B-143280, OCT. 7, 1960

B-143280: Oct 7, 1960

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MORETTI: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 27. IN THAT LETTER YOU STATE YOUR CLAIM WAS FOR THE BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE YOU DID NOT RECEIVE FROM APRIL 1959 UNTIL YOUR RETURN TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN NOVEMBER 1959. AS AN ENLISTED MEMBER YOU WERE FURTHER ATTACHED TO FIELD TRAINING TEAM NO. 1 FOR RATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION ONLY. IT BEING STATED IN THE ORDERS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE. MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ENTITLED TO RECEIVE BASIC PAY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS IN SUCH AMOUNT AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS ARE PROVIDED IN THAT SECTION. THAT AN ENLISTED MAN WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND WHO IS NOT ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE OF $51.30 PER MONTH.

B-143280, OCT. 7, 1960

TO MASTER SERGEANT CHARLES G. MORETTI:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1960, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 24, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE AND TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE INCIDENT TO YOUR ASSIGNMENT AT TEHRAN, IRAN. IN THAT LETTER YOU STATE YOUR CLAIM WAS FOR THE BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE YOU DID NOT RECEIVE FROM APRIL 1959 UNTIL YOUR RETURN TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN NOVEMBER 1959. HOWEVER, THE RATES OF $1.90 AND $0.90 QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER AS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED BY OTHER PERSONNEL IN THE AUGMENTATION GROUP IN IRAN APPEAR TO BE STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCES RATHER THAN BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE.

SPECIAL ORDERS 224 DATED DECEMBER 16, 1958, CONFIRMED VERBAL ORDERS OF DECEMBER 6, 1958, WHICH PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED YOU TO THE DUTY STATION, ARMISH-MAAG, TEHRAN, IRAN, AND AS AN ENLISTED MEMBER YOU WERE FURTHER ATTACHED TO FIELD TRAINING TEAM NO. 1 FOR RATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION ONLY, IT BEING STATED IN THE ORDERS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE.

SECTION 302 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 252, PROVIDES THAT, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THAT SECTION OR BY OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ENTITLED TO RECEIVE BASIC PAY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS IN SUCH AMOUNT AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS ARE PROVIDED IN THAT SECTION. THE SECTION PROVIDES, GENERALLY, THAT AN ENLISTED MAN WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND WHO IS NOT ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE OF $51.30 PER MONTH. ENLISTED MEN ABOVE PAY GRADE E-3 WITH NOT OVER TWO DEPENDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO SUCH AN ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $77.10 A MONTH AND THOSE WITH OVER TWO DEPENDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO A BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE OF $96.90 A MONTH, PROVIDED THEY ARE NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR THEMSELVES AND DEPENDENTS AND THE OTHER STIPULATED CONDITIONS ARE MET.

SECTION 303 (B) OF THE 1949 ACT, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF COST-OF -LIVING ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. PARAGRAPH 4301-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (B) ABOVE, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE AVERAGE EXCESS COSTS EXPERIENCED BY MEMBERS ON PERMANENT DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, AND SEPARATE ALLOWANCES ARE PROVIDED IN THE REGULATIONS TO COVER EXPENSES OF INTERIM HOUSING, TEMPORARY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, AND TRAVEL EXPENSES. WHILE YOU STATE THAT YOUR CLAIM IS FOR BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE, IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM YOUR PRIOR STATEMENTS THAT THE CLAIM ACTUALLY IS NOT FOR THAT ALLOWANCE AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 302 OF THE 1949 ACT, AS AMENDED, BUT IS FOR THE ADDITIONAL HOUSING ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID OVERSEAS PERSONNEL UNDER SECTION 303 (B). PRESUMABLY YOU HAVE BEEN PAID THE BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 302 AND, HENCE, YOUR CLAIM WILL BE CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS FOR AN ADDITIONAL STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE AND TEMPORARY HOUSING ALLOWANCE.

THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL, AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE BY JOINT DETERMINATION 15-59 OF APRIL 13, 1959, ELIMINATED HOUSING ALLOWANCES FOR ALL FIELD TRAINING TEAM AND TRAINING AUGMENTATION PERSONNEL IN TEHRAN SINCE DATA FURNISHED RELATIVE TO LIVING COSTS THERE FAILED TO REVEAL EXPENSES COMMENSURATE WITH NORMAL BASIC ALLOWANCES FOR QUARTERS FOR MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. ALLOWANCES FOR TEHRAN WERE LATER REARRANGED BY JOINT DETERMINATION 31-59 DATED JUNE 16, 1959, EFFECTIVE JULY 16, 1959, BUT ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE FIELD TRAINING TEAMS AND TRAINING AUGMENTATION PERSONNEL DID NOT RECEIVE A HOUSING ALLOWANCE SINCE DATA SUBMITTED FAILED TO SHOW ANY EXCESS COSTS FOR THEM. OTHER ENLISTED PERSONNEL IN TEHRAN WITHOUT DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE A STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE OF $1.90 A DAY. UNDER THE STATUTE GOVERNING PAYMENT OF STATION ALLOWANCES IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARIES TO CONSIDER ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS, INCLUDING QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, IN AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF STATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. YOU CONTEND THAT THE GROUPING OF PERSONNEL IN IRAN IN DIFFERENT CATEGORIES, SOME OF WHOM WERE AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE A STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE WHILE MEMBERS IN YOUR CLASSIFICATION WERE DENIED THE ALLOWANCE, WAS ARBITRARY AND BASED ON ERRONEOUS OR INADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO HOUSING COSTS THERE. THOSE MATTERS, HOWEVER, ARE PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AND SINCE IT WAS DETERMINED THAT HOUSING COSTS FOR ENLISTED MEN IN YOUR CLASSIFICATION DID NOT EXCEED NORMAL COSTS, AND HENCE, THAT SUCH PERSONNEL WERE NOT ENTITLED TO A STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE, WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF SUCH AN ALLOWANCE TO YOU.

PARAGRAPH 4303-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTELS OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DEPARTURE ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. PARAGRAPH B-23, ARMY REGULATIONS 37-104, ISSUED TO IMPLEMENT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING THE NECESSITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY LODGING ON INITIAL ASSIGNMENT OR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DEPARTURE, AND THAT PAYMENT OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE MADE UNLESS THE NECESSITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF SUCH LODGING IS ESTABLISHED. THUS, THE NECESSITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY LODGING IS A FACTUAL MATTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AND SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD IN THIS OFFICE THAT SUCHA DETERMINATION WAS MADE IN YOUR CASE OR THAT YOU IN FACT OCCUPIED SUCH TEMPORARY LODGING IN HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY NOT BE PAID THE ALLOWANCE FOR A 60-DAY PERIOD AS CLAIMED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 24, 1960, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.