A-14591, JULY 10, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 21

A-14591: Jul 10, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WHERE SUCH DEPENDENCY IS ALLEGED BECAUSE OF THE RECENT DEATH OF THE HUSBAND OF THE MOTHER. FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT HE IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO HIM BY FIRST LIEUT. IT APPEARS FROM THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED THAT LIEUTENANT MEARS WAS BORN IN ILLINOIS DECEMBER 27. 1926) FOR WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED ON ACCOUNT OF MY (HIS) DEPENDENT MOTHER I HAVE (HE HAS) CONTRIBUTED TO HER SUPPORT THE SUM OF $50. THE OFFICER WAS PAID RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR A DEPENDENT DESCRIBED AS MOTHER AND UPON SUSPENSION OF THE PAYMENT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER THE LATTER REPORTED THE DEPENDENT TO HAVE BEEN A WIFE. NO FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS STATEMENT ARE SUBMITTED. ON THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY HIS CLAIM AND PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS.

A-14591, JULY 10, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 21

RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES - EVIDENCE OF DEPENDENCY OF MOTHER WHERE ON THE FIRST CLAIM OF AN OFFICER FOR INCREASED ALLOWANCES BECAUSE OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER THE EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT THE MOTHER HAD THERETOFORE BEEN INDEPENDENT OF THE OFFICER, EVIDENCE AS TO THE PRIOR SITUATION OF THE MOTHER AND THE CAUSE OF HER DEPENDENCY MUST BE PRESENTED. WHERE SUCH DEPENDENCY IS ALLEGED BECAUSE OF THE RECENT DEATH OF THE HUSBAND OF THE MOTHER, EVIDENCE AS TO THE OCCUPATION OF THE HUSBAND PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, HIS INCOME, HIS ESTATE AND ITS DISTRIBUTION, AND THE LIFE INSURANCE CARRIED BY HIM WITH NAMES OF THE COMPANIES OR ASSOCIATIONS AND THE BENEFICIARIES THEREOF, MUST BE PRESENTED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 10, 1926:

LIEUT. COL. S. B. MCINTYRE, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, UNITED STATES ARMY, APPLIED JUNE 1, 1926, THROUGH THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT HE IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO HIM BY FIRST LIEUT. WILLIAM R. MEARS, CAV. D.O.L., FOR $344.40 CLAIMED BY THAT OFFICER TO BE DUE HIM AS INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF HIS MOTHER FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1925, TO MARCH 31, 1926.

IT APPEARS FROM THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED THAT LIEUTENANT MEARS WAS BORN IN ILLINOIS DECEMBER 27, 1893, AND SINCE HIS ENLISTMENT AS A PRIVATE, 2 CO., C.A.C., JANUARY 22, 1917, HAS SERVED CONTINUOUSLY EITHER AS AN ENLISTED MAN OR OFFICER; THAT HIS MOTHER HAS BEEN A WIDOW SINCE JANUARY, 1916, AND HAS RESIDED AT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., OR, MORE RECENTLY, IN WASHINGTON, D.C.; THAT PREVIOUS TO JULY 1, 1925, HE CONTRIBUTED NOTHING TO HER SUPPORT BUT, ACCORDING TO HIS CERTIFICATE ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED, "DURING THE CURRENT PERIOD (JULY 1, 1925, TO MARCH 31, 1926) FOR WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED ON ACCOUNT OF MY (HIS) DEPENDENT MOTHER I HAVE (HE HAS) CONTRIBUTED TO HER SUPPORT THE SUM OF $50, IN CASH OR ITS EQUIVALENT, WITHOUT ANY CONSIDERATION IN RETURN.' IT FURTHER APPEARS THE MOTHER OWNS A STORE IN LEAVENWORTH, KANS., WHICH DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1924 YIELDED A RENTAL OF $480 AND THAT SHE RECEIVED A PENSION DURING 1925, IN A SUM SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDING THE OFFICER'S AGGREGATE CASH CONTRIBUTIONS. FOR DECEMBER, 1922, AND JANUARY, 1923, THE OFFICER WAS PAID RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR A DEPENDENT DESCRIBED AS MOTHER AND UPON SUSPENSION OF THE PAYMENT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER THE LATTER REPORTED THE DEPENDENT TO HAVE BEEN A WIFE. THE MOTHER STATES AS A MATERIAL FACT TENDERING TO PROVE DEPENDENCY: "EXHAUSTED RESOURCES FORMERLY DEPENDED UPON, WITH LOSS OF ALL MY SAVINGS BY BANK FAILURE AT LEAVENWORTH, KANS.' NO FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS STATEMENT ARE SUBMITTED, AS FOR EXAMPLE, THE CHARACTER AND AMOUNT OF THE ,RESOURCES" AND THE INCOME DERIVED THEREFROM, THE NAME OF THE BANK, THE AMOUNT OF THE SAVINGS AND THE DATE OF THE FAILURE OF THE BANK.

ON THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY HIS CLAIM AND PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS, THEREFORE, UNAUTHORIZED.

THIS CASE IS TYPICAL OF A CLASS FREQUENTLY PRESENTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF LAW AUTHORIZING INCREASED PAYMENTS TO AN OFFICER WHO IS IN FACT THE CHIEF SUPPORT OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER IN WHICH THE MOTHER FOR A PERIOD OF YEARS WAS ENTIRELY INDEPENDENT, ABLE TO MAINTAIN HERSELF AND FREQUENTLY OTHERS DEPENDENT ON HER, WHO WITHOUT ADEQUATE EXPLANATION IS REPRESENTED AS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT FROM A SPECIFIED DATE. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE STATEMENT QUOTED REFERS TO "RESOURCES" AND "SAVINGS; " BOTH SHOULD HAVE PRODUCED AN INCOME IF THE EXHAUSTION OF THE ONE AND THE LOSS OF THE OTHER TENDED TO CREATE DEPENDENCY ON THE OFFICER; YET THE MOTHER IN HER SCHEDULE OF INCOME FOR THE YEAR 1924 SHOWS NO INCOME OTHER THAN FROM RENTAL OF THE BUILDING OF WHICH SHE IS STILL THE OWNER, AND FROM PENSION; THE RESOURCES AND SAVINGS WHICH WERE EXHAUSTED AND LOST TO CREATE A STATE OF DEPENDENCY JULY 1, 1925, THUS PRODUCED NO INCOME DURING 1924.

IT IS NOT THE DESIRE NOR PURPOSE OF THIS OFFICE TO DEPRIVE ANY OFFICER OF THE INCREASED ALLOWANCES IF HE IS IN FACT THE CHIEF SUPPORT OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER; BUT FACTS MUST BE PRESENTED TO SUPPORT A CONCLUSION THAT A CASE IS WITHIN THE LAW. FAILURE OF OFFICERS TO APPRECIATE THE NECESSITY OF A FRANK AND CLEAR PRESENTATION OF FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PRIOR TO THE DATE OF CLAIMED DEPENDENCY OF A MOTHER MAKES NECESSARY THE MODIFICATION OF THE PRESENT APPROVED FORM OF AFFIDAVIT TO SECURE APPROPRIATE INFORMATION, AND THE MATTER OF REVISION OF THE FORM IS BEING BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED.