Personnel Claims Regulations, 53421-53424 [E7-18204]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 181 / Wednesday, September 19, 2007 / Rules and Regulations (3) The Deputy Judge Advocate General, the Assistant Judge Advocate General (General Law), the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation), and Head, Tort Claims Branch (Claims and Tort Litigation), have delegated authority to settle claims for $25,000.00 or less, and have denial authority in any amount. (4) Individuals with settlement authority under paragraph (a)(3) of this section may delegate all or part of their settlement authority. Such delegation must be in writing. (b) Appellate authority. Adjudicating authorities have the same authority as delegated in paragraph (a) of this section to act upon appeals. No appellate authority below the Secretary of the Navy may deny an appeal of a claim it had previously denied. 21. Section 750.50 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows: I § 750.50 Advance payments. * * * * * (c) * * * (3) The Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation) and the Head, Tort Claims Branch (Claims and Tort Litigation) have delegated authority to make advance payments up to $25,000.00. * * * * * Subpart D—Claims Not Cognizable Under Any Other Provision of Law 22. Section 750.66 is revised to read as follows: I § 750.66 Officials with authority to settle. Judge Advocate General; Deputy Judge Advocate General; Assistant Judge Advocate General (General Law); Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation); and Head, Tort Claims Branch (Claims and Tort Litigation) may settle a nonscope claim. Dated: September 10, 2007. T.M. Cruz, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. E7–18198 Filed 9–18–07; 8:45 am] yshivers on PROD1PC66 with RULES BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:05 Sep 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy 32 CFR Part 751 [USN–2006–0039] RIN 0703–AA79 Personnel Claims Regulations Department of the Navy, DoD. Interim final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This rule reflects administrative changes to the regulations concerning the administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States. The revisions will ensure the proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States. This rule is being published by the Department of the Navy for guidance and interest of the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1). DATES: This rule is effective September 19, 2007. Comments must be received by November 19, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 1160 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301–1160. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket or RIN number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http:// regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Enrique Mendez, Head Affirmative and Personnel Claims Branch, Claims and Tort Litigation Division (Code 15), Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1322 Patterson Avenue, SE., Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374, telephone 202–685–4600. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ It has been determined that the changes to 32 CFR part 751 are not considered a ‘‘significant regulatory action.’’ The rule does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53421 economy, a sector in the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of the recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104–4). It has been certified that 32 CFR part 751 does not contain Federal Mandates that result in expenditures by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Public Law 96–354, ‘‘Regulatory Flexibility Act’’ (5 U.S.C. 601). It has been determined that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule implements the processing of the proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States, and does not economically impact the Federal government’s relations with the private sector. Public Law 96–511, ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act’’ (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). This rule does not impose collection of information requirements for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, 5 CFR part 1320). Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism.’’ It has been certified that 32 CFR part 751 does not have federalism implications as set forth in Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on: (1) The States; (2) The relationship between the National Government and the States; or (3) The distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government. List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 751 Claims; Government employees; Military personnel. I Accordingly, 32 CFR part 751 is amended to read as follows: PART 751—PERSONNEL CLAIMS REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 751 is revised to read as follows: I E:\FR\FM\19SER1.SGM 19SER1 53422 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 181 / Wednesday, September 19, 2007 / Rules and Regulations Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 10 U.S.C. 5013 and 5148; E.O. 12473, 3 CFR, 1984 Comp., p. 201. 2. Section 751.1 is revised to read as follows: I § 751.1 Scope. This part prescribes procedures and substantive bases for administrative settlement of claims against the United States submitted by Department of Navy (DoN) personnel and civilian employees of the naval establishment. I 3. Section 751.2 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows: § 751.2 Claims against the United States: In general. (a) Maximum amount payable. The Military and Civilian Employees’ Personnel Claims Act (Personnel Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3701, 3702, and 3721 (2004)), provides that the maximum amount payable for any loss or damage arising from a single incident is limited to $40,000.00. Where the loss of or damage to personal property arose from emergency evacuations or other extraordinary circumstances, the maximum is $100,000.00. * * * * * I 4. Section 751.3 is revised to read as follows: § 751.3 Authority. The Personnel Claims Act provides the authority for maximum payment up to $40,000, $100,000 in extraordinary circumstances for loss, damage, or destruction of personal property of military personnel or civilian employees incident to their service. No claim may be paid unless it is presented in writing within 2 years of the incident