B-11363, JULY 20, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 37

B-11363: Jul 20, 1940

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EXCEPT THAT IF TWO OF SUCH PRIOR PERIODS HAVE BEEN IN 1 FISCAL YEAR. ONLY ONE IS REQUIRED TO BE SO DEDUCTED. ARE TO BE MADE UPON COMPLETION OF EACH OF THE REQUIRED PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING. AFTER PAYMENT OF NOT TO EXCEED $50 IN EACH OF 3 SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS NO FURTHER PAYMENTS WILL ACCRUE. IF AN OFFICER COMPLETES TWO OF THE PRESCRIBED PERIODS OF TRAINING IN 1 FISCAL YEAR AND IS PAID. THE OTHER MAY BE EXCLUDED IN COUNTING THE MAXIMUM OF THREE PERIODS FOR WHICH PAYMENTS ARE ALLOWED UNDER THE ACT. IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PERIOD WHICH IS TERMINATED. BEFORE THE END OF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO DUTY. WHERE A MEMBER OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY IS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 3 MONTHS HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT PROVIDED FOR EACH OF HIS FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE DUTY OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF MAY 14.

B-11363, JULY 20, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 37

UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT ALLOWANCE - OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 212, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF AN ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY ONLY FOR PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS COMPLETED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SAID ACT, AND ANY SUCH PERIODS OF TRAINING PRIOR TO THAT DATE MUST BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL OF THREE PERIODS FOR WHICH THE SAID STATUTE ALLOWS PAYMENT, EXCEPT THAT IF TWO OF SUCH PRIOR PERIODS HAVE BEEN IN 1 FISCAL YEAR, ONLY ONE IS REQUIRED TO BE SO DEDUCTED. PAYMENTS TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY OF THE ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 212, ARE TO BE MADE UPON COMPLETION OF EACH OF THE REQUIRED PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING, AND AFTER PAYMENT OF NOT TO EXCEED $50 IN EACH OF 3 SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS NO FURTHER PAYMENTS WILL ACCRUE, BUT IF AN OFFICER COMPLETES TWO OF THE PRESCRIBED PERIODS OF TRAINING IN 1 FISCAL YEAR AND IS PAID, AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT, THE ALLOWANCE FOR ONLY ONE, THE OTHER MAY BE EXCLUDED IN COUNTING THE MAXIMUM OF THREE PERIODS FOR WHICH PAYMENTS ARE ALLOWED UNDER THE ACT. PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY OF AN ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT FOR ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 212, IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PERIOD WHICH IS TERMINATED, BECAUSE OF THE OFFICER'S PHYSICAL UNFITNESS OR FOR OTHER CAUSE, BEFORE THE END OF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO DUTY. WHERE A MEMBER OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY IS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 3 MONTHS HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT PROVIDED FOR EACH OF HIS FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE DUTY OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 212, EVEN THOUGH THE PERIOD FOR WHICH TRAINING IS ACTUALLY GIVEN IS REDUCED TO 3 MONTHS OR LESS BECAUSE OF NECESSARY TIME INVOLVED IN TRAVEL. UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940, 54 STAT. 212, PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY OF AN ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT UPON COMPLETION IN SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS OF EACH OF THEIR FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS, THE WEARING OF THE UNIFORM MUST BE REQUIRED--- NOT MERELY MADE OPTIONAL.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JULY 20, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF THE AMBIGUITY IN CERTAIN PARTICULARS OF THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1940 ( PUBLIC, NO. 511, 76TH CONG.), INVOLVING THE DISBURSEMENT OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE FOLLOWING IS A CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF THE INTENT OF THE ACT:

1. THAT THE PERIOD OF TRAINING MUST BE COMPLETED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT.

2. THAT PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE UPON COMPLETION OF THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD OF TRAINING AND THAT AFTER PAYMENT OF NOT TO EXCEED $50 IN EACH OF THREE SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS NO FURTHER PAYMENTS WILL ACCRUE.

3. THAT PERIODS OF TRAINING, AS PRESCRIBED, PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT MUST BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL OF THREE FOR WHICH PAYMENTS ARE ALLOWED, EXCEPT THAT IF TWO OF SUCH PERIODS HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME FISCAL YEAR, ONLY ONE MAY BE COUNTED IN ARRIVING AT THE TOTAL; THAT IS, IF AN OFFICER HAS HAD IN SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS THREE OR MORE PERIODS OF TRAINING, AS PRESCRIBED, PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, HE CANNOT QUALIFY FOR ANY PAYMENTS THEREUNDER; IF HE HAS HAD TWO PERIODS HE CAN QUALIFY FOR ONE PAYMENT; AND IF HE HAS HAD ONE PERIOD HE CAN QUALIFY FOR TWO PAYMENTS.

