B-135707, MAY 5, 1958

B-135707: May 5, 1958

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THAT THE ORDERS DIRECTING YOU TO PERFORM THIS ASSIGNMENT WERE VERBAL ONES. SINCE COMMUTED RATIONS ARE A FORM OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE. YOUR CLAIM APPARENTLY IS FOR A SUPPLEMENTAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE ABSENT DURING THE WORKING DAY FROM YOUR DUTY STATION. ENLISTED PERSONNEL WHO WERE GRANTED PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY FROM THEIR ORGANIZATION AT THE TIME INVOLVED WERE ENTITLED TO THE COMMUTATION VALUE OF THE RATION. THE PAYMENT OF SUCH COMMUTATION VALUE WAS IN LIEU OF FURNISHING ALL MEALS IN KIND AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE ENLISTED MAN WAS REQUIRED TO SUBSIST HIMSELF AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. UNDER THE NAVY REGULATIONS IN EFFECT IN 1951 AN ENLISTED PERSON WHO WAS IN RECEIPT OF A COMMUTED RATION ALLOWANCE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE BECAUSE HE WAS REQUIRED TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY DURING THE PERIOD WHEN A MEAL WAS BEING SERVED.

B-135707, MAY 5, 1958

TO MR. NORBERT Z. BREAUX, JR.:

IN A LETTER POSTMARKED MARCH 12, 1958, YOU REQUEST THAT WE RECONSIDER OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 6, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR SUPPLEMENTAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 19 TO MARCH 26, 1951.

ACCORDING TO YOUR PAY RECORDS YOU RECEIVED COMMUTED RATIONS FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1 TO JUNE 30, 1951, WHILE STATIONED AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. IN A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 20, 1957, AND ADDRESSED TO THE U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, YOU STATED THAT YOU AND TWO OTHER MEN HAD PERFORMED WORK AWAY FROM THE BASE, SPECIFICALLY, IN HANCOCK COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI. YOU ALSO STATED IN THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1957, THAT THE ORDERS DIRECTING YOU TO PERFORM THIS ASSIGNMENT WERE VERBAL ONES. SINCE COMMUTED RATIONS ARE A FORM OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE, YOUR CLAIM APPARENTLY IS FOR A SUPPLEMENTAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE ABSENT DURING THE WORKING DAY FROM YOUR DUTY STATION.

ENLISTED PERSONNEL WHO WERE GRANTED PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY FROM THEIR ORGANIZATION AT THE TIME INVOLVED WERE ENTITLED TO THE COMMUTATION VALUE OF THE RATION. THE PAYMENT OF SUCH COMMUTATION VALUE WAS IN LIEU OF FURNISHING ALL MEALS IN KIND AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE ENLISTED MAN WAS REQUIRED TO SUBSIST HIMSELF AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. UNDER THE NAVY REGULATIONS IN EFFECT IN 1951 AN ENLISTED PERSON WHO WAS IN RECEIPT OF A COMMUTED RATION ALLOWANCE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE BECAUSE HE WAS REQUIRED TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY DURING THE PERIOD WHEN A MEAL WAS BEING SERVED. THEREFORE, ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOU AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT.

IN YOUR RECENT LETTER YOU FURNISH THE NAMES AND SERIAL NUMBERS TO TWO MEN WHO YOU ALLEGE PERFORMED THE SAME DUTY AND WERE PAID ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE ALTHOUGH YOUR CLAIM WAS DENIED. A SEARCH OF OUR RECORDS FAILS TO REVEAL THAT THESE PERSONS EVER FILED A CLAIM WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. MOREOVER, EVEN IF SUCH PERSONS HAD RECEIVED PAY IN A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THE FACTS OF YOUR CLAIM, SUCH PAYMENT WOULD NOT AFFORD A LEGAL BASIS FOR PAYMENT TO YOU.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 6, 1958, IS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.