Skip to Highlights
Highlights

THE SECRETARY OF WAR: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30. THOUSANDS OF WOUNDED AND OTHER MILITARY PERSONNEL HAVE RETURNED FROM ABROAD WITHOUT SERVICE RECORDS OR OTHER OFFICIAL PAPERS ON WHICH PROPER PAYMENT TO THEM COULD BE BASED. MANY OF THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED AND HAVE RECEIVED THEIR FINAL PAY BASED ON INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE. A LARGE NUMBER HAVE PAY AND OTHER ITEMS OF ALLOWANCES. THE DEPARTMENT IS ESPECIALLY DESIROUS OF LENDING ITS AID IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE TO EFFECTUATE PROPER SETTLEMENT TO THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL. IN A GREAT MANY CASES WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE CONSTRUCTION OF LAW AND IN WHICH THE RIGHTS OF THE PERSONNEL ARE CLEARLY DEFINED IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE AMPLY PROTECTED IF SETTLEMENT WAS MADE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES ON SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL VOUCHERS CROSS-REFERENCED TO THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER ON WHICH THE FINAL PAYMENT WAS MADE.

View Decision

B-38066, NOV 16, 1943

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE HONORABLE, THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

"AS A RESULT OF THE EXTENSIVE OPERATIONS IN WHICH THE ARMY HAS BEEN ENGAGED SINCE DECEMBER 7, 1941, THOUSANDS OF WOUNDED AND OTHER MILITARY PERSONNEL HAVE RETURNED FROM ABROAD WITHOUT SERVICE RECORDS OR OTHER OFFICIAL PAPERS ON WHICH PROPER PAYMENT TO THEM COULD BE BASED. MANY OF THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED AND HAVE RECEIVED THEIR FINAL PAY BASED ON INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE. A LARGE NUMBER HAVE PAY AND OTHER ITEMS OF ALLOWANCES, ETC., DUE THEM. THE DEPARTMENT IS ESPECIALLY DESIROUS OF LENDING ITS AID IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE TO EFFECTUATE PROPER SETTLEMENT TO THIS CLASS OF PERSONNEL, AND IN A GREAT MANY CASES WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE CONSTRUCTION OF LAW AND IN WHICH THE RIGHTS OF THE PERSONNEL ARE CLEARLY DEFINED IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE AMPLY PROTECTED IF SETTLEMENT WAS MADE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES ON SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL VOUCHERS CROSS-REFERENCED TO THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER ON WHICH THE FINAL PAYMENT WAS MADE.

"THE WAR DEPARTMENT IS READY AND WILLING TO USE ALL THE FACILITIES AT ITS DISPOSAL TO PREPARE SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHERS AND TO HAVE PAYMENT MADE THEREON. WITH THIS IN VIEW, INFORMATION IS REQUESTED WHETHER YOU WILL OFFER ANY OBJECTION TO SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL SETTLEMENTS BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT, FOR THE DURATION OF THE WAR AND THEREAFTER UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF DEMOBILIZATION OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, IN THE FOLLOWING CLASSES OF CASES:

"A. PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR ONE OR MORE CALENDAR MONTHS OR FRACTION THEREOF, WHERE NOT PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED, AND REFUNDMENTS ON ACCOUNT OF ERRONEOUS DEDUCTIONS OR OVERDEDUCTIONS OF AMOUNTS AS DUE THE UNITED STATES.

"B. ITEMS OF ADDITIONAL PAY TO WHICH PERSONNEL IS ENTITLED WHERE PAYMENT NOT PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED.

"C. MILEAGE AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER PROPER ORDERS AND TRAVEL PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF ENLISTED MEN NOT PAID OR SHORT PAID.

"D. DEPOSITS NOT REPAID OR INTEREST ON DEPOSITS NOT PAID."

THE REPRESENTATIONS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER AND THE QUESTION WHETHER PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE ON SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL SETTLEMENTS IN FAVOR OF DISCHARGED SOLDIERS ARE PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL WITH THOSE PRESENTED TO A FORMER AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT; AND WHILE NO REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER EITHER TO THE SIMILAR CONDITIONS EXISTING AS A RESULT OF WORLD WAR NO. 1 OR TO THE ACTION BY A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY ON THE REQUEST OF THE THEN DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, WAR DEPARTMENT, IT APPEARS EVIDENT FROM THE TENOR AND LANGUAGE OF THE INSTANT CASE THAT THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED AND THE RESULTS SOUGHT TO BE ATTAINED ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN THOSE CONSIDERED BY THE FORMER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY.

UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 29, 1919, THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT TRANSMITTED TO THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY A COMMUNICATION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND REQUESTED DECISION WHETHER OBJECTION WOULD BE MADE TO THE ISSUING OF DUPLICATE FINAL STATEMENTS BY THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE IN CASES OF SOLDIERS WHO HAD BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE AND TO THE PAYMENT THEREON OF ARREARS OF PAY DUE THEM IN CASES WHICH DID NOT INVOLVE A CONSTRUCTION OF LAW. THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, AS QUOTED IN THE DECISION OF JANUARY 30, 1919, IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"2. THIS OFFICE IS READY AND WILLING TO USE ALL THE FACILITIES AT ITS DISPOSAL TO MAKE UP SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL STATEMENTS AND TO HAVE PAYMENT MADE ON THESE SUPPLEMENTAL FINALS. WITH THIS IN VIEW INFORMATION IS REQUESTED WHETHER YOU WILL OFFER ANY OBJECTION TO THIS OFFICE EFFECTING SETTLEMENT IN THE FOLLOWING CLASS OF CASES, VIZ:

"(A) PAY FOR ONE OR MORE CALENDAR MONTHS OF FRACTION THEREOF, WHERE NOT RECEIVED ON REGULAR VOUCHER, AND REFUNDMENTS ON ACCOUNT OF ERRONEOUS DEDUCTIONS OF AMOUNTS AS DUE THE U.S.

"(B) AVIATION AND FLYING PAY TO OFFICERS, CADETS, AND ENLISTED MEN, EXCEPT CLAIMS FOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $75 AND $100 PER MONTH PRESENTED AFTER DISCHARGE.

"(C) TRAVEL PAY SHORT PAID DUE TO ERRONEOUS STATEMENTS AS TO PLACE OF ENLISTMENT OF INDUCTION.

"(D) DEPOSITS NOT REPAID.

"(E) BALANCE DUE FOR CLOTHING ACCRUED ON JULY 14, 1917, AND DEPOSITS ON COLLECTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF CLOTHING ERRONEOUSLY CHARGED.

"(F) REIMBURSEMENT COST OF TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER PROPER ORDERS.

"(G) ANY BONUS THAT MAY HEREAFTER BE AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS.

"3. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS APPLICATION IN THOSE CASES ONLY WHICH HAVE ARISEN BY REASON OF SERVICE SINCE APRIL 6, 1917, AND THAT THIS OFFICE WILL IN EACH CASE CROSS-REFERENCE THE ORIGINAL AND SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION THAT MAY BE DESIRED BY YOU, SUCH AS FURNISHING YOU WITH A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF ALL SETTLEMENTS WHICH MAY BE ISSUED."

IN THE SAID DECISION OF JANUARY 30, 1919, 25 COMP.DEC. 535, 538, THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY APPROVED THE VIEWS OF THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND OF THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE IN LANGUAGE AS FOLLOWS:

"THE VIEWS OF THIS MATTER AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, AND IN THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE ARE APPROVED. PAYMENT SHOULD NOT BE MADE IN ANY CASE WHERE THE SOLDIER ASSIGNED HIS FINAL STATEMENTS AND THE ASSIGNEE RECEIVED PAYMENT THEREON. MUCH CARE MUST BE EXERCISED IN EACH CASE TO CROSS-REFERENCE THE ORIGINAL AND THE SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER. IN EACH CASE THE FINAL STATEMENT TO BE ISSUED SHOULD BEAR A CLEAR REFERENCE TO THE ORIGINAL. THIS IS NECESSARY TO AVOID ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS HEREAFTER. *** NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED MUST BE CONSTRUED TO MODIFY THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1918 (25 COMP.GEN. 373), RELATING TO CASES WHERE THE SOLDIER HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN A DISCHARGE CERTIFICATE OR HAS LOST THE DISCHARGE CERTIFICATE GIVEN HIM."

IN LINE WITH THE PRECEDENT THUS ESTABLISHED I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS BY ARMY DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE CLASSES OF CASES DESIGNATED IN YOUR LETTER AND SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS THEREIN MENTIONED.

GAO Contacts