B-139590, OCT. 2, 1959

B-139590: Oct 2, 1959

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THE SETTLEMENT WAS SUSTAINED IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 10. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE BECAUSE THE REPORT FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED SHOWED THAT THE CHECK IN QUESTION REPRESENTED AN OVERPAYMENT. WAS PROPERLY RETURNED BY YOU FOR CANCELLATION. IT WAS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE CORRECTLY PAID THROUGH THE DATE OF YOUR SEPARATION. IN THE CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THIS MATTER YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT THE CHECK WAS ERRONEOUSLY RETURNED BY YOU SINCE IT REPRESENTED SALARY FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION BEGINNING WITH JULY 1. WHICH WAS HELD BACK DUE TO A . "AN EXAMINATION OF THE FISCAL RECORDS OF THE CLAIMANT INDICATES THAT HER SERVICES WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION WERE TERMINATED TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT EFFECTIVE MAY 27.

B-139590, OCT. 2, 1959

TO MRS. MIRIAM M. FURBERSHAW:

ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1959, YOU REQUESTED FURTHER REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 22, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF AN UNDESCRIBED SALARY CHECK ISSUED IN 1946. THE SETTLEMENT WAS SUSTAINED IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 10, 1959, TO YOU. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE BECAUSE THE REPORT FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED SHOWED THAT THE CHECK IN QUESTION REPRESENTED AN OVERPAYMENT, AND WAS PROPERLY RETURNED BY YOU FOR CANCELLATION. FURTHER, IT WAS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE CORRECTLY PAID THROUGH THE DATE OF YOUR SEPARATION.

IN THE CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THIS MATTER YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION, JULY 1, 1943, AND RESIGNED ON MAY 26, 1946, TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT. YOU SAY THAT AT THE TERMINATION OF YOUR SERVICES WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION YOU RECEIVED A SALARY CHECK REPRESENTING TWO WEEKS PAY, WHICH YOU RETURNED, ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE PERSONNEL PEOPLE IN CHARGE, STATING IN EFFECT, THAT THE SALARY CHECK REPRESENTED AN OVERPAYMENT. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT THE CHECK WAS ERRONEOUSLY RETURNED BY YOU SINCE IT REPRESENTED SALARY FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION BEGINNING WITH JULY 1, 1943, CARRIED FORWARD, WHICH WAS HELD BACK DUE TO A ,PAY-LAG" SYSTEM THEN IN EFFECT.

BY LETTER DATED MARCH 24, 1959, THE EMPLOYEE ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS BRANCH, OFFICE OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE REPORTED TO US AS FOLLOWS:

"YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 6, 1959, * * * RELATING TO THE CLAIM OF MIRIAM M. FURBERSHAW, * * * HAS BEEN RECEIVED.

"AN EXAMINATION OF THE FISCAL RECORDS OF THE CLAIMANT INDICATES THAT HER SERVICES WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION WERE TERMINATED TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT EFFECTIVE MAY 27, 1946. IN THE PAY PERIOD MAY 19 THROUGH JUNE 1, 1946 A CHECK WAS ISSUED IN THE NET AMOUNT OF $187.65 REPRESENTING 80 HOURS SALARY FOR THIS PERIOD AT $4520 PER ANNUM PLUS AN ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN $4520 AND $4300 FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 10 THROUGH MAY 18, 1946. SINCE THE CLAIMANT ENTERED ON DUTY WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT EFFECTIVE MAY 27, 1946, SHE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE FULL PROCEEDS OF THIS CHECK, AND RECORDS SHOW THAT A REFUND OF 40 HOURS SALARY OVERPAYMENT FOR THE PERIOD MAY 27 THROUGH JUNE 1, 1946 IN THE NET AMOUNT OF $66.97 WAS OBTAINED AND RECORDED ON SCHEDULE OF COLLECTIONS NO. 124 IN THE SEPTEMBER 1946 ACCOUNTS OF E. J. BRENNA, SYMBOL 2000. THIS TRANSACTION WOULD, THEREFORE, SETTLE CLAIMANT'S PAY ACCOUNT WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION. FURTHER EXAMINATION SHOWS THAT A CHECK IN THE NET AMOUNT OF $141.94 WAS ERRONEOUSLY ISSUED IN THE PAY PERIOD JUNE 2 THROUGH 15, 1946, AND SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELLED. SINCE MRS. FURBERSHAW WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THIS CHECK, IT WAS IN ORDER TO CANCEL THE CHECK. DOUBT, THIS IS THE CHECK TO WHICH SHE REFERS IN HER CLAIM. THEREFORE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MRS. FURBERSHAW WAS CORRECTLY PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT (FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION) THROUGH THE DATE OF HER SEPARATION, AND HER CLAIM SHOULD BE DENIED.'

INASMUCH AS THE CHECK IN QUESTION WAS CANCELED AS HAVING BEEN ERRONEOUSLY ISSUED, YOU ARE IN EFFECT MAKING CLAIM FOR TWO WEEKS' SALARY OSTENSIBLY DUE FOR SERVICES RENDERED THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION. THAT CLAIM WAS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON FEBRUARY 24, 1959, WHICH WAS MORE THAN 12 YEARS AFTER THE TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION.

UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE IS FOR APPLICATION THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 31 U.S.C. 71A, UPON WHICH WE HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY ELABORATED. THAT STATUTE PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"/1) EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND (EXCEPT A CLAIM OR DEMAND BY ANY STATE, TERRITORY, POSSESSION OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER SECTIONS 71 AND 236 OF THIS TITLE SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY, SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN A CLAIM OF ANY PERSON SERVING IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES ACCRUES IN TIME OF WAR, OR WHEN WAR INTERVENES WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER ITS ACCRUAL, SUCH CLAIM MAY BE PRESENTED WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER PEACE IS ESTABLISHED.

"/2) WHENEVER ANY CLAIM BARRED BY SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IT SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE CLAIMANT, WITH A COPY OF THIS SECTION, AND SUCH ACTION SHALL BE A COMPLETE RESPONSE WITHOUT FURTHER COMMUNICATION.'

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT PROVIDES THAT EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED. FURTHER, IN EFFECT, SECTION 2 PRECLUDES THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FROM CONSIDERING OR DEVELOPING THE CLAIM. IT EXPRESSLY REQUIRES THE RETURN OF SUCH CLAIMS WITH A COPY OF THE ACT AND "WITHOUT FURTHER COMMUNICATION.' THE STATUTE IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS.

ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE PRECLUDED FROM TAKING ANY FURTHER ACTION IN THIS MATTER.

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