B-160046, NOV. 22, 1966

B-160046: Nov 22, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

RA 18 375 004: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ON OCTOBER 31. YOUR WIFE AND MINOR CHILD WERE AUTHORIZED ON SEPTEMBER 4. SINCE THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL INFORMATION IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE WHETHER GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS DURING THE INVOLVED PERIOD. YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION HAD MADE NO DETERMINATION IN YOUR CASE. YOU HAVE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 6. PROVIDED THAT UPON INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES A MEMBER WHO IS NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF.

B-160046, NOV. 22, 1966

TO SP/5 GEORGE M. FATHERREE, RA 18 375 004:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ON OCTOBER 31, 1966, AND TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1966, FORWARDING A WRITTEN STATEMENT DATED AUGUST 8, 1966, FROM A FORMER UNIT COMMANDER FOR USE IN OUR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 17 TO NOVEMBER 2, 1959.

OUR FILE SHOWS THAT INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT DARMSTADT, GERMANY, YOUR WIFE AND MINOR CHILD WERE AUTHORIZED ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1959, BY HEADQUARTERS SIXTH UNITED STATES ARMY, TO TRAVEL FROM YAKIMA, WASHINGTON, TO DARMSTADT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. ACCORDING TO YOUR STATEMENTS YOUR WIFE AND CHILD ARRIVED OCTOBER 17, 1959, AND OCCUPIED A ROOM AT THE HOTEL REAMS, EBERSTADT, GERMANY, LOCATED NEAR DARMSTADT. YOU SAY THAT YOU HAD RESERVED THAT ROOM PRIOR TO THEIR ARRIVAL BECAUSE THE BILLETING OFFICE HAD INFORMED YOU THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER 2, 1959.

ON OCTOBER 16, 1964, YOU PRESENTED A CLAIM TO THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, FOR A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 17 TO NOVEMBER 2, 1959. SINCE THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL INFORMATION IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE WHETHER GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS DURING THE INVOLVED PERIOD, THE FINANCE CENTER REQUESTED SUCH INFORMATION BY MESSAGE DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1965, ADDRESSED TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL, 38TH ARTILLERY, DARMSTADT. THE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER, DARMSTADT, IN RESPONSE, ADVISED THAT THE MESSAGE COULD NOT BE DELIVERED AS THE 38TH ARTILLERY HAD BEEN DEACTIVATED AT SOME UNKNOWN PRIOR TIME. CONSEQUENTLY, YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 15, 1965, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION HAD MADE NO DETERMINATION IN YOUR CASE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, AS TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM.

YOU HAVE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1966, A STATEMENT FROM A RETIRED OFFICER, MAJOR WILLIAM M. ETHINGTON, TO SERVE AS A BASIS FOR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM. THAT OFFICER STATED THAT HE SERVED TEMPORARILY AS "BATTERY COMMANDER HEADQUARTERS ATTERY" OF THE 38TH ARTILLERY GUN BATTALION, 5TH CORPS ARTILLERY, AND THAT ALTHOUGH HE DOES NOT REMEMBER ALL THE DATES AND DETAILS CONCERNING THE NONAVAILABILITY OF QUARTERS DURING THE TIME INVOLVED, HE DOES RECALL YOUR HAVING "TO TAKE QUARTERS ON THE ECONOMY WHILE AWAITING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.'

REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN EBERSTADT, PARAGRAPH M4303-2B, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (CHANGE 77, DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1959), PROVIDED THAT UPON INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES A MEMBER WHO IS NOT FURNISHED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF, HIS DEPENDENTS, OR FOR HIMSELF AND HIS DEPENDENTS, IF WITH DEPENDENTS, AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION AND WHO IS REQUIRED TO SECURE TEMPORARY LODGINGS FOR ANY PERIOD DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS, WILL BE ENTITLED TO A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AT PRESCRIBED RATES. PARAGRAPH M4303-1 AUTHORIZED THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO ISSUE SUCH REGULATIONS AS ARE CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT AND JUDICIOUSLY ADMINISTER THAT ALLOWANCE. PARAGRAPH 8-26, CHANGE 10, ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 37-104, DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1959, PROMULGATED UNDER THAT AUTHORITY, STIPULATED THAT A STATEMENT FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION AS TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IS REQUIRED FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS CLAIMED.

THE ABOVE PROVISION OF THE ARMY REGULATIONS APPARENTLY CONTEMPLATES THAT THE REQUIRED STATEMENT AS TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS TO SUPPORT A CLAIM FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES WOULD BE PREPARED BY, OR UNDER THE DIRECTION OF, THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR POST RATHER THAN THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF A BATTERY BASED AT THAT STATION OR POST. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT YOUR FORMER BATTERY COMMANDER HAD AUTHORITY TO MAKE THE REQUIRED DETERMINATION REGARDING THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT DARMSTADT POST. ALSO, MAJOR ETHINGTON ADMITS IN HIS STATEMENT OF AUGUST 8, 1966, MADE NEARLY 7 YEARS AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED, THAT HE DOES NOT RECALL DETAILS RELATIVE TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT THAT TIME AND HAS FURNISHED NO INFORMATION AS TO THE ACTUAL PERIOD THAT SUCH QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, SUCH STATEMENT DOES NOT PROVIDE A BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

MOREOVER, THE PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORAY LODGING ALLOWANCE, AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH M4303, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WAS TO PARTIALLY REIMBURSE A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTELS OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL AT THE FOREIGN STATION PENDING ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, OR PENDING COMPLETION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR OTHER PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE.

IN YOUR LETTER WHICH ACCOMPANIED YOUR CLAIM TO THE FINANCE CENTER YOU STATED THAT THE ROOM YOU HAD OBTAINED FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS AT THE HOTEL REAMS, EBERSTADT, HAD "A BATH A SMALL STOVE AND VERY SMALL ICE BOX.' YOU ALSO STATED THAT THE HOTEL HAD A SMALL DINING ROOM AND THAT YOU WENT TO THE COMMISSARY "TO GET A FEW THINGS AS THE PLACE WAS VERY SMALL.' ATTACHED TO THAT LETTER IS A COPY OF A "REQUEST FOR COMMISSARY PRIVILEGES" WHICH YOU HAD SUBMITTED TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER, DARMSTADT POST, ON OCTOBER 23, 1959, AND WHICH LISTS ONE OF YOUR TWO ADDRESSES SHOWN THEREON AS ,TEMP QTR AT HOTEL GASTSTATTE REHM DARMSTADT GERMANY UNTIL 31 OCT 59.' IT IS STATED IN AN INDORSEMENT RECOMMENDING APPROVAL OF YOUR REQUEST THAT "QUARTERS HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND ADEQUATE KITCHEN FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE.' SINCE IT IS EVIDENT THAT COOKING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE TO YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS AND THAT COMMISSARY PRIVILEGES HAD BEEN GRANTED, IT DOES NOT APPEAR--- NOR HAS IT BEEN ALLEGED--- THAT YOU OR YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE REQUIRED TO USE PUBLIC RESTAURANTS DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE MAY NOT CONCLUDE THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN EBERSTADT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO MEET THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES FOR THEIR FOOD AND LODGING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 15, 1965, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.