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Chapter 29 Employee Debt Set-Offs, Electronic-District Personnel Manual

Chapter Summary

Employee indebtedness and employee waiver requests. Section Page.

This publication includes the Chapter.

 

2900 Erroneous Payments to Employees 1

2901 Collection of Erroneous Payment 1

2902 Waiver of Claims 1

2903 Employee Debts to the Government 2

2904 Collection of Indebtedness 3

2999 Definitions 3
 

2900 Erroneous Payments to Employees

2900.1 The Mayor is authorized to determine that an employee or former employee is indebted to the District of Columbia government ("government") because of an erroneous payment made to or in behalf of an employee.

2900.2 Upon making the employee indebtedness determination described in § 2901.1, the Mayor shall notify the employee or ex-employee of his or her determination in writing.

2900.3 The written determination shall include all of the following:

(a) The basis for the determination;

(b) The amount of the claim for the erroneous payment; and

(c) Notification of the waiver-of-claims provisions set forth in § 2902.

2900.4 A claim for recovery of an erroneous payment shall not be made more than three (3) years after the discovery of the erroneous payment, unless the claim involves money owed for federal health benefits premiums, federal life insurance premiums, or United States civil service retirement contributions.

 

2901 Collection of Erroneous Payment

2901.1 If no waiver of claim is filed or if the waiver is denied in whole or in part in accordance with the provisions of § 2902.4, collection shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of §§ 2901.2 and 2904.

2901.2 If an employee is subject to collections under §§ 2900.1 and 2903 simultaneously, total deductions from pay may not exceed the amounts specified in § 2904.4.

2901.3 The Mayor shall not be required to stay collection of an erroneous payment in the event of an application for waiver.

 

2902 Waiver of Claims 

2902.1 The Mayor may waive in whole or in part any claim of the government in any amount arising out of erroneous payment to or on behalf of an employee whenever both of the following are true:

(a) Written application for waiver is received by the Mayor within one (1) year following the date on which the erroneous payment was disclosed to the employee; and

(b) Collection of the claim would be against equity and good conscience and, therefore, not in the best interests of the government.

2902.2 A determination that collection of the claim would be against equity and good conscience, and therefore not in the best interests of the government, will generally be supported by a finding that all of the following are true:

(a) The erroneous payment occurred through administrative error;

(b) There is no indication of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of the employee, or any other person having an interest in obtaining a waiver of the claim; and

(c) Where the employee failed to bring the erroneous payment to the attention of appropriate officials, the circumstances surrounding the erroneous payment were not such as would cause a reasonable person to believe that an error had occurred.

2902.3 An application for waiver shall be referred by the Mayor to the agency that authorized the erroneous payment, and the head of that agency shall investigate the erroneous payment and submit his or her report of investigation to the Mayor, which report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

(a) The aggregate amount of the erroneous payment, supported by citation to the pay records, vouchers, or other documents on the basis of which the erroneous payment occurred;

(b) The circumstances under which the erroneous payment occurred and the date on which it was discovered;

(c) Whether there is any indication of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of the employee or any other person having an interest in obtaining the waiver;

(d) A signed statement by the employee as to his or her knowledge of the erroneous payment; and

(e) A recommendation as to whether or not the waiver should be granted.

2902.4 Upon receipt of the report of investigation pursuant to § 2902.3, the Mayor shall issue a written decision to the employee and the agency involved, including justification therefor, either:

(a) Granting the waiver, in whole or in part; or

(b) Denying the waiver.

2902.5 Any amounts of an erroneous payment which have been collected from any employee or former employee prior to a waiver of the claim, shall be refunded to the employee or former employee, to the extent of the waiver, by the Director, and charged to the appropriation from which the erroneous payment was made.

2902.6 The report of investigation, the written decision, and other pertinent information, shall constitute the record in each case, and shall be retained by the Mayor for three (3) years following the date of the written decision.

2902.7 The decision of the Mayor to deny the waiver, in whole or in part, shall be the final administrative decision, which is not subject to further administrative appeal.

2902.8 In the audit and settlement of the accounts of any accountable officer or official, full credit shall be given for any amounts with respect to which collection by the government has been waived under this chapter.

2902.9 An erroneous payment, the collection of which has been waived under this chapter, shall be deemed a valid payment for all purposes.

2902.10 Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to affect in any way the authority under any other law or regulation to litigate, settle, compromise, or waive any claim of the government.

 

2903 Employee Debits to the Government 

2903.1 Whenever an employee or former employee is indebted to the government for other than an erroneous payment, and the debt has either been acknowledged by the employee or former employee in writing or reduced to judgment, the Director of Pay and Retirement, Office of Financial Management, or his or her designee, after thirty (30) days' written notice to the employee or former employee, may collect the amount of the indebtedness as provided in § 2904.

2903.2 Pursuant to Sec. 2(c) of DC Law 6-144, the Mayor shall identify all debts owed to the government by an employee or former employee for other than an erroneous payment, that have been neither acknowledged in writing nor reduced to judgment, and the names of each such employee or former employee, the amount of the debt, and supporting documentation, shall be forwarded to the Corporation Counsel for appropriate action.

 

2904 Collections of Indebtedness 

2904.1 Any indebtedness to the government by an employee or former employee, as provided in § 2900 or 2903, may be collected in monthly installments or at officially established regular pay intervals, by deduction in reasonable amounts as provided in this section.

2904.2 Deductions may be made from any wages, salary, allowances, compensation, remuneration for services, or other authorized pay, including but not limited to back pay, severance pay, and lump sum leave payments.

2904.3 Deductions may not be made from payments received from a retirement fund.

2904.4 Except as provided in § 2904.5, the amount deducted for any period may not exceed twenty percent (20 percent) of disposable pay, except that a greater percentage may be deducted with the written consent of the employee or former employee concerned.

2904.5 If the employee's employment with the government ends prior to collection of the full amount authorized by this section, deductions may be made from later payments of any nature, except as provided in § 2904.3, without regard to the limitation imposed by § 2904.4.

 

2999 Definitions

2999.1 When used in this chapter, the terms listed below have the meanings ascribed:

Agency—the meaning given to this term by DC Code § 1-603.1 (1981).

Debt—an amount of money owed to the government which has been reduced to judgment or acknowledged in writing.

Disposable pay—that part of the total pay of an individual remaining after the deduction of any amount required to be withheld by law or regulation.

Employee—the meaning given to this term by DC Code § 1-603.1 (1981).

Erroneous payment—salary, wages, emoluments, stipend, or other remuneration for services, regardless of the name by which it is known, allowances, reimbursement for expenses, or other compensation of any nature, which exceeds the amount to which the employee or former employee is or was entitled.

Mayor—the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or his or her designee.

Reduced to judgment—an unappealed final judgment by a court, or an unappealed determination by an administrative agency or quasi-judicial official or body having statutory authority to impose a fine or other monetary assessment against the employee or former employee, provided such determination is subject to appeal to a court.