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Office of the General Counsel

OPM Ref. # 1997-00173

[Agency's name and address]

Dear Mr. [xxx]:

This is in response to your request dated February 7, 1997, that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) adjudicate [xxx]'s claim for payment of a separate maintenance allowance (SMA). It is the determination of this office that Ms. [xxx]'s claim be denied.

The record establishes that by memorandum dated June 19, 1995, Ms. [xxx] was advised by the [agency] that her request for an SMA for her husband had been approved effective April 5, 1995, the date of her Foreign Allowances Application, Grant, and Report (Standard Form 1190).

By letter dated February 12, 1997, Ms. [xxx] maintains that her local Civilian Personnel Advisor at the [agency], knew of her husband's departure on February 2, 1995, and that on December 28, 1994, Ms. [xxx] expressly requested the SMA. Ms. [xxx] documents her statement with a memorandum from her to [xxx], [agency acronym], dated December 28, 1994, in which she appealed an adverse grievance decision.

However, Ms. [xxx] has neither submitted nor alleged the existence of a Standard Form 1190 dated earlier than April 5, 1995. In addition, as clarified by [xxx] of your staff, the reference to an SMA in Ms. [xxx]'s December 28, 1994 memorandum was wholly insufficient. As Ms. [xxx] explained, Civilian Personnel Manual (CPM) 592, Subchapter 6-3, requires that an SMA may only be granted prospectively and that the application "must be submitted through command channels". Ms. [xxx] reported that Mr. [xxx] was not the appropriate authority as specified in CPM 592, Subch. 6-3, b.

To the contrary, Ms. [xxx] identifies Mr. [xxx] as "the same [acronym] individual responsible for my SMA entitlement and appeal process." Where there is an irreconcilable factual dispute, the burden of proof is on the claimant. See 4 C.F.R.  31.7 (1989); Nathaniel C. Carter, B-238487, May 25, 1990; Jones and Short, B-205282, June 15, 1982; and Wade B. Bumgardner, B-184795, August 5, 1976. Under these circumstances, we accept the agency's statement that Ms. [xxx]'s SMA request of December 28, 1994, was not in accordance with CPM 592, Subch. 6-3, b.

Sincerely yours,

Murray M. Meeker

Senior Attorney

cc: [xxx]

Control Panel