that gave rise to the claim. I 5. Section 751.5 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3), removing the word ‘‘officers’’ and replacing it with the word ‘‘personnel’’ in paragraph (a)(4), adding paragraph (a)(5), revising the first sentence in paragraph (c), and revising paragraph (f) to read as follows: yshivers on PROD1PC66 with RULES § 751.5 Definitions. (a) * * * (3) Claims by non-appropriated fund employees. Claims by employees of Navy and Marine Corps nonappropriated fund activities for loss, damage, or destruction of personal property incident to their employment will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with this part and forwarded to the appropriate local nonappropriated fund activity that employs the claimant for payment from nonappropriated funds. * * * * * VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:05 Sep 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 (5) Agent or legal representative. The authorized agent or legal representative of a proper claimant may file on behalf of the claimant if the agent provides a power of attorney that complies with local law. Certain relatives of a deceased proper claimant may file any claim the claimant could have filed. The PCA identifies these relatives in order of priority. If multiple persons who the statute lists as equals in priority file separate claims, the first claim settled extinguishes the rights of the other claimants. The estate of a deceased proper party claimant is not a proper claimant, nor is an executor or personal representative who cannot file as a survivor. The PCA ranks surviving relatives in the following order of priority: (i) Spouse; (ii) Child or children; (iii) Father, mother, or both; (iv) Brother, sister, or both. * * * * * (c) Unusual occurrence. Serious events and natural disaster not expected to take place in the normal course of events and hazards outside the normal risks of day-to-day living and working. * * * * * * * * (f) Vehicles. Include automobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, utility trailers, camping trailers, trucks, mounted camper bodies, motor homes, boats, boat trailers, bicycles, and aircraft. Mobile homes and other property used as dwelling places are not considered vehicles. I 6. Section 751.6 is amended by revising the introductory text and paragraph (a)(5), the first four sentences of paragraph (b), paragraph (c)(1), the first sentence of paragraph (c)(2), paragraph (c)(3), the first sentence of paragraph (c)(5), paragraph (d), and the first four sentences of paragraph (k)(2) to read as follows: § 751.6 Claims payable. Claims for loss, damage, or destruction of property may be considered as set out below if possession of the property was reasonable and useful under the circumstances and the loss did not result from the negligence of the claimant. The following are examples of more common claims. Not all situations that may result in a claim are covered, but the processes described in the examples on how to approach, investigate, and adjudicate claims are applicable to all claims filed. (a) * * * (5) Shipment or storage at the claimant’s expense. The Government PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 will not compensate a claimant for loss or damage that occurs while property is being shipped or stored at the claimant’s expense, even if the Government reimburses the claimant for the shipment or storage fees. The reason for this is that there is no contract, called a Government Bill of Lading, between the Government and the carrier. In such cases, the claimant must claim against the carrier. (b) Losses at assigned quarters or other authorized places. Damage or loss caused by fire, explosion, theft, vandalism, lightning, flood, earthquake, and unusual occurrences is cognizable. Losses due to theft may only be paid if the claimant took reasonable measures to safeguard the property and theft occurred as a result of a forced entry. Claimants are expected to secure windows and doors of their barracks, quarters, wall lockers, and other storage areas so that the thief must force an entry. If a police report states that there were no signs of forced entry and the claimant asserts with absolute certainty that the area was in fact secure, the claims examiner must consider whether forced entry would have left visible signs. * * * (c) Vehicle losses. (1) Losses incurred while a vehicle is used in the performance of a military duty, if such use was authorized or directed for the convenience of the Government, provided the travel did not include commuting to or from a permanent place of duty, and did not arise from mechanical or structural defect of the vehicle. There is no requirement that the loss be due to fire, flood, hurricane, or other unusual occurrence, or to theft or vandalism. As a general rule, however, travel is not considered to be for the convenience of the Government unless it was pursuant to written orders authorizing use for which the claimant is entitled to reimbursement. The claimant must be free from negligence in order to be paid for a collision loss. Travel by the claimant to other buildings on the installation is not loss. Travel by the claimant to other buildings on the installation is not considered to be under orders for the convenience of the Government. Travel off the installation without written orders may only be deemed to be for the convenience of the Government if the claimant was authorized mileage reimbursement for the travel. The issuance of written orders after the fact raises the presumption that travel was not authorized for the convenience of the Government. The maximum payment authorized by the Allowance ListDepreciation Guide (ALDG) still applies E:\FR\FM\19SER1.SGM 19SER1 yshivers on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 181 / Wednesday, September 19, 2007 / Rules and Regulations to loss of or damage to vehicles and contents. This maximum does not apply to DITY moves. (2) Losses incurred while a vehicle is shipped at Government expense are compensable provided the loss or damage did not arise from mechanical or structural defect of the vehicle during such shipment. * * * (3) Losses incurred while a vehicle is located at quarters or other authorized place of lodging, including garages, carports, driveways, assigned parking spaces, if the loss or damage is caused by fire, flood, hurricane, theft, or vandalism, or other unusual occurrence. Vandalism is damage intentionally caused. Stray marks