B-146800 L/M, AUG 7, 1963

B-146800 L/M: Aug 7, 1963

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: ENCLOSED ARE 20 COPIES OF OUR REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON UNJUSTIFIED COST- OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES PAID IN THE ALASKAN COMMAND TO MILITARY PERSONNEL NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS. 000 WERE MADE DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 1. THE PAYMENTS TO COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WERE MADE ON THE BASIS THAT ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE WHEN. EXISTING MILITARY DINING HALLS WERE ADEQUATE TO SERVE BOTH OFFICER AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL. ARMY NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO WERE RESIDING IN BACHELOR ENLISTED QUARTERS WERE AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY. CONTINUATION OF THESE COST-OF- LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO OFFICER AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL WILL RESULT IN THE QUESTIONABLE EXPENDITURE OF APPROXIMATELY $241.

B-146800 L/M, AUG 7, 1963

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

ENCLOSED ARE 20 COPIES OF OUR REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON UNJUSTIFIED COST- OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES PAID IN THE ALASKAN COMMAND TO MILITARY PERSONNEL NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS.

OUR EXAMINATION DISCLOSED THAT COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS APPROXIMATING $355,000 WERE MADE DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 1, 1959, TO JUNE 30, 1962, TO COMMISSIONED AND NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER PERSONNEL UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES THAT DID NOT JUSTIFY SUCH PAYMENTS. THE PAYMENTS TO COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WERE MADE ON THE BASIS THAT ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE WHEN, IN FACT, EXISTING MILITARY DINING HALLS WERE ADEQUATE TO SERVE BOTH OFFICER AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL. ARMY NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO WERE RESIDING IN BACHELOR ENLISTED QUARTERS WERE AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY, MERELY ON THE BASIS OF SUCH RESIDENCY, AND TO RECEIVE COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS IN ADDITION TO THEIR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE. CONTINUATION OF THESE COST-OF- LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO OFFICER AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL WILL RESULT IN THE QUESTIONABLE EXPENDITURE OF APPROXIMATELY $241,000 ANNUALLY.

IN JANUARY 1963 WE PROPOSED TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE THAT A REVIEW BE MADE BY THE MAJOR COMMANDS IN ALASKA TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE COST-OF- LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS THEN BEING MADE WERE WARRANTED. WE ALSO PROPOSED THAT PAYMENTS FOUND TO BE UNJUSTIFIED BE DISCONTINUED. SUGGESTED THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS BE TAKEN TO PRESCRIBE UNIFORM CRITERIA TO BE CONSIDERED BY LOCAL COMMANDERS PRIOR TO APPROVAL OF COST OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES AND THAT APPROPRIATE REVIEW AND SURVEILLANCE OF THESE LOCAL DETERMINATIONS BE EXERCISED AT THE PROPER COMMAND LEVEL.

IN COMMENTING ON OUR PROPOSALS THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (MANPOWER) STATED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY INFORMED ITS COMMANDS IN MARCH 1963 THAT ENLISTED MEMBERS WHO WERE NOT ACCOMPANIED BY THEIR DEPENDENTS WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED A COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE WHERE ENLISTED MESSES WERE AVAILABLE. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS ACTION BY THE ARMY WILL RESULT IN THE ELIMINATION OF AUTHORIZATIONS TO MESS SEPARATELY FOR THOSE ENLISTED MEN LIVING IN BACHELOR ENLISTED QUARTERS IN ALASKA, AND OTHER OVERSEAS AREAS, AND IN THE TERMINATION OF COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS OF APPROXIMATELY $54,000 ANNUALLY IN THE ALASKAN COMMAND. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE ALASKAN COMMAND HAD DIRECTED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CRITERIA FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES IN AUTHORIZING COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES TO THEIR MEMBERS.

WITH RESPECT TO OUR FINDING THAT THERE WERE ADEQUATE MESSING FACILITIES AT AIR FORCE AND ARMY INSTALLATIONS IN ALASKA TO PROVIDE SEPARATE SERVICE TO ALL COMMISSIONED AND NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO WERE BEING PAID COST- OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CONTENDED THAT THE CONTINUED ASSOCIATION OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEMBERS IN ENLISTED MESSES WAS CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICES. WE BELIEVE THAT, WITH RESPECT TO THE MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN THE ALASKAN COMMAND, SATISFACTORY PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE TO RESERVE CERTAIN DINING AREAS IN ENLISTED PERSONNEL DINING HALLS FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF OFFICER PERSONNEL. SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT SHOULD NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICES AND COULD BE EXPECTED TO RESULT IN CONSIDERABLE SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT. WE ARE, THEREFORE, RECOMMENDING TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE THAT HE RECONSIDER BOTH THE FEASIBILITY AND DESIRABILITY OF ESTABLISHING ACCEPTABLE SEPARATE MESSING FACILITIES FOR OFFICERS IN THOSE ENLISTED MESS HALLS WHERE THE PHYSICAL FACILITIES READILY LEND THEMSELVES TO SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT.