B-163992, SEPT. 3, 1968

B-163992: Sep 3, 1968

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FRED MOORE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 18. WAS FIRST RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON AUGUST 25. THE CLAIM AND SUPPORTING PAPERS WERE RETURNED TO HIM WITH A COPY OF THAT ACT BY LETTER OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED NOVEMBER 5. YOU EXPRESS THE HOPE THAT WE WILL RECONSIDER HIS CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF THE FACT THAT HE DID FILE A CLAIM WITHIN THE REQUIRED TIME PERIOD WHICH WAS NEVER ACTED UPON BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THE 1940 BARRING ACT PROVIDES THAT UNLESS CLAIMS COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ARE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIMS FIRST ACCRUED. THE FACT THAT A CLAIM MAY HAVE BEEN FILED WITH ANOTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY DOES NOT CHANGE THE OPERATION OF THE ACT.

B-163992, SEPT. 3, 1968

TO MR. FRED MOORE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 18, 1968, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. JOSEPH R. BURNETT, 3615 PIN OAK COURTS, LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA 70602, FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, TO FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN FROM KOREA BY CANADIAN-PACIFIC AIRLINES DURING DECEMBER 1952.

MR. BURNETT'S CLAIM DATED APRIL 26, 1965, WAS FIRST RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON AUGUST 25, 1965, BY REFERENCE FROM THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, 237, THE CLAIM AND SUPPORTING PAPERS WERE RETURNED TO HIM WITH A COPY OF THAT ACT BY LETTER OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED NOVEMBER 5, 1965.

THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, PROVIDES THAT:

"EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND * * * AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE * * * SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM * * * SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED * * *.'

MR. BURNETT'S CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED UPON HIS ARRIVAL AT FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, IN DECEMBER 1952 AND THE LIMITATION PERIOD ESTABLISHED BY THE 1940 ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 205 OF THE SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' CIVIL RELIEF ACT OF 1940, CH. 888, 54 STAT. 1181, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C. APP. 525, BEGAN TO RUN ON JANUARY 9, 1953, THE INDICATED DATE OF HIS SEPARATION FROM MILITARY SERVICE.

YOU CERTIFY THAT ON JANUARY 28, 1953, MR. C. W. GABBERT, THEN CALCASIEU PARISH SERVICE OFFICER, SINCE RETIRED, WROTE A LETTER ON BEHALF OF MR. BURNETT TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY CLAIMS DIVISION MAKING CLAIM FOR THE TRAVEL PAY IN QUESTION. YOU EXPRESS THE HOPE THAT WE WILL RECONSIDER HIS CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF THE FACT THAT HE DID FILE A CLAIM WITHIN THE REQUIRED TIME PERIOD WHICH WAS NEVER ACTED UPON BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

THE 1940 BARRING ACT PROVIDES THAT UNLESS CLAIMS COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ARE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIMS FIRST ACCRUED, THEY SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED. THE FACT THAT A CLAIM MAY HAVE BEEN FILED WITH ANOTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY DOES NOT CHANGE THE OPERATION OF THE ACT.

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, WAS TO RELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NECESSITY OF RETAINING AND GOING BACK OVER OLD RECORDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SETTLING STALE CLAIMS. NO MATTER HOW MERITORIOUS A CLAIM MAY BE, THIS OFFICE MAY MAKE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE STATUTE NOR MAY ANY EXTENSION OF TIME BE GRANTED WITHIN WHICH CLAIMS MAY BE FILED IN THIS OFFICE. MR. BURNETT'S CLAIM, WHICH ACCRUED NO LATER THAN HIS DISCHARGE FROM MILITARY SERVICE, WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL 10 YEARS FOLLOWING THAT DATE AND CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS FORBIDDEN BY LAW.