Request for Waiver of Indebtedness

B-200657: Dec 1, 1980

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A former Federal employee, now retired, sought further consideration of his request for waiver of his indebtedness resulting from an overpayment of compensation which was denied by the Claims Division. The employee was reduced in grade, but was entitled to retain pay for a period of 2 years. Due to an agency administrative error, the employee's retained pay was not timely terminated. It continued to be paid for 10 months before the error was discovered. The agency determined that the employee was at least partially at fault because of his failure to inquire about the correctness of his salary following the scheduled expiration date of his saved pay. The Claims Division concurred with the agency's denial of a waiver of the repayment of overpayments in the employee's salary. The employee contended that, shortly after the date for termination, his circumstances drastically changed and he was reassigned to a new position, which he concluded accounted for a new salary which equaled the amount in question. Conceding that GAO should not waive the overpayments between the date of the expiration and the date of reassignment, the employee believed that GAO should waive the overpayments of salary beginning with the date of the reassignment. Since the employee had not received a promotion to his former grade level, he had no reasonable basis to conclude that he had been reinstated at his former salary. The employee was at fault for his failure to inform the agency that his expired retained pay had not been terminated and for not questioning the erroneous information on his Standard Form 50 pertaining to his reassignment compensation. The action of the Claims Division denying the employee's request for waiver of repayments was sustained.