B-119265, JUN. 21, 1955

B-119265: Jun 21, 1955

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132051: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 9. DURING THAT PERIOD YOU WERE SERVING AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY MISSION WITH THE IMPERIAL IRANIAN GENDARMERIE. THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT FULLY ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE ADDITIONAL MONETARY ALLOWANCE RECEIVED * * * FROM THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT.'. IT WAS STATED: "IN ADDITION TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES RECEIVED AS OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. AMERICAN OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO THE IRANIAN GENDARMERIE MISSION WERE TO RECEIVE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN SUCH NET ANNUAL COMPENSATION IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY AS MIGHT BE AGREED UPON BY THE GOVERNMENTS CONCERNED.

B-119265, JUN. 21, 1955

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRED E. DUECKER, 132051:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 9, 1955, CONCERNING OUR REQUEST OF MARCH 24, 1955, FOR REFUND OF $561.48 ALLOWED YOU BY CERTIFICATES OF SETTLEMENT NOS. 2133002 AND 2133003, DATED APRIL 29, 1953, AS REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS EXPENDED FOR ELECTRICITY, KEROSENE, AND WATER FOR THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 1, 1949, THROUGH MARCH 12, 1951. DURING THAT PERIOD YOU WERE SERVING AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY MISSION WITH THE IMPERIAL IRANIAN GENDARMERIE, TEHERAN, IRAN.

YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1955, ARGUING THAT ,THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT FULLY ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE ADDITIONAL MONETARY ALLOWANCE RECEIVED * * * FROM THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT.'

IN THE SIMILAR CASE OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRANKLIN R. BRICKLES, CONSIDERED IN DECISION DATED MARCH 14, 1955, B-119265, IT WAS STATED:

"IN ADDITION TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES RECEIVED AS OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY, IT APPEARS THAT, PURSUANT TO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN, AMERICAN OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO THE IRANIAN GENDARMERIE MISSION WERE TO RECEIVE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN SUCH NET ANNUAL COMPENSATION IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY AS MIGHT BE AGREED UPON BY THE GOVERNMENTS CONCERNED. IT IS INDICATED THAT, IN ADDITION TO AN AGREED NET ANNUAL COMPENSATION TO BE PAID IN 12 EQUAL MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS, AMOUNTS PAID BY THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TO SUCH OFFICERS INCLUDED ORDERLY ALLOWANCE, ORDERLY RATION ALLOWANCE, HORSE AND FORAGE ALLOWANCE, CHILDREN'S ALLOWANCE, AND A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE, WHICH LAST ALLOWANCE WAS TURNED OVER DIRECTLY TO THE LANDLORD BY THE IMPERIAL IRANIAN GENDARMERIE AS RENT FOR THE QUARTERS FURNISHED.

"THE RECORD SHOWS, FURTHER, THAT EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1949, WHICH, ALSO, WAS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802, WHICH SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED THE PAY OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DISCONTINUED PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE WHICH PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN PAID MEMBERS OF THE MISSION, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR CONTEMPORANEOUS OCCUPANCY OR QUARTERS FURNISHED BY IRAN. THIS WAS DONE APPARENTLY IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 302 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 AGAINST PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ADEQUATE FOR THEMSELVES AND DEPENDENTS, AND ON THE PREMISE THAT THE DWELLINGS FURNISHED BY IRAN WERE BEING FURNISHED ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES AND WERE THEREFORE PUBLIC QUARTERS. CF. 21 COMP. GEN. 1065.

"BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1951, IN WHICH THE HOUSING FURNISHED BY IRAN WAS REFERRED TO AS ,QUARTERS OF A SORT" THE CHIEF OF MISSION DESCRIBED THESE QUARTERS AT LENGTH TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND POINTED OUT SPECIFICALLY THAT MEMBERS WERE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR ELECTRICITY FOR LIGHTING AND TO PURCHASE KEROSENE FOR HEATING THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THEM. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS SO REPORTED, AND ARMY REGULATION 100-90, QUOTED IN THAT LETTER, WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHENEVER PUBLIC QUARTERS ARE FURNISHED MILITARY PERSONNEL ADEQUATE FUEL,WATER, AND ELECTRIC SERVICE WILL BE SUPPLIED SUCH QUARTERS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THE CHIEF OF MISSION, IN RADIOGRAM DATED JANUARY 28, 1952, REQUESTED IMMEDIATE AUTHORITY TO PAY FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR MINOR REPAIRS, FUEL, AND ELECTRICITY FOR QUARTERS FURNISHED MISSION MEMBERS BY THE GENDARMERIE, AND THAT THERE BE ALLOTTED FOR SUCH PURPOSES $9,000 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1953. THAT REQUEST WAS DISAPPROVED BY THE COMPTROLLER OF THE ARMY ON FEBRUARY 8, 1952. SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE REJECTION OF THE REQUEST FOR FUNDS FOR SUPPLYING HEAT AND LIGHT, CURRENTLY, FOLLOWING DISCONTINUANCE OF THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE, INDICATES THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CONSIDERED THAT THE ADDITIONAL MONETARY ALLOWANCES BEING PAID TO THE MEMBERS OF THE MISSION BY IRAN SUPPLIED ANY DEFICIENCIES IN THE QUARTERS FURNISHED ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES. THIS APPEARS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH YOUR OWN VIEWS OF THE CHARACTER AND PURPOSE OF THESE EMOLUMENTS STATED IN THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 2 OF YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1953, AS FOLLOWS:

" "THE MEMBERS OF BOTH OF THE MISSIONS WERE GIVEN IDENTICAL, LIBERAL, MONETARY ALLOWANCES BY THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RESPECTIVE CONTRACTS. IT IS BELIEVED, HOWEVER, THAT THOSE ALLOWANCES WERE TO COMPENSATE FOR THE UNCOMFORTABLE, UNSANITARY, AND SOMETIMES HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS TO WHICH MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES WERE SUBJECTED.'

"THERE IS NO REASON TO SUPPOSE THAT SUCH ALLOWANCES WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO BETTER THOSE CONDITIONS. THERE IS NO INDICATION, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT YOU WOULD ENCOUNTER ANY ITEMS OF EXPENSE ON ACCOUNT OF AN ORDERLY, OR FOR MAINTENANCE OF A HORSE. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN CONCLUDING, CONTRARY TO THE APPARENT VIEW OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE ARMY, THAT THE DWELLING FURNISHED YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN, COUPLED WITH THE IRANIAN ALLOWANCES, AVAILABLE TO AMELIORATE THE DISCOMFORTS AND THE ACCOMMODATE THE DWELLING TO THE WESTERN MODE OF LIVING TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE UNDER LOCAL CONDITIONS, CONSTITUTED ANYTHING LESS THAN ADEQUATE QUARTERS FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. SINCE THE STATUTE CLEARLY CONTEMPLATES THAT THERE SHALL BE NO PAYMENT OF MONEY TO A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON ACCOUNT OF QUARTERS WHILE SUCH MEMBER IS ASSIGNED ADEQUATE QUARTERS, THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL BASIS ON WHICH YOUR CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOU CLAIM BEING PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL WITH THAT OF COLONEL BRICKLES, THE SETTLEMENTS OF APRIL 29, 1953, ALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WERE CLEARLY ERRONEOUS. THEREFORE, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON MARCH 24, 1955, REQUESTING REFUND OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWED YOU WAS PROPER. SUCH ACTION IS SUSTAINED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO MAKE PAYMENT IN THE SUM OF $561.48 BY CHECK, DRAFT, OR MONEY ORDER DRAWN TO THE ORDER OF THE "TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES" AND MAILED TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCE SECTION, WASHINGTON 25, D.C., CITING REFERENCES ME- Z-903822-ECT-3 AND B-119265.