A-8379, AUGUST 15, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 113

A-8379: Aug 15, 1925

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IS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10. 1925: THERE WAS RECEIVED FEBRUARY 9. WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN HIS DISBURSING ACCOUNT FOR $230.20 PAID TO WILLIAM BEALL GWIN. IT APPEARS FROM AN EXAMINATION OF LIEUTENANT GWIN'S PAY ACCOUNT THAT THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED WAS ENTERED AS A DEBIT ITEM DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1. THOUGH AN APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF AN ITEM DISALLOWED IN A DISBURSING ACCOUNT PRESENTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER CONCERNED MORE THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE DISALLOWANCE AND MANY MONTHS AFTER THE SUM DISALLOWED HAS BEEN RECOVERED FROM THE PAYEE RAISES NO QUESTION UPON WHICH A DISBURSING OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO A DECISION FROM THIS OFFICE.

A-8379, AUGUST 15, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 113

RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENT MOTHER OF NAVAL OFFICER THE MOTHER OF AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY, WHILE RESIDING WITH HER HUSBAND, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT AT A SALARY OF $1,440 PER ANNUM, AND IN RECEIPT OF $50 PER MONTH INCOME FROM A BOND WHICH THE HUSBAND OWNS, IS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HER OFFICER SON FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR A DEPENDENT MOTHER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 15, 1925:

THERE WAS RECEIVED FEBRUARY 9, 1925, YOUR SECOND INDORSEMENT, DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1925, TRANSMITTING TO THIS OFFICE AN APPLICATION DATED JANUARY 23, 1925, FROM PHILIP A. HAAS, LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE), (S.C.), UNITED STATES NAVY, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. M 4089-N, DATED DECEMBER 8, 1923, WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN HIS DISBURSING ACCOUNT FOR $230.20 PAID TO WILLIAM BEALL GWIN, LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE), UNITED STATES NAVY, AS INCREASED RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR A DEPENDENT MOTHER FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1923, TO MARCH 31, 1923, AND INCREASED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 4, 1923, TO MARCH 31, 1923.

IT APPEARS FROM AN EXAMINATION OF LIEUTENANT GWIN'S PAY ACCOUNT THAT THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED WAS ENTERED AS A DEBIT ITEM DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1924, TO MAY 15, 1924, AND THAT SUFFICIENT PAY HAS BEEN EARNED AND SUFFERED TO ACCUMULATE TO MORE THAN OFFSET THAT DEBIT ENTRY.

THOUGH AN APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF AN ITEM DISALLOWED IN A DISBURSING ACCOUNT PRESENTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER CONCERNED MORE THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE DISALLOWANCE AND MANY MONTHS AFTER THE SUM DISALLOWED HAS BEEN RECOVERED FROM THE PAYEE RAISES NO QUESTION UPON WHICH A DISBURSING OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO A DECISION FROM THIS OFFICE, SINCE IT APPEARS IN THIS CASE THAT BY SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 4, 1924, A CHARGE WAS RAISED AGAINST LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE) GWIN FOR ALLOWANCES OBTAINED BY HIM ON BEHALF OF HIS MOTHER FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 14, 1921, TO JUNE 22, 1923, AND THAT HE FILED A CLAIM MARCH 11, 1925, FOR INCREASED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE ON HER BEHALF FOR THE PERIOD SINCE JANUARY 3, 1924, IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE AT THIS TIME TO REVIEW THE INFORMATION THAT HAS BEEN OBTAINED RELATING TO THE DEPENDENCY OF THE OFFICER'S MOTHER UPON HIM SINCE JANUARY 14, 1921, AND TO DETERMINE THE MERITS OF THE CLAIM.

THE OFFICER'S LETTER PRESENTING HIS CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE SINCE JANUARY 3, 1924, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IT WILL BE NOTICED ON INCLOSURE (A) THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICER HAS REFUSED TO CREDIT ME WITH SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT MOTHER FROM JANUARY 1, 1924, UNTIL THE PRESENT TIME.

