B-176918, NOV 14, 1972

B-176918: Nov 14, 1972

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ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY A MEMBER BY VIRTUE OF THE BREACH OF A CONTRACT BY A LOCAL ELECTRIC COMPANY TO SUPPLY ELECTRICITY TO THE MEMBER ARE NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN LAW WHICH WOULD ALLOW A MEMBER UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES TO RECEIVE MORE THAN THE NORMAL BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS. ROBINSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28. WHILE YOU WERE OCCUPYING PERMANENT HOUSING IN NAPLES. WE ARE CONSIDERING YOUR LETTER AS AN APPEAL FROM THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION DATED JULY 7. YOU WERE GRANTED TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR YOURSELF AND TWO DEPENDENTS UNTIL APRIL 5. THE ELECTRIC POWER WAS NOT TURNED ON UNTIL MAY 11.

B-176918, NOV 14, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - OTHER THAN NORMAL LIVING EXPENSES - BREACH OF PRIVATE CONTRACT DECISION AFFIRMING DENIAL OF THE CLAIM OF WALTER A. ROBINSON FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHER THAN NORMAL LIVING EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 5 THROUGH MAY 11, 1971, WHILE OCCUPYING PERMANENT HOUSING IN NAPLES, ITALY. ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY A MEMBER BY VIRTUE OF THE BREACH OF A CONTRACT BY A LOCAL ELECTRIC COMPANY TO SUPPLY ELECTRICITY TO THE MEMBER ARE NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO PROVISION IN LAW WHICH WOULD ALLOW A MEMBER UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES TO RECEIVE MORE THAN THE NORMAL BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS.

TO WALTER A. ROBINSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28, 1972, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $574.00 FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF "OTHER THAN NORMAL LIVING EXPENSES" FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 5 THROUGH MAY 11, 1971, WHILE YOU WERE OCCUPYING PERMANENT HOUSING IN NAPLES, ITALY. WE ARE CONSIDERING YOUR LETTER AS AN APPEAL FROM THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION DATED JULY 7, 1972, WHICH DENIED YOUR CLAIM.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT UPON YOUR ARRIVAL IN NAPLES, ITALY, YOU WERE GRANTED TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR YOURSELF AND TWO DEPENDENTS UNTIL APRIL 5, 1971, WHEN YOU MOVED INTO PERMANENT HOUSING.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU CONTACTED THE ELECTRIC COMPANY (ENEL IN GUIGLIANO) TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR IT TO FURNISH ELECTRICITY TO YOU. ON APRIL 6, 1971, YOU PAID THE COMPANY A DEPOSIT ON THE ELECTRIC CONTRACT. FOR REASONS UNKNOWN, THE ELECTRIC POWER WAS NOT TURNED ON UNTIL MAY 11, 1971. AS A RESULT, YOU SAY YOU INCURRED OTHER THAN NORMAL LIVING EXPENSES FOR WHICH YOU CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT.

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO FURNISH YOU ELECTRICITY WAS BASED ON A PRIVATE CONTRACT BETWEEN YOU AND THE ELECTRIC COMPANY. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WAS NOT A PARTY TO THAT CONTRACT. ACCORDINGLY ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES CAUSED BY THE FAILURE TO FURNISH YOU ELECTRICITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR CONTRACT WAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY AND NOT THE UNITED STATES. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE FAILURE OF A PRIVATE COMPANY TO FURNISH SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH A CONTRACT TO WHICH IT IS NOT A PARTY.

SECTION 405 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT WITHOUT REGARD TO THE MONETARY LIMITATIONS OF THIS TITLE, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM, CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, TO SUCH A MEMBER WHO IS ON DUTY OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT HE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS. A STATION HOUSING ALLOWANCE MAY BE PRESCRIBED UNDER THIS SECTION WITHOUT REGARD TO COSTS OTHER THAN HOUSING COSTS AND MAY CONSIST OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AND APPLICABLE HOUSING COSTS.

AS WAS STATED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 7, 1972, DENYING YOUR CLAIM, THERE IS NO PROVISION IN LAW THAT WE ARE AWARE OF WHICH WOULD ALLOW A MEMBER IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES MORE THAN THE APPLICABLE RATE OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, COMMUTED RATIONS AND COST OF LIVING AND HOUSING ALLOWANCES WHICH PRESUMABLY YOU WERE PAID AS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED.

REGARDING THE STATEMENT THAT ERRONEOUS INFORMATION GIVEN YOU BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CAUSED YOU TO STAY IN YOUR HOUSE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ANY MISTAKE OR FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO FURNISH PROPER ADVICE OR INFORMATION DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, FURNISH A LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW A CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM BY SETTLEMENT OF JULY 7, 1972, IS SUSTAINED.

AS REQUESTED WE ARE ENCLOSING COPIES OF THE DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR CLAIM.

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