B-168930, JUN. 16, 1970

B-168930: Jun 16, 1970

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YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY CONGRESSMAN GOLDWATER ON APRIL 13. OUR OFFICE IS PROHIBITED FROM AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO YOUR MOTHER UNLESS IT CAN BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE THAT THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. REASONABLE AND DILIGENT EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE WITHOUT SUCCESS TO ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE OR DEATH OF A PERSON THAT THE MERE POSSIBILITY OF THAT PERSON'S EXISTENCE SHOULD COMPLETELY FORECLOSE ENTITLEMENT OF THOSE WHOM THE CONGRESS HAS DESIGNATED AS NEXT IN LINE. WE ARE PREPARED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION TO YOUR MOTHER. UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH A BOND FROM A REPUTABLE BONDING COMPANY OR OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTION OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WILL ISSUE A SETTLEMENT FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION IN FAVOR OF ESCHOL P.

B-168930, JUN. 16, 1970

TO MR. HAROLD G. COOK:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 9, 1970, ADDRESSED TO CONGRESSMAN BARRY M. GOLDWATER, JR; CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF YOUR MOTHER, MRS. ESCHOL P. HITCH, FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE UPON THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, PERCY L. HITCH, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY CONGRESSMAN GOLDWATER ON APRIL 13, 1970.

BY OUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1970, B-168930, WE ADVISED CONGRESSMAN GOLDWATER THAT UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582, WHICH SETS FORTH THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE FOR DISPOSITION OF UNPAID COMPENSATION, OUR OFFICE IS PROHIBITED FROM AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO YOUR MOTHER UNLESS IT CAN BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE THAT THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, VERMELLE E. HITCH, PREDECEASED PERCY L. HITCH. WE POINTED OUT THAT VERMELLE HITCH HAS A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS FROM THE DATE THE CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED WITHIN WHICH TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION. U.S.C. 71A.

HOWEVER, UPON FURTHER CONSIDERATION, WE DO NOT BELIEVE WHERE, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, REASONABLE AND DILIGENT EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE WITHOUT SUCCESS TO ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE OR DEATH OF A PERSON THAT THE MERE POSSIBILITY OF THAT PERSON'S EXISTENCE SHOULD COMPLETELY FORECLOSE ENTITLEMENT OF THOSE WHOM THE CONGRESS HAS DESIGNATED AS NEXT IN LINE. THEREFORE, WE ARE PREPARED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION TO YOUR MOTHER. HOWEVER, TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT AGAINST LOSS IN THE EVENT THE PRIMARY BENEFICIARY, VERMELLE HITCH, SHOULD FILE A CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION BEFORE THE 10-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD EXPIRES ON NOVEMBER 8, 1974, WE MUST INSIST THAT YOUR MOTHER FURNISH A BOND OF INDEMNITY AS SECURITY FOR SUCH PAYMENT.

THE BOND IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF $1,531.66 SHOULD RUN IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE PAYABLE IN THE EVENT THAT VERMELLE E. HITCH MAKES CLAIM PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 9, 1974, FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE UPON THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND PERCY L. HITCH, WHICH CLAIM THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE BOUND TO HONOR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5582.

UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH A BOND FROM A REPUTABLE BONDING COMPANY OR OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTION OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WILL ISSUE A SETTLEMENT FOR THE UNPAID COMPENSATION IN FAVOR OF ESCHOL P. HITCH.