B-167751, SEP 5, 1969

B-167751: Sep 5, 1969

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CIVIL PAY - WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS DECISION TO POSTAL EMPLOYEE SUSTAINING DETERMINATION THAT WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENT WAS NOT PROPER. POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AWARE OF OVERPAYMENTS OF SALARY MADE DURING PERIOD JULY 2 - OCTOBER 21. 1966 - 2 YEARS BEFORE AUTHORITY EXISTED FOR WAIVER - MAY NOT HAVE RECOVERY ACTION CONSIDERED AS AGAINST EQUITY OR GOOD CONSCIENCE OR CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE WAIVER IS NOT JUSTIFIED. YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE LED TO BELIEVE THAT DUE TO THE FACT THE AMOUNT INVOLVED WAS SMALL THAT THE OVERPAYMENT WOULD BE WAIVED. WE NOTE THAT THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS WERE MADE DURING THE PERIOD JULY 2 - OCTOBER 21. WHEREAS PUBLIC LAW 90-616 WAS NOT ENACTED UNTIL MORE THAN 2 YEARS THEREAFTER AND UNTIL ENACTMENT OF THAT LAW NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTED FOR THE WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS SALARY PAYMENTS.

B-167751, SEP 5, 1969

CIVIL PAY - WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS DECISION TO POSTAL EMPLOYEE SUSTAINING DETERMINATION THAT WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENT WAS NOT PROPER. POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AWARE OF OVERPAYMENTS OF SALARY MADE DURING PERIOD JULY 2 - OCTOBER 21, 1966 - 2 YEARS BEFORE AUTHORITY EXISTED FOR WAIVER - MAY NOT HAVE RECOVERY ACTION CONSIDERED AS AGAINST EQUITY OR GOOD CONSCIENCE OR CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE WAIVER IS NOT JUSTIFIED.

TO MR. JOSEPH F. LONSWAY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON JULY 22, 1969, WHEREIN YOU ASK FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS SALARY PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY YOU DURING THE PERIOD JULY 2 THROUGH OCTOBER 21, 1966, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE LED TO BELIEVE THAT DUE TO THE FACT THE AMOUNT INVOLVED WAS SMALL THAT THE OVERPAYMENT WOULD BE WAIVED. IN SUCH CONNECTION, WE NOTE THAT THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS WERE MADE DURING THE PERIOD JULY 2 - OCTOBER 21, 1966, WHEREAS PUBLIC LAW 90-616 WAS NOT ENACTED UNTIL MORE THAN 2 YEARS THEREAFTER AND UNTIL ENACTMENT OF THAT LAW NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTED FOR THE WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS SALARY PAYMENTS. FURTHER, BY YOUR ADMISSION, AT NO TIME DID YOU CHANGE YOUR VIEW THAT THE PAYMENTS WERE IMPROPER. WHILE THE ERROR WAS NOT CORRECTED UNTIL SOME MONTHS SUBSEQUENT TO THE INITIAL OVERPAYMENT, YOU COULD NOT REASONABLY HAVE EXPECTED TO EXPEND THE OVERPAYMENT FOR YOUR OWN PURPOSES WITHOUT MAKING REFUND THEREOF.

IN A CASE SUCH AS YOURS IT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE AGAINST EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE OR CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO REQUIRE COLLECTION. WE HAVE NOT OVERLOOKED THE FINANCIAL HARDSHIP YOU EXPERIENCED IN MAKING REFUND. HOWEVER, SUCH FACT, WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR AWARENESS OF THE OVERPAYMENT DOES NOT JUSTIFY A WAIVER.

ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO VALID BASIS FOR MODIFYING OUR PREVIOUS DETERMINATION.