1. I need assistance on the Statute of Limitations Handbook 4800.13. Is this handbook rescinded and if so where do I find the most current version. I specifically need to know what the actual time limit is on billing a veteran for a non-medical, non-benefit debt.
There is no time limit to get the bill out, but it should go out in a timely manner. The 6 year statue may be an option if the goal is to move forward with litigation. Please note, in a court of law, the statue to collect debt is 6 years and the court will go back to inception (not when VA actually sends the bill and due process notice). So in essence, it will take approximately 5 years to collect it, not the full 6 years.
2. Policies and Procedures: Volume XII - Debt Management states: 010404 Delegation of Authority. A. The Chief of the Finance Activity will ensure appropriate procedures are followed in accordance with this chapter for administrating the termination of collection action and close-out of debts. The Chief of the Finance Activity may terminate collection action and close out a debt that has been waived, compromised, determined to lack legal merit, referred for enforced collection or discharged in bankruptcy. Termination and close-out may also occur where the debt cannot be offset or it involves a debtor who is deceased. B. For debts up to $40,000 and not in the 010404A categories above, the Chief of the Finance Activity, or the Director of the Debt Management Center located in St. Paul, MN, has the authority to terminate debt collection action and the remaining debt. The Chief of the Finance Activity is named as the person delegated with the authority to write-off bills up to $40,000. At our activity, our Chief of the Finance Activity is our Deputy Finance Manager. Also, we have two AFOs and a Chief of Accounting who is at the same pay-grade as our AFOs. All three individuals are at the same location and are responsible for an accounting department that supports two stations. Who is this regulation referring too? Does this regulation grant authorization to the AFOs and the Chief of Accounting to terminate and write-off bills? If not, may this authority be re-delegated and who may re-delegate this authority to terminate and write-off bills under $40,000?
In response to your policy inquiry, Vol. XII, Chapter1i, Paragraph 010404B specifically states that for debts up to $40,000, the Chief of the Finance Activity has the authority to terminate debt collection action and the remaining debt. There is nothing in Paragraph 010404B that authorizes redelegation of this authority below the Chief of the Finance Activity. Therefore, if the Deputy Finance Manager is designated as the Chief of the Finance Activity at the Hines VAMC, then that person is delegated termination authority and that authority cannot be redelegated.