B-4466, JULY 11, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 41

B-4466: Jul 11, 1939

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QUARTERS - RENTAL ALLOWANCE - REPAIRS TO QUARTERS DURING PERIOD OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE A PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OFFICER WHO IS ASSIGNED PUBLIC QUARTERS AND DEPARTS FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT THE EXPIRATION OF WHICH HE IS TO REPORT BACK TO THE SAME PERMANENT STATION. IS NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR A PERIOD DURING THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING WHICH THE QUARTERS WERE ASSERTED TO HAVE BEEN UNINHABITABLE BECAUSE OF THE REPAIRS BEING MADE. THERE BEING NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS FOR THE TERMINATION OF AN ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS WHERE AN OFFICER DEPARTS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT THE EXPIRATION OF WHICH HE IS TO REPORT BACK TO THE SAME PERMANENT STATION. WHICH IS ACCEPTED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 10775313 DATED APRIL 7.

B-4466, JULY 11, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 41

QUARTERS - RENTAL ALLOWANCE - REPAIRS TO QUARTERS DURING PERIOD OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE A PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OFFICER WHO IS ASSIGNED PUBLIC QUARTERS AND DEPARTS FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT THE EXPIRATION OF WHICH HE IS TO REPORT BACK TO THE SAME PERMANENT STATION, IS NOT ENTITLED TO RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR A PERIOD DURING THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING WHICH THE QUARTERS WERE ASSERTED TO HAVE BEEN UNINHABITABLE BECAUSE OF THE REPAIRS BEING MADE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE AUTHORIZATION, GRANTED PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S REQUEST FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE, FOR VACATING THE PREMISES DURING THE PERIOD OF REPAIR, THERE BEING NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS FOR THE TERMINATION OF AN ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS WHERE AN OFFICER DEPARTS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT THE EXPIRATION OF WHICH HE IS TO REPORT BACK TO THE SAME PERMANENT STATION.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO E. A. SWEET, JULY 11, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8, 1939, ADDRESSED TO THE SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, WHICH IS ACCEPTED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 10775313 DATED APRIL 7, 1939, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCE FROM JUNE 2, 1938, TO AUGUST 17, 1938, INCLUSIVE.

IT APPEARS FROM CORRESPONDENCE ENCLOSED IN A LETTER ADDRESSED BY YOU TO THIS OFFICE SEPTEMBER 16, 1938, THAT UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 28, 1938, YOU WROTE THE SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REQUEST THAT I BE ALLOWED COMMUTATION FOR QUARTERS DURING SUCH TIME AS IT IS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LIVE ELSEWHERE WHILE THE MEDICAL OFFICER'S HOUSE IS UNDERGOING REPAIRS. THE HEATING, PLUMBING, AND LIGHTING REPAIRS WILL BE STARTED IN ABOUT TEN DAYS, I AM INFORMED BY THE CONTRACTOR, BUT THE PAINTING AND DECORATING WILL NOT BE COMMENCED UNTIL AN INDEFINITE FUTURE DATE. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THESE TWO PERIODS WILL BE COMPARATIVELY SHORT, BUT THE TIME WITHIN CONTRACT LIMITS WILL NECESSARILY BE DETERMINED BY THE CONTRACTORS.

UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 2, 1938, YOU WERE ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1938, IN WHICH YOU ADVISE THAT IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO VACATE YOUR QUARTERS WHILE THE MEDICAL OFFICER'S HOUSE IS UNDERGOING REPAIRS.

YOU STATE THATT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO LIVE ELSEWHERE, AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT THIS MEANS THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO LIVE OFF OF THE STATION. SOON AS IT IS NECESSARY FOR YOU TO VACATE YOUR QUARTERS, IF YOU WILL ADDRESS A LETTER TO THE SURGEON GENERAL ADVISING THE DATE YOU HAVE VACATED, THIS WILL BE ALL THAT IS REQUIRED EXCEPT THAT WHEN YOU RETURN TO YOUR QUARTERS, A SIMILAR LETTER WILL BE WRITTEN REPORTING THE DATE YOU SO RETURNED. YOUR PAY ROLL WILL ALSO REFLECT THE SITUATION.

BY DIRECTION OF THE SURGEON GENERAL.

YOU STATE THAT NO CLAIM FOR THE FIRST PERIOD DURING WHICH HEATING, PLUMBING, AND LIGHTING REPAIRS WERE MADE WAS SUBMITTED AS THROUGH THE COOPERATION OF THE CONTRACTING FIRM AND THE CHARACTER OF THE REPAIRS, OCCUPANCY OF YOUR QUARTERS WAS NOT INTERRUPTED. ON MAY 7, 1938, YOU ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, REQUESTING LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR 3 MONTHS AND 15 DAYS, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1938, YOU WENT ON LEAVE, AND THE QUARTERS WERE THE CONTRACTOR DID NOT COMMENCE RENOVATIONS UNTIL JUNE 2, 1938, BUT AUTHORIZATION OF THE SURGEON GENERAL WAS ON THE CONTINGENCY THAT DURING THE REPAIRS TO YOUR QUARTERS "IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO LIVE ELSEWHERE.' THE FIRST REPAIRS TO YOUR QUARTERS DID NOT NECESSITATE YOUR LIVING ELSEWHERE AND THE SECOND REPAIR OPERATION DID NOT NECESSITATE THAT YOU "LIVE OFF THE STATION" AS WHEN THE REPAIRS WERE UNDERTAKEN YOU WERE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM YOUR STATION AND THE REPAIRS DID NOT REQUIRE YOU TO LIVE ELSEWHERE, YOU HAVING BEEN ELSEWHERE ON OFFICIAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