4. THAT, IF AN OFFICER COMPLETES TWO PERIODS OF TRAINING, AS PRESCRIBED, IN 1 FISCAL YEAR, HE WILL BE ENTITLED, IF OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE, TO ONE PAYMENT OF $50, THE SECOND PERIOD IN THE SAME FISCAL YEAR NOT COUNTING AGAINST THE THREE PERIODS FOR WHICH PAYMENTS OF $50 ARE AUTHORIZED.

5. THAT THE PERIOD OF TRAINING FOR WHICH ORDERED MUST BE COMPLETED. FOR EXAMPLE, IF AN OFFICER IS ORDERED TO 14 DAYS' ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AND BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL UNFITNESS OR OTHER CAUSE IS RELIEVED FROM DUTY EARLIER THAN THE END OF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH ORDERED, NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED.

6. THAT, IF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH ORDERED IS IN EXCESS OF 3 MONTHS, ALTHOUGH, BECAUSE OF NECESSARY TIME INVOLVED IN TRAVEL, THE PERIOD FOR WHICH TRAINING IS ACTUALLY GIVEN IS 3 MONTHS OR LESS, NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED.

7. THAT THE WEARING OF THE UNIFORM MUST BE REQUIRED, NOT MERELY MADE OPTIONAL.

IN THIS CONNECTION, IT MAY BE NOTED THAT THE PRESENT ACT WAS DESIGNED TO MEET CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY THE PRESIDENT IN VETOING A PRIOR MEASURE WHICH HAD THE SAME GENERAL PURPOSE. H.R. 3321 (COMPANION BILL S. 507, 76TH CONG., ST SESS.) PROVIDED THAT OFFICERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS, ELIGIBLE FOR ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING, SHOULD RECEIVE FOR A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS AFTER THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT AN ALLOWANCE OF $50 PER ANNUM FOR THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT. THIS BILL DID NOT MAKE PERFORMANCE OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE. THE PRESIDENT, IN HIS VETO MESSAGE OF AUGUST 1, 1939 ( HOUSE DOC. NO. 460, 76TH CONG., ST SESS.), EMPHASIZED THIS OBJECTION, STATING:

" I WOULD NOT OBJECT TO LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS UNDER ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT UPON COMPLETION, IN SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS, OF EACH OF THEIR FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING, OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS, DURING WHICH PERIODS THE UNIFORM IS REQUIRED TO BE WORN.'

IT MAY THUS BE SEEN THAT THE PRESENT ACT ADOPTS THE LANGUAGE OF THE PRESIDENT, WHICH IN TURN APPEARS TO HAVE HAD ITS ORIGIN IN A REPORT OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS OF THE HOUSE, DATED APRIL 5, 1939, CONCERNING THE PRIOR MEASURE (H. REPT. NO. 1044, 76TH CONG., ST SESS.). THE ACTING SECRETARY OF WAR THERE STATED:

"* * * THE WAR DEPARTMENT WOULD NOT OPPOSE A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE IF SUCH ALLOWANCE SHOULD BE GRANTED TO RESERVE OFFICERS UPON COMPLETION OF EACH OF THEIR FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS, IN SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS, PROVIDED SUCH ALLOWANCE IS IN ACCORD WITH THE PROGRAM OF THE PRESIDENT.'

THE ACT REFERRED TO, 54 STAT. 212, PROVIDES:

THAT OFFICERS OF THE OFFICERS' RESERVE CORPS OF THE ARMY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT OF $50 PER ANNUM UPON COMPLETION, IN SEPARATE FISCAL YEARS, OF EACH OF THEIR FIRST THREE PERIODS OF ACTIVE-DUTY TRAINING OF 3 MONTHS OR LESS, FOLLOWING THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT, DURING WHICH PERIODS THE UNIFORM IS REQUIRED TO BE WORN.

I AM OF OPINION THAT YOU HAVE CORRECTLY STATED THE INTEND OF THE ACT IN THE SEVEN FORMULATED POINTS AND THE ACT WILL BE SO APPLIED IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS INVOLVING PAYMENTS THEREUNDER.