B-206797.OM, APR 16, 1982

B-206797.OM: Apr 16, 1982

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DIGEST: REVIEW OF CLAIM SUBMITTED TO GAO IN 1946 BY FORMER ARMY MEMBER WHO WAS A PRISONER OF WAR DURING WORLD WAR II IS PRECLUDED SINCE RECORDS PERTAINING TO THAT CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATORY RECORD RETENTION LIMITATIONS. THE MEMBER'S CLAIM WAS ALSO FILED WITH THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION. WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED AND AUTHORIZED TO ADJUDICATE CERTAIN CLAIMS OF PRISONERS OF WAR. IF HIS CLAIM WAS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THAT COMMISSION. IT IS FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION TO WHICH THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION. ITS FUNCTIONS AND AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED. AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP (ROOM 5858): RETURNED IS CLAIM FILE Z-2828532 PERTAINING TO THE SUBJECT CLAIM.

B-206797.OM, APR 16, 1982

SUBJECT: CLAIM OF MR. DANIEL J. ROUSE FOR PRISONER-OF-WAR PAY - B-206797 O.M. DIGEST: REVIEW OF CLAIM SUBMITTED TO GAO IN 1946 BY FORMER ARMY MEMBER WHO WAS A PRISONER OF WAR DURING WORLD WAR II IS PRECLUDED SINCE RECORDS PERTAINING TO THAT CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATORY RECORD RETENTION LIMITATIONS. HOWEVER, THE MEMBER'S CLAIM WAS ALSO FILED WITH THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED AND AUTHORIZED TO ADJUDICATE CERTAIN CLAIMS OF PRISONERS OF WAR. IF HIS CLAIM WAS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THAT COMMISSION, IT IS FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION TO WHICH THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION, ITS FUNCTIONS AND AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP (ROOM 5858):

RETURNED IS CLAIM FILE Z-2828532 PERTAINING TO THE SUBJECT CLAIM. LETTER OF TODAY, COPY ATTACHED, WE HAVE ADVISED SENATOR JESSE HELMS THAT WE HAVE NO JURISDICTION OVER CLAIMS SUBJECT TO SETTLEMENT BY THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION. WE ALSO ADVISED HIM THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO FURTHER CONSIDER THE CLAIM FILED WITH OUR OFFICE IN 1946 SINCE THE PERTINENT RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.

THIS RESPONDS TO YOUR INQUIRY DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1982, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. DANIEL J. ROUSE OF RALEIGH, FOR COMPENSATION HE BELIEVES HE IS ENTITLED TO FOR THE PERIOD DURING WHICH HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR DURING WORLD WAR II.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON JANUARY 5, 1981, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR INQUIRY, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DECLINED CONSIDERATION OF THIS CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION FROM THIS OFFICE THAT PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM WOULD BE BARRED IF IT HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 6 YEARS OF THE DATE OF ACCRUAL.

FOLLOWING YOUR SUBMISSION OF THIS MATTER TO THIS OFFICE, AN EXAMINATION OF OUR FILES REVEALED THAT MR. ROUSE FILED A CLAIM HERE IN 1946. HOWEVER, WE NOW HAVE NO MEANS BY WHICH TO DETERMINE THE NATURE OF MR. ROUSE'S 1946 CLAIM OR THE ACTION THAT WAS TAKEN ON IT, BECAUSE ALL RECORDS PERTAINING TO THAT CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATORY RECORD RETENTION LIMITATIONS.

WE NOTE THAT THE INFORMATION MR. ROUSE SUBMITTED SHOWS THAT IN 1947 THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER DENIED MR. ROUSE'S CLAIM FOR MILITARY LONGEVITY PAY, BUT STATED AT THAT TIME THAT THE OTHER PORTIONS OF HIS CLAIM WERE STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION. THUS, IT MAY BE THAT THIS WAS THE CLAIM OUR RECORDS SHOW WE RECEIVED IN 1946. WE MAY HAVE REFERRED IT TO THE SPECIAL SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS DIVISION OF THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FOR CONSIDERATION AS A CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS PAYABLE FROM THEIR FUNDS, ALTHOUGH WE NOW HAVE NO WAY OF BEING CERTAIN OF THAT. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO FURTHER ACTION WHICH WE MAY NOW TAKE ON THAT CLAIM.

IT ALSO APPEARS THAT MR. ROUSE HAD FILED A CLAIM WITH THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION. BY LETTER OF JULY 26, 1950, WHICH YOU ENCLOSED, THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF MR. ROUSE'S CLAIM. BY THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948, THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION WAS ESTABLISHED AND AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE AND ADJUDICATE THE CLAIMS OF PRISONERS OF WAR WHO WERE HELD UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS DURING ANY PERIOD OF TIME SUBSEQUENT TO DECEMBER 7, 1941. THIS COMMISSION'S JURISDICTION COVERED SUCH THINGS AS CLAIMS FOR FAILURE OF THE ENEMY TO FURNISH PRISONERS WITH ADEQUATE FOOD, USE OF PRISONERS' LABOR, AND OTHER INHUMANE TREATMENT. THE AUTHORIZING STATUTE PROVIDED THAT:

"*** THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN ALLOWING OR DENYING ANY CLAIM UNDER THIS TITLE *** SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON ALL QUESTIONS OF LAW AND FACT AND NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OF THE UNITED STATES ***."

50 U.S.C. SEC. 2010 (1948). THUS, ANY CLAIM MR. ROUSE HAD WHICH FELL WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION WAS FOR THEM TO SETTLE AND NOT WITHIN OUR JURISDICTION.

IN 1954, THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION WAS ABOLISHED AND ITS FUNCTIONS TRANSFERRED TO THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION. REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1 OF 1954, 5 U.S.C. SEC. 133Z-15 NOTE (1958 ED.). THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION AND ITS FUNCTIONS AND AUTHORITIES WERE SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AS A SEPARATE AGENCY. TITLE 1, PUBLIC LAW 96-209, MARCH 14, 1980, 94 STAT. 96, 22 U.S.C. SEC. 1622A, ET SEQ. SINCE WE HAVE NO JURISDICTION TO SETTLE MR. ROUSE'S CLAIM WHICH CAME WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION, WE SUGGEST THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMMISSION AT 1111 TWENTIETH STREET, NW., WASHINGTON, D. C. 20579.