHO MIGHT HAVE A CLAIM ON THE UNPAID COMPENSATION, THE STANDARD FORM 1153, COULD, IN ESSENCE, BE DESCRIBED AS A SHORT FORM STANDARD FORM 1155.

WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE HAS DESIGNATED A BENEFICIARY AND WHETHER HE IS SURVIVED BY A SPOUSE GENERALLY ARE ASCERTAINABLE FROM THE AGENCY RECORDS. THE TITLES OF THE FORMS CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY STATE THEIR PURPOSES AND LEAVE LITTLE, IF ANY, MARGIN FOR THE EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT. THEREFORE, WE DO NOT SEE THAT THE USE OF THE TWO FORMS ACTUALLY RESULTS IN ANY APPRECIABLE AMOUNT OF CONFUSION, DOUBT, OR DELAY ON THE PART OF THE AGENCY PERSONNEL, AND IT SEEMS APPARENT THAT THE APPLICANT WHO IS FURNISHED A FORM REQUIRING ONLY THE INFORMATION PERTINENT TO HIS CLAIM ENCOUNTERS LESS DIFFICULTY IN ITS EXECUTION THAN HE WOULD OTHERWISE. MOREOVER, AS A RULE ONLY ONE FORM IS FILED IN EACH CASE, HENCE, WE SEE NO MATERIAL SAVING OF FILING SPACE.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE ARE UNABLE TO GIVE FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION TO THE PROPOSAL.