caused by children playing, falling branches, gravel thrown by other vehicles, or similar occurrences are not vandalism. The amount payable on vandalism claims is limited to the maximum payment authorized by the ALDG. * * * * * (5) Theft of property stored inside a vehicle. A loss resulting from theft of property stored inside a vehicle is compensable if it was reasonable for the claimant to have the property in the vehicle and neither the claimant nor the claimant’s agents were negligent in protecting the property. * * * * * * * * (d) Mobile homes and contents in shipment. Claims for damage to mobile homes and contents in shipment are payable unless the damage was caused by structural or mechanical defects or by the claimant’s negligence in securing the mobile home or packing its contents. * * * * * (k) * * * (2) Estimate fees. An estimate fee is a fixed cost charged by a person in the business of repairing property to provide an estimate of what it would cost to repair property. An estimate fee in excess of $75.00 should be examined with great care to determine whether it is reasonable. A person becomes obligated to pay an estimated fee when the estimate is prepared. An estimate fee should not be confused with an appraisal fee, which is not compensable (see § 751.7(m)). * * * I 7. Section 751.7 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (e), and removing the parenthetical in the last sentence of paragraph (f) that states, ‘‘(NAVSUP Publication 490, Transportation of Personal Property)’’ to read as follows: § 751.7 Claims not payable. * * * * * (b) Currency or jewelry shipped or stored in baggage. Claims for lost VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:05 Sep 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 currency, shipped or stored in baggage are not payable. Small, valuable, highly pilferable items should normally be hand-carried rather than shipped, however, if expensive or valuable jewelry or coin collections are shipped, a full description of each item of expensive jewelry and of any coin or money collection must be listed and described on the inventory for its loss to be payable. Each item must also be listed as missing at the time of delivery. If not noted at the time of delivery, the claimant must satisfactorily explain why. * * * * * (e) Loss or Damage to Property to the Extent of any Available Insurance Coverage. Except for claims for loss or damage to household goods or privatelyowned vehicles (POVS) while shipped or stored at Government expense, when the property lost, damaged, or destroyed is insured, the claimant must make a demand for payment against the insurance company under the terms of the policy. * * * * * I 8. Section 751.8 is revised to read as follows: § 751.8 Adjudicating authorities. (a) Claims by Navy personnel. (l) The following officials are authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to $100,000: (i) The Judge Advocate General; (ii) The Deputy Judge Advocate General; (iii) Any Assistant Judge Advocate General; and (iv) The Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation). (2) Any individual, when designated by the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation Division), may adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to any designated amount. (b) Claims by Marine Corps personnel. (1) The following officials are authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to $40,000: (i) Commandant of the Marine Corps; (ii) Deputy Commandant, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department; (iii) Director, Personal and Family Readiness Division; (iv) Head, Military Personnel Services Branch; (v) Head, Personal Property Claims Section; and (vi) Any individual personally designated by the Commandant of the Marine Corps may adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to any delegated amount not to exceed $40,000. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53423 (2) The Assistant Head, Personal Property Claims Section is authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to $25,000. (3) Any individual at Marine Corps Field Transportation Management Office/Claims Activities, when personally designated by the Director, Personal and Family Readiness Division, may be authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to any delegated amount not to exceed $40,000. I 9. Section 751.9 is amended by revising paragraph (a), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(5) to read as follows: § 751.9 Presentment of claims. (a) General. A claim shall be submitted in writing and, if practicable, be presented to the Personnel Claims Unit or Marine Corps claims office serving the area where the claim accrued, such as where the House Hold Goods were delivered. If submission in accordance with the foregoing is impractical under the circumstance, the claim may be submitted in writing to any installation or establishment of the Armed Forces which will forward the claim to the appropriate Navy or Marine Corps claims office for processing. To constitute a filing, a claim must be presented in writing to one of the military departments. * * * * * (c) * * * (3) Damage to POVs in shipment. Persons shipping POVs are expected to list damage on DD Form 788 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Automobile) when they pick up the vehicle. Obvious external damage that is not listed is not payable. Damage the claimant could reasonably be expected not to notice at the pickup point should be considered if the claimant reports the damage to claims or transportation office personnel within a short time, normally a few days after arriving at the installation. (4) Credibility. Factors that indicate a claimant’s credibility is questionable include amounts claimed that are exaggerated in comparison with the cost of similar items, insignificant or almost undetectable damage, very recent purchase dates for most items claimed, and statements that appear incredible. Such claimants should be required to provide more evidence than is normally expected. (5) Inspections. Whenever a question arises about damage to property, the best way to determine a proper award is to examine the items closely to determine the nature of the damage. For furniture, undersurfaces and the edges E:\FR\FM\19SER1.SGM 19SER1 53424 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 181 / Wednesday, September 19, 2007 / Rules and Regulations of drawers and doors should be examined to determine whether the material is solid hardwood, fine quality veneer over hardwood, veneer over pressed wood, or other types of material. If the inspection is conducted at the claimant’s quarters, the general quality of property should be determined. Observations by repairmen and transportation inspectors are very valuable, but on occasion, claims examiners may request an inspection. Such inspections are necessary to reduce the number of reconsiderations and fraudulent claims and are invaluable in enabling claims personnel to understand the facts in many situations. I 10. Section 751.10 is amended by revising footnote \1\ to read as follows: § 751.10 * * Form of claim. * * * 1 Copies of these forms may be obtained by contacting the legal office or personal property office serving the installation where the claimant is stationed, or nearest to the point where the loss or damage occurred or on the Internet at http://www.jag.navy.mil. 11. Section 751.11 is revised to read as follows: I § 751.11 § 751.14 Investigation of claim. Upon receipt of a claim, the claim shall be stamped with the date and receiving office, forwarded to the cognizant PCU and be referred to a claims examiner. The examiner shall consider all information and evidence submitted with the claim and shall conduct such further investigation as may be necessary and appropriate. § 750.12 [Removed] 12. Section 750.12 is removed. I 13. Redesignate 750.13 as § 750.12 and revise newly redesignated § 751.12 to read as follows: I § 751.12 Payments. Payment of approved personnel claims will be made by the Navy or Marine Corps disbursing officer serving the adjudicating authority. Payments will be charged to funds made available to the adjudicating authority for this purpose. I 14. Section 751.14 is redesignated as § 751.13, and newly redesignated § 751.13 is revised to read as follows: yshivers on PROD1PC66 with RULES § 751.13 Partial payments. (a) Partial payments when hardship exists. When claimants suffer a significant, compensable loss of items that are needed for daily living, and can demonstrate a need for immediate funds to replace some of those items (e.g., food, clothes, baby items, etc.) the VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:05 Sep 18, 2007 Jkt 211001 adjudicating authority may authorize a partial payment of an appropriate amount, normally one-half of the estimated total payment. When a partial payment is made a copy of the payment voucher and all other information related to the partial payment shall be placed in the claim file. Action shall be taken to ensure the amount of the partial payment is deducted from the adjudicated value of the claim when final payment is made. (b) Marine hardship payments. The Marine claimant’s Transportation Management Office shall ensure compliance with all requirements of § 751.14(a), and may request authority for payment by message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps (MRP–2). (c) Effect of partial payment. Partial payments are to be subtracted from the adjudicated value of the claim before payment of the balance due. Overpayments are to be properly recouped. I 15. Section 751.15 is redesignated as § 751.14 and newly redesignated § 751.14 is revised to read as follows: Reconsideration and appeal. (a) General. When a claim is denied either in whole or in part, the claimant shall be given written notification of the initial adjudication and of the right to submit a written request for reconsideration to the original adjudicating authority within 6 months from the date the claimant receives notice of the initial adjudication of the claim. If a claimant requests reconsideration and if it is determined that the original action was erroneous or incorrect, it shall be modified and, when appropriate, a supplemental payment shall be approved. If full additional payment is not granted, the file shall be forwarded for reconsideration to the next higher adjudicating authority. For claims originally adjudicated by the Head, Personnel Claims Unit Norfolk, the files will be forwarded to the Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation)(Code 15) for final action. The claimant shall be notified of this action either by letter or by copy of the letter forwarding the file to higher adjudicating authority. The forwarding letter shall include a synopsis of action taken on the file and reasons for the action or denial, as well as a recommendation of further action or denial. (b) Files forwarded to JAG. For files forwarded to JAG in accordance with § 751.14(a), the forwarding endorsement shall include the specific reasons why the requested relief was not granted and PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 shall address the specific points or complaints raised by the claimant’s request for reconsideration. (c) Appeals procedure for claims submitted by Marine Corps personnel. Where any of the Marine Corps adjudication authorities listed in § 751.8(b) fail to grant the relief requested, or otherwise resolve the claim to the satisfaction of the claimant, the request for reconsideration shall be forwarded together with the entire original file and the adjudicating authority’s recommendation, to the Judge Advocate General. Subpart B—Demand on Carrier, Contractor, or Insurer [Removed and Reserved] 16. Remove and reserve subpart B consisting of §§ 751.21 through 751.35. I Dated: September 10, 2007. T.M. Cruz, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. E7–18204 Filed 9–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy 32 CFR Part 756 [USN–2006–0040] RIN 0703–AA80 Nonappropriated-Fund Claims Regulations Department of the Navy, DoD. Interim final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This rule reflects administrative changes to the regulations concerning the administrative processing of nonappropriated funds. The revisions will ensure the proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States. This rule is being published by the Department of the Navy (DoN) for guidance and interest of the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1). DATES: This rule is effective September 19, 2007. Comments must be received by November 19, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. E:\FR\FM\19SER1.SGM 19SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 181 (Wednesday, September 19, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53421-53424]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-18204]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy

