B-86001/D), I-17000-2880, DEC. 28, 1955

B-86001/D): Dec 28, 1955

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 16. WHICH WERE QUESTIONED IN A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION TRANSMITTED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2. THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES WERE FROM $80 TO $100 A MONTH. THE CHIEF OF FINANCE REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER IN VIEW OF THE OFFICER'S CONTENTION RESPECTING THE EARLIER PERIOD THAT HIS CONTRIBUTIONS AND HIS MOTHER'S LIVING EXPENSES WERE UNDERESTIMATED AT THE TIME OF OUR INVESTIGATION IN THAT CONSIDERATION WAS NOT GIVEN (1) TO MONEY ORDER REMITTANCES OF BETWEEN $100 AND $150 A MONTH IN ADDITION TO AN $80 MONTHLY ALLOTMENT FROM HIS PAY AND (2) ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $1. ANOTHER INVESTIGATION WAS MADE.

B-86001/D), I-17000-2880, DEC. 28, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 16, 1954, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, CONCERNING INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PAYMENT MADE TO FIRST LIEUTENANT JOSEPH R. DEL CALDO, O 1308420, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT MOTHER DURING THE PERIODS FEBRUARY 1, 1944, TO DECEMBER 18, 1945, AND JULY 16 TO OCTOBER 19, 1951, WHICH WERE QUESTIONED IN A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION TRANSMITTED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1953.

FOR THE EARLIER PERIOD THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATES OF DEPENDENCY SHOWED THAT HE CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER VARIOUSLY FROM $80 TO $100 A MONTH; THAT SHE HAD NO INCOME FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE; AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES WERE FROM $80 TO $100 A MONTH. FOR THE LATER PERIOD HE CERTIFIED THAT HE CONTRIBUTED $125 A MONTH TO THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER; THAT SHE HAD NO INCOME FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE; AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGED $125 A MONTH.

OUR INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH THE MOTHER (THE OFFICER BEING PRESENT A PART OF THE TIME), DISCLOSED THAT DURING THE EARLIER PERIOD THE OFFICERS' CONTRIBUTIONS AVERAGED 50 A MONTH; THE MOTHER'S INCOME AVERAGED $173 A MONTH, AND HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGED $216 A MONTH. FOR THE LATER PERIOD THE INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THAT THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTION AVERAGED $80 A MONTH; THE MOTHER'S INCOME AVERAGED $236 A MONTH; AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGED $209 A MONTH.

THE CHIEF OF FINANCE REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER IN VIEW OF THE OFFICER'S CONTENTION RESPECTING THE EARLIER PERIOD THAT HIS CONTRIBUTIONS AND HIS MOTHER'S LIVING EXPENSES WERE UNDERESTIMATED AT THE TIME OF OUR INVESTIGATION IN THAT CONSIDERATION WAS NOT GIVEN (1) TO MONEY ORDER REMITTANCES OF BETWEEN $100 AND $150 A MONTH IN ADDITION TO AN $80 MONTHLY ALLOTMENT FROM HIS PAY AND (2) ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $1,790, REPRESENTING THE COST OF MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS TO HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE DURING THAT PERIOD.

AFTER RECEIPT OF THE LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1954, ANOTHER INVESTIGATION WAS MADE. THE OFFICER NOW CONTENDS THAT DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1944, TO DECEMBER 18, 1945, HE CONTRIBUTED $185 A MONTH TO THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER BY MEANS OF AN $85 MONTHLY ALLOTMENT FROM HIS PAY PLUS ADDITIONAL REMITTANCES AVERAGING $100 A MONTH (THREE OR FOUR $100 MONEY ORDERS AT A TIME). (ALTHOUGH THE OFFICER ALLEGES HE HAD AN ALLOTMENT OF $85 A MONTH, ONLY $80 WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS PAY FOR THE ALLOTMENT). BE ALSO CONTENDS THAT THE COST OF MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS TO THE MOTHER'S HOUSE DURING THAT PERIOD AMOUNTED TO $2,937, RATHER THAN $1,790, AS ALLEGED WHEN THE SETTLEMENTS DIVISION, ARMY FINANCE CENTER, MADE DEMAND ON HIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS. THE OFFICER HAS NOT SUBSTANTIATED HIS ALLEGED ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND THE EXPENDITURE OF ONLY $1,637 OF THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLEGED ADDITIONAL EXPENSES IS SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS. NEITHER HAS THE OFFICER EXPLAINED THE DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE STATEMENTS ON HIS CERTIFICATES OF DEPENDENCY (WHEN HE WAS RECEIVING THE ALLOWANCES) AND HIS PREVIOUS AND PRESENT CONTENTIONS CONCERNING THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER AND THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF HER LIVING EXPENSES. ON THIS RECORD THE OFFICER NOW INSISTS THAT DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1944, TO DECEMBER 18, 1945, HIS MOTHER WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR CHIEF SUPPORT, SINCE HIS ALLEGED AVERAGE MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION OF $185 WAS MORE THAN ONE-HALF, AND HER UNDISPUTED AVERAGE MONTHLY INCOME OF $173 WAS LESS THAN ONE-HALF, OF HER ALLEGED AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES OF $352 (COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF THE CLAIMED ADDITIONAL EXPENSES OF $2,937). SINCE DURING THAT PERIOD THE OFFICER CURRENTLY CERTIFIED AT VARIOUS TIMES THAT HE WAS CONTRIBUTING ONLY $80 TO $100 A MONTH TO THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGED BETWEEN $80 AND $100 A MONTH, AND SINCE ONLY $1,637 OF THE CLAIMED ADDITIONAL EXPENSES CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED, HIS PRESENT SELF-SERVING STATEMENTS AS TO THE AMOUNT OF HIS CONTRIBUTIONS AND THE AMOUNT OF HER LIVING EXPENSES DO NOT APPEAR TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO CONTROVERT HIS PRIOR CERTIFICATES (EXCEPT INSOFAR AS THE LIVING EXPENSES CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED), IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR CORROBORATING EVIDENCE OF SUCH CONTRIBUTIONS AND ADDITIONAL EXPENSES, SUCH AS MONEY ORDER RECEIPTS OR RECEIPTED BILLS. MOREOVER, SINCE THE UNDISPUTED AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF THE MOTHER'S INCOME WOULD BE MORE THAN HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF HER ADJUSTED AVERAGE MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES (INCLUDING THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF THE SUBSTANTIATED PORTION OF THE ALLEGED ADDITIONAL EXPENSES), THE CLAIMED DEPENDENCY WOULD NOT BE ESTABLISHED REGARDLESS OF THE AVERAGE MONTHLY AMOUNT OF THE OFFICER'S CONTRIBUTION. HENCE, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE PRESENT RECORD DOES NOT WARRANT CHANGING THE DETERMINATION IN OUR REPORT OF INVESTIGATION THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1944, TO DECEMBER 18, 1945.

WE WILL APPRECIATE INFORMATION AS TO THE AMOUNTS COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON ACCOUNT OF THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS MADE TO LIEUTENANT DEL CALDO.

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, 64 STAT. 794, NO DETERMINATION IS MADE HEREIN CONCERNING THE INCREASED ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS MADE TO THE OFFICER AFTER JULY 31, 1950. SEE 30 COMP. GEN. 282.

THE ENCLOSURES WITH THE LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE ARE RETURNED.