THIS ACTION OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER IS THE RESULT OF THE DISALLOWAL BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF MY CLAIM FOR DEPENDENT MOTHER WHILE MY FATHER WAS RECEIVING AN INCOME.

AS YOU WILL SEE BY THE DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE, ACCOMPANYING THIS LETTER AS INCLOSURE (C), MY FATHER HAS BECOME AN INVALID AND IS UNABLE TO WORK. SINCE HE HAS HAD TO STOP WORK NEITHER HE OR MY MOTHER HAVE ANY INCOME OUTSIDE OF THE ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE (125) DOLLARS WHICH I CONTRIBUTE MONTHLY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING FACTS, I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT MY CLAIM IS A JUST AND HONEST ONE, AND I THEREFORE REQUEST THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AUTHORIZE THE DISBURSING OFFICER TO CREDIT ME WITH SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT FROM JANUARY 1, 1924, CONTINUOUSLY AS LONG AS MY MOTHER IS DEPENDENT UPON ME.

LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE) GWIN RECENTLY MADE A PERSONAL CALL AT THIS OFFICE AND STATED IN EXPLICIT TERMS THAT NEITHER HIS FATHER NOR HIS MOTHER HAS ANY INCOME SAVE THAT WHICH HE CONTRIBUTES TO THEM, AND FURTHER STATED THAT THOUGH HIS FATHER WAS ONCE EMPLOYED IN THE CIVIL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT HE HAD RESIGNED FROM SUCH EMPLOYMENT BECAUSE OF POOR HEALTH AND WAS RECEIVING NO RETIREMENT ANNUITY BECAUSE HE HAD NOT SERVED A SUFFICIENT LENGTH OF TIME TO BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT.

AFFIDAVITS HAVE BEEN FILED THAT WERE EXECUTED BY THE MOTHER, MRS. WINIFRED C. GWIN, DECEMBER 26, 1922, MARCH 12, 1923, SEPTEMBER 24, 1923, AND FEBRUARY 7, 1925, RESPECTIVELY. FROM THESE AFFIDAVITS IT APPEARS THE MOTHER WAS 61 YEARS OF AGE IN 1921, AND RESIDED WITH AND SUPERVISED THE HOME OF HER HUSBAND, HARRY A. GWIN (68 YEARS OF AGE IN 1921), IN THE ROLAND APARTMENTS AT WASHINGTON, D.C.; HER ONLY PROPERTY CONSISTS OF TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY VALUED AT $200, AND IT IS AVERRED IN HER AFFIDAVIT OF DECEMBER 26, 1922, THAT SINCE APRIL 1, 1921, SHE RECEIVED INCOME OF $50 PER MONTH FROM A BOND OWNED BY HER HUSBAND; IN AFFIDAVIT EXECUTED SEPTEMBER 24, 1923, SHE AVERRED NEITHER SHE NOR HER HUSBAND OWNED PROPERTY OF ANY CHARACTER SAVE THE $200 WORTH OF TANGIBLE PERSONALTY.

IN HER AFFIDAVIT OF DECEMBER 26, 1922, THE MOTHER FURTHER AVERS HER INCOME FROM APRIL 1, 1921, TO JUNE 30, 1922, WAS $125 PER MONTH, OF WHICH HER OFFICER SON CONTRIBUTED $75 AND $50 WAS DERIVED FROM THE BOND OWNED BY HER HUSBAND; IN AFFIDAVIT OF MARCH 12, 1923, SHE AVERS HER INCOME WAS $1,600 FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1922, TO JANUARY 1, 1923, OF WHICH HER SON GAVE $900 FOR EACH YEAR; IN AFFIDAVIT OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1923, SHE AVERS HER ONLY INCOME SINCE JANUARY 1, 1921, CONSISTED OF THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTIONS OF $900 PER ANNUM, $75 PER MONTH; AND IN AFFIDAVIT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1925, SHE AVERS HER ONLY INCOME FOR THE YEAR(PRESUMABLY FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1924) 1923-24 CONSISTED OF $900 CONTRIBUTED BY THE OFFICER, AND HER ONLY INCOME FOR THE YEAR 1924-25 CONSISTED OF $1,500 CONTRIBUTED BY THE OFFICER.

