B-111513, AUG. 17, 1967

B-111513: Aug 17, 1967

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A RETIRED ARMY RESERVE OFFICER WHO DELAYED FOR 15 YEARS REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PRIOR AND AFTER RETURN FROM MILITARY DUTY MAY NOT HAVE CASE REOPENED IN ABSENCE OF NEW EVIDENCE UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE THAT AS OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT REOPEN A SETTLEMENT OR REVISE A DECISION MADE BY HIS PREDECESSOR IN OFFICE EXCEPT UPON PRODUCTION OF NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE OR TO CORRECT MANIFEST MISTAKE OF FACT. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23. WHICH EXPLAINED IN DETAIL THE REASON WHY YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE. ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE DELAYED AN UNREASONABLE TIME (NEARLY 15 YEARS) IN REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THAT DECISION.

B-111513, AUG. 17, 1967

GAO - DECISION - REOPENING DECISION TO RETIRED ARMY RESERVE OFFICER FOR RECONSIDERATION OF CASE DISALLOWING CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PRIOR AND AFTER MILITARY SERVICE. A RETIRED ARMY RESERVE OFFICER WHO DELAYED FOR 15 YEARS REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PRIOR AND AFTER RETURN FROM MILITARY DUTY MAY NOT HAVE CASE REOPENED IN ABSENCE OF NEW EVIDENCE UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE THAT AS OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT REOPEN A SETTLEMENT OR REVISE A DECISION MADE BY HIS PREDECESSOR IN OFFICE EXCEPT UPON PRODUCTION OF NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE OR TO CORRECT MANIFEST MISTAKE OF FACT.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL CECIL E. PICKENS, USAR, RETD.:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1967, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE, RELATING TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF OUR OFFICE IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR SERVICES RENDERED PRIOR TO AND SUBSEQUENT TO YOUR RESTORATION AFTER MILITARY SERVICE ON MAY 16, 1946, AS A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, AUDIT DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23, 1952. UPON APPEAL OF YOUR CASE IN 1952, THE THEN COMPTROLLER GENERAL RENDERED DECISION B-111513 DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1952 (COPY ENCLOSED), WHICH EXPLAINED IN DETAIL THE REASON WHY YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE.

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE DELAYED AN UNREASONABLE TIME (NEARLY 15 YEARS) IN REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THAT DECISION, WE NOTE THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY A FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE THAT AN OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT REOPEN A SETTLEMENT OR REVISE A DECISION MADE BY HIS PREDECESSOR IN OFFICE EXCEPT UPON PRODUCTION OF NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE, OR TO CORRECT MANIFEST MISTAKES OF FACT SUCH AS ERRORS IN CALCULATION, OR FOR FRAUD OR COLLUSION. SEE NOBLE V. UNION RIVER LOGGING R.R. CO., 147 U.S. 165; LAVALETTE V. UNITED STATES, 1 CT. CL. 147; 16 COMP. GEN. 51; ID. 118.

IN A RECENT VISIT TO OUR OFFICE YOU FURNISHED US COPIES OF YOUR PERSONNEL FILES PERTAINING TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. AT THAT TIME WE ADVISED YOU THAT WE HAD REQUESTED YOUR OFFICIAL PERSONNEL FILE FROM THE FEDERAL RECORDS CENTER. THAT FILE HAS NOW BEEN RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE. AN EXAMINATION OF THAT FILE DISCLOSED THAT THE DOCUMENTS FURNISHED BY YOU ON YOUR RECENT VISIT DO NOT CONSTITUTE NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE, THE SAME DOCUMENTS HAVING BEEN CONSIDERED BY OUR OFFICE IN OUR EARLIER REVIEW OF YOUR CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE REOPENING OR REVISION OF THE PREVIOUS ACTION TAKEN IN YOUR CASE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED.

CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR COPIES OF A DOCTOR'S LETTERS TO OUR OFFICE AND THE REPLIES THERETO PERTAINING TO A DISPUTED BILL ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN OWING BY YOU, AS YOU WERE ADVISED INFORMALLY, PRIOR TO SENDING YOUR PERSONNEL FILE TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WHERE YOU HAD TRANSFERRED ANY CORRESPONDENCE CONTAINED IN SUCH FILE THAT DID NOT CONSTITUTE PART OF YOUR OFFICIAL PERMANENT PERSONNEL RECORD WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE FILE AND DESTROYED. AN EXAMINATION OF YOUR PERSONNEL FILE FAILED TO REVEAL ANY LETTERS RELATING TO THE DISPUTED DOCTOR'S BILL.

ALSO YOU REQUEST INFORMATION CONCERNING THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE AUTHORITY TO PRACTICE BEFORE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL, TITLE 1, CHAPTER 5, SECTIONS 19.2, 19.4 AND 19.8 WHICH PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"19.2 PRACTICE BY ATTORNEYS

"ANY PERSON WHO IS A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING OF THE BAR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE HIGHEST COURT OF ANY STATE, TERRITORY, OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND IS NOT UNDER ANY ORDER OF ANY COURT SUSPENDING, ENJOINING, RESTRAINING, DISBARRING, OR OTHERWISE RESTRICTING HIM IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW, MAY REPRESENT OTHERS BEFORE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

"19.4 APPLICATION FOR ENROLLMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES OTHER THAN ATTORNEYS

"ALL PERSONS DESIRING TO APPEAR BEFORE THIS OFFICE IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY OTHER THAN AS A MEMBER OF THE BAR SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR ENROLLMENT TO THE GENERAL COUNSEL, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

"19.8 AUTHORITY TO PROSECUTE CLAIMS

"IN THE PROSECUTION OF CLAIMS INVOLVING PAYMENTS TO BE MADE BY THE UNITED STATES, PROPER POWERS OF ATTORNEY SHALL ALWAYS BE FILED BEFORE AN ATTORNEY OR REPRESENTATIVE IS RECOGNIZED. ALSO, A POWER OF ATTORNEY FROM THE PRINCIPAL MAY BE REQUIRED OF ATTORNEYS OR REPRESENTATIVES IN ANY SE.'

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