B-149022, JUL. 20, 1962

B-149022: Jul 20, 1962

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KAMPA: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING THE PERIOD CLAIMED YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED BY PROPER AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY. YOU CONTEND THAT IF AN INVESTIGATION IS MADE OF THIS MATTER. IT WILL BE FOUND THAT YOU HAD FILED AN APPLICATION FOR SEPARATE RATIONS AND THAT THE PAPERS WERE LOST THROUGH DISTRIBUTION. FROM THE SQUADRON COMMANDER TO THE BASE COMMANDING OFFICER ASKING HIS APPROVAL FOR ORDERS TO BE CUT CONFIRMING HIS VERBAL ORDERS THAT YOU COULD RATION SEPARATELY IN SEPTEMBER BUT THAT THE REQUEST WAS TURNED DOWN AND THE FILE CLERK DID NOT KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO THE LETTER. WHICH INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.'.

B-149022, JUL. 20, 1962

TO STAFF SERGEANT GEORGE A. KAMPA:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8, 1962, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 3, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS AND COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 18, 1961, TO JANUARY 9, 1962.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING THE PERIOD CLAIMED YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED BY PROPER AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY, YOU HAVING BEEN FIRST AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY ON JANUARY 10, 1962. YOU CONTEND THAT IF AN INVESTIGATION IS MADE OF THIS MATTER, IT WILL BE FOUND THAT YOU HAD FILED AN APPLICATION FOR SEPARATE RATIONS AND THAT THE PAPERS WERE LOST THROUGH DISTRIBUTION. YOU SAY YOU WOULD SEND US A "D.F.' FROM THE SQUADRON COMMANDER TO THE BASE COMMANDING OFFICER ASKING HIS APPROVAL FOR ORDERS TO BE CUT CONFIRMING HIS VERBAL ORDERS THAT YOU COULD RATION SEPARATELY IN SEPTEMBER BUT THAT THE REQUEST WAS TURNED DOWN AND THE FILE CLERK DID NOT KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO THE LETTER. AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 251, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE, WHICH INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.' EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10119, DATED MARCH 27, 1950 (37 U.S.C. 251; AF BUL. 8, 1950), ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 301, STATES THAT SUCH PROVISION SHALL BE CONSIDERED APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS ON DUTY AT STATIONS, OR WHILE SICK IN HOSPITALS, WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY. PARAGRAPH 20404-B (1) (B) OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 PROVIDES THAT AIRMEN ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS WHEN AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY NOTWITHSTANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF A GOVERNMENT MESS AND THAT SUCH AUTHORIZATION TO RATION SEPARATELY MAY BE CERTIFIED BY THE COMMANDER OF A MAJOR COMMAND, NUMBERED AIR FORCE, AIR DIVISION, AIR FORCE BASE, WING OR OTHER COMPARABLE SEPARATE COMMAND. ALSO, IT IS PROVIDED THAT AUTHORITY TO APPROVE REQUESTS TO RATION SEPARATELY MAY BE DELEGATED TO SQUADRON COMMANDERS PROVIDED STANDARD CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL OF REQUESTS ARE ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE BASE OR COMMAND. PARAGRAPH 20404-B (1) (A) PROVIDES THAT DETERMINATIONS MADE BY THE ABOVE-CITED AUTHORITIES ARE CONCLUSIVE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE AIRMEN, SUBJECT TO REVIEW OF PAYMENTS INVOLVED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE COURTS (8 COMP. GEN. 82). PARAGRAPH 20409-B (2) (C) PROVIDES THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE SPECIFIED ON AF FORM 220 FOR SEPARATE RATIONS CREDIT IS THE DATE THE AIRMAN IS AUTHORIZED, INCLUDING VERBAL AUTHORITY, TO RATION SEPARATELY OR TO RESIDE WITH DEPENDENTS, AND IN FACT DOES. ALSO, IT IS PROVIDED THAT FORM 220, AND THAT RETROACTIVE AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY IS PROHIBITED.

THUS, IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THE ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE AIRMAN WAS AUTHORIZED, EITHER IN WRITING OR BY VERBAL AUTHORIZATION CONFIRMED IN WRITING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, BY THE PROPER COMMANDER PRIOR TO THE PERIOD INVOLVED TO MESS SEPARATELY. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT A WRITTEN OR VERBAL REQUEST FOR SEPARATE RATIONS FOR YOU WAS NOT SUBMITTED FOR THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMANDER UNTIL JANUARY 1962, AND THAT YOU APPARENTLY NEGLECTED TO MAKE CLAIM PRIOR THERETO DUE TO YOUR BELIEF THAT AN OVERPAYMENT YOU RECEIVED DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS ACTUALLY CREDIT FOR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE AND COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE. HOWEVER, EVEN IF THE SQUADRON COMMANDER HAD REQUESTED THE COMMANDING OFFICER TO ISSUE ORDERS CONFIRMING VERBAL ORDERS TO YOU TO MESS SEPARATELY, YOU WOULD AND THE RECORD CONFIRMS, THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER DID NOT APPROVE SUCH A REQUEST AND, HENCE, YOU HAVE NOT MET THE CONDITIONS OF THE REGULATIONS REQUIRING PRIOR AUTHORIZATION TO MESS SEPARATELY. 37 U.S.C. 253 (B), PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THOSE SERVICES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS, OF A PER DIEM CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF COST OF LIVING TO SUCH MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF PARAGRAPH 21611 (C) OF THE AIR FORCE MANUAL PROVIDES THAT THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE WHEN A GOVERNMENT MESS IS NOT AVAILABLE OR WHEN THE MEMBER IS AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY. SEE ALSO SIMILAR PROVISIONS IN PARAGRAPH 4301-3B (1) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SINCE GOVERNMENT MESS APPARENTLY WAS AVAILABLE AND YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY, YOU ALSO HAVE NOT MET THE CONDITIONS OF THE REGULATIONS SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE CLAIMED.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR REQUEST THAT AN INVESTIGATION BE MADE OF THE OF CLAIMS, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MUST NECESSARILY RELY ON THE FACTS FURNISHED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNLESS IT APPEARS THAT THEY ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY THE RECORD. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR STATEMENT THAT ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE YOUR MEALS IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES BECAUSE YOU WERE WITHOUT A MEAL CARD, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SINCE YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE AT SUCH TIMES NO CHARGE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE MEALS FURNISHED TO YOU. YOU ARE PROPERLY ENTITLED TO A REFUND OF ANY AMOUNTS WHICH IT CAN BE ESTABLISHED WERE PAID BY YOU TO GOVERNMENT MESSES UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 3, 1962, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.