B-147795, JAN. 29, 1962

B-147795: Jan 29, 1962

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PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY CONCERNED IS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECOVERY. THAT VIEW IS CONSISTENT WITH 10 U.S.C. 1487. THE NEXT OF KIN WILL BE CONTACTED FOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISPOSITION OF THE REMAINS. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS MENTIONED ABOVE AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF REMAINS OF A DECEDENT UPON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE RESPONSIBLE OFFICER THAT THAT IS THE PROPER DISPOSITION THEREOF PENDING INTERMENT INSTRUCTIONS BY THE NEXT OF KIN. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD. IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE MADE ON THE BASIS INDICATED.

B-147795, JAN. 29, 1962

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL H. G. BERKSHIRE, FG:

THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HAS FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 16, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER, IN THE AMOUNT OF $22.50 IN FAVOR OF STRONG THORNE MORTUARY, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, COVERING THE COST OF STORAGE OF THE REMAINS OF MAJOR WENDELL S. WINN, AQ 798930, WHO DIED AT SANDIA BASE ON JUNE 10, 1961, FROM JUNE 14, 1961, THROUGH NOVEMBER 1, 1961, PENDING INTERMENT INSTRUCTIONS BY THE NEXT OF KIN.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JULY 15, 1954, 68 STAT. 478, NOW CODIFIED IN 10 U.S.C. 1481 AND 1482, PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY CONCERNED IS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECOVERY, CARE, AND DISPOSITION OF THE REMAINS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL WITHIN THE CLASSES ENUMERATED IN SECTION 3 THEREOF AND TO PAY THE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED. IT ENUMERATES GENERALLY THE "NECESSARY" EXPENSES THE SECRETARY CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE TO BE PAID, INCLUDING THE EXPENSE OF NOTIFICATION OF THE NEXT OF KIN OR OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSON. SECTION 12 (68 STAT. 481 PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY MAY ISSUE SUCH REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT.

APPLICABLE ARMY REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION III OF AR 638-40 SET FORTH THE MORTUARY BENEFITS CONTEMPLATED TO BE PAID BY THE ARMY. SUBPARAGRAPH 10D PROVIDES THAT THE PREPARATION OF THE REMAINS OF THE DECEDENT CONSISTS OF EMBALMING AND OTHER PRESERVATIVE MEASURES, DERMASURGERY, RESTORATIVE ART, DRESSING OR WRAPPING, PLACING IN CASKET, "AND OTHER RELATED ITEMS," WHICH LATTER PROVISION WOULD APPEAR TO BE BROAD ENOUGH TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF THE REMAINS, IF REQUIRED. THAT VIEW IS CONSISTENT WITH 10 U.S.C. 1487, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE TEMPORARY INTERMENT OF THE REMAINS PENDING TRANSPORTATION. CLEARLY APPEARS THAT THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT, IF POSSIBLE, THE NEXT OF KIN WILL BE CONTACTED FOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISPOSITION OF THE REMAINS.

WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS MENTIONED ABOVE AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF REMAINS OF A DECEDENT UPON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE RESPONSIBLE OFFICER THAT THAT IS THE PROPER DISPOSITION THEREOF PENDING INTERMENT INSTRUCTIONS BY THE NEXT OF KIN. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, OF COURSE, THAT THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS DO NOT PRECLUDE COLLECTION OF ANY UNNECESSARY EXPENSE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE NEXT OF KIN.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER WHICH, TOGETHER WITH PERTINENT PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE MADE ON THE BASIS INDICATED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.