B-153324, FEB. 11, 1964

B-153324: Feb 11, 1964

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SAMUEL LEIGHTON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18. IN THAT EXCHANGE OF LETTERS THE COAST GUARDSMAN WHO WAS THE SUBJECT OF THE CORRESPONDENCE WAS NOT IDENTIFIED IN ANY WAY. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS. IS GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 403. THE AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING ALL DECISIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATIONSHIP ARE GRANTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. IT IS PROVIDED THAT ANY SUCH DECISIONS "SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW IN ANY COURT OR BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT * * *.'. RIVERA IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT WIFE.

B-153324, FEB. 11, 1964

TO MR. SAMUEL LEIGHTON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1963, REQUESTING GUIDANCE IN THE MATTER OF SECURING RECOGNITION OF A MEXICAN DIVORCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING ENTITLEMENT TO INCREASED ALLOWANCES FOR A DEPENDENT WIFE IN THE CASE OF HERMAN RIVERA, EN-1, U.S. COAST GUARD, 312437.

YOU ENCLOSED COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE COAST GUARD AND PERSKIE AND PERSKIE, COUNSELORS AT LAW, WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY. IN THAT EXCHANGE OF LETTERS THE COAST GUARDSMAN WHO WAS THE SUBJECT OF THE CORRESPONDENCE WAS NOT IDENTIFIED IN ANY WAY. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT NO APPLICATION FOR ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT WIFE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM OR ON BEHALF OF HERMAN RIVERA, AND THAT IF SUCH AN APPLICATION SHOULD BE RECEIVED IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED.

BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, WHICH INCLUDES AN INCREASE ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS FOR ENLISTED MEMBERS IN CERTAIN GRADES, IS GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 403, AND THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, CH. 922, 64 STAT. 794, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C. 2201-2216. THE AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING ALL DECISIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATIONSHIP ARE GRANTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED--- IN THIS CASE THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY--- OR SUCH OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS AS HE MAY DESIGNATE. 50 U.S.C. APP. 2210. IN THE FOLLOWING SECTION, 2211, IT IS PROVIDED THAT ANY SUCH DECISIONS "SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW IN ANY COURT OR BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT * * *.' THE QUESTION AS TO VALIDITY OF THE MEXICAN DIVORCE WOULD NECESSARILY BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT MR. RIVERA IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT WIFE. IT IS SUGGESTED, THEREFORE, THAT IF MR. RIVERA WISHES TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THE ALLOWANCES IT SHOULD BE FORWARDED, WITH A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE FACTS, TO THE U.S. COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., 20226. A COPY OF THIS LETTER IS BEING FORWARDED TO THAT OFFICE.