B-35644 April 19, 1948

B-35644: Apr 19, 1948

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My dear Senator: Further reference is made to your letter of March 18. $151.31) should have been allowed. The he should be reimbursed for expenditures which he claims were incurred by him in connection with the presentation and prosecution of his claim. 1942) do not give an enlisted man of the Navy or the Naval Reserve a right to payment of such allowances marely on a showing that quarters and subsistence were not furnished to him (8 Comp. It seam clear that the payment of quarters and subsistence allowance to him for the period involved was not authorized by competent authority contemporaneously with such period. It appears that his claim for such allowance properly was disallowed. That the President may prescribe the quantity and kind of clothing which shall be furnished annually to enlisted men of the Naval Reserve and that he may prescribe the amount of a cash allowance to be paid to such enlisted men in any case in which clothing is not so furnished to them.

B-35644 April 19, 1948

The Honorable Kenneth S. Wherry,

United States Senate.

My dear Senator:

Further reference is made to your letter of March 18, 1948 (acknowledged March 25, 1948), enclosing a letter (with enclosures), which you received from Mr. Kenneth H. Olson, Birmingham General Hospital, Van Nays, California, relative to settlements dated March 1, 1948, issued by the Claims Division of this Office, which (1) allowed to him a total amount of $1,081.95, representing active duty pay and leave rations found to be due incident to his service as apprentice seaman, United States Naval Reserve, during the period October 6, 1942, to April 5, 1944, and (2) advised him of the disallowance of his claim for cash clothing allowance and quarters and subsistence allowance which he believes to be due him incident to such service. You request the comments of this office on Mr. Olson's letter.

Mr. Olson apparently believes that his claim for quarters and subsistence allowances for the period October 6, 1942, to December 2, 1942 (58 days at $2.75 per day $159.50), and cash clothing allowance (initial allowance of $133.81 and two quarterly supplemental payments of $8.75 each total, $151.31) should have been allowed; that the Government should pay him interest on the amount found to be due him in his claim; and the he should be reimbursed for expenditures which he claims were incurred by him in connection with the presentation and prosecution of his claim.

With respect to the claim for quarters and subsistence allowance, this Office consistently has held that the applicable law and regulations (see section 1D, Pay Readjustment Act of 1942, as amended, 37 U. S. C. 110, Executive Order 9206, dated July 27, 1942) do not give an enlisted man of the Navy or the Naval Reserve a right to payment of such allowances marely on a showing that quarters and subsistence were not furnished to him (8 Comp. Gen. 82; 23 id. 207), and that they do not permit payment of such allowance unless payment thereof has been specifically authorized by the Bureau of Naval Personnel (or under express delegation of authority from such Bureau) contemporaneously with the period involved. 8 Comp. Gen. 82; B-40806, August 17, 1944; B-57057. June 10, 1946; B-58779, August 20, 1946. From the several reports received from the Navy Department in Mr. Olson's case, it seam clear that the payment of quarters and subsistence allowance to him for the period involved was not authorized by competent authority contemporaneously with such period, and hence, it appears that his claim for such allowance properly was disallowed.

Respecting the matter of such clothing allowance, the last paragraph of section 10 of the Pay Readjustment Act of 1942, as amended, 37 U. S. C. 110, provides, inter alis, that the President may prescribe the quantity and kind of clothing which shall be furnished annually to enlisted men of the Naval Reserve and that he may prescribe the amount of a cash allowance to be paid to such enlisted men in any case in which clothing is not so furnished to them. Such provision of law and the provisions of the applicable regulations in effect during the period covered by Mr. Olson's claim (see Executive Order 9226, August 19, 1942, and Supplies and Accounts Memorandum No. 483, Navy Department, December, 1942, pertaining to Article 2143, Supplies and Accounts Memoranda) contemplated that enlisted men of the Naval Reserve when assigned to active duty by orders of competent authority, and, hence, required to wear the uniform, would be issued necessary uniform clothing; that the value of the clothing so issued would be charged to the account of the individual concerned; that after such an individual had served on active duty for a specified minimum period (30 days under regulations in affect in 1942), the difference, if any, between the value of clothing issued to him and the authorized initial cash clothing allowance ($133.81 for apprentice seamen in 1942) would be paid to him (or, if in the Government's favor, charged to his account); and that supplemental credit of clothing allowance ($8.75 for apprentice seamen, 1942 - 1944) would be made in the amount of each such enlisted man - so long as he remained in active duty and was required to wear the uniform - on the first day of each three - month period following the anniversary date of his entitlement to the initial clothing allowance.

From the report and records submitted to this Office by the Navy Department, it does not appear that Mr. Olson was issued any clothing in kind at any time or that , legally, he was authorized or required to wear the uniform at any time. While the Navy Department, acting under the authority of section 207 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, 60 Stat. 837, 'corrected" his records in 1947to show that he was "placed on active duty" on October 6, 1942, and while this Office has allowed him active duty pay on the basis of such "correction", the fact remains that no orders were issued by component authority placing him on active duty in 1942, and that, contemporaneously, he was nothing more than an inactive reservist, i. E., a volunteer, during the period covered by his claim. As such, he clearly was not under any legal requirement to wear the uniform during any part of such period. Under such circumstances, there would appear to be no basis on which this Office properly could allow payment of a cash clothing allowance.

With reference to Mr. Olson's suggestions that he is entitled to interest on the amount of his claim and to reimbursement of expenses of preparing and prosecuting such claim, it is well settled that the United States is not liable for interest on obligations such as are here involved. See Angarica v. Bayard, 127 U. S. 251; Seaboard Air Line Ry. Co. v. United States, 261 U. S. 299; 17 Comp. Gen. 526. Also, it has never been the policy or practice of the Government to reimburse a claimant for expenses incurred in the preparation, presentation or prosecution of his claim against the United States (8 Comp. Dec. 498; 23 id. 353), and this office is not aware of any statutory authority for making such a reimbursement.

I trust that the foregoing will serve the purpose of your inquiry. The enclosures received with your letter are returned herewith as requested.

Sincerely yours,

Assistant Comptroller General of the United States