PARAGRAPH 4 OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 628, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1924, 43 STAT. 250, PROVIDES IN PART:

NO RENTAL ALLOWANCE SHALL ACCRUE TO AN OFFICER HAVING NO DEPENDENTS, WHILE HE IS ON FIELD OR SEA DUTY, NOR WHILE AN OFFICER WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS IS ASSIGNED AS QUARTERS AT HIS PERMANENT STATION THE NUMBER OF ROOMS IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE WHEREIN, IN THE JUDGMENT OF COMPETENT SUPERIOR AUTHORITY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED, A LESS NUMBER OF ROOMS WOULD BE ADEQUATE FOR THE OCCUPANCY OF THE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENTS.

PARAGRAPHS 153 AND 161 OF THE REGULATIONS, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1931, PROVIDE, RESPECTIVELY:

RENTAL ALLOWANCE WILL BE PAID TO COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE SERVICE ON ACTIVE DUTY OR ENTITLED TO ACTIVE DUTY PAY WHEN NOT ASSIGNED TO QUARTERS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1924, AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER BY THE PRESIDENT.

AN OFFICER'S ASSIGNMENT TO QUARTERS AT HIS PERMANENT STATION WILL TERMINATE UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

(A) WHEN THE STATION CEASES TO BE HIS PERMANENT STATION.

(B) WHEN THE QUARTERS ASSIGNED TO HIM ARE REQUIRED FOR ASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER OFFICER, SENIOR IN RANK, OR FOR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OFFICER WHO MAY BE JUNIOR IN RANK SHOULD THE CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE OF THE LATTER OFFICER AT THE STATION BE CONSIDERED PARAMOUNT, AS A MATTER OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST, TO THE CONTINUOUS PRESENCE OF THE SENIOR OFFICER.

(C) ON HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION ON FIELD OR SEA DUTY, ON TEMPORARY DUTY, TO HOSPITAL FOR OBSERVATION OR TREATMENT, ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE OR ON SICK LEAVE, UNDER ORDERS WHICH RELIEVE HIM FROM DUTY AT HIS PERMANENT STATION DURING OR AT THE TERMINATION OF SUCH ABSENCE, UNLESS THE OFFICER FILES REQUEST TO THE CONTRARY. SUCH REQUESTS MAY BE GIVEN FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION BY THE OFFICER IN CHARGE ONLY IN CASE THE QUARTERS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR ANOTHER OFFICER ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT THE STATION.

(D) WHEN ORDERS ARE RECEIVED FOR AN OFFICER ABSENT FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION ON FIELD OR SEA DUTY, ON TEMPORARY DUTY, IN HOSPITAL, ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, OR ON SICK LEAVE, RELIEVING HIM FROM DUTY AT HIS PERMANENT STATION DURING OR AT THE TERMINATION OF HIS ABSENCE, UNLESS THE OFFICER, OR HIS AUTHORIZED AGENT, FILES REQUEST TO THE CONTRARY. SUCH REQUESTS MAY BE GIVEN FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION BY THE OFFICER IN CHARGE ONLY IN CASE THE QUARTERS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR ANOTHER OFFICER ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT THE STATION.

(E) AT THE DISCRETION OF THE OFFICER IN CHARGE, WHEN AN OFFICER REQUESTS ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS THAT HAVE BEEN VACATED OR HAVE OTHERWISE BECOME AVAILABLE SUBSEQUENT TO THE ASSIGNMENT TO HIM OF HIS PRESENT QUARTERS.

THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF A STATION WILL, IN ALL CASES, IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE OFFICER CONCERNED, IN WRITING, WHEN HIS ASSIGNMENT TO QUARTERS IS TERMINATED. THE ACTUAL DATE OF TERMINATION OF AN ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS SHALL IN NO CASE BE EARLIER THAN THE DATE SUCH QUARTERS ARE VACATED.

UNDER THESE REGULATIONS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO TERMINATE AN ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS WHERE AN OFFICER DEPARTS FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE PERIOD IS TO REPORT BACK TO THE SAME PERMANENT STATION, AND THE FACT REPAIRS ARE MADE TO THE QUARTERS DURING HIS ABSENCE ON LEAVE DOES NOT INCREASE HIS RIGHTS.

AS YOU WERE ASSIGNED ADEQUATE QUARTERS AT YOUR PERMANENT STATION FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 2 TO AUGUST 17, 1938, PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE IS PRECLUDED BY THE TERMS OF THE STATUTE. UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED: