B-20410, APR. 16, 1962

B-20410: Apr 16, 1962

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IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED WITH YOUR LETTER THAT YOU FILED A PRIOR CLAIM IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THAT THE RECEIPT THEREOF WAS ACKNOWLEDGED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON APRIL 5. THE AMOUNT AND NATURE OF SUCH CLAIM IS NOT SHOWN IN THE LATTER LETTER. THE FILE IN CONNECTION WITH THAT CLAIM HAS BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AND NO EVIDENCE OF THE CONTENTS THEREOF NOW IS AVAILABLE TO US. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF RECORD HERE TO SHOW THAT YOUR PRIOR CLAIM WAS FOR THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS NOW CLAIMED. YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT WHILE YOU STATE THAT BOTH THE LETTER OF APRIL 5. REFER TO YOUR PRESENT CLAIM AND THAT WE MUST HAVE CONTACTED THE ILLINOIS BOARD FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING SUCH CLAIM.

B-20410, APR. 16, 1962

TO MR. WILLARD E. LAURSEN:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1962, REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN RETURNING YOUR CLAIM RECEIVED HERE ON OCTOBER 13, 1961, FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU UPON DISCHARGE FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN OCTOBER 1945, WITH A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED WITH YOUR LETTER THAT YOU FILED A PRIOR CLAIM IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THAT THE RECEIPT THEREOF WAS ACKNOWLEDGED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON APRIL 5, 1946. THE AMOUNT AND NATURE OF SUCH CLAIM IS NOT SHOWN IN THE LATTER LETTER. THE FILE IN CONNECTION WITH THAT CLAIM HAS BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AND NO EVIDENCE OF THE CONTENTS THEREOF NOW IS AVAILABLE TO US. IT APPEARS, THEREFORE, THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE STATEMENTS IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1961, TO YOU, INDICATING THE CONTRARY, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF RECORD HERE TO SHOW THAT YOUR PRIOR CLAIM WAS FOR THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS NOW CLAIMED. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT WHILE YOU STATE THAT BOTH THE LETTER OF APRIL 5, 1946, AND LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1948, TO YOU FROM THE SERVICE RECOGNITION BOARD, STATE OF ILLINOIS, REFER TO YOUR PRESENT CLAIM AND THAT WE MUST HAVE CONTACTED THE ILLINOIS BOARD FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING SUCH CLAIM, THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1948, WAS WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM YOU. IT WOULD BE REMARKABLE IF THIS OFFICE HAD WRITTEN TO A STATE BOARD CONCERNING A CLAIM, ALL THE INFORMATION RELATING TO WHICH WAS THEN IN POSSESSION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. IT WOULD SEEM THAT THOSE LETTERS RELATE TO TWO DIFFERENT CLAIMS AND SINCE THE FIGURE "741.40"--- THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF YOUR PRESENT CLAIM IS $741.40-- - IS NOTED ON THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1948, THAT FIGURE RELATES TO YOUR CLAIM FILED WITH THE STATE BOARD RATHER THAN AN AMOUNT BELIEVED TO BE DUE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDER A CLAIM FILED HERE.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND (EXCEPT A CLAIM OR DEMAND BY ANY STATE, TERRITORY, POSSESSION OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER IT FIRST ACCRUED. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THAT ACT WAS TO RELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NECESSITY FOR RETAINING OR GOING BACK OVER OLD RECORDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SETTLING STALE CLAIMS. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 107. DESPITE THE STATEMENT IN THE LETTER OF APRIL 5, 1946, THAT NO FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE ON YOUR PART WOULD BE NECESSARY, WHERE, AS HERE, NO INQUIRY HAS BEEN RECEIVED CONCERNING A PENDING CLAIM FOR OVER 15 YEARS AND THE RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, THE PRESUMPTION ARISES THAT THE CLAIM WAS PAID IN DUE COURSE IF IT WAS A PROPER CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY THE 1940 ACT UPON THE CONSIDERATION OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE IS NOT A MERE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS BUT IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO HAVE CLAIMS CONSIDERED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. COMPARE BARTLESVILLE ZINC CO. V. MELLON, 56 F. 2D 154 AND CARPENTER V. UNITED STATES, 56 F. 2D 828. ACCORDINGLY, NO MATTER HOW MERITORIOUS A CLAIM MAY BE, NO EXCEPTIONS MAY BE MADE TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE NOR MAY ANY EXTENSION OF TIME WITHIN WHICH CLAIMS MAY BE FILED BE GRANTED BY OUR OFFICE.

SINCE, SO FAR AS DISCLOSED BY THE RECORDS AVAILABLE TO US, YOUR PRESENT CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE PRIOR TO OCTOBER 13, 1961, CONSIDERATION THEREOF IS PRECLUDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN RETURNING YOUR CLAIM WITH A COPY OF THE ACT, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 2 THEREOF, WAS PROPER AND IS SUSTAINED.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION, IT APPEARS THAT YOU ARE NOW PRECLUDED FROM FILING A SUIT IN THIS MATTER IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS. SEE 28 U.S.C. 2501.