B-158878, MAY 5, 1966

B-158878: May 5, 1966

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971 68 38: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR APPLICATION FOR ARREARS IN PAY. THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICE CONTACTED THE OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND FOUND THAT A COPY OF YOUR REQUEST WAS ON FILE THERE. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE THE ORIGINAL REQUEST FOR COMMUTED RATIONS HAS BEEN LOST AND IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED FROM THE COPY AVAILABLE THAT THE REQUEST WAS OR WOULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER. PAYMENT OF COMMUTED RATIONS IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IS ACCOMPANIED BY A COPY OF LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 24. IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT: "IT HAS BEEN THE POLICY OF THIS COMMAND TO AUTHORIZE COMMUTED RATIONS TO PERSONNEL WHO HAVE AUTHORIZED DEPENDENTS RESIDING WITHIN THE IMMEDIATE AREA OF THIS COMMAND.

B-158878, MAY 5, 1966

TO RICHARD H. WIDON, AT1, 971 68 38:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR APPLICATION FOR ARREARS IN PAY, DD FORM 827, DATED DECEMBER 21, 1965, RESUBMITTING YOUR CLAIM FOR COMMUTED RATIONS DURING THE PERIOD FROM MAY 25, 1964, TO JULY 6, 1965, AND IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 20, 1965.

YOU SAY THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS ARRIVED IN ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, ON MAY 25, 1964, AND TOOK UP RESIDENT IN NEARBY JERSEY SIDE, NEWFOUNDLAND; THAT ON THE SAME DATE YOU INITIATED A REQUEST FOR START OF COMMUTED RATIONS AND SURRENDERED YOUR GENERAL MESS PASS TO THE PERSONNEL OFFICER; THAT YOU CARRIED THE ORIGINAL AND TWO COPIES OF YOUR REQUEST TO THE COMMISSARY OFFICE WHERE YOU LEFT THEM WITH THE COMMISSARY OFFICER'S ASSISTANT WHO ADVISED YOU THAT THE REQUEST WOULD BE SIGNED BY THE COMMISSARY OFFICER AND IN TURN FORWARDED TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH YOUR RIGHT TO CREDIT OF COMMUTED RATIONS. YOU ALSO STATE THAT WHILE CHECKING OUT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICE IN ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, YOU NOTED THAT YOU HAD NOT BEEN PAID COMMUTED RATIONS; THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICE CONTACTED THE OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND FOUND THAT A COPY OF YOUR REQUEST WAS ON FILE THERE; AND THAT THE PERSONNEL OFFICE LOCATED A COPY OF YOUR REQUEST IN YOUR SERVICE RECORD, BUT A SEARCH FOR THE ORIGINAL COPY REVEALED THAT IT HAD BEEN MISPLACED AND COULD NOT BE FOUND.

IN ADDITION TO COPIES OF YOUR PERTINENT PAY RECORDS, REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO OBTAIN PRIVATE QUARTERS FOR DEPENDENTS AND OF YOUR RENTAL AGREEMENT, YOU SUBMITTED A THERMOFAX COPY OF YOUR REQUEST FOR COMMUTED RATIONS, WITH ENDORSEMENTS, DATED MAY 25, 1964. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE THE ORIGINAL REQUEST FOR COMMUTED RATIONS HAS BEEN LOST AND IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED FROM THE COPY AVAILABLE THAT THE REQUEST WAS OR WOULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER, PAYMENT OF COMMUTED RATIONS IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

YOUR APPLICATION DATED DECEMBER 21, 1965, HAS BEEN REFERRED HERE BY THE U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, CLEVELAND, OHIO, AND IS ACCOMPANIED BY A COPY OF LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 24, 1965, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL STATION, ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT:

"IT HAS BEEN THE POLICY OF THIS COMMAND TO AUTHORIZE COMMUTED RATIONS TO PERSONNEL WHO HAVE AUTHORIZED DEPENDENTS RESIDING WITHIN THE IMMEDIATE AREA OF THIS COMMAND. IT IS CUSTOMARY TO ADVISE APPLICANTS FOR COMMUTED RATIONS TO PERSONALLY WALK THEIR REQUESTS ALL THE WAY THROUGH VIA ADDRESSEES AND RETURN IT TO THEIR PARENT ACTIVITY. HAD WIDON'S REQUEST BEEN RETURNED TO THE PERSONNEL OFFICE FOR FINAL ENDORSEMENT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND RETURNED TO WIDON FOR DELIVERY TO HIS PARENT COMMAND.' NO ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OR INFORMATION HAS BEEN FURNISHED.

SECTION 402 (B), TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, 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.' IT IS PROVIDED IN ARTICLE A-4404 (7) OF THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL MANUAL THAT COMMUTED RATIONS MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR ENLISTED PERSONNEL UNDER THEIR COMMAND BY COMMANDING OFFICERS OF SHORE ACTIVITIES OPERATING GENERAL MESSES. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE CREDIT OF COMMUTED RATIONS WILL COMMENCE ON THE DATE AND HOUR FROM WHICH THE MEMBER'S REQUEST IS APPROVED AND THE APPROVAL MAY NOT COVER A RETROACTIVE PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE AND HOUR THE REQUEST IS SUBMITTED.

THE THERMOFAX COPY OF YOUR REQUEST DATED MAY 25, 1964--- APPARENTLY MADE FROM THE COPY FOUND IN YOUR MILITARY RECORD OR THE COPY ON FILE IN THE OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER--- DOES NOT DISCLOSE WHETHER THE THIRD ENDORSEMENT, WHICH RELATES TO APPROVAL OF YOUR REQUEST BUT BEARS NO DATE OR SIGNATURE, WAS EVER SIGNED BY THE OFFICER FOR WHOM IT WAS PREPARED. HENCE, THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER EVER AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF COMMUTED RATIONS TO YOU. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT A PROPER APPROVAL WAS GIVEN BY YOUR INSTALLATION COMMANDER FOR YOU TO MESS SEPARATELY, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.