B-168956, FEB. 24, 1970

B-168956: Feb 24, 1970

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AUTHORIZATION DECISION SUSTAINING SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING CLAIM OF NAVY MEMBER FOR SUBSISTENCE (COMMUTED RATIONS) ON BASIS THAT PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY WAS NOT APPROVED BY COMMANDING OFFICER AS REQUIRED EVEN THOUGH MEMBER'S APPLICATION HAD BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL BY LOWER ECHELON. JEPPESON: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 17. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 17. FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE FAILED TO SHOW THAT PROPER ORDERS WERE ISSUED ESTABLISHING THAT YOU HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY. INCLUDING INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED.". ON DUTY WHERE A GENERAL MESS IS OPERATED MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHORE ACTIVITY OPERATING SUCH MESS AND BE PAID COMMUTED RATIONS COMMENCING ON THE DATE AND HOUR ON WHICH THE MEMBER'S REQUEST IS APPROVED BY SUCH COMMANDING OFFICER.

B-168956, FEB. 24, 1970

MILITARY--RATIONS--AUTHORIZATION DECISION SUSTAINING SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING CLAIM OF NAVY MEMBER FOR SUBSISTENCE (COMMUTED RATIONS) ON BASIS THAT PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY WAS NOT APPROVED BY COMMANDING OFFICER AS REQUIRED EVEN THOUGH MEMBER'S APPLICATION HAD BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL BY LOWER ECHELON.

TO AMCS ALTON R. JEPPESON:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 17, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURE, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON FOUR (LETTER CODE VW-4/120:BK 7000 SERIAL 1223), REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE (COMMUTED RATIONS) FOR THE PERIODS DECEMBER 21, 1966, THROUGH MARCH 10, 1969, AND MARCH 15, 1969, THROUGH JUNE 16, 1969, WHILE ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1969, FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE FAILED TO SHOW THAT PROPER ORDERS WERE ISSUED ESTABLISHING THAT YOU HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY.

SECTION 402 (B) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS TO AN ENLISTED MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNDER CERTAIN PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS, INCLUDING INSTANCES "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED." PARAGRAPH A- 4404 (7), BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, PROVIDES THAT ENLISTED PERSONNEL, ON DUTY WHERE A GENERAL MESS IS OPERATED MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHORE ACTIVITY OPERATING SUCH MESS AND BE PAID COMMUTED RATIONS COMMENCING ON THE DATE AND HOUR ON WHICH THE MEMBER'S REQUEST IS APPROVED BY SUCH COMMANDING OFFICER.

UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS MENTIONED, YOUR ENTITLEMENT IS DEPENDENT UPON A SHOWING THAT PRIOR TO OR AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PERIODS INVOLVED, YOU WERE IN FACT AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT YOU INITIATED A REQUEST FOR COMMUTED RATIONS ON DECEMBER 21, 1966, WHICH REQUEST WAS RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL BY BOTH THE DIVISION OFFICER AND HEAD OF DEPARTMENT AND SIGNED BY A. J. NATHANSON, LTJG, USN, AS PERSONNEL OFFICER, ON THE SAME DATE, THERE IS NOTHING FROM AN OFFICIAL SOURCE AFFIRMATIVELY SHOWING THAT AN APPLICATION BY YOU FOR PERMISSION TO RATION SEPARATELY WAS APPROVED AND SIGNED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SHORE ACTIVITY OPERATING A GENERAL MESS OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE FOR EITHER OF THE PERIODS IN QUESTION.

WE HAVE BEEN FURNISHED NO INFORMATION WHY YOUR REQUEST OF DECEMBER 21, 1966, WAS NOT PROPERLY APPROVED AT THAT TIME EXCEPT THAT THE FAILURE TO ISSUE THE NECESSARY APPROVAL MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO AN ERROR OR OVERSIGHT BY ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL AT THE STATION. THE RECORD BEFORE THIS OFFICE DOES NOT SHOW THAT YOU MADE ANY FURTHER ATTEMPT TO SECURE SUCH APPROVAL DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM. IN ANY EVENT THE PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS ARE EXPLICIT IN REQUIRING THE APPROVAL OF YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER BEFORE COMMUTED RATIONS MAY BE PAID. NO AUTOMATIC RIGHT TO COMMUTED RATIONS ARISES BY THE MERE FILING OF AN APPLICATION FORM.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE ARE WITHOUT LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 17, 1969, IS SUSTAINED.