Skip to Highlights
Highlights

THE COAST GUARD: WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM R. WHOSE NAMES WERE FORMERLY FRANKLIN A. JOHNSON AND WHO HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE MEMBER. WAS BASED ON SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950. THAT IS. WHETHER THE TWO CHILDREN WERE THE LEGALLY ADOPTED CHILDREN OF SUCH ENLISTED MAN. COAST GUARD ACTIVITIES ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE. CRABE THAT WE ARE PRECLUDED FROM MAKING ANY DETERMINATION OF THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE ENLISTED MEMBER TO INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS. IT IS CONSIDERED INADVISABLE AT THIS TIME TO FORMULATE A GENERAL RULE IN ADOPTION CASES. MAY BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION. * * YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT THE DECISION OF JANUARY 2. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT OUR OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO MAKE DETERMINATION OF DEPENDENCY OF RELATIONSHIP IN SUCH CASES.

View Decision

B-149153, SEP. 23, 1963

TO THE COMMANDANT, THE COAST GUARD:

WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM R. H. MILLS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, U.S. COAST GUARD, VIA YOUR OFFICE, A LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1963, FP-2 WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING THAT A DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENT BE MADE ON THE CLAIM OF CHIEF YEOMAN ALGIRDAS W. SEBESTINAS, 317-160, U.S. COAST GUARD, FOR INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 18, 1962, TO DECEMBER 31, 1962, IN THE AMOUNT OF $166.98, ON ACCOUNT OF TWO MINOR CHILDREN, WHOSE NAMES WERE FORMERLY FRANKLIN A. JOHNSON AND PATRICIA A. JOHNSON AND WHO HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE MEMBER.

SUCH LETTER, IN EFFECT, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY US IN THIS CASE IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 18, 1962, B-149153, TO MR. T. C. CRABE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, U.S. COAST GUARD, REGARDING THE MEMBER'S CLAIM FOR INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 19, 1962, TO MAY 31, 1962, ON ACCOUNT OF THE TWO MINOR CHILDREN WHO HAD NOT THEN BEEN ADOPTED BY THE MEMBER.

THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 18, 1962, WAS BASED ON SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, CH. 922, 64 STAT. 794, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1950, WHICH PROVIDE THAT ALL DETERMINATIONS INCLUDING DETERMINATIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATIONSHIP, INCIDENT TO THE PAYMENT OF THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS BY REASON OF DEPENDENTS OF ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, SHALL BE MADE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED OR BY SUCH OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, AND THAT ANY DETERMINATION MADE THEREUNDER SHALL BE FINAL AND EXCLUSIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW IN ANY COURT OR BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT FOR CASES INVOLVING FRAUD OR NEGLIGENCE. SINCE THE MATTER PRESENTED INVOLVED A DETERMINATION OF "RELATIONSHIP" TO AN ENLISTED MAN UNDER THE CITED STATUTE, THAT IS, WHETHER THE TWO CHILDREN WERE THE LEGALLY ADOPTED CHILDREN OF SUCH ENLISTED MAN, AND SINCE THE DETERMINATIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OR HIS DESIGNEE ON SUCH MATTERS ARISING UNDER U.S. COAST GUARD ACTIVITIES ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE, WE ADVISED MR. CRABE THAT WE ARE PRECLUDED FROM MAKING ANY DETERMINATION OF THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE ENLISTED MEMBER TO INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS.

MR. MILLS HAS FURNISHED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THIS MATTER AND HE APPEARS TO REGARD THE FOLLOWING HOLDING IN OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 2, 1958, B-134206, 37 COMP. GEN. 451, 455, AS AUTHORITY FOR OUR CONSIDERATION OF THE LEGAL QUESTION INVOLVED:

"IN VIEW OF THE DIVERSITY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ADOPTION LAWS OF THE VARIOUS JURISDICTIONS, IT IS CONSIDERED INADVISABLE AT THIS TIME TO FORMULATE A GENERAL RULE IN ADOPTION CASES. ANY CASE INVOLVING A QUESTION AS TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ENTITLEMENT TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS WHERE A MEMBER ACQUIRES A DEPENDENT BY VIRTUE OF AN INTERLOCUTORY ORDER OR DECREE OF ADOPTION, HOWEVER, MAY BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION. * *

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT THE DECISION OF JANUARY 2, 1958, CONSIDERED THE RIGHTS OF OFFICERS, NOT ENLISTED MEN. IN VIEW OF THE CLEAR PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF THE 1950 ACT WHICH AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNEE TO MAKE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE DETERMINATIONS OF QUESTIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND OF RELATIONSHIP WHICH ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO ALL ENLISTED MEMBERS AS AUTHORIZED BY THAT ACT, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT OUR OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION TO MAKE DETERMINATION OF DEPENDENCY OF RELATIONSHIP IN SUCH CASES. SEE OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 11, 1951, B- 90615, 30 COMP. GEN. 282, AND JUNE 3, 1954, B-119491. COMPARE PARAGRAPH 1A, ENCLOSURE (1), U.S. COAST GUARD PERSONNEL INSTRUCTION NO. 7220.3.

THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 18, 1962, WAS CORRECT AND THE CLAIM OF MR. SEBESTINAS IS THEREFORE TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION.

GAO Contacts