Entitlement of Military Member To Be Credited With Accrued Unused Leave

B-198489: Feb 19, 1981

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A disbursing officer of the Marine Corps Finance Center requested a decision as to whether a Marine officer was entitled to be credited with accrued unused leave in the current fiscal year. The officer was discharged from the Marines in 1970 and was paid for unused accrued leave at that time. In 1977, she petitioned the Board for Correction of Naval Records to have her service records corrected to show that she was not discharged at that time and that she constructively served from that date until 1976 when she returned to active duty. In 1979, the officer's petition was approved, and her service records were subsequently appropriately corrected. As a result of that action, the officer received backpay and allowances for the period and had the accrued leave restored to her account. The money previously paid to the officer was deducted from money otherwise due. However, because of limitations on leave accumulation, the officer immediately lost all of the recredited leave. The officer then requested that the leave be credited in the current fiscal year since she was deprived of the benefit of the leave through no fault of her own. However, GAO held that the correctional action involved restored the officer to the position she held as though the erroneous discharge had not taken place. Since the leave was earned in 1970, it had to be recredited then. Although the leave could not be credited in the current fiscal year, the officer may be entitled to a waiver of the debt for leave payment which was included in the settlement upon correction of her military records. The material submitted was not sufficient for GAO to make a final determination on this matter.