B-27557, AUGUST 11, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 134

B-27557: Aug 11, 1942

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IT IS PROPER TO CARRY UPON THE PAY ROLLS THE NAMES OF EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7. AUTHORIZING CONTINUANCE OF THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS MISSING. NOTATION SHOULD BE MADE IN THE REMARKS COLUMN IN EACH CASE (GIVING APPLICABLE REASON FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE) THAT NO CHECK IS TO BE DRAWN AS IT CANNOT BE DELIVERED. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20. AS FOLLOWS: A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ARE MISSING OR INTERNED IN THE PHILIPPINES UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MAKE THEM SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC NO. 490. FOR ALLOTMENT OF THEIR SALARIES AND THESE ALLOTMENTS ARE BEING CONTINUED AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 7.

B-27557, AUGUST 11, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 134

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ABSENT IN HANDS OF ENEMY, ETC. - COMPENSATION; PAY ROLL PROCEDURE SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, AUTHORIZING CONTINUANCE OF THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY, OR CAPTURED BY AN ENEMY, DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE PAYMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION AFTER HIS DEATH. CHECKS SHOULD NOT BE ISSUED CURRENTLY IN PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, AUTHORIZING CONTINUANCE OF THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY, OR CAPTURED BY AN ENEMY, BUT, FOR USE IN SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS IF AND WHEN FILED, A COMPLETE AND ADEQUATE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD SHOULD BE MAINTAINED. IT IS PROPER TO CARRY UPON THE PAY ROLLS THE NAMES OF EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, AUTHORIZING CONTINUANCE OF THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY, OR CAPTURED BY AN ENEMY, BUT, IF THAT BE DONE, NOTATION SHOULD BE MADE IN THE REMARKS COLUMN IN EACH CASE (GIVING APPLICABLE REASON FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE) THAT NO CHECK IS TO BE DRAWN AS IT CANNOT BE DELIVERED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 11, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ARE MISSING OR INTERNED IN THE PHILIPPINES UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MAKE THEM SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC NO. 490, 77TH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 7, 1942. CERTAIN OF THESE EMPLOYEES HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS, PRIOR TO THE FALL OF MANILA, FOR ALLOTMENT OF THEIR SALARIES AND THESE ALLOTMENTS ARE BEING CONTINUED AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 7.

THE BALANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE, MOST OF WHOM ARE CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES DO NOT, AS FAR AS IS KNOWN, HAVE DEPENDENTS OR RELATIVES IN THE UNITED STATES. SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7 PROVIDES THAT SUCH PERSONS SHALL "WHILE SO ABSENT, BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE OR HAVE CREDITED TO HIS ACCOUNT THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES TO WHICH SUCH PERSON WAS ENTITLED AT THE TIME OF THE BEGINNING OF THE ABSENCE * * *.'

THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER PAY ROLLS SHOULD BE PREPARED AND CHECKS DRAWN COVERING THE MONTHLY SALARIES OF SUCH PERSONS, OR WHETHER IT WOULD BE SUFFICIENT MERELY TO KEEP RECORDS OF THE AMOUNTS TO WHICH THEY WOULD NORMALLY BE ENTITLED AND PERMIT THEM TO FILE CLAIMS FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES DUE THEM WHILE INTERNED WHEN IT LATER BECOMES POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO DO SO.

SOME OF THESE EMPLOYEES WERE ENGAGED IN WORK BEING PERFORMED BY THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE ON BEHALF OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND THE BOARD OF ECONOMIC WARFARE, FOR WHICH THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S APPROPRIATION IS REIMBURSABLE.

NO REPORTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS TO THE WELFARE AND WHEREABOUTS OF FILIPINO CITIZENS EMPLOYED IN THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER, AND IT SEEMS DOUBTFUL IF ANY INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER THEY ARE LIVING OR DEAD CAN BE OBTAINED UNTIL AMERICAN AUTHORITY IS REESTABLISHED IN MANILA.

A DECISION BY YOUR OFFICE ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT IT IS NECESSARY TO PREPARE PAYROLLS AND DRAW CHECKS COVERING THE MONTHLY SALARIES OF PERSONS UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED ABOVE, OR WHETHER IT IS SUFFICIENT TO KEEP RECORDS AND ADJUST THEIR ACCOUNTS WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE TO ASCERTAIN THE FACTS IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE, IS REQUESTED.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 144, PROVIDES:

ANY PERSON WHO IS IN ACTIVE SERVICE AND IS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY, OR CAPTURED BY AN ENEMY SHALL, WHILE SO ABSENT, BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE OR TO HAVE CREDITED TO HIS ACCOUNT THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES TO WHICH SUCH PERSON WAS ENTITLED AT THE TIME OF THE BEGINNING OF THE ABSENCE OR MAY BECOME ENTITLED TO THEREAFTER: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH PERSON SHALL NOT HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS HAVING BEEN ABSENT FROM HIS POST OF DUTY WITHOUT AUTHORITY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXPIRATION OF THE AGREED TERM OF SERVICE DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH ABSENCE SHALL NOT OPERATE TO TERMINATE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE SUCH PAY AND ALLOWANCES: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT SHOULD PROPER AUTHORITY SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINE THAT THE PERSON CONCERNED HAD BEEN ABSENT FROM POST OF DUTY WITHOUT AUTHORITY, SUCH PERSON SHALL BE INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE AMOUNT FOR WHICH PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE OR PAY AND ALLOWANCES CREDITED TO HIS ACCOUNT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT DURING SUCH ABSENCE.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THIS SECTION WHICH WOULD INDICATE IT WAS CONTEMPLATED AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE AFTER HIS DEATH, AND IN VIEW OF THE COMPLICATIONS WHICH MIGHT ARISE IF CHECKS ARE ISSUED TO PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE DIED PRIOR TO ISSUANCE, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED GOOD POLICY TO ISSUE CHECKS CURRENTLY IN PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO SUCH PERSONS AS ARE REPORTED MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY, OR CAPTURED BY AN ENEMY. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO OBJECTION TO CARRYING THE NAMES OF SUCH PERSONS UPON THE PAY ROLLS TO HELP IN MAINTAINING A PROPER RECORD FOR FUTURE REFERENCE, BUT IF THAT BE DONE THERE SHOULD BE A NOTATION IN THE REMARKS COLUMN IN EACH CASE THAT NO CHECK IS TO BE DRAWN BECAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY REPORTED MISSING, MISSING IN ACTION, INTERNED IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY OR CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND CHECK CANNOT BE DELIVERED. THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY CONCERNED SHOULD, OF COURSE, MAINTAIN A COMPLETE AND ADEQUATE RECORD SO THAT IF AND WHEN A CLAIM IS FILED, THE AMOUNT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO HAVE CREDITED TO HIM UNDER THE PROVISION OF LAW REFERRED TO CAN BE READILY DETERMINED.