A-14133, JULY 9, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 17

A-14133: Jul 9, 1926

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WHETHER PUBLIC QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ARE ADEQUATE. IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE COMPETENT SUPERIOR AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED. YOUR ADVANCE DECISION IS REQUESTED IN THE FOLLOWING CASE: LIEUTENANT J. THIS INJURY REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION AND LIEUTENANT BOND WAS ORDERED TO SHORE DUTY AND ENTERED AS A PATIENT IN STERNBERG GENERAL HOSPITAL. THIS IS A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL WHERE EVERY OFFICER PATIENT IS CHARGED THE AMOUNT OF $1.50 PER DAY. WHICH AMOUNT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR HIS QUARTERS. TO THAT EXTENT AN OFFICER IS PAYING HIS OWN EXPENSES WHILE A PATIENT IN AN ARMY HOSPITAL. INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED THAT THIS IS A UNIVERSAL PRACTICE. SO FAR AS ARMY AND NAVY PERSONNEL ARE CONCERNED.

A-14133, JULY 9, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 17

RENTAL ALLOWANCE - ADEQUACY OF QUARTERS THE QUESTION, WHETHER PUBLIC QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ARE ADEQUATE, IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE COMPETENT SUPERIOR AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1924, 43 STAT. 250.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JULY 9, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR THE PURPOSE OF FURNISHING TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY THE INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR THE PROPER INSTRUCTION OF DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE FIELD WITH REGARD TO THE PREPARATION AND PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS, YOUR ADVANCE DECISION IS REQUESTED IN THE FOLLOWING CASE:

LIEUTENANT J. A. BOND, COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURY WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY. THIS INJURY REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION AND LIEUTENANT BOND WAS ORDERED TO SHORE DUTY AND ENTERED AS A PATIENT IN STERNBERG GENERAL HOSPITAL, MANILA. THIS IS A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL WHERE EVERY OFFICER PATIENT IS CHARGED THE AMOUNT OF $1.50 PER DAY, WHICH AMOUNT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR HIS QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, MEDICINES, ETC., AND TO THAT EXTENT AN OFFICER IS PAYING HIS OWN EXPENSES WHILE A PATIENT IN AN ARMY HOSPITAL. INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED THAT THIS IS A UNIVERSAL PRACTICE, AND THEREFORE, SO FAR AS ARMY AND NAVY PERSONNEL ARE CONCERNED, BEING IN A HOSPITAL HAS NO EFFECT ON THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE STATUS OF AN OFFICER.

OUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT LIEUTENANT J. A. BOND IS ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR HIMSELF FOR SUCH TIME AS HE WAS IN STERNBERG HOSPITAL, IN COMPLIANCE WITH ORDERS, COPIES OF WHICH ARE ATTACHED.

THE ORDER OF OCTOBER 13, 1925, IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. IN CONFIRMATION OF TELEGRAPHIC ORDERS TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE MARINDUQUE, YOU WILL CONSIDER YOURSELF DETACHED FROM THAT SHIP AS OF OCTOBER 9TH AND YOU WILL PROCEED TO THE NEAREST AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT. AS SOON AS THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE YOU WILL PROCEED TO MANILA AND REPORT TO ME FOR FURTHER MEDICAL TREATMENT AT STERNBERG HOSPITAL.

2. UPON YOUR DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL YOU WILL PLEASE REPORT TO ME FOR DUTY IN THIS OFFICE.

3. THE TRAVEL INCURRED IN THE EXECUTION OF THESE ORDERS IS NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC INTERESTS; THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL ARE A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE INSULAR ACCOUNT; THE ASSIGNMENT CONSTITUTES A CHANGE AS OF OCTOBER 9TH IN YOUR STATUS FROM SEA DUTY TO SHORE DUTY. PUBLIC QUARTERS, ASIDE FROM THE HOSPITAL ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON THIS ASSIGNMENT.

THE CHARGE OF $1.50 PER DAY PAID BY LIEUTENANT BOND TO THE HOSPITAL IS NOT A CHARGE FOR QUARTERS, BUT IS A CHARGE FIXED BY ARMY REGULATIONS 40- 590 PARAGRAPH 12 TO COVER COST OF SUBSISTENCE AND MEDICINE.

THE ORDERS DO NOT ASSIGN LIEUTENANT BOND TO DUTY AT MANILA UNTIL DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL. DURING THE PERIOD IN HOSPITAL HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE IF THE QUARTERS FURNISHED HIM AS A PATIENT WERE "IN THE JUDGMENT OF COMPETENT SUPERIOR AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED" ADEQUATE FOR HIM. THERE IS, THEREFORE, FOR YOUR DETERMINATION THE QUESTION OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE QUARTERS IN THE HOSPITAL ASSIGNED AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, WHO IS DETACHED FROM ALL DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TREATMENT. THIS IS A DUTY THAT CAN NOT, UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 31,1924, 43 STAT. 250, BE PASSED TO THIS OFFICE. THIS OFFICE WILL NOT, BY CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW, GIVE TO AN OFFICER WHO HAS ALL THE QUARTERS HE CAN UTILIZE IN THE SITUATION DESCRIBED RENTAL ALLOWANCE IN ADDITION TO THE PUBLIC QUARTERS SO FURNISHED. IF SUCH A DOUBLING OF ALLOWANCES IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IT MUST BE UNDER THE DETERMINATION AND ACTION OF THE "COMPETENT SUPERIOR AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED" AND HIS WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.