B-48355, APRIL 2, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 715

B-48355: Apr 2, 1945

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APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - LODGING AND MEALS FURNISHED NAVY ENLISTED MEN CONFINED IN CIVIL JAILS WHERE THE CONFINEMENT OF NAVY ENLISTED MEN IN CIVIL JAILS IS NOT REQUESTED OR ARRANGED FOR IN ADVANCE BY COMPETENT NAVAL AUTHORITIES. IS ONLY INCIDENTAL TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES OF THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES. 1945: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH A LETTER FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT OF THE ENCLOSED BILLS IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION " PAY. " PROVIDED CHECK AGES ARE INITIATED AGAINST THE RESPECTIVE ACCOUNTS OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS IN CONFINEMENT. - STATED TO HAVE BEEN ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.

B-48355, APRIL 2, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 715

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - LODGING AND MEALS FURNISHED NAVY ENLISTED MEN CONFINED IN CIVIL JAILS WHERE THE CONFINEMENT OF NAVY ENLISTED MEN IN CIVIL JAILS IS NOT REQUESTED OR ARRANGED FOR IN ADVANCE BY COMPETENT NAVAL AUTHORITIES, BUT, INSTEAD, IS ONLY INCIDENTAL TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES OF THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES, THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION " PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION, NAVY" MAY NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF FURNISHING LODGING AND MEALS TO SUCH MEN WHILE SO CONFINED, EVEN THOUGH THE MEN MAY SUBSEQUENTLY BE RELEASED TO THE CUSTODY OF NAVAL AUTHORITIES FOR TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT FOR OFFENSES AGAINST NAVAL DISCIPLINE. 24 COMP. GEN. 229, AMPLIFIED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 2, 1945:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1945 ( JAG:II:WJG:Z L16 8/P13-10), AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH A LETTER FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER, NAVY YARD, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, DATED JANUARY 30, 1945, WITH ENCLOSURES THEREIN LISTED AND ACCOMPANYING ENDORSEMENTS, RELATIVE TO THE PAYMENT OF CERTAIN BILLS FOR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE FURNISHED NAVAL PERSONNEL WHILE CONFINED IN CITY JAILS UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEREIN SET FORTH.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT OF THE ENCLOSED BILLS IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION " PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION, NAVY," PROVIDED CHECK AGES ARE INITIATED AGAINST THE RESPECTIVE ACCOUNTS OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS IN CONFINEMENT, IF STILL IN SERVICE, AS AN OVERPAYMENT IN THEIR RESPECTIVE ACCOUNTS, AND THAT, IF SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED BE COLLECTED FROM THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED WHERE POSSIBLE TO DO SO. THIS PROCEDURE WOULD APPEAR TO CONFORM WITH THAT CONTEMPLATED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1944, B-40670.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST, 1943, TO OCTOBER, 1944, VARIOUS ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY--- STATED TO HAVE BEEN ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE, ABSENT OVER LEAVE, PRISONERS AT LARGE, OR GUILTY OF DISORDERLY CONDUCT--- WERE CONFINED FOR SHORT INTERVALS IN THE PRISON OF DAUPHIN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND IN THE JAIL OF LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THAT SOME OF THE MEN SO CONFINED WERE APPREHENDED BY THE SHORE PATROL AND OTHERS BY THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT CERTAIN OF THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED BY THE BUREAU OF PERSONNEL AND THAT, IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE MEN WERE APPREHENDED BY THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES, IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE EXPENSE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS SOUGHT RESULTED FROM A REQUEST OF COMPETENT NAVAL AUTHORITIES FOR THE ARREST AND CONFINEMENT OF THE INDIVIDUALS OR WHETHER THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES ACTED ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE.

THE TYPE OF CASE CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 229, INVOLVED REIMBURSEMENT FOR LODGING AND MEALS WHERE THE APPREHENSION AND CONFINEMENT IN THE CITY JAIL WAS MADE BY OR AT THE REQUEST OF THE SHORE PATROL, OR OTHER MEMBERS OF THE NAVY; AND, IN AUTHORIZING PAYMENT IN THAT CASE, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT IF GOVERNMENTAL NECESSITY WAS SHOWN FOR THE ARREST AND CONFINEMENT OF NAVAL PERSONNEL IN CITY JAILS AS A TEMPORARY EXPEDIENT PENDING PROPER DISPOSITION, THERE WAS NO OBJECTION TO CHARGING, IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, THE COST OF THE ENLISTED MAN'S KEEP TO THE APPROPRIATION " PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OR NAVAL PERSONNEL," IN THE NATURE OF AN ADVANCE WITH A CORRESPONDING CHECK AGE AGAINST THE MAN'S PAY ACCOUNT FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECREDITING SUCH APPROPRIATION. ACCORDINGLY, WHERE THE AMOUNTS STATED IN THE BILLS HERE INVOLVED REPRESENT REIMBURSEMENT FOR LODGING AND MEALS FURNISHED, ON REQUEST OF COMPETENT NAVAL AUTHORITIES, TO PROPERLY IDENTIFIED NAVAL PERSONNEL WHETHER OR NOT SUCH PERSONNEL ARE STILL IN THE SERVICE, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. BUT, IF IN ANY INSTANCE THE LODGING AND MEALS WERE FURNISHED MERELY AS AN INCIDENT TO THE ARREST AND CONFINEMENT BY LOCAL ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FOR VIOLATION OF LOCAL ORDINANCES, PAYMENT THEREFOR WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED.

THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1944, WAS NOT INTENDED TO AND DID NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE ENLISTED MEN'S KEEP IN THOSE CASES WHERE THEIR CONFINEMENT WAS NOT REQUESTED OR ARRANGED FOR IN ADVANCE BY THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES. THE FACT THAT THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASE RELEASE THE PERSON SO CONFINED TO THE CUSTODY OF THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES FOR TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE AGAINST NAVAL DISCIPLINE DOES NOT OPERATE TO RENDER THE UNITED STATES LIABLE FOR ANY EXPENSE INCURRED PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT THE ENLISTED MAN IS RETURNED TO THE CONTROL OF THE NAVAL AUTHORITIES.