B-119518, JUL 16, 1954

B-119518: Jul 16, 1954

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WHILE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE U.S. WAS $3.60 PER DAY. THE RATE WAS INCREASED TO $5.05 FOR OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. A NEW RATE OF $2 WAS PRESCRIBED FOR OFFICER MEMBERS OF "ACCREDITED" MISSIONS. INDICATING THAT MEMBERS OF SUCH GROUP WERE GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF CEILING RENTALS UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THAILAND. COLONEL MATTHEWS WAS AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF $3.60 PER DAY DURING THE PERIOD COMMENCING AUGUST 1. SUCH PAYMENT WAS RETROACTIVELY INCREASED TO $5.05 PER DAY AFTER THE PROMULGATION OF CHANGE 5. NAVY AND AIR FORCE ADVISED THE CHIEF OF SAID MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP THAT THE $2 RATE PRESCRIBED FOR ACCREDITED MISSION OFFICER PERSONNEL IN THAILAND WAS "ESTABLISHED EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEMBERS OF YOUR MAAG.

B-119518, JUL 16, 1954

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MAJOR ROY H. HAGGERTY, FC DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY THIRD INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 31, 1954, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORWARDED YOUR UNDATED FIRST INDORSEMENT REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF REFUNDING TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL MAURICE H. MATTHEWS, ARTILLERY, THE SUM OF $320.25, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE RATES OF $5.05 AND $2 PER DAY, FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO NOVEMBER 13, 1952, WHILE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP, BANGKOK, THAILAND.

THE STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE RATES PRESCRIBED FOR OFFICERS ON DUTY IN THAILAND DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO OCTOBER 31, 1952, WAS $3.60 PER DAY. SEE CHANGES 2 TO 4, APPENDIX B, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. BY CHANGE 5, NOVEMBER 1, 1952, THE RATE WAS INCREASED TO $5.05 FOR OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, PURPORTEDLY RETROACTIVE TO AUGUST 1, 1952, AND A NEW RATE OF $2 WAS PRESCRIBED FOR OFFICER MEMBERS OF "ACCREDITED" MISSIONS, PURPORTEDLY RETROACTIVE TO THE SAME DATE, THE LATTER RATE BEING BASED ON DATA FURNISHED BY THE CHIEF OF THE MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP IN THAILAND, INDICATING THAT MEMBERS OF SUCH GROUP WERE GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF CEILING RENTALS UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THAILAND.

PRESUMABLY, COLONEL MATTHEWS WAS AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF $3.60 PER DAY DURING THE PERIOD COMMENCING AUGUST 1, 1952, AND SUCH PAYMENT WAS RETROACTIVELY INCREASED TO $5.05 PER DAY AFTER THE PROMULGATION OF CHANGE 5. UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 28, 1953, THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEPARTMENTS OF THE ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE ADVISED THE CHIEF OF SAID MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP THAT THE $2 RATE PRESCRIBED FOR ACCREDITED MISSION OFFICER PERSONNEL IN THAILAND WAS "ESTABLISHED EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEMBERS OF YOUR MAAG," SUCH RATE BEING BASED ON THE INFORMATION FURNISHED AS TO THE CEILING RENTALS. IT APPEARS THAT COLONEL MATTHEWS SUBSEQUENTLY REFUNDED THE AMOUNT NOW CLAIMED.

WHILE THERE IS AN INDICATION IN THE FILE THAT THERE IS SOME DISTINCTION BETWEEN MILITARY MISSIONS TECHNICALLY DESCRIBED AS "ACCREDITED" AND MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUPS, BOTH ARE MILITARY MISSIONS ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND IT WAS NOT A MISNOMER TO INCLUDE MEMBERS OF BOTH TYPES OF MISSIONS WITHIN THE TERM "ACCREDITED MISSION PERSONNEL" AS USED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES. SEE PARAGRAPH 4302 OF SUCH REGULATIONS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT. THE RECORD ADMITS OF NO DOUBT THAT SUCH TERM WAS SO INTENDED AND USED BY THE OFFICIALS WHO ISSUED CHANGE 5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND THE COMMITTEE'S EXPLANATION OF JANUARY 28, 1953, DID NOT CONSTITUTE AN ATTEMPT TO AFFECT A RETROACTIVE CHANGE IN THE REGULATIONS. HENCE, COLONEL MATTHEWS WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE INCREASED RATE OF $5.05 PER DAY.

HOWEVER, A RIGHT TO PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $3.60 PER DAY ACCRUED TO HIM FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1952, AND SUCH RIGHT COULD NOT BE DECREASED BY SUBSEQUENT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN AMENDING THE REGULATIONS. 32 COMP. GEN. 315. HE THUS APPEARS TO BE ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $1.60 PER DAY FOR THAT PERIOD AND IF THE MILITARY PAY ORDER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AMENDED TO SO PROVIDE, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.