B-180581, JAN 16, 1975

B-180581: Jan 16, 1975

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CLAIM FOR PROCEEDS OF SEVEN ALLOTMENT CHECKS ALLEGEDLY ISSUED TO BUT NEVER RECEIVED BY MEMBER'S MOTHER DURING HIS ACTIVE SERVICE IN UNITED STATES ARMY IS DENIED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 10.1. SINCE ALLOTMENT ROLLS WERE DESTROYED BY FINANCE CENTER. IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND AVAILABLE INFORMATION IS INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE MEMBER'S RIGHT TO PAYMENT. PETERSON: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE FROM MR. IN THE MATTER OF HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEVEN ALLOTMENT CHECKS WHICH HE CONTENDS HE AUTHORIZED BUT WERE NEVER RECEIVED BY THE PROPER RECIPIENT. WHEREIN THE CLAIMANT WAS ADVISED THAT HIS MILITARY PAY RECORDS AND CERTAIN RELATED DOCUMENTS HAD BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AUTHORIZING THE DESTRUCTION OF OLD RECORDS.

B-180581, JAN 16, 1975

CLAIM FOR PROCEEDS OF SEVEN ALLOTMENT CHECKS ALLEGEDLY ISSUED TO BUT NEVER RECEIVED BY MEMBER'S MOTHER DURING HIS ACTIVE SERVICE IN UNITED STATES ARMY IS DENIED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 10.1, TITLE 4 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES, SINCE ALLOTMENT ROLLS WERE DESTROYED BY FINANCE CENTER, UNITED STATES ARMY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND AVAILABLE INFORMATION IS INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE MEMBER'S RIGHT TO PAYMENT.

CLAIM FOR CLASS E ALLOTMENT CHECKS - EDDIE N. PETERSON:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE FROM MR. EDDIE N. PETERSON, WHEREIN HE REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED APRIL 9, 1973, IN THE MATTER OF HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEVEN ALLOTMENT CHECKS WHICH HE CONTENDS HE AUTHORIZED BUT WERE NEVER RECEIVED BY THE PROPER RECIPIENT, HIS MOTHER.

THAT ACTION REFERRED TO EARLIER AND SIMILAR ACTIONS BY THIS OFFICE IN LETTERS ADDRESSED TO THE CLAIMANT DATED DECEMBER 11, 1970, AND DECEMBER 4, 1969, WHEREIN THE CLAIMANT WAS ADVISED THAT HIS MILITARY PAY RECORDS AND CERTAIN RELATED DOCUMENTS HAD BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AUTHORIZING THE DESTRUCTION OF OLD RECORDS, AS A RESULT OF WHICH THIS OFFICE IS UNABLE TO CONSIDER HIS CLAIM UNLESS HE COULD FURNISH US WITH A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVEN CHECKS IN QUESTION, AND THAT IN ORDER TO MAKE A SEARCH FOR THE STATUS OF THE OLD CHECKS, IT WAS NECESSARY TO HAVE THE NUMBER, DATE AND AMOUNTS OF THE CHECKS AND THE SYMBOL NUMBER OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHO ISSUED THE CHECKS. FURTHER, THAT THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM WAS NOT ONLY INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHT TO PAYMENT, BUT ALSO FAILED TO INDENTIFY THE GENERAL PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE CHECKS IN QUESTION WERE SUPPOSEDLY ISSUED.

THE CLAIMANT CONTENDS THAT WHILE HE WAS IN THE SERVICE HE TOOK OUT AN ALLOTMENT IN FAVOR OF HIS MOTHER AND THAT SHE NEVER RECEIVED THE LAST SEVEN CHECKS OF $50 EACH. HE STATED THAT SOMETIME IN 1965 HE WAS SENT THE NUMBERS OF THE CHECKS, BUT THAT BEFORE HE COULD TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION, THE HOUSE BURNED AND HE NO LONGER HAS THE NUMBERS.

THE FILE IN MR. PETERSON'S CASE SHOWS THAT HE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN FEBRUARY 1942 AND WAS DISCHARGED THEREFROM ON NOVEMBER 19, 1945. IN 1967 HE FILED CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF SEVEN CHECKS WHICH HE ALLEGEDLY HAD ISSUED IN FAVOR OF HIS MOTHER BEFORE HER DEATH, BUT WHICH SHE NEVER RECEIVED. IN RESPONSE TO THAT CLAIM, AN EXTENSIVE SEARCH WAS CONDUCTED WHICH REVEALED THAT THE MILITARY PAY RECORDS, ALLOTMENT RECORDS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS SERVICE HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY FINANCE CENTER (NOW THE UNITED STATES ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY), IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AUTHORIZING DESTRUCTION OF OLD GOVERNMENT RECORDS. AS A RESULT, IT COULD NOT BE DETERMINED WHAT CHECKS WERE ISSUED IN THE CLAIMANT'S CASE, THEIR AMOUNTS OR THEIR PURPOSE. ADDITIONALLY, A CHECK WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, REVEALED THAT THE MEMBER'S PERSONNEL JACKET DID NOT CONTAIN ANY INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE ALLOTMENT CHECKS, NOR DID THEY HAVE ANY RECORDS WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH THAT HIS MOTHER FAILED TO RECEIVE ANY CHECKS ISSUED TO HER ON THE CLAIMANT'S BEHALF.

PARAGRAPH 10.1, TITLE 4 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"CLAIMS ARE SETTLED ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AS ESTABLISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY CONCERNED AND BY EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT. SETTLEMENTS ARE FOUNDED ON A DETERMINATION OF THE LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE FACTUAL SITUATION INVOLVED AS ESTABLISHED BY THE WRITTEN RECORD. THE BURDEN IS ON THE CLAIMANTS TO ESTABLISH THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THE CLAIMANTS' RIGHT TO PAYMENT. THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS IS BASED UPON THE WRITTEN RECORD ONLY."

WHILE THE BURDEN OF PROOF AS TO THE VALIDITY OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, GENERALLY, IS ON THE PERSON ASSERTING SUCH CLAIM, INFORMATION AS TO ITS EXISTENCE IS USUALLY FOUND IN RECORDS MAINTAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN LONG ESTABLISHED THAT WHERE, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE RECORDS NECESSARY JUSTIFY OR REFUTE A CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW, OR HAVE BECOME UNAVAILABLE DUE TO THE LAPSE OF TIME, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT GIVE THE MATTER FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION WHERE THE CLAIMANT HAS FAILED TO ACT THEREON FOR A LONG PERIOD OF YEARS. THUS, IN CASES WHERE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION GIVEN BY A CLAIMANT TO IDENTIFY AND ESTABLISH A CLAIM, THERE IS NO FURTHER ACTION THAT THIS OFFICE CAN TAKE IN THE MATTER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION IN THIS CASE, IS SUSTAINED.