B-122395, APRIL 14, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 515

B-122395: Apr 14, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY OF PUBLIC QUARTERS - PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE THE TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY OF AN OVERSEAS STATION GUEST HOUSE BY AN AIR FORCE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENT DURING PROCESSING INCIDENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF OFF-BASE HOUSING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE IS NOT CONSIDERED OCCUPANCY AS FOR A "SOCIAL VISIT" CONTEMPLATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204. IT IS STATED THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMY FORCES FAR EAST CIRCULAR NO. 30. - WHICH REQUIRE MEMBERS "WHO ARE NOT AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT HOUSING (NONAVAILABILITY) TO OBTAIN APPROVED OFF BASE HOUSING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE BEFORE AUTHORITY WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEPENDENTS TO TRAVEL TO THE FAR EAST". IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS TRAVELED TO HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND THAT UPON ARRIVAL THEY OCCUPIED QUARTERS AT THE " GUEST HOUSE.

B-122395, APRIL 14, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 515

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY OF PUBLIC QUARTERS - PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE THE TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY OF AN OVERSEAS STATION GUEST HOUSE BY AN AIR FORCE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENT DURING PROCESSING INCIDENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF OFF-BASE HOUSING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE IS NOT CONSIDERED OCCUPANCY AS FOR A "SOCIAL VISIT" CONTEMPLATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204, SO AS TO ENTITLE THE OFFICER TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS WITH DEPENDENTS FOR SUCH PERIOD.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO CAPTAIN D. G. SIMPSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, APRIL 14, 1955:

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 9, 1954, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1954, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A MILITARY PAY ORDER ( DD FORM 114) DATED OCTOBER 5, 1954, STATED IN FAVOR OF MAJOR MILTON W. ETTERS, COVERING BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS FOR SEPTEMBER 29, 1953.

IN YOUR LETTER AND THE OFFICER'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1954, ACCOMPANYING YOUR SUBMISSION, IT IS STATED THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMY FORCES FAR EAST CIRCULAR NO. 30, AND FAR EAST AIR FORCE REGULATION NO. 34-14, DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1954, AS AMENDED--- WHICH REQUIRE MEMBERS "WHO ARE NOT AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT HOUSING (NONAVAILABILITY) TO OBTAIN APPROVED OFF BASE HOUSING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE BEFORE AUTHORITY WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEPENDENTS TO TRAVEL TO THE FAR EAST"--- THE OFFICER OBTAINED PRIVATE RENTAL HOUSING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE AT FUTSUKAICHI, JAPAN. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS TRAVELED TO HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND THAT UPON ARRIVAL THEY OCCUPIED QUARTERS AT THE " GUEST HOUSE," ITAZUKE AIR FORCE BASE. IT IS INDICATED THAT INCIDENT TO SUCH OCCUPANCY A CHARGE OF $0.50 PER BED PER NIGHT FOR OPERATIONAL PURPOSES WAS PAID AND THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE DEPENDENTS' STAY AT THE GUEST HOUSE WAS "TO VISIT BASE, OBTAIN IDENTIFICATION CARDS, COMMISSARY CARDS AND OTHER PROCESSING NORMALLY REQUIRED.' YOU REFER TO OFFICE DECISIONS B-115465, AUGUST 18, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 79, AND B-36986, SEPTEMBER 21, 1943, AND EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT THE FACTS IN THOSE CASES ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE OF THE INSTANT CASE. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL CLAIMS "IDENTICAL TO THIS CASE" NOW PENDING, BUT THAT THE LENGTH OF THE STAY IN THE GUEST HOUSE VARIES FROM ONE TO SEVERAL DAYS. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE STATES THAT SOME DOUBT EXISTS AS TO "WHETHER A SOCIAL VISIT OF THE KIND HERE INVOLVED" IS THE TYPE OF SOCIAL VISIT THAT IS CONTEMPLATED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204, DATED JANUARY 15, 1951.

SECTION 302 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 812, STATES THAT, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, NO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS SHALL ACCRUE TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "ASSIGNED TO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES," APPROPRIATE TO THEIR RANK, GRADE, OR RATING AND ADEQUATE FOR THEMSELVES AND DEPENDENTS, IF WITH DEPENDENTS. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204, DATED JANUARY 15, 1951, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 302 OF THE 1949 ACT, 63 STAT. 812, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

3. ANY QUARTERS OR HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN FACT OCCUPIED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF RENTAL CHARGES (A) BY A MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS, OR (B) AT HIS PERMANENT STATION BY A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS * * * SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO SUCH MEMBER AS APPROPRIATE AND ADEQUATE QUARTERS, AND NO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS SHALL ACCRUE TO SUCH MEMBER UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS THE OCCUPANCY IS BECAUSE OF A SOCIAL VISIT OF A TEMPORARY NATURE. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1943, B-36986, TO WHICH YOU REFER, AND WHICH WAS FURTHER CONSIDERED IN DECISION DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1944, IT WAS STATED THAT, IN ORDER TO PERMIT FAMILIES OF NAVAL PERSONNEL TO VISIT THEM WHILE THEIR VESSELS WERE UNDERGOING OVERHAUL, NO OBJECTION WOULD BE RAISED TO THE CONTINUED PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCE DURING THE SHORT PERIODS THAT THEY AND THEIR DEPENDENTS MIGHT OCCUPY QUONSET HUTS UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED, THAT IS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERMITTING BRIEF VISITS BETWEEN SUCH PERSONNEL AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES. IN THAT CASE THE VISITS BY THE DEPENDENTS WERE OF A TEMPORARY NATURE WITH THE DEFINITE INTENTION OF RETURNING HOME WITHIN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD. IN DECISION OF AUGUST 18, 1953, B-115465, 33 COMP. GEN. 79, INVOLVING AN ARMY OFFICER WHO RECEIVED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR A DEPENDENT WIFE DUE TO NONAVAILABILITY OF PUBLIC QUARTERS, AND WHO AS STAFF DUTY OFFICER WAS REQUIRED TO BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT ON THE POST FOR ONE NIGHT, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT, DURING THE TWO-DAY PERIOD DURING WHICH THE OFFICER AND HIS WIFE OCCUPIED PUBLIC QUARTERS IN THE HOSTESS HOUSE, THERE WAS NO ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS TO THE OFFICER WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 302 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813.

WHILE THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OFFICER'S DUTY STATION AT ITAZUKE AIR FORCE BASE AND FUTSUKAICHI, JAPAN, THE PLACE WHERE RENTED QUARTERS WERE OBTAINED, IT WOULD APPEAR FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED THAT THE LATTER LOCATION IS WITHIN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE OFFICER'S DUTY STATION. FROM THE OFFICER'S STATEMENTS IT APPEARS THAT HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS USED THE GUEST HOUSE SOLELY FOR THEIR CONVENIENCE. SINCE THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS TRAVELED TO HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION--- PRESUMABLY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE--- IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE DEPENDENTS OF RETURNING WITHIN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD, BUT RATHER IT APPEARS THAT THE DEPENDENTS INTENDED TO STAY WITH THE OFFICER INDEFINITELY.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY OF THE GUEST HOUSE BY THE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENTS ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1953, WAS NOT A "SOCIAL VISIT" AS CONTEMPLATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204, SO AS TO ENTITLE THE OFFICER TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS WITH DEPENDENTS.