Request for Waiver of Indebtedness

B-201818: Aug 18, 1981

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An Air Force medical officer requested reconsideration of the Claims Division's partial denial of his application for a complete waiver of his debt to the Government. The debt arose from erroneous overpayments of military pay and allowances he received shortly after being called to extended active duty with the Air Force. Those overpayments were eventually detected, and the officer was advised that he was liable for the amount of overpayments. He subsequently applied for a waiver of the Government's claim for a refund of the erroneous overpayments. GAO stated that, since the amounts of the overpayments were so large, the officer should have been aware that he was being overpaid and that he was at fault in failing to take corrective action by immediately notifying the concerned authorities. By statute, such fault precludes waiver. Accordingly, the Claims Division action was sustained, and the medical officer's request was denied.