B-190841, FEB 15, 1978

B-190841: Feb 15, 1978

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CLAIM WAS HELD IN AGENCY AND WAS NOT RECEIVED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL MAY 20. PROVIDES THAT CLAIMS PRESENTED TO GAO MORE THAN 6 YEARS AFTER DATE CLAIM ACCRUED ARE BARRED. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO WAIVE OR MODIFY THE APPLICATION OF 31 U.S.C. WHICH PROVIDES THAT EVERY CLAIM COGNIZABLE BY GAO IS BARRED FOREVER IF IT IS NOT RECEIVED IN GAO WITHIN 6 YEARS AFTER THE DATE IT ACCRUED. AGENCIES SHOULD SEND ALL CLAIMS TO GAO WHICH HAVE ACCRUED MORE THAN 4 YEARS PRIOR TO RECEIPT. THIS IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7.1 OF THE GAO MANUAL. BAKER - CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE COMPENSATION: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY MR. THAT HIS CLAIM FOR BACK PAY INCIDENT TO AN EXTENDED DETAIL TO A HIGHER GRADED POSITION WAS BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9.

B-190841, FEB 15, 1978

1. ON JUNE 22, 1976, EMPLOYEE OF VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FILED CLAIM WITH EMPLOYING AGENCY FOR BACK PAY INCIDENT TO EXTENDED DETAIL FROM GS-9 POSITION TO GS-11 POSITION DURING PERIOD OCTOBER 10, 1969, TO JANUARY 31, 1971. CLAIM WAS HELD IN AGENCY AND WAS NOT RECEIVED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNTIL MAY 20, 1977. IT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, AS AMENDED 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A, PROVIDES THAT CLAIMS PRESENTED TO GAO MORE THAN 6 YEARS AFTER DATE CLAIM ACCRUED ARE BARRED. FILING CLAIM WITH ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED DOES NOT MEET REQUIREMENT OF BARRING ACT. 2. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO WAIVE OR MODIFY THE APPLICATION OF 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A, AS AMENDED, WHICH PROVIDES THAT EVERY CLAIM COGNIZABLE BY GAO IS BARRED FOREVER IF IT IS NOT RECEIVED IN GAO WITHIN 6 YEARS AFTER THE DATE IT ACCRUED. IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF CLAIMANTS, AGENCIES SHOULD SEND ALL CLAIMS TO GAO WHICH HAVE ACCRUED MORE THAN 4 YEARS PRIOR TO RECEIPT. THIS IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7.1 OF THE GAO MANUAL, AS AMENDED BY LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1975, FROM THE DIRECTOR, CLAIMS DIVISION, GAO, TO THE HEADS OF ALL AGENCIES.

FREDDIE L. BAKER - CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE COMPENSATION:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY MR. CONRAD R. HOFFMAN, CONTROLLER OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WHICH INFORMED MR. FREDDIE L. BAKER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, DANVILLE, ILLINOIS, THAT HIS CLAIM FOR BACK PAY INCIDENT TO AN EXTENDED DETAIL TO A HIGHER GRADED POSITION WAS BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 801 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ACT OF 1974, APPROVED JANUARY 2, 1975, PUBLIC LAW 93-604, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A. MR. BAKER'S CLAIM WAS ONE OF SEVERAL WHICH WERE BARRED IN WHOLE OR PART BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN 6 YEARS AFTER THE DATE THEY ACCRUED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JUNE 22, 1976, MR. BAKER FILED A CLAIM FOR BACK PAY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS DETAIL FROM A GS-9 POSITION TO A GS-11 POSITION DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 10, 1969, TO JANUARY 31, 1971. THIS CLAIM WAS BASED ON DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE WHICH HELD THAT EMPLOYEES DETAILED TO HIGHER GRADED POSITIONS FOR MORE THAN 120 DAYS, WITHOUT CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION APPROVAL, ARE ENTITLED TO A RETROACTIVE TEMPORARY PROMOTION, WITH BACK PAY, FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING WITH THE 121ST DAY OF THE DETAIL UNTIL THE DETAIL IS TERMINATED. MATTER OF EVERETT TURNER AND DAVID L. CALDWELL, B-183086, DECEMBER 5, 1975, 55 COMP.GEN. 539; MATTER OF MARIE GRANT, B-184990, FEBRUARY 20, 1976, 55 COMP.GEN. 785 (1976).

