B-107891, DEC. 8, 1955

B-107891: Dec 8, 1955

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TO UNITED KINGDOM TREASURY AND SUPPLY DELEGATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12. THE MATTER AGAIN WAS REFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION A COPY OF A REPLY DATED OCTOBER 7. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT AT THIS LATE DATE THE NAVAL OFFICERS NOW AVAILABLE. SEEM FIRMLY OF OPINION THAT PAYMENTS OF THEIR BILLS FOR MEALS AND QUARTERS ACCOMMODATION WERE MADE CURRENTLY AND. DENIAL OF THE CLAIM IS RECOMMENDED. - AND WHERE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION EXISTS WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE ACCEPTED THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNLESS THEY ARE SHOWN CLEARLY TO BE IN ERROR. THAT: "* * * NO CHARGES FOR ACCOMMODATION OR RATIONS WERE RAISED AGAINST.

B-107891, DEC. 8, 1955

TO UNITED KINGDOM TREASURY AND SUPPLY DELEGATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REGARDING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF RATIONS AND ACCOMMODATION FURNISHED FOUR UNITED STATES NAVAL OFFICERS AT THE EMPIRE TEST PILOT'S SCHOOL IN 1946 AND 1947.

FOLLOWING THE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, THE MATTER AGAIN WAS REFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION A COPY OF A REPLY DATED OCTOBER 7, 1955, FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WITH RESPECT THERETO. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT AT THIS LATE DATE THE NAVAL OFFICERS NOW AVAILABLE, WHO ATTENDED THE SCHOOL, SEEM FIRMLY OF OPINION THAT PAYMENTS OF THEIR BILLS FOR MEALS AND QUARTERS ACCOMMODATION WERE MADE CURRENTLY AND, ON THAT BASIS, DENIAL OF THE CLAIM IS RECOMMENDED.

IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS OF THIS GENERAL NATURE, OUR OFFICE NECESSARILY MUST RELY UPON THE FACTS ASSEMBLED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE--- IN THIS CASE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY--- AND WHERE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION EXISTS WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE ACCEPTED THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNLESS THEY ARE SHOWN CLEARLY TO BE IN ERROR.

YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 12, 1955, DID NOT TRANSMIT MONTHLY INVOICES BUT TRANSMITTED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS COVERING THE FULL PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS, OR MORE, WITH A STATEMENT, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT:

"* * * NO CHARGES FOR ACCOMMODATION OR RATIONS WERE RAISED AGAINST, OR RECOVERED FROM, THE OFFICERS, BUT THE CLAIMS IN RESPECT THEREOF WERE REFERRED TO THE AIR MINISTRY UNIT, RUISLIP, AND WERE THEN PASSED ON TO THE MINISTRY OF SUPPLY FOR RECOVERY TO BE EFFECTED.'

OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE ARE PAID A CASH MONEY ALLOWANCE WITH WHICH TO SECURE THEIR MEALS AND ALSO TO OBTAIN QUARTERS WHEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT ASSIGNED TO THEM FREE OF CHARGE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT A SIMILAR PRACTICE IS FOLLOWED IN THE BRITISH ARMED FORCES. IT SEEMS ADMITTED THAT THESE NAVAL OFFICERS PAID SUCH BILLS AS WERE INVOICED TO THEM MONTHLY BY THE MESSES CONCERNED, AND PRESUMABLY THEIR PAY ACCOUNTS WERE CREDITED WITH THE CASH MONEY ALLOWANCE FOR THAT PURPOSE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THE CHARGES FOR RATIONS AND ACCOMMODATION WERE OMITTED FROM THE BILLS INVOICED TO THE OFFICERS AND SEPARATELY REFERRED TO THE MINISTRY OF SUPPLY, THROUGH THE AIR MINISTRY, INSTEAD OF BEING TRANSMITTED TO THE OFFICERS, WE MAY NOT CONCLUDE THAT THE CHARGES WERE NOT PAID CURRENTLY BY THE OFFICERS.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, WE MUST ADHERE TO OUR FORMER CONCLUSION.