IN AFFIDAVITS OF MARCH 12, 1923, AND SEPTEMBER 24, 1923, SHE AVERS HER HUSBAND'S INCOME FROM ,BUSINESS" WAS $120 PER MONTH, BUT IN AFFIDAVIT OF MARCH 7, 1925, SHE AVERS HER HUSBAND HAD NO INCOME DURING THE PRECEDING 15 MONTHS.

THE MOTHER AVERS IN AFFIDAVIT OF MARCH 12, 1923, THAT NO INCOME-TAX RETURN WAS FILED EITHER BY HERSELF OR HUSBAND IN 1922, WHEN THEIR COMBINED DISCLOSED INCOME, ASIDE FROM $900 CONTRIBUTED BY THE OFFICER SON, WAS $2,140, BUT IN AFFIDAVIT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1925, WHERE SHE AVERS THE ONLY INCOME OF HERSELF AND HUSBAND FOR THE PREVIOUS 15 MONTHS WAS $1,500 CONTRIBUTED BY THE OFFICER SON, THE MOTHER STATES AN INCOME-TAX RETURN WAS FILED FOR THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

IT HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED THAT THE FATHER OF LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE) GWIN WAS A CHIEF DELIVERYMAN IN THE G.P.O. AT $1,440 PER ANNUM UNTIL MARCH 31, 1924. ON JUNE 3, 1925, THE FOLLOWING REPORT WAS RECEIVED FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS: MR. R. L. GOLZE,

SOLICITOR, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEAR SIR: IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 28, 1925, HAVING REFERENCE TO MR. HARRY A. GWIN, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, NOW A RESIDENT OF THE ROLAND APARTMENTS, WASHINGTON, D.C., I HAVE TO ADVISE YOU THAT THE RECORDS OF THE RETIREMENT DIVISION INDICATE THAT HE WAS RETIRED FROM THE SERVICE AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS MARCH 31, 1924, AND GRANTED AN ANNUITY BY CLAIM NO. R-13703 UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT APPROVED MAY 22, 1920, AT THE RATE OF $720 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1924, BY CERTIFICATE ISSUED APRIL 30, 1924. THE RECORDS FURTHER SHOW THAT MR. GWIN HAS BEEN MAILED A CHECK AT THE ADDRESS OF RECORD TO THE AMOUNT OF $60 REGULARLY EACH MONTH SINCE HIS RETIREMENT.

RESPECTFULLY,

(SIGNED) WILDER S. METCALF,

COMMISSIONER.

IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICER AND HIS MOTHER IN REFERENCE TO THE SENIOR GWIN'S INCOME SINCE JANUARY 1, 1924,ARE INCORRECT; THE MOTHER'S AVERMENTS IN REFERENCE TO HER OWN INCOME FOR THE PERIOD SINCE JANUARY 1, 1921, ARE IN IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT, AND IT IS A REMARKABLE FACT THAT THE $50 PER MONTH INCREASE IN THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTION BEGINNING IN 1924 IS THE EXACT EQUIVALENT OF THE INCOME PREVIOUSLY DERIVED BY THE MOTHER FROM A BOND OWNED BY HER HUSBAND, WHICH BOND IS NO LONGER LISTED AMONG THE ASSETS OF EITHER PARENT.

UPON THE EVIDENCE THUS DEVELOPED IT MUST BE HELD THAT LIEUTENANT (JUNIOR GRADE) GWIN HAS FAILED TO ESTABLISH THAT HE MAINTAINED A PLACE OF ABODE FOR HIS MOTHER FROM JANUARY 14, 1921, TO JUNE 30, 1922, OR THAT SHE HAS BEEN IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR CHIEF SUPPORT AT ANY TIME, AND THE CHARGE WHICH HAS BEEN RAISED IN HIS PERSONAL ACCOUNT AND THE SETTLEMENTS WHEREIN DISALLOWANCES HAVE BEEN MADE IN DISBURSING ACCOUNTS BECAUSE OF DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCES PAID TO HIM ARE ACCORDINGLY SUSTAINED.