B-126545, MAY 9, 1956

B-126545: May 9, 1956

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SANTEE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 16. AUDIT EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO A NUMBER OF STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES STATIONED AT CHATEAUROUX. ON THE BASIS THAT EXISTING QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE ADEQUATE OR READILY EXPANDABLE TO THE DEGREE NECESSARY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF ALL MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AT THAT STATION. RECEIVED BY YOU AND WAS BASED UPON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU WERE STATIONED AT CHATEAUROUX THROUGH THOSE PERIODS. IT WAS STATED THAT YOU WERE QUARTERED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT CHATEAUROUX UNTIL AUGUST 15. THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT QUARTERS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE BASE AFTER THAT DATE.

B-126545, MAY 9, 1956

TO MR. BURTON D. SANTEE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 16, 1955, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN THE MATTER OF AN INDEBTEDNESS OF $837 STATED AGAINST YOU ARISING THROUGH STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE IN FRANCE DURING THE PERIOD JULY 22 TO DECEMBER 15, 1951, AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

SECTION 303/B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO MAKE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS, OF A PER DIEM CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES. PARAGRAPH 4300 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, PROVIDED THAT THE STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT RATES UNIFORMLY ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARIES WOULD BE PAID TO MEMBERS PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA UPON THE COMMANDING OR OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATION AS TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR GOVERNMENT MESS, AND PARAGRAPH 4301-3 PROVIDED THAT A MEMBER WHOSE DEPENDENTS DID NOT RESIDE WITH HIM AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF HIS DUTY STATION WOULD BE REGARDED AS A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. AUDIT EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO A NUMBER OF STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES STATIONED AT CHATEAUROUX, FRANCE, COVERING PERIODS PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF THEIR DEPENDENTS, EVEN THOUGH SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATIONS OF NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR MESSES, ON THE BASIS THAT EXISTING QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE ADEQUATE OR READILY EXPANDABLE TO THE DEGREE NECESSARY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF ALL MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AT THAT STATION. THE EXCEPTION STATED IN YOUR CASE COVERED PAYMENTS FOR STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 22 TO DECEMBER 15, 1951, AND STATION QUARTERS ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO DECEMBER 15, 1951, RECEIVED BY YOU AND WAS BASED UPON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU WERE STATIONED AT CHATEAUROUX THROUGH THOSE PERIODS.

YOU ARRIVED AT CHATEAUROUX ON JULY 21, 1951, ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. IN A LETTER DATED APRIL 28, 1954, FROM C. STANLEY BANKS, AN ATTORNEY, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF, IT WAS STATED THAT YOU WERE QUARTERED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT CHATEAUROUX UNTIL AUGUST 15, 1951, BUT THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT QUARTERS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE BASE AFTER THAT DATE, WHICH RESULTED IN YOUR PROCURING QUARTERS OFF THE BASE. YOU STATE THAT ON OCTOBER 29, 1951, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO MOULINS, FRANCE, WITH YOUR ORGANIZATION AND THAT SINCE QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE THERE YOU WERE REQUIRED TO LIVE IN TOWN. YOUR PAY RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED AT MOULINS ON NOVEMBER 1, 1951, AND WERE STATIONED THERE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, AND THAT YOUR WIFE JOINED YOU THERE ON DECEMBER 15, 1951.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 26, 1956, B-114949, B-120726, CONSIDERING THE ABOVE- MENTIONED AUDIT EXCEPTIONS IT WAS CONCLUDED--- IN VIEW OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN THE MATTER INDICATING THAT CONDITIONS WERE SUCH THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES COULD NOT REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS--- THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH EXCEPTIONS COVERED PAYMENTS SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATIONS AS TO NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES, THEY SHOULD BE REMOVED. IN VIEW OF SUCH DECISION IT WILL BE CONSIDERED THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS WAS UNAVAILABLE TO YOU AT CHATEAUROUX AND THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE THERE AFTER AUGUST 15. ALSO, IT WILL BE CONSIDERED THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESS WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO YOU AT MOULINS. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS CONCLUDED THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO THE STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCES RECEIVED DURING THE INDICATED PERIODS TO THE EXTENT THAT THEIR PAYMENT OTHERWISE WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS.

YOUR PAY RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE CREDITED WITH STATION QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $9 PER DAY, THE TRAVEL PER DIEM RATE FOR THE CHATEAUROUX AREA, FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO SEPTEMBER 4, 1951, IN THE SUM OF $315, PRESUMABLY UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF PARAGRAPH 4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF STATION ALLOWANCES ON THAT BASIS FOR THE FIRST 45 DAYS OF DUTY AT AN OVERSEAS STATION TO MEMBERS NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND NOT OCCUPYING PERMANENT HOUSING. SINCE YOU WERE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS UNTIL AUGUST 15 AND YOU OBTAINED AND OCCUPIED PERMANENT-TYPE HOUSING FROM THAT DATE UNTIL YOU LEFT CHATEAUROUX, IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO STATION ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO SEPTEMBER 4 ONLY AT THE REGULAR STATION ALLOWANCE RATES OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED WHICH WERE $1 PER DAY FOR QUARTERS FROM AUGUST 15 TO SEPTEMBER 4, 17 DAYS OR $17, AND $3.75 PER DAY FOR SUBSISTENCE FROM AUGUST 1 TO SEPTEMBER 4, 35 DAYS OR $131.25, A TOTAL OF $148,25. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU WERE OVERPAID FOR THAT PERIOD IN THE AMOUNT OF $166.75.

IT IS FOUND, THEREFORE, THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT TO THE EXTENT OF $166.75, RATHER THAN THE $837 PREVIOUSLY REPORTED. OUR DEBT RECORDS WILL BE CHANGED ACCORDINGLY, AND YOU ARE REQUESTED TO REMIT THAT SUM TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., OR OTHERWISE ADVISE AS TO THE LIQUIDATION OF THE DEBT.