32 CFR Part 751

[USN-2006-0039]
RIN 0703-AA79


Personnel Claims Regulations

AGENCY: Department of the Navy, DoD.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule reflects administrative changes to the regulations 
concerning the administrative processing and consideration of claims on 
behalf of and against the United States. The revisions will ensure the 
proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf 
of and against the United States. This rule is being published by the 
Department of the Navy for guidance and interest of the public in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1).

DATES: This rule is effective September 19, 2007. Comments must be 
received by November 19, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or 
Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following 
methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 1160 Defense 
Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1160.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket or RIN number for this Federal Register document. The 
general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the 
public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the 
Internet at http://regulations.gov as they are received without change, 
including any personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Enrique Mendez, Head Affirmative 
and Personnel Claims Branch, Claims and Tort Litigation Division (Code 
15), Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1322 Patterson Avenue, SE., 
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374, telephone 202-685-4600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning 
and Review.'' It has been determined that the changes to 32 CFR part 
751 are not considered a ``significant regulatory action.'' The rule 
does not:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector in the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of the 
recipients thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
this Executive Order.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4). It has been 
certified that 32 CFR part 751 does not contain Federal Mandates that 
result in expenditures by State, local and tribal governments, in 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one 
year.
    Public Law 96-354, ``Regulatory Flexibility Act'' (5 U.S.C. 601). 
It has been determined that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. This rule implements the processing of the proper 
administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and 
against the United States, and does not economically impact the Federal 
government's relations with the private sector.
    Public Law 96-511, ``Paperwork Reduction Act'' (44 U.S.C. Chapter 
35). This rule does not impose collection of information requirements 
for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, 5 
CFR part 1320).
    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism.'' It has been certified that 
32 CFR part 751 does not have federalism implications as set forth in 
Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have substantial direct 
effects on:
    (1) The States;
    (2) The relationship between the National Government and the 
States; or
    (3) The distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of Government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 751

    Claims; Government employees; Military personnel.

0
Accordingly, 32 CFR part 751 is amended to read as follows:

PART 751--PERSONNEL CLAIMS REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 751 is revised to read as follows:


[[Page 53422]]


    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 10 U.S.C. 5013 and 5148; E.O. 12473, 3 
CFR, 1984 Comp., p. 201.


0
2. Section 751.1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.1  Scope.

    This part prescribes procedures and substantive bases for 
administrative settlement of claims against the United States submitted 
by Department of Navy (DoN) personnel and civilian employees of the 
naval establishment.

0
3. Section 751.2 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  751.2  Claims against the United States: In general.

    (a) Maximum amount payable. The Military and Civilian Employees' 
Personnel Claims Act (Personnel Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3701, 3702, and 
3721 (2004)), provides that the maximum amount payable for any loss or 
damage arising from a single incident is limited to $40,000.00. Where 
the loss of or damage to personal property arose from emergency 
evacuations or other extraordinary circumstances, the maximum is 
$100,000.00.
* * * * *

0
4. Section 751.3 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.3  Authority.

    The Personnel Claims Act provides the authority for maximum payment 
up to $40,000, $100,000 in extraordinary circumstances for loss, 
damage, or destruction of personal property of military personnel or 
civilian employees incident to their service. No claim may be paid 
unless it is presented in writing within 2 years of the incident that 
gave rise to the claim.

0
5. Section 751.5 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3), removing the 
word ``officers'' and replacing it with the word ``personnel'' in 
paragraph (a)(4), adding paragraph (a)(5), revising the first sentence 
in paragraph (c), and revising paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  751.5  Definitions.

    (a) * * *
    (3) Claims by non-appropriated fund employees. Claims by employees 
of Navy and Marine Corps non-appropriated fund activities for loss, 
damage, or destruction of personal property incident to their 
employment will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with this 
part and forwarded to the appropriate local non-appropriated fund 
activity that employs the claimant for payment from non-appropriated 
funds.
* * * * *
    (5) Agent or legal representative. The authorized agent or legal 
representative of a proper claimant may file on behalf of the claimant 
if the agent provides a power of attorney that complies with local law. 
Certain relatives of a deceased proper claimant may file any claim the 
claimant could have filed. The PCA identifies these relatives in order 
of priority. If multiple persons who the statute lists as equals in 
priority file separate claims, the first claim settled extinguishes the 
rights of the other claimants. The estate of a deceased proper party 
claimant is not a proper claimant, nor is an executor or personal 
representative who cannot file as a survivor. The PCA ranks surviving 
relatives in the following order of priority:
    (i) Spouse;
    (ii) Child or children;
    (iii) Father, mother, or both;
    (iv) Brother, sister, or both.
* * * * *
    (c) Unusual occurrence. Serious events and natural disaster not 
expected to take place in the normal course of events and hazards 
outside the normal risks of day-to-day living and working. * * *
* * * * *
    (f) Vehicles. Include automobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, 
utility trailers, camping trailers, trucks, mounted camper bodies, 
motor homes, boats, boat trailers, bicycles, and aircraft. Mobile homes 
and other property used as dwelling places are not considered vehicles.

