B-86001/1), I-17000-981, AUG 10, 1955

B-86001/1): Aug 10, 1955

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TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 21. WHICH WERE QUESTIONED IN A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION TRANSMITTED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF MAY 25. THAT THEIR LIVING EXPENSES WERE APPROXIMATELY $150 A MONTH. WHICH WAS DEPOSITED INTO A JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNT WITH HER FATHER. HE STATED THAT MOST OF THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLOTMENT WAS IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAWN BY THE OFFICER FOR HER PERSONAL USE. IT APPEARS THAT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED THE OFFICER WAS STATIONED IN OR NEAR SEATTLE AND LIVED AT HOME WITH HER PARENTS. ON THIS SHOWING WE CONCLUDED THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT. THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL FORWARDED TO US AN ITEMIZED ESTIMATE OF AMOUNTS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN EXPENDED BY THE OFFICER FOR THE BENEFIT OF HER PARENTS DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1.

B-86001/1), I-17000-981, AUG 10, 1955

TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 21, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, FILE PERS B12D-MJZ 207598/1100, CONCERNING INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER ABIGAIL P. LEIK, 207598 (2), USN, AS AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT MOTHER DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1947, TO JUNE 30, 1949, WHICH WERE QUESTIONED IN A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION TRANSMITTED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF MAY 25, 1951.

OUR INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING INTERVIEWS WITH THE OFFICER'S PARENTS,DISCLOSED THAT THEY LIVED TOGETHER IN THEIR OWN HOME, THAT THEIR LIVING EXPENSES WERE APPROXIMATELY $150 A MONTH, AND THAT THEIR INCOME FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTIONS AVERAGED $129 A MONTH. THE INVESTIGATION ALSO DISCLOSED THAT THE OFFICER HAD IN EFFECT A $100 MONTHLY ALLOTMENT OF HER PAY IN FAVOR OF THE SEATTLE FIRST NATIONAL BANK, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS DEPOSITED INTO A JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNT WITH HER FATHER, BUT HE STATED THAT MOST OF THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLOTMENT WAS IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAWN BY THE OFFICER FOR HER PERSONAL USE. IT APPEARS THAT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED THE OFFICER WAS STATIONED IN OR NEAR SEATTLE AND LIVED AT HOME WITH HER PARENTS. ON THIS SHOWING WE CONCLUDED THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT.

ON JULY 3, 1952, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL FORWARDED TO US AN ITEMIZED ESTIMATE OF AMOUNTS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN EXPENDED BY THE OFFICER FOR THE BENEFIT OF HER PARENTS DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1947, TO JUNE 30, 1949. HE SAID THAT THE OFFICER CONTENDED THAT HER PARENTS' LIVING EXPENSES WERE $240 A MONTH, THAT SHE CONTRIBUTED AN AVERAGE OF $210 A MONTH FOR THEIR SUPPORT, AND THAT HER MOTHER'S INCOME AVERAGED ONLY $64.50 A MONTH--- ONE-HALF OF THE PARENTS' COMBINED INCOME OF $129 A MONTH AS DISCLOSED BY OUR INVESTIGATION.

AFTER RECEIPT OF THE LETTER OF JULY 3, 1952, ANOTHER INVESTIGATION WAS MADE AND, UPON REVIEW OF THE MATTER, THE CONCLUSION THAT THE INCREASED ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS WERE ERRONEOUS WAS AFFIRMED IN DECISION B 86001/1), I- 17000-981, DATED OCTOBER 28, 1953, BECAUSE THE RECORD DID NOT SHOW THAT THE PARENTS' INCOME OF $129 A MONTH WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO PROVIDE THEM WITH MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THEIR LIVING EXPENSES.

AMONG THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH THE LETTER OF APRIL 21, 1955, ARE LETTERS AND AFFIDAVITS FROM THE OFFICER AND OTHERS AND A CERTIFIED STATEMENT OF CHECKS DRAWN BY THE OFFICER DURING THE YEARS 1947 AND 1948. THE GIST OF THE OFFICER'S LETTERS AND AFFIDAVITS IS THAT THE PARENTS' LIVING EXPENSES AND HER CONTRIBUTIONS WERE UNDERESTIMATED. THE OTHER LETTERS AND AFFIDAVITS ARE GENERAL IN NATURE AND TO THE SAME EFFECT AND IN SOME CASES RELATE TO FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH OCCURRED EITHER PRIOR OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE PERIOD THE INCREASED ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS WERE MADE. WHILE THE OFFICER HAS ATTEMPTED TO ESTABLISH THAT SHE WAS THE CHIEF SUPPORT OF HER MOTHER AND LATER THAT SHE WAS THE CHIEF SUPPORT OF BOTH PARENTS BY A SHOWING THAT THE AMOUNT OF HER CONTRIBUTIONS AND THE AMOUNT OF THEIR LIVING EXPENSES WERE GREATER THAN ORIGINALLY STATED ON HER CERTIFICATES OF DEPENDENCY, NEITHER THE AMOUNT OF HER CONTRIBUTIONS NOR THE AMOUNT OF THEIR LIVING EXPENSES CAN BE DEFINITELY ASCERTAINED FROM THE EVIDENCE NOW OF RECORD.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE AN OFFICER'S MOTHER AND FATHER LIVED TOGETHER DURING THE PERIOD THE INCREASED ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS WERE MADE, THE MOTHER'S DEPENDENCY STATUS MUST BE CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF THE FAMILY UNIT AND THE FAMILY INCOME MUST BE CONSIDERED AS A GENERAL FUND FOR THE SUPPORT OF BOTH PARENTS. HENCE, WHILE AN OFFICER MAY CLAIM INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF EITHER, OR BOTH, PARENTS, NEITHER MAY BE CONSIDERED AS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT WHERE THE FAMILY INCOME IS MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE LIVING EXPENSES OF THE FAMILY UNIT. ALSO, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE FACT THAT AN OFFICER'S MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION IS IN EXCESS OF THE PARENT'S INDEPENDENT INCOME DOES NOT OF ITSELF ESTABLISH THAT THE PARENT IS ACTUALLY DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT; IT MUST BE SHOWN THAT THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTION WAS REQUIRED FOR THE PARENT'S NECESSARY AND PROPER SUPPORT AND CONSTITUTED THE PARENT'S CHIEF SUPPORT. WHITING V. UNITED STATES, 80 C.CLS. 662; ODLIN V. UNITED STATES, 74 ID. 633, 638.

UNDER THOSE RULES, AND EVEN GIVING THE OFFICER THE BENEFIT OF HER CONTENTIONS THAT HER CONTRIBUTIONS AVERAGED $210 A MONTH AND THAT HER PARENTS' LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGED $240 A MONTH, THE RECORD NEVERTHELESS FAILS TO ESTABLISH THAT EITHER PARENT WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT REGARDLESS OF THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF HER CONTRIBUTION, SINCE THE PARENTS' INCOME OF $129 A MONTH WOULD BE MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THEIR AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES AS NOW ALLEGED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO BASIS IS FOUND FOR CHANGING THE CONCLUSIONS REACHED IN OUR ORIGINAL REPORT OR IN THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 28, 1953, THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE STATUTE DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1947, TO JUNE 30, 1949. ACCORDINGLY, FURTHER CONSIDERATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WITH A VIEW TO RECOVERY OF THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS MADE TO COMMANDER LEIK AND INFORMATION AS TO THE ANY COLLECTIONS WILL BE APPRECIATED.