B-122825, AUG. 1, 1955

B-122825: Aug 1, 1955

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USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21. WE DETERMINED THAT THE PAYMENT OF $69 YOU MADE TO THE GUEST HOUSE FOR THE QUARTERS YOU OCCUPIED WAS RENT. PROVIDES THAT ANY QUARTERS OR HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "IN FACT OCCUPIED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF RENTAL CHARGES" AT HIS PERMANENT STATION BY A MEMBER AND HIS 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 THE MEMBER IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS THE OCCUPANCY IS BECAUSE OF A SOCIAL VISIT OF A TEMPORARY NATURE. VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTED AND OCCUPIED BY OFFICERS * * * WITH THEIR DEPENDENTS WILL BE CONCLUSIVELY PRESUMED TO BE ADEQUATE * * *.'.

B-122825, AUG. 1, 1955

TO CAPTAIN CHARLES R. HALL, 15583A, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1954, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS DURING THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 8 TO DECEMBER 8, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS A CAPTAIN, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. YOU ASK WHETHER, IN REACHING OUR DECISION, WE DETERMINED THAT THE PAYMENT OF $69 YOU MADE TO THE GUEST HOUSE FOR THE QUARTERS YOU OCCUPIED WAS RENT.

SECTION 302 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 812, PROVIDES 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, PROVIDES THAT ANY QUARTERS OR HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "IN FACT OCCUPIED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF RENTAL CHARGES" AT HIS PERMANENT STATION BY A MEMBER AND HIS 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 THE MEMBER IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS THE OCCUPANCY IS BECAUSE OF A SOCIAL VISIT OF A TEMPORARY NATURE.

PARAGRAPH 5, AIR FORCE REGULATION NO. 30-6, DATED AUGUST 10, 1951, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"5. ADEQUACY OF QUARTERS:

"A. ANY PUBLIC FAMILY QUARTERS, INCLUDING THOSE CONSTRUCTED AND/OR OPERATED BY QUASI-MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS, VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTED AND OCCUPIED BY OFFICERS * * * WITH THEIR DEPENDENTS WILL BE CONCLUSIVELY PRESUMED TO BE ADEQUATE * * *.'

PARAGRAPH 3, AIR FORCE REGULATION NO. 147-8, DATED JULY 24, 1952, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:

"3. LIMITATIONS ON AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES:

"A. GUEST HOUSES:

"/1) GUEST HOUSES AT INSTALLATIONS OTHER THAN A GENERAL HOSPITAL ARE PROVIDED TO FURNISH OVERNIGHT TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES, RELATIVES, AND FRIENDS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL. FIRST PRIORITY TO SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE GIVEN TO FAMILIES, RELATIVES, AND FRIENDS VISITING MILITARY SICK IN THE HOSPITALS.

"/3) WHEN SPACE IN EXCESS TO THAT REQUIRED FOR PURPOSES CITED IN (1) AND (2) ABOVE, THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER MAY AUTHORIZE OCCUPANCY BY MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AS HE DEEMS APPROPRIATE. WHEN GUEST HOUSE SPACE IS USED TO PROVIDE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, SUCH SPACE IS REMOVED FROM EXCHANGE CONTROL AND RESPONSIBILITY.'

PARAGRAPH 20206F, AIR FORCE MANUAL 173-20, JULY 1, 1952, PROVIDED:

"F. QUARTERS. THE TERM "QUARTERS" MEANS ANY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION OWNED OR LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING DORMITORIES OR SIMILAR FACILITIES OPERATED BY COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTORS, WHETHER OR NOT A SERVICE CHARGE IS PAID. THE TERM "QUARTERS" INCLUDES NOT ONLY ,GOVERNMENT QUARTERS" BUT ALSO THOSE QUARTERS HELD BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER LEASE AND THOSE QUARTERS OBTAINED BY CONTRACT; FOR EXAMPLE, LODGINGS FOR AIRMEN.'

IT APPEARS FROM THE ATTACHMENTS RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 13, 1954, THAT THE GUEST HOUSE IN WHICH YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS OCCUPIED QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM WAS OPERATED IN A GOVERNMENT BUILDING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. THEREFORE, YOU OCCUPIED "GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.' WHILE IT APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME INVOLVED THE RECEIPTS COVERING THE PAYMENTS FOR OCCUPANCY OF ROOMS IN THE GUEST HOUSE DESIGNATED SUCH PAYMENTS AS "RENT," THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN ESTABLISHING THE GUEST HOUSE THE RATES FOR OCCUPANCY WERE FIXED AT A NOMINAL AMOUNT TO DEFRAY ONLY THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF OPERATION AND, IN FACT, CONSTITUTED A SERVICE CHARGE. AFTER FEBRUARY 1953 SUCH PAYMENTS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SO DESIGNATED.

WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT AN OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS MAY OCCUPY QUARTERS IN A GUEST HOUSE OR OTHER SIMILAR GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WITHOUT LOSS OF BASIC ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS FOR DEPENDENTS TO THE OFFICER, PROVIDED THE PERIOD OF OCCUPANCY BY HIS DEPENDENTS IS LIMITED TO A BONA FIDE BRIEF VISIT WITH THE OFFICER. IN YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, IT APPEARS FROM YOUR STATEMENTS THAT YOUR FAMILY ACCOMPANIED YOU FROM AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, APPARENTLY WITH THE INTENTION OF STAYING WITH YOU INDEFINITELY. HENCE, THE PERIOD OF OCCUPANCY OF THE GUEST HOUSE BY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WAS NOT A SOCIAL VISIT WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10204, SO AS TO ENTITLE YOU TO A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE DURING SUCH PERIOD. 34 COMP. GEN. 515.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, PUBLIC QUARTERS WERE IN FACT OCCUPIED BY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITHOUT THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL CHARGES DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM. IT FOLLOWS THAT UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS YOU WERE ASSIGNED QUARTERS APPROPRIATE TO YOUR GRADE AND ADEQUATE FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS. THEREFORE, NO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ACCRUED TO YOU.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 17, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, IS SUSTAINED.

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1954, YOU MAKE CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE $69 PAYMENT YOU MADE, IN THE EVENT THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS IS SUSTAINED.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SERVICE CHARGE PAID BY YOU DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS A CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS NO BASIS ON WHICH WE MIGHT AUTHORIZE REFUND OF THAT AMOUNT AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE MATTER BE PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE FOR CONSIDERATION.