B-102670, AUG 15, 1951

B-102670: Aug 15, 1951

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 6. IN SAID LETTER ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 30C(2). IT IS INDICATED THEREIN THAT THE VOUCHERS IN QUESTION ARE SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER AS TO NON AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES AT CRAIG FIELD. IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE EXCEPTIONS BE CONSIDERED WITH A VIEW OF ALLOWING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER. THE EXCEPTIONS WERE STATED AGAINST VOUCHERS NUMBERED 20721. THE EXCEPTIONS WERE STATED FOR THE REASON. THAT GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS ATTENDING AIR FORCE SPECIAL STAFF SCHOOL AT CRAIG FIELD. THE ORDERS ATTACHED TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED VOUCHERS ARE DATED DECEMBER 20.

B-102670, AUG 15, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 6, 1951, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, RELATIVE TO EXCEPTIONS STATED AGAINST PAYMENTS OF PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT CRAIG FIELD, ALABAMA, MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 20721 AND THREE OTHERS OF THE MAY 1947, ACCOUNT OF CAPTAIN D.R. BELCHER. IN SAID LETTER ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 30C(2), ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, STATING THAT BOTH QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES MUST BE AVAILABLE TO TERMINATE THE RIGHT TO PER DIEM, AND IT IS INDICATED THEREIN THAT THE VOUCHERS IN QUESTION ARE SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER AS TO NON AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES AT CRAIG FIELD, AND THAT SUCH VOUCHERS APPEAR TO MEET THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SAID REGULATION. IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE EXCEPTIONS BE CONSIDERED WITH A VIEW OF ALLOWING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER.

THE EXCEPTIONS WERE STATED AGAINST VOUCHERS NUMBERED 20721, 21330, 21562 AND 21668 IN THE AMOUNT OF $592.92, REPRESENTING ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS OF PER DIEM MADE TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL HARRY L. DOWNING, LIEUTENANT COLONEL THOMAS W. HARRIS, MAJOR FRED M. GANNON AND MAJOR JOE E. STOKELY, RESPECTIVELY, IN THE AMOUNTS OF $208.67, $141.75, $100 AND $142.50. THE AMOUNT OF $142.50 APPARENTLY HAS BEEN REFUNDED BY MAJOR STOKELY. THE EXCEPTIONS WERE STATED FOR THE REASON, INTER ALIA, THAT GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS ATTENDING AIR FORCE SPECIAL STAFF SCHOOL AT CRAIG FIELD, ALABAMA.

THE ORDERS ATTACHED TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED VOUCHERS ARE DATED DECEMBER 20, 1946, DECEMBER 31, 1946, FEBRUARY 24, 1947, AND JANUARY 30, 1947, RESPECTIVELY, WERE ISSUED AT SCOTT FIELD, ILLINOIS, AND DIRECTED THE RESPECTIVE OFFICERS TO PROCEED TO CRAIG FIELD, ALABAMA, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING DESIGNATED CLASSES OF INSTRUCTION AT AAF SPECIAL STAFF SCHOOL THEREAT, AND UPON COMPLETION TO RETURN TO THEIR PROPER STATION. EACH OF SAID ORDERS PRESCRIBED PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AS SPECIFIED IN ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820 BUT THE PERIOD FOR WHICH PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WAS CONTEMPLATED WAS NOT SPECIFIED. THE LATTER TWO ORDERS STATED THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR OFFICERS. A CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT CRAIG FIELD IS ATTACHED TO EACH VOUCHER AND SUCH CERTIFICATES STATE THAT ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE OFFICERS. IT IS SHOWN THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE OCCUPIED DURING THE TEMPORARY DUTY AT CRAIG FIELD.

PARAGRAPH 2, SECTION IV, WAR DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 290, SPETEMBER 24, 1946, PROVIDES:

"2. EFFECTIVE WITH ORDERS ISSUED ON AND AFTER 1 OCTOBER 1946, COMMANDING OFFICERS OF SERVICE SCHOOLS LOCATED AT POSTS, CAMPS, OR STATIONS WHERE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND/OR MESSING FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WILL FURNISH STUDENT OFFICERS ON TEMPORARY DUTY THEREAT WITH A CERTIFICATE IN DUPLICATE TO SUCH EFFECT. BOTH FACILITIES MUST BE AVAILABLE TO TERMINATE RIGHT TO PER DIEM."

PARAGRAPH 30C(2), ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, FEBRUARY 5, 1947, IS TO THE SAME EFFECT.

AAF LETTER NO. 50-1, OCTOBER 17, 1946, CONTAINS DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE SPECIAL STAFF SCHOOL AT CRAIG FIELD. PARAGRAPH 3C(1) THEREOF STATES THAT "GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE", AND PARAGRAPH 3D STATES THAT "PER DIEM WILL BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH AR 35-4820, ONLY WHILE TRAVELING TO AND FROM TEMPORARY DUTY STATION."

THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. 290 EVIDENCE AN ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT THAT THE RIGHT OF AN OFFICER ATTENDING A SERVICE SCHOOL TO PER DIEM, SHOULD REST UPON A DETERMINATION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES AT THE SCHOOL, MADE BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SCHOOL. HOWEVER, SUCH REGULATIONS WERE GENERAL IN SCOPE AND MUST BE CONSIDERED SO AS NOT TO CREATE A CONFLICT WITH THE MORE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS PROMULGATED AT A LATER DATE IN LETTER NO. 50-1, WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIAL STAFF SCHOOL AT CRAIG FIELD. THE LATTER INSTRUCTIONS WERE ADDRESSED TO COMMANDING GENERALS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS, ALL ARMY AIR FORCE ACTIVITIES, APPARENTLY INCLUDING THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT CRAIG FIELD, AND NOT ONLY CLEARLY STATED THAT GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT CRAIG FIELD BUT DEFINITELY DENIED A PER DIEM THEREAT. SUCH DETERMINATION AND DENIAL WAS MADE BY HEADQUARTERS, ARMY AIR FORCES, AND THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO BASIS FOR IT TO BE DISREGARDED BY A DISBURSING OFFICER OR COMMANDING OFFICER AT CRAIG FIELD.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING AND SINCE THE LAW AUTHORIZING PER DIEM ALLOWANCES PERMITS PAYMENT ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH ALLOWANCES ARE PROPERLY PRESCRIBED BY SUPERIOR AUTHORITY, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN APPROVING EXPENDITURES OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSES CONTRARY TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SUPERIOR AUTHORITY. ACCORDINGLY, THE EXCEPTIONS STATED AGAINST THE VOUCHERS HERE INVOLVED IN THE REDUCED AMOUNT OF $450.42 WILL BE CONTINUED PENDING COLLECTION OF THE AMOUNTS IN QUESTION.