B-158358, FEB. 7, 1966

B-158358: Feb 7, 1966

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ZIMMERMAN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21. IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE BY ORDERS DATED JULY 2. HAVE RESIDED THERE UNTIL THE PRESENT TIME. THAT YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN ISSUED A MESS PASS SINCE ARRIVAL AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. "BUT THROUGH ERROR WAS NEITHER PLACED ON SEPARATE RATIONS NOR ISSUED A MESS PASS (DD FORM 714).'. THAT AUTHORITY INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.'. STATES THAT SUCH PROVISION SHALL BE CONSIDERED APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY AT STATIONS WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY.

B-158358, FEB. 7, 1966

TO AIRMAN GARY J. ZIMMERMAN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1965, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 23, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 21, 1964, TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1965.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE BY ORDERS DATED JULY 2, 1964, AND ARRIVED AT THAT STATION ON AUGUST 21, 1964. SUBMITTING YOUR CLAIM YOU STATED THAT FROM AUGUST 21 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1964, YOU RESIDED IN THE SQUADRON BARRACKS AND PAID FOR ALL MEALS CONSUMED IN THE DINING HALLS FOR THE REASON THAT YOU HAD NOT BEEN ISSUED A MESS PASS AND HAD BEEN ADVISED BY YOUR FIRST SERGEANT THAT YOU COULD LIVE IN THE BARRACKS AND DRAW SEPARATE RATIONS DURING THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME IT WOULD TAKE YOU TO BRING YOUR WIFE TO THE AREA; THAT YOU AND YOUR WIFE MOVED INTO YOUR OFF-BASE RESIDENCE ON OCTOBER 1, 1964, AND HAVE RESIDED THERE UNTIL THE PRESENT TIME; AND THAT YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN ISSUED A MESS PASS SINCE ARRIVAL AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. WITH YOUR CLAIM YOU SUBMITTED RENT RECEIPTS COVERING RENTAL OF AN OFF-BASE RESIDENCE DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM. IN TRANSMITTING YOUR CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE THE AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER STATED THAT YOU REQUESTED PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY,"BUT THROUGH ERROR WAS NEITHER PLACED ON SEPARATE RATIONS NOR ISSUED A MESS PASS (DD FORM 714).'

SECTION 402 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE. THAT AUTHORITY INCLUDES INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.' EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11157, JUNE 22, 1964, IN PERTINENT PART, ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 402, STATES THAT SUCH PROVISION SHALL BE CONSIDERED APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY AT STATIONS WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY.

AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105, CH. 1, JULY 1, 1964, WHICH WAS IN EFFECT WHEN YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 10401 THAT AIR FORCE MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE UNDER CONDITIONS THERE PRESCRIBED. PARAGRAPH 10403A (6) PROVIDED THAT MEMBERS PERMITTED TO MESS SEPARATELY ARE ENTITLED TO A SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED FOR SEPARATE RATIONS AND PARAGRAPH 10421 WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT AIRMEN ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE WHEN PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY IS GRANTED. PARAGRAPH 10422B (3) PROVIDED THAT AIRMEN ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS AT THE SEPARATE RATION RATE WHEN---

"/A) GRANTED PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY BY THE COMMANDER OF A MAJOR COMMAND, NUMBERED AIR FORCE, AIR DIVISION, AIR FORCE BASE, WING OR OTHER COMPARABLE COMMAND.'

PARAGRAPH 30406 REQUIRED THAT PAYMENT OF SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE BE SUPPORTED BY AF FORM 220 (APPLICATION, AUTHORIZATION, AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENT), WHEN AN AIRMAN IS PERMITTED TO RATION SEPARATELY AT HIS PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

IT IS APPARENT THAT, UNDER THE REGULATIONS, THE SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE ENLISTED PERSON WAS IN FACT AUTHORIZED BY PROPER AUTHORITY, PRIOR TO THE PERIOD INVOLVED, TO MESS SEPARATELY. WHILE YOU MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED A MESS PASS AND YOU PAID FOR ALL MEALS CONSUMED IN THE DINING HALLS,AND MAY HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT YOU COULD DRAW SEPARATE RATIONS, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FROM AN OFFICIAL SOURCE AFFIRMATIVELY SHOWING THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER, WHO HAD AUTHORITY TO PERMIT YOU TO MESS SEPARATELY, IN FACT AUTHORIZED YOU TO DO SO, OR THAT ORDERS HAVE EVER BEEN ISSUED GRANTING YOU SUCH AUTHORITY DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 21, 1964, TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1965. IN THE ABSENCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION BY THE PROPER COMMANDING OFFICER AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE--- OR OF A VERBAL AUTHORIZATION CONFIRMED IN WRITING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME--- SHOWING THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED BY HIM TO RATION SEPARATELY DURING THAT PERIOD, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR THE MEALS FURNISHED YOU BY THE AIR FORCE DINING HALLS DURING SUCH PERIOD. YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY YOU FOR THOSE MEALS WILL RECEIVE PROMPT CONSIDERATION IF YOU WILL (1) OBTAIN FROM THE APPROPRIATE OFFICER A CERTIFICATE SHOWING THE NUMBER OF MEALS WHICH YOU ATE IN THE AIR FORCE DINING HALLS DURING THAT PERIOD, TOGETHER WITH THE PERTINENT DATES AND THE AMOUNTS YOU PAID FOR THOSE MEALS, AND (2) SEND THE CERTIFICATE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, CLAIMS DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548, REFERRING TO CLAIM NO. Z-2306256.