B-197502.0M, L/M, FEB 25, 1980

B-197502.0M: Feb 25, 1980

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

CLAIMS DIVISION: RETURNED HEREWITH IS CLAIM FILE NO. THAT DENIAL WAS BASED ON THE FINDING THAT THE MEMBER WAS AWARE THAT RESERVE PERSONNEL COULD ONLY BE PAID FOR TIME SERVED FROM THE DATE THEY REPORTED TO ACTIVE DUTY AND HAD HE EXAMINED HIS LEAVE AND EARNINGS STATEMENT (LES) HE WOULD HAVE REALIZED THAT HIS PAY ENTRY BASE DATE (PEBD) HAD BEEN INCORRECTLY COMPUTED. THAT HE WAS BEING PAID FOR TIME PRIOR TO THE DATE HE REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY. HE GAVE THE DISBURSING OFFICER HIS PAY RECORD AND HE WAS PAID IN ACCORDANCE TO THE INFORMATION ON HIS LES WHICH SHOWED A PEBD OF MAY 15. THE DATE HE WAS COMMISSIONED AS A NAVAL RESERVE OFFICER. HUNTER WAS AT THE TIME OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT A NEW OFFICER WITHOUT AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW HIS MILITARY PAY WAS TO BE COMPUTED.

B-197502.0M, L/M, FEB 25, 1980

SUBJECT: WAIVER OF INDEBTEDNESS OF LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE) JAMES W. HUNTER, USNR - B-197502-O.M.

DIRECTOR, CLAIMS DIVISION:

RETURNED HEREWITH IS CLAIM FILE NO. Z-2801649, PERTAINING TO THE APPEAL OF LIEUTENANT (JG) JAMES W. HUNTER FROM YOUR DETERMINATION OF JULY 20, 1979, DENYING WAIVER OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE TO HIM WHICH TOTALLED $647.17.

THAT DENIAL WAS BASED ON THE FINDING THAT THE MEMBER WAS AWARE THAT RESERVE PERSONNEL COULD ONLY BE PAID FOR TIME SERVED FROM THE DATE THEY REPORTED TO ACTIVE DUTY AND HAD HE EXAMINED HIS LEAVE AND EARNINGS STATEMENT (LES) HE WOULD HAVE REALIZED THAT HIS PAY ENTRY BASE DATE (PEBD) HAD BEEN INCORRECTLY COMPUTED, AND THAT HE WAS BEING PAID FOR TIME PRIOR TO THE DATE HE REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY.

THE FILE INDICATES THAT JAMES W. HUNTER BECAME A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY RESERVE ON MAY 15, 1976. HE FIRST REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN ATHENS, GEORGIA, TO ATTEND SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL ON JUNE 11, 1976. UPON REPORTING FOR DUTY, HE GAVE THE DISBURSING OFFICER HIS PAY RECORD AND HE WAS PAID IN ACCORDANCE TO THE INFORMATION ON HIS LES WHICH SHOWED A PEBD OF MAY 15, 1976, THE DATE HE WAS COMMISSIONED AS A NAVAL RESERVE OFFICER.

AFTER COMPLETING HIS TRAINING AT THE SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL, AND PRESUMABLY HAVING BEEN GIVEN SOME INSTRUCTION IN COMPUTING MILITARY PAY, MR. HUNTER EXAMINED HIS LES AND DETERMINED THAT HE HAD BEEN OVERPAID. HE IMMEDIATELY BROUGHT THIS MATTER TO THE ATTENTION OF THE PROPER OFFICIALS.

MR. HUNTER WAS AT THE TIME OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT A NEW OFFICER WITHOUT AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW HIS MILITARY PAY WAS TO BE COMPUTED. HE INDICATES THAT HE RELIED ON QUALIFIED PERSONNEL TO PROPERLY COMPUTE AND ADJUST HIS PAY AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS. HE ALSO INDICATES THAT UPON COMPLETION OF SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL HE HAD LEARNED ENOUGH TO REALIZE HE MAY HAVE BEEN OVERPAID, AND HE THEN TOOK ACTION TO VERIFY HIS PAY. THE NAVY IN SUBMITTING THE MATTER HERE SUBSTANTIATED THE MEMBER'S STATEMENTS AND RECOMMENDED WAIVER.

THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ANY FRAUD OR MISREPRESENTATION ON THE MEMBER'S PART IN THIS CASE; THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS HAVING BEEN MADE AS A RESULT OF ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT NOTICE AND FAULT SHOULD NOT BE IMPUTED TO LIEUTENANT HUNTER AND THAT COLLECTION OF THE CLAIM WOULD BE AGAINST EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE AND NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST LIEUTENANT JAMES W. HUNTER IN THE AMOUNT OF $647.17 IS HEREBY WAIVED. APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ADVISE HIM OF HIS RIGHT TO FILE A CLAIM WITHIN 2 YEARS OF THE DATE OF WAIVER FOR REFUND OF ANY AMOUNT COLLECTED ON ACCOUNT OF THIS DEBT.