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YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE AND THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AT A COMBINED ANNUAL RATE OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF $2000 PER YEAR. SUCH DUAL COMPENSATION WAS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF MAY 10. THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM ONE OF THE POSITIONS DURING THE PERIOD OF DUAL EMPLOYMENT WAS SET OFF IN NOVEMBER 1952 AGAINST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. THE ENTIRE TRANSACTION WAS COMPLETED IN 1952. WAS NOT IN EXISTENCE ON AUGUST 28. IT CAN HAVE NO EFFECT IN THE SET-OFF AGAINST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. A STATUTE MUST BE CONSTRUED TO OPERATE PROSPECTIVELY ONLY UNLESS A RETROSPECTIVE CONSTRUCTION IS REQUIRED BY THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE OF THE STATUTE OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. THERE IS NO LANGUAGE EITHER IN THE ACT ITSELF OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY WHICH COULD JUSTIFY AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ACT TO GIVE IT RETROACTIVE EFFECT.

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B-115954, OCT. 24, 1955

TO MR. CHARLES R. GODDARD:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1955, REQUESTS OUR ADVICE REGARDING THE EFFECT OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 28, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 684, 68 STAT. 890, ON YOUR CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY SET OFF AGAINST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT TO RECOVER AN AMOUNT PAID YOU IN VIOLATION OF THE DUAL COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 10, 1916, 5 U.S.C. 58.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 21, AND OCTOBER 7, 1920, YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE AND THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AT A COMBINED ANNUAL RATE OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF $2000 PER YEAR. AS WE POINTED OUT IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 23, 1953, TO YOU, SUCH DUAL COMPENSATION WAS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1916, SUPRA. THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM ONE OF THE POSITIONS DURING THE PERIOD OF DUAL EMPLOYMENT WAS SET OFF IN NOVEMBER 1952 AGAINST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. THUS, THE ENTIRE TRANSACTION WAS COMPLETED IN 1952.

PUBLIC LAW 684, APPROVED AUGUST 28, 1954, PROVIDES:

"THAT THE UNITED STATES HEREBY WAIVES ALL CLAIMS AGAINST ANY PERSON ARISING OUT OF THE RECEIPT OF SUCH PERSON OF COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES * * * IN VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW PROHIBITING OR RESTRICTING THE RECEIPT OF DUAL COMPENSATION, WHICH HAS NOT BEEN REPORTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR COLLECTION WITHIN SIX YEARS FROM THE LAST DATE OF ANY PERIOD OF DUAL COMPENSATION.'

THE CLAIM AGAINST YOU HAD BEEN SATISFIED ALMOST TWO YEARS BEFORE THE ENACTMENT OF THE ABOVE LAW AND, THUS, WAS NOT IN EXISTENCE ON AUGUST 28, 1954. UNLESS THE ACT CAN BE INTERPRETED TO OPERATE RETROSPECTIVELY, IT CAN HAVE NO EFFECT IN THE SET-OFF AGAINST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. UNDER THE UNIVERSAL RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, A STATUTE MUST BE CONSTRUED TO OPERATE PROSPECTIVELY ONLY UNLESS A RETROSPECTIVE CONSTRUCTION IS REQUIRED BY THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE OF THE STATUTE OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. UNITED STATES V. ST. LOUIS, SAN FRANCISCO AND TEXAS RY. CO., 270 U.S. 1. THERE IS NO LANGUAGE EITHER IN THE ACT ITSELF OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY WHICH COULD JUSTIFY AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ACT TO GIVE IT RETROACTIVE EFFECT. THE ACT OF AUGUST 28, 1954, THEREFORE, DOES NOT AFFECT YOUR CASE. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 14, 1953, IS SUSTAINED.

YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU NEVER RECEIVED A CHECK COVERING COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 1 TO 7, 1920 AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE WAS FULLY CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISIONS OF JULY 23, 1953, AND AUGUST 6, 1954. FURTHER DISCUSSION OF THE MATTER WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE.

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