B-123297, JUN. 20, 1955

B-123297: Jun 20, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

MANNING: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 25. - WERE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AT SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE. WHEN YOU WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 7. YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WERE NOT FURNISHED PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR MARRIED PERSONNEL. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHEN YOU MADE APPLICATION FOR THE ALLOWANCE YOU STATED THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO YOU AS A SINGLE OFFICER. IT IS INDICATED THAT THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WAS PAID TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF CERTAIN MATERIAL RECEIVED IN THE "FINANCE DIGEST" FROM HIGHER HEADQUARTERS. THE FINANCE TECHNICAL DIGEST IS AN INFORMATIVE PUBLICATION TO THE FINANCE NETWORK AND. IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS DIRECTIVE OR REGULATORY IN NATURE. THERE WERE STATED IN DETAIL PROVISIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR THE VARIOUS COMBINATIONS OF MARRIAGE AND DEPENDENCY.

B-123297, JUN. 20, 1955

TO MRS. MAXINE K. MANNING:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 25, 1955, FROM MR. ERWIN G. ERNST, ATTORNEY AT LAW, CONCERNING A DEBT CHARGE AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $553.78 ON ACCOUNT OF PAYMENTS TO YOU OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS COVERING THE PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 7, 1951 (DATE OF YOUR MARRIAGE), THROUGH MAY 8, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS AN OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

IT APPEARS THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND--- AN OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE--- WERE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AT SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, WHEN YOU WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1951, AND THAT FROM THAT DATE THROUGH MAY 8, 1952, YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WERE NOT FURNISHED PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR MARRIED PERSONNEL, BUT THAT YOU, PERSONALLY, RECEIVED A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE IN YOUR OWN RIGHT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHEN YOU MADE APPLICATION FOR THE ALLOWANCE YOU STATED THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO YOU AS A SINGLE OFFICER.

IN YOUR HUSBAND'S LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1954, IT IS INDICATED THAT THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WAS PAID TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF CERTAIN MATERIAL RECEIVED IN THE "FINANCE DIGEST" FROM HIGHER HEADQUARTERS. PRESUMABLY, HE REFERRED TO THE FINANCE TECHNICAL DIGEST PUBLISHED AT THE AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO. THE FINANCE TECHNICAL DIGEST IS AN INFORMATIVE PUBLICATION TO THE FINANCE NETWORK AND, BY ITS OWN TERMS, IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS DIRECTIVE OR REGULATORY IN NATURE.

IN A MEMORANDUM DATED MARCH 2, 1951, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARIES OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND AIR FORCE BY THE PERSONNEL POLICY BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THERE WERE STATED IN DETAIL PROVISIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR THE VARIOUS COMBINATIONS OF MARRIAGE AND DEPENDENCY, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"1. MARRIAGES WHERE BOTH PARTIES CONCERNED ARE MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WITH NO OTHER DEPENDENTS AND ARE STATIONED AT THE SAME OR ADJACENT POSTS OR INSTALLATIONS:

"B.MALE OFFICER - FEMALE OFFICER: ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO MARRIED QUARTERS, OR TO PAYMENT OF "SINGLE" BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS IN LIEU THEREOF, RESTS WITH THE MALE MEMBER. FEMALE MEMBER HAS NO ENTITLEMENT: (1) TO MARRIED QUARTERS, NOR (2) TO "SINGLE" QUARTERS ALLOWANCE UNLESS SINGLE QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO HER.'

THESE PROVISIONS WERE IN FORCE DURING THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 2, 1951, TO APRIL 16, 1954, WHEN THERE WAS ISSUED DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTRUCTION NO. 1338.1, WHICH RESCINDED THE DIRECTIVE OF MARCH 2, 1951, AND PROMULGATED PROVISIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE QUOTED ABOVE. SUCH PROVISIONS RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF A FEMALE MARRIED OFFICER ARE IN ACCORD WITH DECISION OF FEBRUARY 20, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 368, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT A MARRIED OFFICER OF THE WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS WHOSE HUSBAND WAS NOT HER "DEPENDENT," AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED BY APPLICABLE STATUTORY PROVISIONS, IS NOT ENTITLED AS A MATTER OF RIGHT TO BE ASSIGNED MARRIED OFFICERS QUARTERS NOR TO BE PAID BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS WHEN ADEQUATE SINGLE QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AT HER STATION BUT WERE NOT OCCUPIED FOR PERSONAL REASONS. IN VIEW OF SUCH RULE AND THE QUOTED DIRECTIVE, AND SINCE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT SINGLE-TYPE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR YOUR OCCUPANCY DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, THERE WAS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PAYMENTS OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS MADE TO YOU DURING THE PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 7, 1951, TO MAY 8, 1952. THIS IS SO NOTWITHSTANDING THAT YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER MAY HAVE CONSIDERED THAT AFTER YOUR MARRIAGE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE SERVED BY PERMITTING YOU TO RESIDE OFF THE BASE IN NON-GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND THAT THE PAYMENTS MAY HAVE BEEN MADE IN RELIANCE UPON STATEMENTS APPEARING IN THE FINANCE TECHNICAL DIGEST.

IT FOLLOWS THAT THE DEBT CHARGE AGAINST YOU MUST BE SUSTAINED. THE AMOUNT OF $553.78 DUE THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE REFUNDED WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY.