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Judgment No. 2847

Decision

The complaint is dismissed.

Consideration 7

Extract:

"The purpose of the family allowances which Eurocontrol pays to officials with dependent children is to contribute financially towards these children's maintenance, and the aim of the rule laid down in [Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations], according to which the amount of these allowances must be reduced by the amount of allowances of the same kind paid from other sources, such as family allowances paid by a national authority, is to prevent two benefits from being granted concurrently for the same children, since this would plainly result in the unlawful enrichment of the recipient family.
In this regard, the fact that the [national authority] does not make payments to the official himself, but to his spouse (or, as in this case, his partner), is of course immaterial. If the two benefits in question are being paid for the maintenance of the same children, they cannot be drawn simultaneously by the parents without contravening the very purpose of this rule against concurrent benefits."

Reference(s)

Organization rules reference: Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations governing officials of the Eurocontrol Agency

Keywords

marital status; amount; written rule; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; breach; accumulation; family allowance; dependent child; parent; unjust enrichment; rate; purpose; same

Consideration 17

Extract:

The complainant received family allowances paid at the full rate by Eurocontrol in respect of his three children but did not declare to the Agency that his partner was drawing family allowances from the competent national social security authority. According to Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations, the amount of family allowances that Eurocontrol was paying him should have been reduced by the amount of the family allowances received by his partner. The complainant had to reimburse the full amount overpaid.
"The evidence on file shows that the complainant deliberately refrained from declaring to Eurocontrol the family allowances drawn by his partner, although he had been duly informed that, in the Agency's view, they should be deducted from those he was receiving. While it was open to the complainant to challenge - if necessary before the Tribunal - any deductions made by the Agency in calculating the payments, he could not choose of his own accord to evade his duty of disclosure. He must therefore be deemed to have been aware of the unlawfulness of the disputed payments, which was indeed sufficiently obvious for it to be concluded that he could not have been unaware of it."

Reference(s)

Organization rules reference: Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations governing officials of the Eurocontrol Agency

Keywords

amount; misrepresentation; recovery of overpayment; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; breach; reckoning; accumulation; family allowance; dependent child; rate; staff member's duties; flaw; payment

Consideration 19

Extract:

The complainant received family allowances paid at the full rate by Eurocontrol in respect of his three children but did not declare to the Agency that his partner was drawing family allowances from the competent national social security authority. According to Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations, the amount of family allowances that Eurocontrol was paying him should have been reduced by the amount of the family allowances received by his partner. The complainant objects to the fact that the Agency has recovered the amount overpaid from the outset, i.e. over a five-year period, whereas in the opposite case, when the Agency makes a mistake to the detriment of an official, it usually benefits from rules of prescription which enable it greatly to reduce the amounts reimbursed.
"[A]ccording to the Tribunal's case law, a claim for recovery of undue payment is not imprescriptible and must be brought - even in the absence of any provision in writing to this effect - in reasonable time (see Judgments 53, under 4, and 2565, under 7(c)). However [...] the five-year period concerned by the recovery of the overpayment [...] cannot be regarded in this case as an unreasonable length of time, particularly because the disputed reimbursement arises from concealment on the part of the complainant and because Eurocontrol did not fail to take the necessary steps to recover the sums in question."

Reference(s)

Organization rules reference: Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations governing officials of the Eurocontrol Agency
ILOAT Judgment(s): 53, 2565

Keywords

injury; reasonable time; time bar; amount; misrepresentation; case law; organisation's duties; recovery of overpayment; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; breach; no provision; period; accumulation; family allowance; dependent child; rate; staff member's duties; limits; difference; payment; request by a party



 
Last updated: 25.08.2017 ^ top