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WILL BE CONSIDERED "FIELD DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACTS OF JUNE 10. IS MODIFIED TO THE EXTENT THAT CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS FOR ANY SUCH PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1. 1942) WHICH ARE OTHERWISE CORRECT AND IN CONSONANCE WITH PRIOR DECISIONS ON THE SUBJECT. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12. AS FOLLOWS: "REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30. ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITHIN OR WITHOUT CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES DURING THE PRESENT WAR EMERGENCY ARE TO BE CONSIDERED IN A FIELD DUTY STATUS FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCE PURPOSES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1 (C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 4063 OF AUGUST 13.

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B-24826, NOVEMBER 20, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 487

RENTAL ALLOWANCE - OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS ON DUTY WITH TROOPS DECISION B-24826, OCTOBER 30, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 420, TO THE EFFECT THAT ALL DUTY OF OFFICERS WITH TROOPS FROM AND AFTER DECEMBER 7, 1941, WHETHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE CONSIDERED "FIELD DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACTS OF JUNE 10, 1922, AS AMENDED, AND JUNE 16, 1942, RESPECTIVELY, PROHIBITING PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE TO OFFICERS, HAVING NO DEPENDENTS, WHILE ON FIELD DUTY, IS MODIFIED TO THE EXTENT THAT CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS FOR ANY SUCH PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1943 ( MARCH 1, 1943--- SEE UNPUBLISHED DECISION B-24826, DECEMBER 24, 1942) WHICH ARE OTHERWISE CORRECT AND IN CONSONANCE WITH PRIOR DECISIONS ON THE SUBJECT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, NOVEMBER 20, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

"REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, B-24826, RELATIVE TO THE QUESTION WHETHER OFFICERS OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS, WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITHIN OR WITHOUT CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES DURING THE PRESENT WAR EMERGENCY ARE TO BE CONSIDERED IN A FIELD DUTY STATUS FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCE PURPOSES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1 (C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 4063 OF AUGUST 13, 1924.

IN THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, B- 24826, IN CONSTRUING THE TERM "FIELD DUTY" AS USED IN SECTION 6 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, APPROVED JUNE 16, 1942 ( PUBLIC LAW 607 - 77TH CONGRESS), IT WAS HELD THAT "PRIMA FACIE ALL DUTY WITH TROOPS, WHETHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE UNITED STATES DURING THIS GLOBAL WAR IS FIELD DUTY," AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ACCORDINGLY WAS ADVISED THAT---

"IN THE AUDIT AND SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS AND CLAIMS IN THIS OFFICE ( GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE) ALL SERVICE WITH TROOPS, WHETHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS FIELD DUTY FROM AND AFTER DECEMBER 7, 1941.'

IN THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY OF APRIL 18, 1942, A-95642 AND A-44001, WHICH CONSIDERED THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT OF CERTAIN OFFICERS, WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, WHILE ACTUALLY OCCUPYING PUBLIC QUARTERS REFERRED TO AS "BUNK SPACE," IT WAS HELD THAT, IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS AS PRESENTED BY THE COMMANDANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WOULD NOT DISALLOW CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT INTERPRETATION FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1942, WHICH DATE WAS FIXED TO PERMIT AMPLE TIME TO NOTIFY DISBURSING OFFICERS AND OTHERS CONCERNED THAT OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS OCCUPYING "BUNK SPACE" AND OTHERWISE QUARTERED IN PUBLIC QUARTERS WERE NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE. IN THE TEXT OF THE DECISION IT IS STATED THAT "THE TERM "RENTAL ALLOWANCE" CONNOTES A MONEY ALLOWANCE PAID TO AN OFFICER TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR MONEY EXPENDED FOR RENT.'

