B-165989, FEB. 5, 1969

B-165989: Feb 5, 1969

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FOR RELIEF FROM AN INDEBTEDNESS YOU PAID THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES: "I WAS EMPLOYED BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH FROM SEPTEMBER 13. I REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED ADVANCED SICK LEAVE FOR SIX WEEKS. THERE WAS A REORGANIZATION. SINCE I WAS STILL NOT PHYSICALLY UP TO PAR. I WAS RELUCTANT TO BECOME INVOLVED WITH SEEKING AND LEARNING A NEW POSITION. I WAS CONVINCED THAT THE MOST SENSIBLE THING TO DO WAS TO RESIGN UNTIL I HAD RECOVERED MY STRENGTH AND THEN SEEK ANOTHER SECRETARIAL POSITION. I WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD HAVE TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OUTSTANDING SICK LEAVE BEFORE I COULD RESIGN. THE AMOUNT REIMBURSED THE GOVERNMENT WAS $633.60.'. FROM THE FACTS APPEARING IN YOUR LETTER YOU WERE ADVANCED SICK LEAVE FOR 6 WEEKS AND AFTER RETURNING TO WORK.

B-165989, FEB. 5, 1969

TO MISS SARAH M. BERLIN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15, 1969, CONCERNING THE QUESTION OF YOUR ELIGIBILITY UNDER PUBLIC LAW 90-616, APPROVED OCTOBER 21, 1968, FOR RELIEF FROM AN INDEBTEDNESS YOU PAID THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

"I WAS EMPLOYED BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 1961 THROUGH JUNE 2, 1967, AS SECRETARY TO THE CHIEF, VIRAL CARCINOGENESIS BRANCH. IN FEBRUARY 1967, I UNDERWENT MAJOR SURGERY. I REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED ADVANCED SICK LEAVE FOR SIX WEEKS. IN APRIL 1967, I RETURNED TO WORK. IN MAY 1967, MY BOSS ACCEPTED A POSITION WITH INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK. AS A RESULT OF HIS RESIGNATION, THERE WAS A REORGANIZATION, ALMOST DISSOLUTION, OF THE BRANCH. SINCE I WAS STILL NOT PHYSICALLY UP TO PAR, I WAS RELUCTANT TO BECOME INVOLVED WITH SEEKING AND LEARNING A NEW POSITION. I WAS CONVINCED THAT THE MOST SENSIBLE THING TO DO WAS TO RESIGN UNTIL I HAD RECOVERED MY STRENGTH AND THEN SEEK ANOTHER SECRETARIAL POSITION. IN FEBRUARY 1968, HAVING FULLY RECOVERED, I ACCEPTED A POSITION WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WHERE I AM PRESENTLY EMPLOYED.

"WHEN I SUBMITTED MY RESIGNATION FROM NIH, I WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD HAVE TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OUTSTANDING SICK LEAVE BEFORE I COULD RESIGN. CONSEQUENTLY, I APPLIED FOR A REFUND OF MY RETIREMENT FUND AND HAD THE AMOUNT DUE WITHHELD FROM THAT REFUND. THE AMOUNT REIMBURSED THE GOVERNMENT WAS $633.60.'

PUBLIC LAW 90-616 AUTHORIZES, UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE WAIVER OF A CLAIM OF THE GOVERNMENT ARISING AGAINST A PERSON BECAUSE OF HIS RECEIPT OF AN ERRONEOUS PAYMENT OF PAY. FROM THE FACTS APPEARING IN YOUR LETTER YOU WERE ADVANCED SICK LEAVE FOR 6 WEEKS AND AFTER RETURNING TO WORK, BUT PRIOR TO YOUR LIQUIDATION OF THE ADVANCE, YOU RESIGNED. THE REASON STATED IN YOUR RESIGNATION WAS THAT BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT PHYSICALLY UP TO PAR YOU WERE RELUCTANT TO SEEK AND LEARN THE DUTIES OF A NEW POSITION WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY BECAUSE OF A REORGANIZATION IN YOUR AGENCY.

AT THE TIME YOU RECEIVED THE ADVANCE OF SICK LEAVE THERE WAS NO ERRONEOUS PAYMENT OF PAY SINCE THE SALARY PAYMENTS MADE DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE ADVANCE WERE LEGAL AND PROPER AT THAT TIME. FOR THIS REASON THE CITED LAW WOULD NOT APPEAR TO APPLY TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.