0
6. Section 751.6 is amended by revising the introductory text and 
paragraph (a)(5), the first four sentences of paragraph (b), paragraph 
(c)(1), the first sentence of paragraph (c)(2), paragraph (c)(3), the 
first sentence of paragraph (c)(5), paragraph (d), and the first four 
sentences of paragraph (k)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  751.6  Claims payable.

    Claims for loss, damage, or destruction of property may be 
considered as set out below if possession of the property was 
reasonable and useful under the circumstances and the loss did not 
result from the negligence of the claimant. The following are examples 
of more common claims. Not all situations that may result in a claim 
are covered, but the processes described in the examples on how to 
approach, investigate, and adjudicate claims are applicable to all 
claims filed.
    (a) * * *
    (5) Shipment or storage at the claimant's expense. The Government 
will not compensate a claimant for loss or damage that occurs while 
property is being shipped or stored at the claimant's expense, even if 
the Government reimburses the claimant for the shipment or storage 
fees. The reason for this is that there is no contract, called a 
Government Bill of Lading, between the Government and the carrier. In 
such cases, the claimant must claim against the carrier.
    (b) Losses at assigned quarters or other authorized places. Damage 
or loss caused by fire, explosion, theft, vandalism, lightning, flood, 
earthquake, and unusual occurrences is cognizable. Losses due to theft 
may only be paid if the claimant took reasonable measures to safeguard 
the property and theft occurred as a result of a forced entry. 
Claimants are expected to secure windows and doors of their barracks, 
quarters, wall lockers, and other storage areas so that the thief must 
force an entry. If a police report states that there were no signs of 
forced entry and the claimant asserts with absolute certainty that the 
area was in fact secure, the claims examiner must consider whether 
forced entry would have left visible signs. * * *
    (c) Vehicle losses.
    (1) Losses incurred while a vehicle is used in the performance of a 
military duty, if such use was authorized or directed for the 
convenience of the Government, provided the travel did not include 
commuting to or from a permanent place of duty, and did not arise from 
mechanical or structural defect of the vehicle. There is no requirement 
that the loss be due to fire, flood, hurricane, or other unusual 
occurrence, or to theft or vandalism. As a general rule, however, 
travel is not considered to be for the convenience of the Government 
unless it was pursuant to written orders authorizing use for which the 
claimant is entitled to reimbursement. The claimant must be free from 
negligence in order to be paid for a collision loss. Travel by the 
claimant to other buildings on the installation is not loss. Travel by 
the claimant to other buildings on the installation is not considered 
to be under orders for the convenience of the Government. Travel off 
the installation without written orders may only be deemed to be for 
the convenience of the Government if the claimant was authorized 
mileage reimbursement for the travel. The issuance of written orders 
after the fact raises the presumption that travel was not authorized 
for the convenience of the Government. The maximum payment authorized 
by the Allowance List-Depreciation Guide (ALDG) still applies

[[Page 53423]]

to loss of or damage to vehicles and contents. This maximum does not 
apply to DITY moves.
    (2) Losses incurred while a vehicle is shipped at Government 
expense are compensable provided the loss or damage did not arise from 
mechanical or structural defect of the vehicle during such shipment. * 
* *
    (3) Losses incurred while a vehicle is located at quarters or other 
authorized place of lodging, including garages, carports, driveways, 
assigned parking spaces, if the loss or damage is caused by fire, 
flood, hurricane, theft, or vandalism, or other unusual occurrence. 
Vandalism is damage intentionally caused. Stray marks caused by 
children playing, falling branches, gravel thrown by other vehicles, or 
similar occurrences are not vandalism. The amount payable on vandalism 
claims is limited to the maximum payment authorized by the ALDG.
* * * * *
    (5) Theft of property stored inside a vehicle. A loss resulting 
from theft of property stored inside a vehicle is compensable if it was 
reasonable for the claimant to have the property in the vehicle and 
neither the claimant nor the claimant's agents were negligent in 
protecting the property. * * *
* * * * *
    (d) Mobile homes and contents in shipment. Claims for damage to 
mobile homes and contents in shipment are payable unless the damage was 
caused by structural or mechanical defects or by the claimant's 
negligence in securing the mobile home or packing its contents.
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (2) Estimate fees. An estimate fee is a fixed cost charged by a 
person in the business of repairing property to provide an estimate of 
what it would cost to repair property. An estimate fee in excess of 
$75.00 should be examined with great care to determine whether it is 
reasonable. A person becomes obligated to pay an estimated fee when the 
estimate is prepared. An estimate fee should not be confused with an 
appraisal fee, which is not compensable (see Sec.  751.7(m)). * * *

