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Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness

Date: March 22, 2001
File Number: [01-0022]
Matter of: [Name]

OPM Contact: Melissa A. Drummond

The claimant is a former employee of the [agency], who was stationed in the Country of [country name]. He began working on December 13, 1983 and was terminated on January 4, 1999 due to the implementation of the [name] Treaty. Since he was hired as a local employee after the [name] Treaty came into effect, the claimant contends that the agency was responsible for withholding income tax and social security from his salary and transferring them to the [country name] Government. He believes that, because the U.S. failed to properly withhold and pay taxes to [country name] from his U.S. Government salary, he is owed $403,293.00 to cover damages relating to an outstanding balance with Citibank and, thus, being reported as a person with bad credit to the [country name] Association of Creditors. For the reasons stated below, we do not have the authority to settle this claim.

The [agency] denied the claim on October 20, 2000, based on the two-year statute of limitation of the Foreign Claims Act, section 2734 of Title 10 of the United States Code. Section 2735 of Title 10 finds that the settlement of a claim under section 2734 of Title 10 is final and conclusive. These regulations also state the following:

GAO1 has no jurisdiction to settle claims under any of the statutes which are subject to the "final and conclusive" provisions of 10 U.S.C. 2735. 41 Comp. Gen. 235 (1961);

B-180082, March 1, 1974; B-113727, April 6, 1953.

Based on this, we do not have jurisdiction to consider this claim.

OPM does not conduct investigations or adversary hearings in adjudicating claims, but relies on the written record presented by the parties. See Frank A. Barone, B-229439, May 25, 1988. Where the agency's factual determination is reasonable, we will not substitute our judgment for that of the agency. See, e.g., Jimmie D. Brewer, B-205452, March 15, 1982, as cited in Philip M. Brey, supra.

This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

Effective June 30, 1996, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-53, 109 Stat. 535 (November 19, 1995), transferred certain claims adjudication functions from the General Accounting Office to the Office of Management and Budget. The Office of Management and Budget delegated to the Office of Personnel Management the responsibility for adjudicating Federal employees' claims for compensation and leave.

B-275605, memorandum from the Acting Comptroller General to the Heads of Departments and Agencies (March 17, 1997). Section 202(n)(1)(B) of the General Accounting Office Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-316, 110 Stat. 3843-44 (October 19, 1996), transferred the Comptroller General's authority to settle claims for Federal civilian employees' compensation to the Director of OPM.

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