B-148696, JUN. 14, 1962

B-148696: Jun 14, 1962

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YOUR LETTER WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION IN THE MATTER. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT LIEUTENANT PLATT IS SERVING ON BOARD THE U.S. IS STATIONED AT NAAS STATION. LIEUTENANT PLATT HAS STATED THAT IF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR JOINT OCCUPANCY AT CHASE FIELD. HE IS SUPPLIED QUARTERS FOR HIS OWN USE ON THAT VESSEL. IN WHICH WE HELD THAT THE ASSIGNMENT OF AVAILABLE FAMILY TYPE QUARTERS TO AN ARMY OFFICER WAS NOT REQUIRED IN A SITUATION WHERE HIS WIFE. WAS PRECLUDED FROM OCCUPYING SUCH QUARTERS BY REASON OF HER DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE FACT THAT SINGLE QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO HIM DID NOT OPERATE TO DEPRIVE HIM OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE SINCE SUCH SINGLE QUARTERS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ADEQUATE FOR HIM AND HIS DEPENDENTS IF ASSIGNED.

B-148696, JUN. 14, 1962

TO CHSPCK T. C. CRABE, W-4, CERTIFYING OFFICER:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED MARCH 27, 1962, THE COMMANDANT, U.S. COAST GUARD, FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, FOR A DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENT OF LIEUTENANT ROBERT T. PLATT, JR., USCG, TO QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AS FOR AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS FROM JUNE 13, 1961. YOUR LETTER WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION IN THE MATTER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT LIEUTENANT PLATT IS SERVING ON BOARD THE U.S. COAST GUARD CUTTER TRITON (WPC 116) AT CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, AND THAT HIS WIFE, LIEUTENANT PAULINE A. PLATT, USN, IS STATIONED AT NAAS STATION, CHASE FIELD, BEEVILLE, TEXAS. LIEUTENANT PLATT HAS STATED THAT IF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR JOINT OCCUPANCY AT CHASE FIELD, HE WOULD BE UNABLE TO OCCUPY SUCH QUARTERS DUE TO THE DISTANCE INVOLVED AND THE SAR STANDBY REQUIREMENTS OF THE TRITON. HE IS SUPPLIED QUARTERS FOR HIS OWN USE ON THAT VESSEL.

YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 27, 1961, B-147037, 41 COMP. GEN. 334, IN WHICH WE HELD THAT THE ASSIGNMENT OF AVAILABLE FAMILY TYPE QUARTERS TO AN ARMY OFFICER WAS NOT REQUIRED IN A SITUATION WHERE HIS WIFE, A NAVAL OFFICER, WAS PRECLUDED FROM OCCUPYING SUCH QUARTERS BY REASON OF HER DUTY ASSIGNMENT, AND THE FACT THAT SINGLE QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO HIM DID NOT OPERATE TO DEPRIVE HIM OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE SINCE SUCH SINGLE QUARTERS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ADEQUATE FOR HIM AND HIS DEPENDENTS IF ASSIGNED. WE CONCLUDED THAT THE OFFICER IN THAT CASE WAS ENTITLED TO A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE BECAUSE OF HIS DEPENDENT, BUT PAYABLE ONLY AT THE RATE AUTHORIZED FOR AN OFFICER OF HIS RANK WITHOUT DEPENDENTS SINCE HIS DEPENDENT WAS IN RECEIPT OF BASIC PAY BECAUSE OF HER MILITARY STATUS. YOU SAY DOUBT EXISTS WHETHER LIEUTENANT PLATT'S CASE IS A PARALLEL TO THAT CASE IN ALL RESPECTS SINCE HE WAS ASSIGNED AND OCCUPIES SINGLE QUARTERS ABOARD THE TRITON.

THE BASIS FOR THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 27, 1961, WAS A RECOGNITION OF THE BASIC CONCEPT THAT MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY SERVICES ARE ENTITLED EITHER TO QUARTERS IN KIND FOR THEMSELVES AND, WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITATIONS, THEIR DEPENDENTS, OR TO THE STATUTORY ALLOWANCES PROVIDED IN LIEU THEREOF IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE QUARTERS ARE NOT FURNISHED. THE ALLOWANCE FOUND DUE IN THAT CASE WAS THAT AUTHORIZED IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ADEQUATE FOR THE OFFICER'S NEEDS WERE FOUND TO BE NOT AVAILABLE TO HIM, EITHER AS AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT BECAUSE THE DEPENDENT'S DUTY ASSIGNMENT PRECLUDED HER FROM OCCUPYING FAMILY TYPE QUARTERS AT HIS STATION OR AS AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS BECAUSE SINGLE QUARTERS AT HIS STATION WOULD NOT BE ADEQUATE FOR HIM AND HIS DEPENDENT IF ASSIGNED, BUT LIMITED TO THAT FOR AN OFFICER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS BECAUSE OF HIS WIFE'S MILITARY STATUS.

THE LAW DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE THAT A MEMBER WHO IS FURNISHED QUARTERS IN KIND SHALL RECEIVE AN ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON HIS OWN ACCOUNT, NOR SUCH ALLOWANCE AS A MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS IF HIS DEPENDENTS OTHERWISE ARE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR THEIR EQUIVALENT. SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 231 (G), PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT TO LIEUTENANT PLATT OF INCREASED RENTAL ALLOWANCE ON ACCOUNT OF HIS DEPENDENT WIFE BECAUSE SHE IS OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO QUARTERS OR TO A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE IN HER OWN RIGHT BY VIRTUE OF HER MILITARY STATUS, AND THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SHE HAS BEEN IN RECEIPT OF A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE BECAUSE QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO HER AT HER DUTY STATION. UNLIKE THE OFFICER INVOLVED IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 27, 1961, LIEUTENANT PLATT WAS ASSIGNED AND OCCUPIES SINGLE QUARTERS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS PERMANENT DUTY ASSIGNMENT. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT NO BASIS EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE OFFICER OF A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE IN THE EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 10; B-125999, JANUARY 26, 1956.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE PRESENTED VOUCHER, WHICH WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS WILL BE RETAINED HER, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.