A-12406, FEBRUARY 26, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 663

A-12406: Feb 26, 1926

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IS NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH OCCUPANCY. AS SAID HOUSE BEING THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES WAS UNDER SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL AS WOULD HAVE PERMITTED ITS ASSIGNMENT TO THE OFFICER AS QUARTERS WITHOUT CHARGE. DURING WHICH PERIOD LIEUTENANT HILL WAS ON DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM AT GAMBRILLS. DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT WAS ON THE GROUND THAT AS LIEUTENANT HILL AND HIS DEPENDENTS OCCUPIED QUARTERS OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE PAID HIM. IN SUPPORT OF LIEUTENANT HILL'S RIGHT TO BE PAID THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE IT IS STATED THAT THERE WERE NO ADEQUATE PUBLIC QUARTERS AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO HIM AT HIS STATION.

A-12406, FEBRUARY 26, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 663

RENTAL ALLOWANCE - NAVAL OFFICER OCCUPYING QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY ON DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM, WHO WITH HIS DEPENDENTS OCCUPIED A HOUSE LOCATED ON AND FORMING A PART OF THE FARM PROPERTY AND FOR WHICH HE PAID A MONTHLY RENTAL OF $20 TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE FARM, IS NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH OCCUPANCY, AS SAID HOUSE BEING THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES WAS UNDER SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL AS WOULD HAVE PERMITTED ITS ASSIGNMENT TO THE OFFICER AS QUARTERS WITHOUT CHARGE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 26, 1926:

LIEUT. A. B. CANHAM (SC), UNITED STATES NAVY, UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 22, 1925, REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENTS NO. M-13944-N OF JULY 23, 1925, AND NO. M-15586-N OF OCTOBER 23, 1925, DISALLOWING CREDIT IN HIS DISBURSING ACCOUNT FOR $720 PAID TO LIEUT. H. N. HILL (SC), UNITED STATES NAVY, AS RENTAL ALLOWANCE FROM OCTOBER 19, 1924, TO JUNE 30, 1925, DURING WHICH PERIOD LIEUTENANT HILL WAS ON DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM AT GAMBRILLS, MD., AND IN OCCUPANCY WITH HIS DEPENDENTS OF A HOUSE LOCATED ON AND FORMING PART OF THE DAIRY FARM PROPERTY, FOR WHICH HE PAID A RENTAL TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE FARM OF $20 PER MONTH. DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT WAS ON THE GROUND THAT AS LIEUTENANT HILL AND HIS DEPENDENTS OCCUPIED QUARTERS OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE PAID HIM. IN SUPPORT OF LIEUTENANT HILL'S RIGHT TO BE PAID THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE IT IS STATED THAT THERE WERE NO ADEQUATE PUBLIC QUARTERS AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO HIM AT HIS STATION; THAT THE HOUSE HE RENTED BELONGED TO THE DAIRY FARM AND THAT THE RENTING OF IT WAS PURELY A BUSINESS TRANSACTION BETWEEN HIM AND THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE DAIRY FARM. BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF AUGUST 13, 1924, ISSUED IN EXECUTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, AS AMENDED, 43 STAT. 250, ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS IS DEFINED AS "THE ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS TO AN OFFICER SHALL CONSIST OF THE DESIGNATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED OF QUARTERS CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR OCCUPANCY WITHOUT CHARGE BY THE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENTS, IF ANY," WITH THE FURTHER PROVISION THAT ,QUARTERS VOLUNTARILY OCCUPIED BY AN OFFICER WITH HIS DEPENDENTS SHALL BE CONCLUSIVELY PRESUMED TO BE ADEQUATE AND SHALL BE ASSIGNED ACCORDINGLY.'

