B-120170, JULY 18, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 23

B-120170: Jul 18, 1955

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QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - WIFE RESIDING IN QUARTERS OPERATED BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR ARMY OFFICER WHO OCCUPIED BACHELOR QUARTERS AT ARMY BASE WHERE WIFE WAS EMPLOYED BY A GOVERNMENT COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTOR AND OCCUPIED QUARTERS IN AN EMPLOYER-OPERATED DORMITORY FOR WHICH ONLY A NOMINAL SERVICE CHARGE WAS PAID IS NOT ENTITLED TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 9. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A DEPENDENCY CERTIFICATE. IT APPEARS THAT LIEUTENANT BRITAIN WAS STATIONED AT KEFLAVIK AIRPORT. THAT HIS WIFE WAS EMPLOYED AT KEFLAVIK AIRPORT BY A GOVERNMENT COST-PLUS-A-FIXED FEE CONTRACTOR FROM MAY 23.

B-120170, JULY 18, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 23

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - WIFE RESIDING IN QUARTERS OPERATED BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR ARMY OFFICER WHO OCCUPIED BACHELOR QUARTERS AT ARMY BASE WHERE WIFE WAS EMPLOYED BY A GOVERNMENT COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTOR AND OCCUPIED QUARTERS IN AN EMPLOYER-OPERATED DORMITORY FOR WHICH ONLY A NOMINAL SERVICE CHARGE WAS PAID IS NOT ENTITLED TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT.

TO CAPTAIN J. E. GIST, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, JULY 18, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 9, 1955, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A DEPENDENCY CERTIFICATE, ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER, ON WHICH FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM OLIVER BRITAIN, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, CLAIMS BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT WIFE, FOR THE PERIOD MAY 23, 1953, TO MARCH 5, 1954.

IT APPEARS THAT LIEUTENANT BRITAIN WAS STATIONED AT KEFLAVIK AIRPORT, ICELAND, FROM MARCH 16, 1953, TO MARCH 7, 1954; AND THAT HIS WIFE WAS EMPLOYED AT KEFLAVIK AIRPORT BY A GOVERNMENT COST-PLUS-A-FIXED FEE CONTRACTOR FROM MAY 23, 1953, TO MARCH 5, 1954. IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT DURING THAT PERIOD LIEUTENANT BRITAIN OCCUPIED BACHELOR OFFICER QUARTERS, AND HIS WIFE OCCUPIED QUARTERS IN A GIRLS' DORMITORY OPERATED BY HER EMPLOYER. ALSO, IT APPEARS THAT MRS. BRITAIN WAS EMPLOYED UNDER AN AGREEMENT PROVIDING THAT THERE WOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM PAYMENTS OTHERWISE DUE HER THE SUM OF NOT TO EXCEED $1.50 PER DAY ($1.20 FOR BOARD AND 30 CENTS FOR LODGING, HOSPITALIZATION, MEDICAL SERVICES, AND DENTAL CARE). THE CONTRACTOR'S RESIDENT AUDITOR IN ICELAND STATED THAT THE SUM OF NOT TO EXCEED 30 CENTS PER DAY, WHICH HE TERMED A "QUARTERS SERVICE CHARGE," ALSO INCLUDED THE FURNISHING OF LAUNDRY FACILITIES, FREE LAUNDRY OF SHEETS, AND DRY CLEANING OF BLANKETS.

SUBSECTION 302 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 37 U.S.C. 253, PROVIDES THAT:

EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, NO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS SHALL ACCRUE TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNED TO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, APPROPRIATE TO THEIR RANK, GRADE, OR RATING AND ADEQUATE FOR THEMSELVES AND DEPENDENTS, IF WITH DEPENDENTS.

IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 19, 1951, B-96991, REFERRED TO BY THE DEPUTY OF FINANCE IN HIS LETTER FORWARDING YOUR REQUEST, IT WAS STATED- - AFTER DISCUSSION OF THE ABOVE SUBSECTION AND OF EARLIER DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE UNDER SIMILAR LEGISLATION--- THAT:

* * * RENTAL AND QUARTERS ALLOWANCES, ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS, ARE NOT PAYABLE TO MILITARY AND NAVAL PERSONNEL FURNISHED QUARTERS FOR THEMSELVES IF THE DEPENDENTS ACTUALLY OCCUPY GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED QUARTERS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN A FORMAL ASSIGNMENT TO SUCH QUARTERS, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE OCCUPIED QUARTERS ARE CONSIDERED "ADEQUATE"- -- UNLESS OCCUPANCY IS ON A RENTAL BASIS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, OR IS ON A QUASI/RENT BASIS INCIDENT TO THE DEPENDENT'S EMPLOYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT IN A CIVILIAN CAPACITY * * *.

PARAGRAPH 20226, AIR FORCE MANUAL 173-20, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

THE TERM "QUARTERS" MEANS ANY SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION OWNED OR LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING DORMITORIES OR SIMILAR FACILITIES OPERATED BY COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTORS, WHETHER OR NOT A SERVICE CHARGE IS PAID. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

MRS. BRITAIN OCCUPIED QUARTERS IN A DORMITORY OPERATED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BY HER EMPLOYER, A COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTOR. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT ANY PORTION OF THE 30 CENTS PER DAY WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN INCIDENT TO HER LODGING WAS NOTHING BUT A SERVICE CHARGE, AS DENOMINATED BY THE CONTRACTOR'S AUDITOR. THIS CASE SEEMS TO FALL SQUARELY WITHIN THE DEFINITION GIVEN ABOVE AND LIEUTENANT BRITAIN IS NOT ENTITLED, DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS CLAIM, TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE DEPENDENCY CERTIFICATE, WHICH WILL BE RETAINED HERE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

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