B-158826, MAY 10, 1966

B-158826: May 10, 1966

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AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24. WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 20. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM 3535 USAF HOSPITAL. YOU WERE NOT ISSUED A MEAL CARD. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT YOU HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS BECAUSE YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT YOU WERE NOT RECEIVING SUCH ALLOWANCES. THIS WAS CROSSED OUT AND THE DATE SEPTEMBER 1. WAS SUBSTITUTED. WHICH WAS SIGNED BY YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER. WERE THEREBY CONFIRMED. WAS CROSSED OUT AND SEPTEMBER 1. WAS SUBSTITUTED. THE FORM INDICATED THE REASON FOR THE REQUEST WAS THAT YOU WERE RESIDING IN THE LOCAL AREA WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THAT AN AF FORM 220 HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO FINANCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED.

B-158826, MAY 10, 1966

TO STAFF SERGEANT ELIJHA A. WILLIAMS, AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 30, 1963, THROUGH AUGUST 31, 1965, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 20, 1966.

BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. A-1215, DATED OCTOBER 14, 1963, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM 3535 USAF HOSPITAL, MATHER AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, TO 86TH USAF TACTICAL HOSPITAL, APO 12, NEW YORK, NEW YORK. IN YOUR CLAIM DATED SEPTEMBER 2, 1965, YOU STATED YOU ARRIVED AT YOUR OVERSEAS STATION ON DECEMBER 30, 1963, AND YOU COULD NOT REMEMBER WHETHER YOU SIGNED AN AIR FORCE FORM 220 OR NOT, BUT YOU WERE NOT ISSUED A MEAL CARD. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT YOU HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS BECAUSE YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT YOU WERE NOT RECEIVING SUCH ALLOWANCES. THE AIR FORCE FORM 220 YOU EXECUTED SEPTEMBER 1, 1965, HAD ORIGINALLY REQUESTED AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY EFFECTIVE FROM DECEMBER 30, 1963, BUT THIS WAS CROSSED OUT AND THE DATE SEPTEMBER 1, 1965, WAS SUBSTITUTED. SIMILARLY, SECTION II OF THE FORM, WHICH WAS SIGNED BY YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER, HAD STATED THAT THE VERBAL ORDERS OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER DATED DECEMBER 30, 1963, WERE THEREBY CONFIRMED. HOWEVER, THE DATE DECEMBER 30, 1963, WAS CROSSED OUT AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1965, WAS SUBSTITUTED. THE FORM INDICATED THE REASON FOR THE REQUEST WAS THAT YOU WERE RESIDING IN THE LOCAL AREA WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THAT AN AF FORM 220 HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO FINANCE WHEN YOU ARRIVED, BUT YOU HAD NEVER BEEN PAID SEPARATE RATIONS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WITH A REPORT THAT THERE WERE NO SUBSTANTIATING DOCUMENTS OR STATEMENTS WHICH COULD SUPPORT THE CLAIM, AND THAT THE QUESTION OF PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ARISES DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF WRITTEN AUTHORITY AND, ALSO, THE LATE FILING OF THE CLAIM. BY SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 20, 1966, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASONS STATED.

IN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1966, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM, YOU ENCLOSED COPIES OF REGULATIONS ISSUED BY YOUR HEADQUARTERS, BASED ON REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN AIR FORCE MANUAL 177 105 AND IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD CLAIMED, WHICH EXPRESSED THE POLICY AT YOUR DUTY STATION FOR REQUESTING AND GRANTING AUTHORITY FOR ENLISTED PERSONNEL TO RATION SEPARATELY. THESE REGULATIONS GRANT AUTHORITY TO UNIT COMMANDERS TO AUTHORIZE ALL AIRMEN WHEN ACCOMPANIED BY AND LIVING WITH THEIR DEPENDENTS, AS WELL AS ALL NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, WHETHER OR NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS, TO RATION SEPARATELY. HOWEVER, ALL AIRMEN WERE TO UTILIZE AF FORM 220 WHEN REQUESTING PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY AND UNIT COMMANDERS WERE TO COMPLETE SECTION II OF THAT FORM. ALSO ENCLOSED WAS A CERTIFICATE OF LIEUTENANT BASSEL E. BOLTON, JR., MCS, USAF, COMMANDER, MEDICAL SQUADRON, 86TH TACTICAL HOSPITAL, YOUR UNIT COMMANDER, DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1966, STATING THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THAT ORGANIZATION ON DECEMBER 30, 1963, AND "AUTHORIZED SEPARATE RATIONS BY VIRTUE OF * * * RANK AS SSGT., " AND THAT NO MEAL CARD EVER HAS BEEN ISSUED TO YOU.

SECTION 402B (2) OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS TO ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.' SUBSECTION (F) PROVIDES THAT THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THAT SECTION. SECTION 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10119, DATED MARCH 27, 1950, ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 301 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, RECODIFIED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1962, AS 37 U.S.C. 402, PROVIDED GENERALLY THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICE CONCERNED, WITH RESPECT TO THE PERSONNEL OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN HIS DEPARTMENT, WAS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS,"NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH," AS HE MIGHT DEEM NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ORDER AND OF SECTION 301 OF THE ACT. SIMILAR PROVISION IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 302 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11157, JUNE 22, 1964.

THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE WHICH WERE IN EFFECT ON DECEMBER 30, 1963, WERE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 4, PART TWO, AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 (1960 ED.). UNDER PARAGRAPH 20404B (2) (C) 1, CHANGE 33, MAY 28, 1963, OF THOSE REGULATIONS, AIRMEN WERE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE (SEPARATE RATIONS) ON A DAILY BASIS WHEN GRANTED PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF A GOVERNMENT MESS. IT WAS THERE PROVIDED (1) THAT SUCH PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY MIGHT BE GRANTED BY THE COMMANDER OF A MAJOR COMMAND, NUMBERED AIR FORCE, AIR DIVISION, AIR FORCE BASE, WING, OR OTHER COMPARABLE SEPARATE COMMAND, AND (2) THAT SUCH AUTHORITY TO GRANT PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY MIGHT BE DELEGATED TO SQUADRON COMMANDERS PROVIDED STANDARD CRITERIA FOR GRANTING PERMISSION WERE ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE BASE OR COMMAND. SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 10422B (3) (A), AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 (1964 ED.) EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1964.

PARAGRAPH 20409 (CHANGE 31, APRIL 15, 1963) AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 (1960 ED.), PROVIDED THAT ,AF FORM 220, REQUEST, AUTHORIZATION AND PAY ORDER, BAS--- SEPARATE RATIONS" WOULD BE USED AS APPLICATION, AUTHORIZATION, AND SUBSTANTIATING DOCUMENT TO CREDIT PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE WHEN AN AIRMAN WAS PERMITTED TO RATION SEPARATELY AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION UNDER PARAGRAPH 20404B (2) (C) 1. IT WAS STATED EXPLICITLY IN THAT PARAGRAPH THAT SECTION I OF AF FORM 220 WOULD BE COMPLETED TO SHOW THE AIRMAN'S FULL NAME, GRADE, SERVICE NUMBER, PERMANENT ORGANIZATION AND DUTY STATION, MARITAL STATUS, EFFECTIVE DATE DESIRED, AND REASON FOR REQUEST (IF OTHER THAN A CURRENT EFFECTIVE DATE WAS DESIRED THE REASON FOR DELAY IN SUBMISSION WAS TO BE SHOWN), AND THAT AFTER THE APPLICATION WAS DATED AND SIGNED BY THE AIRMAN, IT WAS TO BE PRESENTED TO THE SQUADRON COMMANDER. IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT SECTION II OF AF FORM 220 WOULD BE COMPLETED BY THE UNIT, BASE OR WING COMMANDER, AND THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE SPECIFIED ON THAT FORM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS CREDIT WAS THE DATE THE AIRMAN WAS AUTHORIZED, INCLUDING VERBAL AUTHORITY, TO RATION SEPARATELY, AND, FURTHER, THAT VERBAL AUTHORITY GIVEN ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE SHOWN WOULD BE CONFIRMED BY THE COMMANDER OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE IN SECTION II, AND THAT "RETROACTIVE AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY IS PROHIBITED.' SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 30406 AND 30407 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 (1964 ED.), EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1964.

WITH RESPECT TO THE BASE REGULATIONS WHICH YOU ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1966, TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CONTENTION THAT ALL NON- COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, WHETHER ACCOMPANIED OR NOT, RECEIVE AUTHORIZATION TO RATION SEPARATELY FROM THE UNIT COMMANDER, SUCH REGULATIONS, CONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CITED PROVISIONS OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE AND REQUIRE THAT AIRMEN WILL USE AF FORM 220 WHEN REQUESTING PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY, AND THAT AUTHORIZATION SHALL BE AFFIRMATIVELY GRANTED BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL PURSUANT TO THE REQUEST.

WHILE IT APPEARS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION HAD A PROPER REQUEST THEREFOR BEEN MADE AND SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE REGULATIONS, THE AVAILABLE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT AUTHORIZATION ON THE REQUIRED BASIS WAS GRANTED. THE SUBMITTED AF FORM 220 AS CORRECTED, DOES NOT PURPORT TO GRANT AUTHORIZATION FOR SEPARATE RATIONS PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1965. ALTHOUGH LIEUTENANT BOLTON'S STATEMENT OF FEBRUARY 3, 1966, SUGGESTS THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED SEPARATE RATIONS, THE BASIS FOR THAT STATEMENT, AND WHETHER IT RELATED TO THE FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED OR WAS BASED ON SURMISE BECAUSE OF YOUR RANK IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN THE LOCAL REGULATIONS PERMITTING AUTHORIZATION TO ALL NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, IS NOT SHOWN. THE FACT THAT SEPARATE RATIONS WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED IF PROPERLY REQUESTED CANNOT SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ACTUAL APPROVAL REQUIRED TO SUPPORT THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 20, 1966, IS SUSTAINED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR THE MEALS FURNISHED YOU AT THE POST DINING HALL. A CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY YOU FOR THOSE MEALS WILL BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION PROVIDED YOU ARE ABLE TO ESTABLISH THE NUMBER OF MEALS WHICH YOU ATE THERE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE DURING THAT PERIOD AND THE AMOUNTS YOU PAID FOR THOSE MEALS.