B-166369, MAR. 27, 1969

B-166369: Mar 27, 1969

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ESMERALDO ROSALES: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 16. IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR FROM THE DIFFERENT LETTERS WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU JUST WHAT PAY AND ALLOWANCES YOU ARE CLAIMING OR FOR WHAT PERIODS. YOU STATE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CLAIMING SUCH ITEMS SINCE 1947 TO THE PRESENT TIME. YOU HAVE REFERENCE TO A CLAIM OR CLAIMS YOU FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE FOR THE PERIOD YOU WERE INVOLVED IN HOSTILITIES DURING WORLD WAR II. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE OR MODIFY AN ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT BECAUSE THAT ACT MAKES SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENTS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THIS OFFICE.

B-166369, MAR. 27, 1969

TO MR. ESMERALDO ROSALES:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1969, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR CERTAIN ITEMS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS A PHILIPPINE SCOUT DURING WORLD WAR II.

IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR FROM THE DIFFERENT LETTERS WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU JUST WHAT PAY AND ALLOWANCES YOU ARE CLAIMING OR FOR WHAT PERIODS. YOU STATE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CLAIMING SUCH ITEMS SINCE 1947 TO THE PRESENT TIME. APPARENTLY, YOU HAVE REFERENCE TO A CLAIM OR CLAIMS YOU FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE FOR THE PERIOD YOU WERE INVOLVED IN HOSTILITIES DURING WORLD WAR II. UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 143, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C. APP. 1001 ET SEQ., THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAD AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER AND SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS. PRESUMABLY, YOU RECEIVED THE AMOUNT DETERMINED TO BE DUE UNDER THAT ACT. YOUR PRESENT CLAIM APPEARS TO BE A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN AT THAT TIME BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE OR MODIFY AN ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT BECAUSE THAT ACT MAKES SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENTS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THIS OFFICE. HENCE, CONSIDERING YOUR CLAIM AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF AN ARMY SETTLEMENT IN YOUR CASE, SUCH REQUEST MUST BE DENIED.

IT MAY BE STATED, HOWEVER, THAT THE MISSING PERSONS ACT DID NOT AUTHORIZE CREDIT FOR QUARTERS AND RATIONS ALLOWANCES UNLESS SUCH ALLOWANCES WERE BEING CREDITED TO YOU ON THE DATE YOU ENTERED A STATUS COVERED BY THE ACT. IN MAKING SETTLEMENT UNDER THAT ACT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY APPARENTLY DETERMINED YOU WERE NOT BEING PAID SUCH ALLOWANCES AT THAT TIME AND THAT AS A CONSEQUENCE A CREDIT OF SUCH ALLOWANCES IN YOUR ACCOUNT ON AND AFTER THAT DATE WAS NOT PROPER. SECTION 9 OF THAT ACT, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES THAT "ALL SUCH DETERMINATIONS SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE.'

EVEN IF A MISSING PERSONS ACT SETTLEMENT WERE NOT HERE INVOLVED NO BASIS WOULD EXIST FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM SINCE, IN THAT EVENT, SUCH CLAIM CLEARLY WOULD BE BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, 237. THAT ACT PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

"EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND * * * AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE * * * SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY, SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED * * *.'

SINCE YOU WERE DISCHARGED FROM THE PHILIPPINE SCOUTS ON JANUARY 16, 1946, ANY CLAIM YOU MAY HAVE HAD ARISING OUT OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE MUST HAVE ACCRUED ON OR PRIOR TO THAT DATE AND IT WAS NECESSARY THAT SUCH CLAIM BE RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 16, 1956, IN ORDER TO HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE. YOUR FIRST CLAIM WAS RECEIVED HERE ON OCTOBER 24, 1963, MORE THAN 17 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE.

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, IS 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. SINCE YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT OF AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINE SCOUTS ACCRUED NOT LATER THAN THE DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE AND SINCE SUCH CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL AFTER 10 YEARS FOLLOWING THAT DATE, CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS NOT AUTHORIZED.