IT APPEARS THAT THE NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM AT GAMBRILLS, MD., WAS ESTABLISHED IN PURSUANCE OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913, 37 STAT. 904, WHICH APPROPRIATED $100,000 FOR THAT PURPOSE TO BE USED IN THE PURCHASE OF LAND AND THE REPAIR AND ALTERATIONS OF SUCH BUILDINGS AS MAY BE FOUND ON THE LAND AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES NECESSARY TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DAIRY FARM ON SUCH LAND. THE ACTS OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 603, AND MARCH 28, 1918, 40 STAT. 488, APPROPRIATED FUNDS IN THE AMOUNTS OF $100,000 AND $55,000, RESPECTIVELY, FOR THE PURCHASE OF NECESSARY ADDITIONAL CATTLE AND WORK ANIMALS, MACHINERY AND IMPLEMENTS, ERECTION OF NEW BUILDINGS, REPAIRS AND ALTERATION OF BUILDINGS NOW ON THE FARM, THE CLEARING AND IMPROVING THE LAND, AND FOR ALL OTHER PURPOSES NECESSARY FOR THE COMPLETE INSTALLATION OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM LOCATED AT GAMBRILLS, MD. ALL THREE OF THE ACTS CONTAIN PROVISIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED SHALL BE TREATED AS AN ADVANCE TO THE MIDSHIPMEN'S STORE FUND AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY TO BE ULTIMATELY RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AND THAT THE EXPENDITURES THEREUNDER SHALL BE REPORTED BY THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IN THE SAME MANNER AS NOW PRESCRIBED BY LAW FOR THE MIDSHIPMEN'S STORE FUND.

BY SECTION 26 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, 43 STAT. 1278, THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACTS OF AUGUST 29, 1916, AND MARCH 28, 1918, WHICH REQUIRED RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES OF THE ADVANCES AGGREGATING $155,000 WERE REPEALED AND IT WAS PROVIDED:

THAT THE DAIRY AND FARM, CATTLE AND WORK ANIMALS, MACHINERY AND IMPLEMENTS, BUILDINGS, AND OTHER STOCK, EQUIPMENT, AND SUPPLIES HERETOFORE PURCHASED FROM THE FUNDS SO ADVANCED SHALL BECOME AND REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE DAIRY FARM SHALL BE CONTINUED AND OPERATED AS AN ACTIVITY OF THE MIDSHIPMEN'S STORE.

FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE ACTS IT APPEARS THAT THE ONLY FUNDS EXPENDED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF THE DAIRY FARM WERE PUBLIC FUNDS, EITHER APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS OR ACCRUING THROUGH PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF THE DAIRY-FARM PRODUCTS, ETC., WHICH PROFITS MUST ALSO BE REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT FUNDS. THE MONEYS EXPENDED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE DAIRY FARM HAVING BEEN EXCLUSIVELY GOVERNMENT FUNDS IT APPEARS THAT THE DAIRY FARM WAS THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM THE TIME OF ITS ESTABLISHMENT AND THAT THEREFORE THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, PASSED NO TITLE IN THE PROPERTY TO THE UNITED STATES, THE TITLE HAVING BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT. IT IS ALSO SHOWN BY THESE ACTS THAT THE NAVAL ACADEMY DAIRY FARM IS AN INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AS AN ACTIVITY OF THE MIDSHIPMEN'S STORE.

THE EVIDENT PURPOSE TO BE SUBSERVED BY THE ERECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF THESE HOUSES WAS TO PROVIDE QUARTERS FOR THOSE ENGAGED ON THE DAIRY FARM WORK. LIEUTENANT HILL'S ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY WAS IN CONNECTION WITH THAT WORK. THE HOUSE OCCUPIED BY HIM AND HIS DEPENDENTS WAS GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND WAS UNDER SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL AS PERMITTED ITS ASSIGNMENT TO HIM AS QUARTERS.

THERE APPEARING TO BE NO REQUIREMENT OF LAW THAT THESE HOUSES SHOULD BE OCCUPIED ON A RENTAL BASIS ONLY AND AS LIEUTENANT HILL WAS ENTITLED TO BE QUARTERED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO REASON WHY THE RENTAL CHARGE SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXACTED FROM HIM. IT MUST BE HELD THEREFORE THAT LIEUTENANT HILL WITH HIS DEPENDENTS VOLUNTARILY OCCUPIED QUARTERS IN KIND FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION AND PAYMENTS MADE TO HIM FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCES WERE NOT LEGAL PAYMENTS. THE SETTLEMENTS DISALLOWING CREDIT IN YOUR ACCOUNTS ARE THEREFORE SUSTAINED.