DURING THE PERIOD FROM AND AFTER DECEMBER 8, 1941, TO OCTOBER 31, 1942, OFFICERS, WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, ON DUTY AT STATIONS WHERE NO PUBLIC QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE FOR THEIR OCCUPANCY AND NONE WERE ASSIGNED, HAVE BEEN REQUIRED, THROUGH NECESSITY, TO PROVIDE THEMSELVES WITH SUITABLE PRIVATE QUARTERS AND HAVE BEEN PUT TO AN EXPENSE FOR THE HIRE OF SUCH PRIVATE QUARTERS. THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, NOW HOLDS THAT THESE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN ON "FIELD DUTY" FROM AND AFTER DECEMBER 8, 1941, AND THEREFORE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE FOR ANY PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO DECEMBER 7, 1941, WHILE ON DUTY WITH TROOPS. IT IS BELIEVED YOU WILL AGREE THAT TO CHECK THE PAY ACCOUNTS OF THESE OFFICERS FOR PAYMENTS OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE OVER SUCH A LONG PERIOD, DURING WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN OBLIGED TO PROVIDE THEMSELVES WITH QUARTERS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, WOULD BE A PALPABLE INJUSTICE.

IT IS PERTINENT TO POINT OUT AT THIS TIME THAT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT'S REQUEST FOR YOUR DECISION IN THIS MATTER WAS DATED MARCH 24, 1942, WHEREAS THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION THEREON WAS NOT RENDERED UNTIL OCTOBER 30, 1942, A PERIOD OF MORE THAN SEVEN MONTHS DURING WHICH THE OFFICERS CONCERNED WERE CREDITED WITH RENTAL ALLOWANCE.

UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, IF, FOR EXAMPLE, AN OFFICER OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WITHOUT DEPENDENTS IS NOW REQUIRED TO REFUND RENTAL ALLOWANCE PAID TO HIM FOR THE PERIOD FROM AND AFTER DECEMBER 8, 1941, TO AND INCLUDING OCTOBER 31, 1942, IT WILL MEAN THAT EACH SUCH OFFICER WILL BE REQUIRED TO REFUND AT LEAST $455.67, WHICH AMOUNT WILL BE INCREASED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVANCED RANK OF THE OFFICER CONCERNED. MOREOVER, SOME OF THE AFFECTED OFFICERS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN ACTION AND SETTLEMENTS HAVE EITHER BEEN MADE WITH THE HEIRS OR ARE NOW BEING PROCESSED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. OBVIOUSLY, THESE OVERPAYMENTS CANNOT NOW BE COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS INVOLVED.

THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, B 24826, IS SO COMPREHENSIVE AND FAR-REACHING THAT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE WITH ANY DEGREE OF ACCURACY UNDER JUST WHAT CONDITIONS OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS NOT OCCUPYING PUBLIC QUARTERS WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE. IN ORDER THAT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT MAY HAVE SUFFICIENT TIME FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE GENERAL QUESTION OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, IT IS MOST STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU ALLOW CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS FOR PAYMENTS OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE TO OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREIN SET FORTH TO AND INCLUDING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 1942. THIS RECOMMENDATION IS OBVIOUSLY NECESSITATED BY THE FACT THAT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AT THE PRESENT TIME IS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT PUBLIC QUARTERS IN WHICH TO HOUSE BACHELOR OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, ON DUTY WITH TROOPS, BOTH WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE UNITED STATES, AND, IN VIEW OF THE SITUATION WHICH THUS CONFRONTS THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, THIS RECOMMENDATION IS MOST URGENT. FOR THIS REASON IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU GIVE THIS MATTER IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION AND ADVISE ME OF YOUR DECISION THEREON AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE.

THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1942, B-24826, 22 COMP. GEN. 420, REFERRED TO BY YOU, WAS BASED ON CONSIDERATIONS ARISING FROM THE PRESENT WAR SEEMING TO REQUIRE A BROADER CONCEPT OF THE TERM "FIELD DUTY," AS USED IN THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE STATUTES, THAN THERETOFORE APPLIED. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS, OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER, MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1943, TO OFFICERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, WHERE IT IS FOUND THAT SUCH PAYMENTS ARE IN CONSONANCE WITH THE PRIOR DECISIONS ON THE SUBJECT.

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