B-196171(1), FEB 1, 1980

B-196171(1): Feb 1, 1980

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WHEREIN YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TEMPORARY QUARTER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WAS DENIED BUT YOU WERE INFORMED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WOULD CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT. THE ACTION OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION DENYING PAYMENT WAS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED. OUR PRACTICE HAS BEEN TO REPORT CASES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT ONLY WHEN THE CLAIM INVOLVES EQUITABLE CIRCUMSTANCES OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE WHICH ARE UNLIKELY TO CONSTITUTE A RECURRING PROBLEM. WE HAVE ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS CONSIDERED SITUATIONS WHEREIN A CLAIMANT. SUCH CASES WERE NOT REPORTED TO CONGRESS UNDER THE ACT. WE ARE ENCLOSING THE CASES OF BERTIL PETERSON. IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS.

B-196171(1), FEB 1, 1980

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

ALLEN H. PLATNICK:

WE REFER TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION'S SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1979, WHEREIN YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TEMPORARY QUARTER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WAS DENIED BUT YOU WERE INFORMED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WOULD CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 236 (1976). YOUR CLAIM HAS BEEN GIVEN DUE CONSIDERATION. THE ACTION OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION DENYING PAYMENT WAS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED. FURTHER, WE FIND YOUR CASE TO BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE ACT.

OUR PRACTICE HAS BEEN TO REPORT CASES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT ONLY WHEN THE CLAIM INVOLVES EQUITABLE CIRCUMSTANCES OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE WHICH ARE UNLIKELY TO CONSTITUTE A RECURRING PROBLEM. WE HAVE ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS CONSIDERED SITUATIONS WHEREIN A CLAIMANT, DUE TO NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT DUE TO ERRONEOUS INFORMATION OR ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS. SUCH CASES WERE NOT REPORTED TO CONGRESS UNDER THE ACT. AS EXAMPLES OF THIS, WE ARE ENCLOSING THE CASES OF BERTIL PETERSON, B-191039, JUNE 16, 1978; AND BEVERLY K. HANSEN, B-186162, SEPTEMBER 20, 1976.

ACCORDINGLY, AS YOUR TYPE OF CLAIM FAILS TO SATISFY THE CRITERIA OF BEING OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE OR OF BEING UNLIKELY TO REOCCUR, IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS.

DIRECTOR, CLAIMS DIVISION

ALLEN H. PLATNICK, Z-2812937 -

B-196171-O.M.

RETURNED IS FILE Z-2812937 (ALSO DESIGNATED Z-2813251) CONCERNING THE APPROPRIATENESS OF REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 236 (1976), THE CLAIM OF ALLEN H. PLATNICK FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSES AND OTHER RELATED EXPENSES INCURRED WHEN HIS OFFICIAL TRANSFER FROM THE ARMY TO THE AIR FORCE AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WAS DELAYED DUE TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS. BY LETTERS OF THIS DATE (COPIES ATTACHED) WE HAVE INFORMED THE CLAIMANT AND CONGRESSMAN THOMAS S. FOLEY, THAT THE CLAIM IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS.

REGARDING FUTURE CASES IN WHICH YOU BELIEVE THAT A CASE WARRANTS CONSIDERATION FOR REPORTING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, THE CLAIMS DIVISION SHOULD REFER THE CASE TO THE OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL (OGC) FOR INSTRUCTIONS PRIOR TO ISSUING A SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE. IF FOR SOME REASON A SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE ISSUED BEFORE INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE RECEIVED, THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE SHOULD NOT REFERENCE THAT THE CLAIM IS BEING CONSIDERED FOR REPORTING UNDER THE ACT.

ALSO, IF A CLAIM IS SUBMITTED FOR ADJUDICATION OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR OUR CONSIDERATION AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM THE CLAIMS DIVISION SHOULD CONTINUE TO ADJUDICATE THE CLAIM IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED IN B-186000 O.M., SEPTEMBER 22, 1976, WITH ONE MODIFICATION. THE MODIFICATION IS THAT IF THE CLAIMS DIVISION FINDS THAT NO LEGAL BASIS EXISTS TO PAY THE CLAIM BUT A SUBSTANTIAL BASIS EXISTS FOR CONSIDERATION AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM, THE CASE SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO OGC FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE ISSUING THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE. AGAIN, IF THERE IS SOME REASON NOT TO DELAY ISSUANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATE PENDING CONSIDERATION OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIM ASPECT, SETTLEMENT SHOULD INDICATE ONLY THAT FURTHER ADVICE WILL BE FURNISHED CONCERNING THIS ASPECT OF THE CASE.

THE OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL IS PRESENTLY CONSIDERING THE FEASIBILITY OF ISSUING MORE DEFINITIVE GUIDELINES FOR USE OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT. THE CLAIMS DIVISION WILL BE PROMPTLY INFORMED