B-104496, B-104497, SEP 21, 1951

B-104496,B-104497: Sep 21, 1951

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ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5. SANTOS AND PASTOR DELOS SANTOS WERE FILIPINOS WHO WERE HIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR OVERSEAS DUTIES IN THE MARIANAS BONINS COMMAND AND THAT THEY WERE ASSIGNED AS FIREMEN AT THE AIR FORCE BASE IN GUAM. THE REMAINS OF THE SAID DECEASED EMPLOYEES WERE PREPARED AND ENCASED BY THE NAVY MORTUARY ON GUAM. ARE STATED IN THE NAMES OF RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED EMPLOYEES. THE QUESTION NOW PRESENTED IS WHETHER FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ARE AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR THE COST OF PREPARATION AND ENCASEMENT OF THE REMAINS OR WHETHER SUCH EXPENSES ARE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY RELATIVES OF THE DECEDENTS.

B-104496, B-104497, SEP 21, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MAJOR F.J. VERHULST, JR., ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5, 1951, AFAFN-1 167; TRANSMITTED HERE THROUGH THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING THE COST OF PREPARATION AND ENCASEMENT OF THE REMAINS OF ERNESTO L. SANTOS AND PASTOR DELOS SANTOS.

THE ENCLOSURES WITH YOUR LETTER SHOW THAT ERNESTO L. SANTOS AND PASTOR DELOS SANTOS WERE FILIPINOS WHO WERE HIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR OVERSEAS DUTIES IN THE MARIANAS BONINS COMMAND AND THAT THEY WERE ASSIGNED AS FIREMEN AT THE AIR FORCE BASE IN GUAM. IT FURTHER APPEARS THEREFROM THAT THE EMPLOYEES DIED WHILE IN GUAM FROM CAUSES NOT RELATED TO THEIR EMPLOYMENT. THE REMAINS OF THE SAID DECEASED EMPLOYEES WERE PREPARED AND ENCASED BY THE NAVY MORTUARY ON GUAM. THROUGH MISUNDERSTANDING, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REIMBURSED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FOR THE INVOLVED COSTS AND WHILE THE VOUCHERS FOR TRANSFERS BETWEEN APPROPRIATIONS AND/OR FUNDS, STANDARD FORMS 1080, ARE STATED IN THE NAMES OF RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED EMPLOYEES, THE QUESTION NOW PRESENTED IS WHETHER FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ARE AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR THE COST OF PREPARATION AND ENCASEMENT OF THE REMAINS OR WHETHER SUCH EXPENSES ARE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY RELATIVES OF THE DECEDENTS.

INSOFAR AS MATERIAL HERE, THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, 54 STAT. 743, 5 U.S.C. 103(A) PROVIDES:

"IN CASE ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES DIES *** (2) WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL DUTIES IN A TERRITORY OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES OR IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY *** THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT *** IN THE SERVICE OF WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS ENGAGED, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED, UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, TO PAY FROM THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE ACTIVITY IN WHICH HE WAS ENGAGED -

"(A) *** THE EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TO HIS HOME OR OFFICIAL STATION OR SUCH OTHER PLACE AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE TO BE THE APPROPRIATE PLACE OF INTERMENT."

THE REGULATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT RELATIVE TO THE MATTER ARE CONTAINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 8557, DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1940, WHICH IN PERTINENT PART, PROVIDES:

"SECTION 5. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE DIES *** WHILE ON ASSIGNMENT TO A POST OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED SHALL PAY THE EXPENSES OF PREPARING THE REMAINS OF THE DECEDENT AND OF TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS TO THE HOME OR OFFICIAL STATION OF THE DECEDENT OR TO SUCH OTHER PLACE AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT MAY DESIGNATE AS THE APPROPRIATE PLACE OF INTERMENT, PROVIDED THAT IN NO CASE SHALL THE EXPENSES PAYABLE BE GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE HAD THE PLACE OF INTERMENT BEEN THE HOME OR OFFICIAL STATION WHICHEVER SHALL BE THE MORE DISTANT.

"SECTION 6. PREPARATION OF REMAINS. THE COST OF PREPARATION OF REMAINS ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 5 OF THESE REGULATIONS SHALL INCLUDE ALL THE ORDINARY COST OF EMBALMING, CREMATION, NECESSARY CLOTHING, AND A CASKET OR CONTAINER SUITABLE FOR SHIPMENT TO THE PLACE OF INTERMENT. ***"

THE ACT AND REGULATIONS THEREUNDER APPEAR SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF NATIVE EMPLOYEES IN CASES, SUCH AS HERE, WHERE THE EMPLOYEES ARE HIRED FOR USE ABROAD FROM THE PLACE OF THEIR RESIDENCE AND WHO DIE WHILE ASSIGNED ON SUCH DUTY AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES. AS THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED APPEAR PROPERLY TO HAVE BEEN PAYABLE FROM FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, NO OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED TO REIMBURSING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THE AMOUNTS INADVERTENTLY PAID FROM THOSE FUNDS. ALSO, SINCE THE AMOUNTS APPEAR PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THERE IS NO REASON FOR CALLING UPON THE RELATIVES OF THE DECEDENT TO PAY SUCH EXPENSES. ACCORDINGLY, AND PROVIDED THAT THE FORMS 1080 BE AMENDED TO SHOW THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, OR THE PARTICULAR ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT THEREOF INVOLVED, AS THE PAYEE, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PROCESS PAYMENT THEREOF.

THE VOUCHERS AND PERTINENT FILE ARE RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.