Harold A. Gibson, B-234849

Decision Date21 September 1989
Docket NumberB-234849
Citation68 Comp.Gen. 694
PartiesHarold A. Gibson - Leave Transfer - Death of Leave Recipient
CourtComptroller General of the United States

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Leaves of Absence - Leave transfer - Leave substitution - Propriety - Personnel death Under the Temporary Leave Transfer Program for fiscal year 1988, the retroactive substitution of donated annual leave for leave without pay after the death of a leave recipient was improper. Any unused donated leave remaining to the credit of a leave recipient after his death should have been restored to the leave donors. In addition, the payment of compensation resulting from the retroactive substitution was erroneous but may be subject to waiver.

This is in response to a request from Ms. Jean W. Baines, Acting Assistant Director for Administration, Minerals Management Service (MMS), United States Department of the Interior, for a decision concerning the propriety of retroactively substituting under the Temporary Leave Transfer Program for fiscal year 1988 donated annual leave for leave without pay after the death of a leave recipient. For the reasons discussed below, we find that the retroactive substitution of donated leave for leave without pay after the death of a leave recipient was improper. In addition, the payment of compensation resulting from the retroactive substitution was erroneous but is subject to waiver.

BACKGROUND

On July 8, 1988, MMS approved the application of Mr. Harold A Gibson, an employee in the Alaska office of the MMS, to become a leave recipient under the fiscal year 1988 Temporary Leave Transfer Program. At that time, Mr. Gibson was suffering from a severe illness and was undergoing extensive treatment. A few days later, on July 11, 1988, the Alaska office sent out a formal solicitation for donations of leave on behalf of Mr. Gibson, and 132 hours of annual leave were donated to Mr. Gibson by his fellow employees.

Unfortunately on July 14, 1988, Mr. Gibson died due to complications of his illness. After being notified of Mr. Gibson's death, the Alaska office declined further offers of donations for Mr Gibson. In addition, the Alaska office contacted the employees who donated leave to determine whether they wished to withdraw their donations. When the donors declined to withdraw their donations, the Alaska office took steps to have the 132 hours of donated leave retroactively substituted for 132 hours of leave without pay charged to Mr. Gibson earlier that year.

As a result of the retroactive substitution of donated leave, Mr Gibson's beneficiary received $3, 361.91 for these 132 hours as unpaid compensation due and payable to Mr. Gibson upon his death. The agency now questions the propriety of this retroactive substitution of donated leave for leave without...

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