0
7. Section 751.7 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (e), and 
removing the parenthetical in the last sentence of paragraph (f) that 
states, ``(NAVSUP Publication 490, Transportation of Personal 
Property)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  751.7  Claims not payable.

* * * * *
    (b) Currency or jewelry shipped or stored in baggage. Claims for 
lost currency, shipped or stored in baggage are not payable. Small, 
valuable, highly pilferable items should normally be hand-carried 
rather than shipped, however, if expensive or valuable jewelry or coin 
collections are shipped, a full description of each item of expensive 
jewelry and of any coin or money collection must be listed and 
described on the inventory for its loss to be payable. Each item must 
also be listed as missing at the time of delivery. If not noted at the 
time of delivery, the claimant must satisfactorily explain why.
* * * * *
    (e) Loss or Damage to Property to the Extent of any Available 
Insurance Coverage. Except for claims for loss or damage to household 
goods or privately-owned vehicles (POVS) while shipped or stored at 
Government expense, when the property lost, damaged, or destroyed is 
insured, the claimant must make a demand for payment against the 
insurance company under the terms of the policy.
* * * * *

0
8. Section 751.8 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.8  Adjudicating authorities.

    (a) Claims by Navy personnel. (l) The following officials are 
authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to 
$100,000:
    (i) The Judge Advocate General;
    (ii) The Deputy Judge Advocate General;
    (iii) Any Assistant Judge Advocate General; and
    (iv) The Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort 
Litigation).
    (2) Any individual, when designated by the Deputy Assistant Judge 
Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation Division), may adjudicate 
and authorize payment of PCA claims up to any designated amount.
    (b) Claims by Marine Corps personnel. (1) The following officials 
are authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to 
$40,000:
    (i) Commandant of the Marine Corps;
    (ii) Deputy Commandant, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department;
    (iii) Director, Personal and Family Readiness Division;
    (iv) Head, Military Personnel Services Branch;
    (v) Head, Personal Property Claims Section; and
    (vi) Any individual personally designated by the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps may adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to 
any delegated amount not to exceed $40,000.
    (2) The Assistant Head, Personal Property Claims Section is 
authorized to adjudicate and authorize payment of PCA claims up to 
$25,000.
    (3) Any individual at Marine Corps Field Transportation Management 
Office/Claims Activities, when personally designated by the Director, 
Personal and Family Readiness Division, may be authorized to adjudicate 
and authorize payment of PCA claims up to any delegated amount not to 
exceed $40,000.

0
9. Section 751.9 is amended by revising paragraph (a), (c)(3), (c)(4), 
and (c)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  751.9  Presentment of claims.

    (a) General. A claim shall be submitted in writing and, if 
practicable, be presented to the Personnel Claims Unit or Marine Corps 
claims office serving the area where the claim accrued, such as where 
the House Hold Goods were delivered. If submission in accordance with 
the foregoing is impractical under the circumstance, the claim may be 
submitted in writing to any installation or establishment of the Armed 
Forces which will forward the claim to the appropriate Navy or Marine 
Corps claims office for processing. To constitute a filing, a claim 
must be presented in writing to one of the military departments.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) Damage to POVs in shipment. Persons shipping POVs are expected 
to list damage on DD Form 788 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for 
Automobile) when they pick up the vehicle. Obvious external damage that 
is not listed is not payable. Damage the claimant could reasonably be 
expected not to notice at the pickup point should be considered if the 
claimant reports the damage to claims or transportation office 
personnel within a short time, normally a few days after arriving at 
the installation.
    (4) Credibility. Factors that indicate a claimant's credibility is 
questionable include amounts claimed that are exaggerated in comparison 
with the cost of similar items, insignificant or almost undetectable 
damage, very recent purchase dates for most items claimed, and 
statements that appear incredible. Such claimants should be required to 
provide more evidence than is normally expected.
    (5) Inspections. Whenever a question arises about damage to 
property, the best way to determine a proper award is to examine the 
items closely to determine the nature of the damage. For furniture, 
undersurfaces and the edges

[[Page 53424]]

of drawers and doors should be examined to determine whether the 
material is solid hardwood, fine quality veneer over hardwood, veneer 
over pressed wood, or other types of material. If the inspection is 
conducted at the claimant's quarters, the general quality of property 
should be determined. Observations by repairmen and transportation 
inspectors are very valuable, but on occasion, claims examiners may 
request an inspection. Such inspections are necessary to reduce the 
number of reconsiderations and fraudulent claims and are invaluable in 
enabling claims personnel to understand the facts in many situations.

0
10. Section 751.10 is amended by revising footnote 
[bs]1[bs] to read as follows:


Sec.  751.10  Form of claim.

* * * * *

    \1\ Copies of these forms may be obtained by contacting the 
legal office or personal property office serving the installation 
where the claimant is stationed, or nearest to the point where the 
loss or damage occurred or on the Internet at http://
www.jag.navy.mil.

0
11. Section 751.11 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.11  Investigation of claim.

    Upon receipt of a claim, the claim shall be stamped with the date 
and receiving office, forwarded to the cognizant PCU and be referred to 
a claims examiner. The examiner shall consider all information and 
evidence submitted with the claim and shall conduct such further 
investigation as may be necessary and appropriate.


Sec.  750.12  [Removed]

0
12. Section 750.12 is removed.

0
13. Redesignate 750.13 as Sec.  750.12 and revise newly redesignated 
Sec.  751.12 to read as follows:


Sec.  751.12  Payments.

    Payment of approved personnel claims will be made by the Navy or 
Marine Corps disbursing officer serving the adjudicating authority. 
Payments will be charged to funds made available to the adjudicating 
authority for this purpose.

0
14. Section 751.14 is redesignated as Sec.  751.13, and newly 
redesignated Sec.  751.13 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.13  Partial payments.

    (a) Partial payments when hardship exists. When claimants suffer a 
significant, compensable loss of items that are needed for daily 
living, and can demonstrate a need for immediate funds to replace some 
of those items (e.g., food, clothes, baby items, etc.) the adjudicating 
authority may authorize a partial payment of an appropriate amount, 
normally one-half of the estimated total payment. When a partial 
payment is made a copy of the payment voucher and all other information 
related to the partial payment shall be placed in the claim file. 
Action shall be taken to ensure the amount of the partial payment is 
deducted from the adjudicated value of the claim when final payment is 
made.
    (b) Marine hardship payments. The Marine claimant's Transportation 
Management Office shall ensure compliance with all requirements of 
Sec.  751.14(a), and may request authority for payment by message from 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps (MRP-2).
    (c) Effect of partial payment. Partial payments are to be 
subtracted from the adjudicated value of the claim before payment of 
the balance due. Overpayments are to be properly recouped.

0
15. Section 751.15 is redesignated as Sec.  751.14 and newly 
redesignated Sec.  751.14 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  751.14  Reconsideration and appeal.

    (a) General. When a claim is denied either in whole or in part, the 
claimant shall be given written notification of the initial 
adjudication and of the right to submit a written request for 
reconsideration to the original adjudicating authority within 6 months 
from the date the claimant receives notice of the initial adjudication 
of the claim. If a claimant requests reconsideration and if it is 
determined that the original action was erroneous or incorrect, it 
shall be modified and, when appropriate, a supplemental payment shall 
be approved. If full additional payment is not granted, the file shall 
be forwarded for reconsideration to the next higher adjudicating 
authority. For claims originally adjudicated by the Head, Personnel 
Claims Unit Norfolk, the files will be forwarded to the Judge Advocate 
General (Claims and Tort Litigation)(Code 15) for final action. The 
claimant shall be notified of this action either by letter or by copy 
of the letter forwarding the file to higher adjudicating authority. The 
forwarding letter shall include a synopsis of action taken on the file 
and reasons for the action or denial, as well as a recommendation of 
further action or denial.
    (b) Files forwarded to JAG. For files forwarded to JAG in 
accordance with Sec.  751.14(a), the forwarding endorsement shall 
include the specific reasons why the requested relief was not granted 
and shall address the specific points or complaints raised by the 
claimant's request for reconsideration.
    (c) Appeals procedure for claims submitted by Marine Corps 
personnel. Where any of the Marine Corps adjudication authorities 
listed in Sec.  751.8(b) fail to grant the relief requested, or 
otherwise resolve the claim to the satisfaction of the claimant, the 
request for reconsideration shall be forwarded together with the entire 
original file and the adjudicating authority's recommendation, to the 
Judge Advocate General.

Subpart B--Demand on Carrier, Contractor, or Insurer [Removed and 
Reserved]

0
16. Remove and reserve subpart B consisting of Sec. Sec.  751.21 
through 751.35.

    Dated: September 10, 2007.
T.M. Cruz,
Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register 
Liaison Officer.
 [FR Doc. E7-18204 Filed 9-18-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P