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GAO was asked to determine whether the claims of four expert witnesses for fees in connection with their consultation services and testimony incident to a court-martial proceeding presented elements of legal liability that warrant submission of the claims to Congress under the Meritorious Claims Act. The Army advised that the claims have not been allowed since the expert witnesses were not employed in accordance with required procedures. The Army requested that the claims be submitted under the Act. GAO held that there was no authority to allow payment of claims for services as expert witnesses at Army court-martial proceedings where the claimants' services were not authorized in advance by the convening authority as required by the Manual for Courts-Martial. Also, the claims did not contain such elements of unusual legal liability or equity to warrant their submission to Congress under the act.


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