B-142599, JUN. 1, 1960

B-142599: Jun 1, 1960

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WHEN YOU WERE OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT FORT CAMPBELL. WE ARE NOT UNMINDFUL OF THE CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY RED CROSS OFFICIALS THAT THERE WOULD BE NO CHARGE FOR THE QUARTERS AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL AFTER YOUR TOUR OF DUTY AT FORT CAMPBELL ENDED THAT YOU WERE NOTIFIED BY THE FORT CAMPBELL AUTHORITIES OF THE ASSESSMENT. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REPORTED THAT RED CROSS EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO FREE HOUSING ON UNITED STATES ARMY INSTALLATIONS BECAUSE OF THEIR NONGOVERNMENTAL AFFILIATION. WE WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE AGREEMENT OF RENT-FREE QUARTERS WAS BETWEEN THE RED CROSS AND ITS EMPLOYEES. EXCEPT THAT WHERE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMED FORCES ARE QUARTERED WITHOUT CHARGE.

B-142599, JUN. 1, 1960

TO MISS NANCY DUNN:

ON MARCH 19, 1960, M. L. DUNN WROTE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REQUESTING THAT WE RECONSIDER THE GOVERNMENT'S CLAIM AGAINST YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $89.55.

THE AMOUNT OWED REPRESENTS RENTAL CHARGES DUE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 12, 1956, TO MAY 31, 1957, WHEN YOU WERE OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY, INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS.

WE ARE NOT UNMINDFUL OF THE CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY RED CROSS OFFICIALS THAT THERE WOULD BE NO CHARGE FOR THE QUARTERS AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL AFTER YOUR TOUR OF DUTY AT FORT CAMPBELL ENDED THAT YOU WERE NOTIFIED BY THE FORT CAMPBELL AUTHORITIES OF THE ASSESSMENT.

AS WE PREVIOUSLY ADVISED YOUR ATTORNEY IN OUR LETTER OF APRIL 1, 1959, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REPORTED THAT RED CROSS EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO FREE HOUSING ON UNITED STATES ARMY INSTALLATIONS BECAUSE OF THEIR NONGOVERNMENTAL AFFILIATION. WE WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE AGREEMENT OF RENT-FREE QUARTERS WAS BETWEEN THE RED CROSS AND ITS EMPLOYEES.

SECTION 2602 (B) OF TITLE 10 OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"PERSONNEL OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS * * * MAY BE FURNISHED * * * QUARTERS, AT THEIR EXPENSE OR AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS, EXCEPT THAT WHERE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMED FORCES ARE QUARTERED WITHOUT CHARGE, EMPLOYEES OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS MAY ALSO BE QUARTERED WITHOUT CHARGE * * *.'

IN ORDER TO REMOVE ALL DOUBT IN THE MATTER, WE WROTE TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL AT FORT CAMPBELL AND ASKED TO BE ADVISED WHETHER, DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMED FORCES WERE QUARTERED WITHOUT CHARGE AT FORT CAMPBELL, AND IF SO, WERE FREE QUARTERS ALSO AFFORDED EMPLOYEES OF THE RED CROSS.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 9, 1960, THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF AT FORT CAMPBELL ADVISED US THAT PRIOR TO JUNE 1, 1957, RENT WAS NOT BEING CHARGED ALL CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WORKING FOR THE ARMED FORCES WHO WERE RESIDING IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1957, ALL RED CROSS WORKERS OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE BILLED FOR THE TOTAL PERIOD PRIOR TO JUNE 1, 1957. THIS BILLING WAS THE RESULT OF AN ARMY DIRECTIVE WHICH PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * COLLECTION ACTION, IF NOT ALREADY TAKEN, IS DIRECTED ON QUARTERS FURNISHED * * * FOR ANY PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO 30 AUGUST 1955. IF PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER ARMY INSTALLATION, COLLECTION ACTION WILL BE FORWARDED. REQUEST DATA BE FURNISHED * * * AS TO NUMBER OF RED CROSS PERSONNEL OCCUPYING PUBLIC QUARTERS DURING PERIOD 17 JULY 1953 AND 30 AUGUST 1955. FURNISH NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS, PRESENT WHEREABOUTS, IF KNOWN, AND AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE DUE FOR THE PERIOD IF RETROACTIVE COLLECTIONS WERE DIRECTED. * * *"

THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF FURTHER ADVISED US THAT SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 1, 1957, RED CROSS EMPLOYEES WERE BILLED ON A MONTHLY BASIS IN THE SAME MANNER AS OTHER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND THAT AT NO TIME, TO HIS KNOWLEDGE, HAVE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMED FORCES AT FORT CAMPBELL BEEN QUARTERED WITHOUT CHARGE. HE ADDED THAT FOUR OTHER RED CROSS EMPLOYEES, WHO WERE OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WITHOUT CHARGE PRIOR TO JUNE 1, 1957, WERE BILLED FOR THIS PRIOR RENT AND HAVE PAID THEIR ACCOUNTS.

THE PROVISION OF LAW NOW CODIFIED AT 10 U.S.C. 2602 (B) WAS IN FORCE DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. THE LANGUAGE QUOTED FROM HAS AS ITS SOURCE SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JULY 17, 1953, 67 STAT. 178. THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND THE FACTS REPORTED, ASSESSMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE AGAINST YOU WHILE STAYING IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT FORT CAMPBELL. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE FORT CAMPBELL AUTHORITIES DID NOT PROPERLY ASSESS YOU DURING YOUR STAY AT THAT INSTALLATION. THEY HAD NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT YOU FREE QUARTERS INASMUCH AS CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMY SIMILARLY SITUATED WERE NOT GRANTED FREE QUARTERS.

HOWEVER, THEIR FAILURE DOES NOT RELIEVE YOU OF YOUR LIABILITY TO PAY THE AMOUNT OWED. ACCORDINGLY, OUR PREVIOUS ACTION IN THE MATTER IS SUSTAINED AND PAYMENT IS DUE.