(a) All claims and demands whatever against the Government, unless there is some special authority for the settlement thereof by the department concerned, shall be settled and adjusted in the General Accounting Office (see R.S., sec. 236, as amended by act of June 10, 1921, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U.S.C. 71 ).
(b) Meritorious Claims Act. When there is filed in the General Accounting Office a claim or demand against the United States that may not lawfully be adjusted by the use of an appropriation theretofore made, but which claim or demand in the judgment of the Comptroller General of the United States contains such elements of legal liability or equity as to be deserving of the consideration of the Congress, he shall submit the same to the Congress, by a special report containing the material facts and his recommendations thereon (act of April 10, 1928; c. 334, 45 Stat. 413; 31 U.S.C. 236 ).
(c) Limitations of time on claims and demands under (a) and (b) of this section. The act of October 9, 1940 (54 Stat. 1061; 31 U.S.C. 71a) provides that every claim or demand (except a claim or demand by any State, Territory, possession or the District of Columbia) against the United States cognizable by the General Accounting Office under the act of June 10, 1921, and the act of April 10, 1928, will be forever barred unless such claim, bearing the signature and address of the claimant or of an authorized agent or attorney, will be received in said office within ten full years after the date such claim first accrued: Provided, however, That when such a claim of any person serving in the military or naval forces of the United States accrues in time of war, or when war intervenes within five years after its accrual, such claim may be presented within five years after peace is established. The act further provides that whenever any claim barred by the preceding provision will be received in the General Accounting Office, it will be returned to the claimant, with a copy of this act (act of October 9, 1940) and such action will be a complete response without further communication.
(d) Domestic Claims Act. The act of July 3, 1943 (57 Stat. 372; 31 U.S.C. 223b, 223c) as amended by the act of May 29, 1945 (Pub. L. 67, 79th Congress) and as further amended by the act of June 28, 1946 (Pub. L. 466, 79th Congress), provides for the payment of claims arising on or after May 27, 1941, for damage to or loss or destruction of property, real or personal, caused by military personnel or civilian employees of the Department of the Army or of the Army while acting within the scope of their employment or otherwise incident to noncombat activities of the Department of the Army or of the Army, including claims for damages to real property incident to the use and occupation thereof, whether under a lease, express or implied, or otherwise, and including claims of the foregoing categories arising out of civil works, provided they do not exceed $1,000. The act further provides that the damage to or loss or destruction of property shall not have been caused in whole or in part by any negligence or wrongful act on the part of the claimant, his agent or employee; that no claim shall be settled under the act unless presented in writing within one year after the incident out of which such claim arises shall have occurred except that if the incident occurs in time of war, or if war intervenes within one year after its occurrence, any claim may, on good cause shown, be presented within one year after peace is established. The Secretary of the Army is authorized to report such claims as exceed $1,000 to Congress for its consideration.
Title 33 published on 2012-07-01
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