B-238129, Aug 22, 1990

B-238129: Aug 22, 1990

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The number of hours of leave that the employee accrued each pay period was overstated and. The employee's annual leave account was overcredited. While we have not decided whether the Smithsonian is an agency within the meaning of the waiver statute. Since there was a positive balance remaining in the employee's leave account for each year after the agency adjusted her account to correct the error. Appeals the determination of our Claims Group that annual leave which was erroneously credited to her may not be waived and must be deducted from her leave account. Her leave account was overcredited for several years because her service computation date was incorrectly calculated and because of other mathematical errors.

B-238129, Aug 22, 1990

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Leaves Of Absence - Annual leave - Computation errors - Error correction - Unused leave balances CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Compensation - Overpayments - Error detection Debt collection - Waiver DIGEST: Due to the Smithsonian Institution's error in calculating one of its General Schedule employee's service computation date, the number of hours of leave that the employee accrued each pay period was overstated and, thus, the employee's annual leave account was overcredited. While we have not decided whether the Smithsonian is an agency within the meaning of the waiver statute, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5584, since there was a positive balance remaining in the employee's leave account for each year after the agency adjusted her account to correct the error, the overcredit of leave does not amount to an overpayment of pay which may be considered for waiver.

Mildred P. Haltiwanger:

Ms. Mildred P. Haltiwanger, a General Schedule employee of the Smithsonian Institution, appeals the determination of our Claims Group that annual leave which was erroneously credited to her may not be waived and must be deducted from her leave account. Her leave account was overcredited for several years because her service computation date was incorrectly calculated and because of other mathematical errors. Upon discovery of the error, the Smithsonian recomputed her leave account for each year of employment there, and, although the recomputation resulted in a reduction of a considerable number of hours of annual leave from her account, she had a positive leave balance for each year. Our Claims Group reviewed the Smithsonian's denial of her request for waiver and, on October 4, 1989, sustained the denial.

We have not previously decided whether the Smithsonian Institution is an agency within the meaning of the waiver statute. See 5 U.S.C. 5584(g) (1988). It is clear, however, as explained below, that Ms. Haltiwanger's request may not be considered for waiver in any event.

The waiver statute, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5584 (1988), applies to a claim arising out of an "erroneous payment" of pay or allowances. In cases resulting from the erroneous crediting of annual leave, we have found an "erroneous payment" to have occurred only if the correction of the error results in a negative leave balance. Where the correction results in a positive leave balance, there is no "erroneous payment" which may be considered for waiver. Donna J. Williams, B-230366, June 27, 1988; Carl H. L. Barksdale, B-219505, Nov. 29, 1985; 1985.

Since Ms. Haltiwanger's corrected leave account never had a negative balance, the overcredit of leave in her case may not be considered for waiver.