B-163495, DEC. 23, 1968

B-163495: Dec 23, 1968

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NELSON'S SALARY FOR THE GRADE GS-3 POSITION TO WHICH SHE WAS APPOINTED ON JUNE 30. WAS ESTABLISHED AT STEP 10. APPARENTLY ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN GRADE GS-7 SHE WAS APPOINTED AT THE TOP STEP OF GRADE GS-3. STEP 7 WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE RATE FOR GRADE GS-3 MRS. NELSON WAS NOT ENTITLED TO A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM STEP OF GRADE GS-3 AT THE TIME OF HER APPOINTMENT ON JUNE 30. NELSON WAS OVERPAID COMPENSATION IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $2.

B-163495, DEC. 23, 1968

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE REFER TO THE INDEBTEDNESS OF MRS. SARA B. NELSON IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,669.12 ARISING FROM OVERPAYMENTS OF SALARY DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 30, 1965, THROUGH OCTOBER 21, 1967, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, WHICH HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF PRIVATE RELIEF BILL H.R. 18774, 90TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION.

IN JUNE OF 1965 MRS. NELSON APPLIED FOR A POSITION WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. HER APPLICATION FORM CONTAINED THE INFORMATION THAT SHE FORMERLY HAD SERVED AS A SENIOR STENOGRAPHER, GRADE 7, WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. ON THE BASIS OF SUCH INFORMATION AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE RULE SET FORTH IN SECTION 531.203 (C) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REGULATIONS, MRS. NELSON'S SALARY FOR THE GRADE GS-3 POSITION TO WHICH SHE WAS APPOINTED ON JUNE 30, 1965, WAS ESTABLISHED AT STEP 10, $5,220 PER ANNUM. THE APPOINTMENT DOCUMENT (STANDARD FORM 50) SHOWS THE BASIS FOR THAT SALARY AS "PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT AT GRADE 7, $1,630 PER ANNUM.' APPARENTLY ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN GRADE GS-7 SHE WAS APPOINTED AT THE TOP STEP OF GRADE GS-3.

IN OCTOBER 1967 THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DISCOVERED THAT MRS. NELSON'S PRIOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE ACTUALLY HAD BEEN WITH THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AT R.O. STEP 7, RATHER THAN GRADE GS-7. SINCE THE SALARY RATE FOR R.O. STEP 7 WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE RATE FOR GRADE GS-3 MRS. NELSON WAS NOT ENTITLED TO A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM STEP OF GRADE GS-3 AT THE TIME OF HER APPOINTMENT ON JUNE 30, 1965. AS THE RESULT OF SUCH ERROR MRS. NELSON WAS OVERPAID COMPENSATION IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $2,669.12.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY PUBLIC LAW 90-616 OF OCTOBER 21, 1968, 82 STAT. 1212, 5 U.S.C. 5584, AND UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS SURROUNDING THE OVERPAYMENTS OF SALARY, WE HEREBY WAIVE THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST SARA B. NELSON. THE DEPARTMENT SHOULD INFORM MRS. NELSON OF OUR ACTION.

OUR RECORD INDICATES THAT AS OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1968, NO PORTION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS HAS BEEN REPAID BY MRS. NELSON. HOWEVER, IF ANY PART HAS BEEN REFUNDED BY THE EMPLOYEE, SHE SHOULD BE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE ACT SHE HAS TWO YEARS FROM THE DATE OF THE WAIVER IN WHICH TO FILE CLAIM FOR REFUND OF ANY AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM HER BECAUSE OF THE SALARY OVERPAYMENTS.