B-200923 L/M, DEC 17, 1982

B-200923 L/M: Dec 17, 1982

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ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8. CONCERNING THE ISSUE OF THE COMPARABILITY ADJUSTMENT FOR FEDERAL JUDGES WHICH WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THEM A 4 PERCENT SALARY INCREASE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1. THAT SINCE SECTION 140 IS PERMANENT LEGISLATION FEDERAL JUDGES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A 4 PERCENT INCREASE AS OF LAST OCTOBER 1. YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THIS DECISION IS SIGNIFICANT NOT ONLY THIS YEAR BUT ALSO WITH RESPECT TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF JUDGES TO PAY ADJUSTMENTS IN FUTURE YEARS. WE HAVE INTERPRETED THIS PROVISION AS NOT APPLYING TO CLAIMS OR MATTERS WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN CONSIDERED AND DECIDED BY THIS OFFICE. THOSE CLAIMS OR MATTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN REFERRED BY OUR OFFICE FALL WITHIN THE TWO FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: (1) CASES WHERE THERE ARE CONFLICTING CLAIMANTS FOR AN AMOUNT OF MONEY CLEARLY DUE AND ADJUDICATION BY THE COURT IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

B-200923 L/M, DEC 17, 1982

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

WILLIAM E. FOLEY, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1982, CONCERNING THE ISSUE OF THE COMPARABILITY ADJUSTMENT FOR FEDERAL JUDGES WHICH WOULD HAVE PROVIDED THEM A 4 PERCENT SALARY INCREASE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1982, BUT FOR THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN SECTION 140 OF PUBLIC LAW 97-92, DECEMBER 15, 1981, 95 STAT. 1183. AS YOU POINT OUT, WE DECIDED IN FEDERAL JUDGES, B-200923, NOVEMBER 23, 1982, 62 COMP.GEN. , THAT SINCE SECTION 140 IS PERMANENT LEGISLATION FEDERAL JUDGES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A 4 PERCENT INCREASE AS OF LAST OCTOBER 1, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION.

YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THIS DECISION IS SIGNIFICANT NOT ONLY THIS YEAR BUT ALSO WITH RESPECT TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF JUDGES TO PAY ADJUSTMENTS IN FUTURE YEARS. ACCORDINGLY, YOU REQUEST THAT WE REFER THIS ISSUE TO THE UNITED STATES CLAIMS COURT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 28 U.S.C. SEC. 2510. HOWEVER, FOR THE REASONS STATED BELOW, WE DECLINE TO EXERCISE THAT AUTHORITY.

SECTION 2510, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL MAY REFER TO THE UNITED STATES CLAIMS COURT FOR TRIAL AND ADJUDICATION ANY CLAIM OR MATTER OVER WHICH THE CLAIMS COURT MIGHT TAKE JURISDICTION ON THE VOLUNTARY ACTION OF THE CLAIMANT.

WE HAVE INTERPRETED THIS PROVISION AS NOT APPLYING TO CLAIMS OR MATTERS WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN CONSIDERED AND DECIDED BY THIS OFFICE. B-176997, MARCH 27, 1973, COPY ENCLOSED. SEE ALSO B-154118, JULY 23, 1964; B-147203, FEBRUARY 7, 1963; B-131612, OCTOBER 31, 1957; AND B-126471, MAY 11, 1956. IN ADDITION, THOSE CLAIMS OR MATTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN REFERRED BY OUR OFFICE FALL WITHIN THE TWO FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: (1) CASES WHERE THERE ARE CONFLICTING CLAIMANTS FOR AN AMOUNT OF MONEY CLEARLY DUE AND ADJUDICATION BY THE COURT IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT; AND (2) CASES WHERE THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMANT IS CLEAR BUT THE AMOUNT DUE IS TOO UNCERTAIN TO PERMIT SETTLEMENT BY OUR OFFICE. SEE OUR DECISIONS CITED ABOVE.

SINCE THE ISSUE OF THE ENTITLEMENT TO A COMPARABILITY ADJUSTMENT FOR FEDERAL JUDGES HAS BEEN DECIDED BY OUR OFFICE AND SINCE THE ISSUE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE CRITERIA SET FORTH ABOVE FOR REFERRAL TO THE CLAIMS COURT, WE RESPECTFULLY DECLINE TO REFER THIS MATTER UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 28 U.S.C. SEC. 2510.

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