ALTHOUGH MR. BAKER'S CLAIM FOR BACK PAY WAS ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, HE APPARENTLY FILED HIS CLAIM WITH THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN DANVILLE, ILLINOIS, WHO ON JUNE 25, 1976, FORWARDED THE CLAIM TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION'S CENTRAL OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON JULY 28, 1976, THE DIRECTOR, CLASSIFICATION AND PAY SERVICE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION RETURNED MR. BAKER'S CLAIM FOR BACK PAY TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN DANVILLE WITH INSTRUCTIONS THAT HE SHOULD HOLD THE CLAIM PENDING A REVIEW BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE DECISIONS REGARDING BACK PAY FOR EXTENDED DETAILS.

CONSEQUENTLY, MR. BAKER'S CLAIM WAS NOT FILED WITH OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNTIL MAY 20, 1977. ON AUGUST 10, 1977, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION RETURNED TO MR. BAKER HIS CLAIM FOR BACK PAY INFORMING HIM THAT HIS CLAIM WAS BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 801 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ACT OF 1974, APPROVED JANUARY 2, 1975, PUBLIC LAW 93-604, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A. THAT STATUTE PROVIDES THAT EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN 6 YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT THE DATE OF ACCRUAL OF A CLAIM FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTE IS TO BE REGARDED AS THE DATE THE SERVICES WERE RENDERED AND THAT THE CLAIM ACCRUES UPON A DAILY BASIS. 29 COMP.GEN. 517 (1950). ACCORDINGLY, SINCE MR. BAKER'S CLAIM WAS FILED WITH THE GAO MORE THAN 6 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ANY PART OF HIS CLAIM, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION RETURNED THE CLAIM TO MR. BAKER AS BEING BARRED BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

THE AGENCY HAS REQUESTED OUR OFFICE TO CONSIDER WHETHER, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, THE 6-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS MAY BE SATISFIED WHEN THE EMPLOYEE HAS PRESENTED HIS CLAIM TO THE AGENCY AND THROUGH NO FAULT OF THE EMPLOYEE, HIS CLAIM WAS NOT TIMELY RECEIVED BY THE GAO. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY REJECTED SUCH A VIEW AND HAVE LONG HELD THAT THE FILING OF A CLAIM IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE BARRING ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A. SEE 53 COMP.GEN. 148 AT 155 (1973), AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN. IN VIEW OF THIS TIME LIMITATION FOR FILING CLAIMS, SECTION 7.1 OF THE GAO POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES PROVIDES THAT CLAIMS RECEIVED WITHIN 2 YEARS OF THE TIME LIMIT FOR FILING CLAIMS SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE. AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 93-604, WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE JULY 2, 1975, THE DIRECTOR OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, BY LETTER DATED MARCH 14, 1975, INSTRUCTED THE HEADS OF ALL AGENCIES TO INFORMALLY AMEND SECTION 7.1 OF THE GAO MANUAL TO PROVIDE THAT CLAIMS RECEIVED BY THEM 4 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF THEIR ACCRUAL SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. HOWEVER, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO WAIVE OR MODIFY THE APPLICATION OF 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71A. JOHN B. MOORE, B-187427, JUNE 3, 1977, AND B-171774, JULY 2, 1971. THEREFORE, SINCE MR. BAKER'S CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN 6 YEARS FROM WHEN IT ACCRUED IT IS BARRED AND THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS SUSTAINED.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE AND IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF CLAIMANTS, ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES SHOULD PROMPTLY EXAMINE ALL CLAIMS RECEIVED AND FORWARD TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR RECORDING UNDER SECTION 7.1 OF TITLE 4 OF THE GAO MANUAL, ALL CLAIMS WHICH ACCRUED 4 OR MORE YEARS PRIOR TO THEIR RECEIPT. AFTER THE CLAIMS HAVE BEEN RECORDED IN OUR OFFICE THEY WILL BE RETURNED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES FOR PAYMENT, DENIAL, OR REFERRAL BACK TO THE GAO FOR ADJUDICATION.