B-140804, NOV. 20, 1959

B-140804: Nov 20, 1959

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 30. WHICH WAS FORWARDED HERE FOR OUR CONSIDERATION. THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE MATTER OF AUDIT EXCEPTIONS TO PAYMENTS OF STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AND BASIC ALLOWANCES FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE MADE BETWEEN APRIL 1. IT WAS CONCLUDED. - THAT CONDITIONS WERE SUCH THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES COULD NOT REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND THAT TO THE EXTENT SUCH EXCEPTIONS COVERED PAYMENTS SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATES AS TO NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES. YOUR PAY RECORD SHOWS YOU WERE CREDITED WITH STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $3.75 A DAY.

B-140804, NOV. 20, 1959

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL LAURENCE B. KROGH, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 30, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, TO THE AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER, WHICH WAS FORWARDED HERE FOR OUR CONSIDERATION. IN THAT LETTER YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 23, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE SUM OF $453.75, REPRESENTING COLLECTIONS MADE IN YOUR PAY ACCOUNT TO SATISFY YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES FOR ERRONEOUS STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AT CHATEAUROUX, FRANCE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU ARRIVED AT CHATEAUROUX, FRANCE, FOR DUTY ON JULY 7, 1951, AND YOUR DEPENDENTS ARRIVED THERE ON NOVEMBER 8, 1951. THE AUDIT EXCEPTIONS STATED IN YOUR CASE COVERED PAYMENTS FOR STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD JULY 7 TO NOVEMBER 8, 1951. IN OUR DECISION B- 114949, B-120726, DATED APRIL 26, 1956, COPY HEREWITH, THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE MATTER OF AUDIT EXCEPTIONS TO PAYMENTS OF STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AND BASIC ALLOWANCES FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE MADE BETWEEN APRIL 1, 1951, AND OCTOBER 31, 1953, TO PERSONNEL STATIONED NOUASSEUR, FRENCH MOROCCO, AND AT CHATEAUROUX AND FOUNTAINBLEAU, FRANCE, ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION DISCLOSED IN A STUDY MADE BY THE CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING SUCH PAYMENTS. IT WAS CONCLUDED--- IN VIEW OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN THE MATTER--- THAT CONDITIONS WERE SUCH THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES COULD NOT REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND THAT TO THE EXTENT SUCH EXCEPTIONS COVERED PAYMENTS SUPPORTED BY CERTIFICATES AS TO NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES, THEY SHOULD BE REMOVED.

YOUR PAY RECORD SHOWS YOU WERE CREDITED WITH STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $3.75 A DAY, THE RATE FOR CHATEAUROUX AREA, FOR THE PERIOD JULY 7 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 1951. HOWEVER, INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU IN RESPONSE TO AN INQUIRY BY THE MILITARY PAY DIVISION, AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, DISCLOSES THAT YOU OCCUPIED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS DURING THAT PERIOD AND THAT YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MOVE OFF THE BASE AND SET UP QUARTERS IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 8, 1951. SINCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE AT CHATEAUROUX TO MEMBERS PRIOR TO THE DATE THEY WERE AUTHORIZED TO MOVE OFF THE BASE, CREDIT OF STATION SUBSISTENCE FOR THAT PERIOD WAS UNAUTHORIZED AND YOU WERE OVERPAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $453.75 WHICH WAS COLLECTED FROM YOUR PAY ACCOUNT.

WITH YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1959, YOU ENCLOSED A CLIPPING FROM THE AIR FORCE TIMES, DATED APRIL 25, 1959, WHICH STATES:

"DEDUCTIONS FROM TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE SUBJECT TO ANOTHER "QUICKIE" CLEARED UP BY THE CENTER. QUESTION IS WHETHER THE RULE ON DEDUCTIONS WHEN GOVERNMENT MESS IS AVAILABLE APPLIES TO OFFICERS AS WELL AS AIRMEN.

"ANSWER IS "NO.' CONFUSION STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINE "MEMBER" AS INCLUDING OFFICERS, THEN USES THE TERM MEMBER IN THE POLICY ON THE LODGING ALLOWANCE (PARAGRAPH 4303-2B). SHOULD CLEARLY SAY "ENLISTED MEMBER," THE CENTER SAYS AND IT HAS RECOMMENDED THE CHANGE TO THE JTR.'

APPARENTLY, YOU BELIEVE THIS STATEMENT MEANS THAT AS AN OFFICER YOU WERE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE EVEN THOUGH A GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE ABOVE QUOTED STATEMENT REFERS TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTELS, OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS WHEN THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 4303-1 PREVAIL UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, OR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DEPARTURE FROM SUCH STATION ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. AS ONE OF THE CONDITIONS GOVERNING AN ENLISTED MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE, PARAGRAPH 4303-2B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES THAT SUCH ALLOWANCE BE REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE TO WHICH THE ENLISTED MEMBER MAY BE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 301 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 31 U.S.C. 251. IT HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4300 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOUR PAY RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU WERE CREDITED WITH BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE AS PROVIDED FOR OFFICERS UNDER SECTION 301 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 AND THAT NO DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM SUCH ALLOWANCE. HENCE, AS STATED ABOVE, THE NEWSPAPER CLIPPING DOES NOT RELATE TO MATTERS INVOLVED IN YOUR CLAIM. THE STATION SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS YOU RECEIVED AND WHICH YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REFUND ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID ONLY WHEN SUPPORTED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER'S CERTIFICATION AS TO NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT MESS. SINCE IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE TO YOU AT CHATEAUROUX, STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS WERE UNAUTHORIZED IN YOUR CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23, 1957, WAS CORRECT AND THERE IS NO FURTHER ACTION WE MAY TAKE IN THE MATTER.