B-164623, AUG. 14, 1968

B-164623: Aug 14, 1968

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FRANCES LEE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14. IN A PRIOR COMMUNICATION YOU STATED THAT YOUR HUSBAND ENTERED THE ARMY IN JUNE 1942 AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING FEBRUARY THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR FIRST ALLOTMENT CHECK. YOU CONTEND THAT NO ALLOTMENT WAS PAID TO YOU FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1943 AND SAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TRYING TO OBTAIN THIS PAYMENT FOR 25 YEARS. YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 20. SINCE SUCH CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER IT FIRST ACCRUED. EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY OUR OFFICE (WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT HERE APPLICABLE) IS "FOREVER BARRED" UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED.

B-164623, AUG. 14, 1968

TO MRS. FRANCES LEE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1968 -- ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND FORWARDED HERE FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION AS A MATTER UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE -- CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $350 REPRESENTING ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU INCIDENT TO THE MILITARY SERVICE OF YOUR HUSBAND, SPENCER J. SAMS, DURING WORLD WAR II.

IN A PRIOR COMMUNICATION YOU STATED THAT YOUR HUSBAND ENTERED THE ARMY IN JUNE 1942 AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING FEBRUARY THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR FIRST ALLOTMENT CHECK. YOU CONTEND THAT NO ALLOTMENT WAS PAID TO YOU FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1943 AND SAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TRYING TO OBTAIN THIS PAYMENT FOR 25 YEARS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 20, 1967. SINCE SUCH CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER IT FIRST ACCRUED, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, PURSUANT TO LAW, RETURNED THE CLAIM TO YOU TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT, EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY OUR OFFICE (WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT HERE APPLICABLE) IS "FOREVER BARRED" UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED. SINCE YOUR CLAIM APPARENTLY ACCRUED NOT LATER THAN FEBRUARY 1943, AND SINCE IT WAS NOT RECEIVED HERE UNTIL NOVEMBER 20, 1967, OVER 24 YEARS LATER, WE ARE PRECLUDED BY LAW FROM CONSIDERING THE CLAIM AND NO FURTHER ACTION CAN BE TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE. WHILE YOU MAY HAVE PURSUED THIS MATTER WITH THE ARMY OR SOME OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WE MUST ADVISE YOU THAT THE FILING OF A CLAIM IN ANY OTHER OFFICE DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THAT STATUTE. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 267. NO MATTER HOW MERITORIOUS A BARRED CLAIM MAY BE, WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE LAW TO CONSIDER AND AUTHORIZE PAYMENT THEREOF.

MOREOVER, EVEN IF YOUR HUSBAND'S MILITARY ALLOTMENT RECORDS WERE NOW AVAILABLE -- PRESUMABLY SUCH RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW (SEE CHAPTER 10, TITLE 44, U.S. CODE) -- AND IT COULD BE ESTABLISHED THAT PAYMENT OF THE ALLOTMENT WAS MADE BY CHECK OR CHECKS FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1943 WHICH WERE NOT CASHED BY YOU, CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH CHECKS WOULD ALSO BE BARRED BECAUSE YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN 6 YEARS AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK OR CHECKS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1926, CH. 650, 44 STAT. 761, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 122.