ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE
The term commuted rations/basic allowance for
subsistence (BAS) is defined as a cash allowance
payable to enlisted personnel who are permitted to mess
separately in lieu of rations-in-kind when messing
facilities are available.
Each month the mess treasurer submits a list of
enlisted personnel subsisted in the mess on a locally
prepared form in triplicate to the disbursing officer. The
form will show the social security number, name, and
period subsisted if different than that stated for the
period reported for each member whose rations are
On the basis of the information furnished on the
locally prepared form, the disbursing officer prepares a
Public Voucher, Standard Form 1034, that supports
payment of enlisted personnel commuted rations to the
Rations commuted to the private mess are used only
for subsisting the enlisted personnel. Commuted rations
are not to be used in any manner whatsoever to support
members mess bills, increase the value of mess shares,
or any other mess operation except the direct cost of
feeding the enlisted personnel whose rations are
commuted to the mess.
Prenumbered receipts, issued in numerical
sequence, must be given for each payment of any kind
being received by a mess account. When prenumbered
receipts are not currently available in the supply system
they are to be procured locally. Plain receipts maybe
prenumbered using a numbering machine; however, if
this method is used, the numbering machine and all
unnumbered receipts must be in the custody of a person
not receiving cash into the mess account. Duplicate
copies are to be retained by the mess treasurer for 3
years, and each numbered receipt must be accounted for.
A receipt should be obtained from each member at the
time a mess rebate is paid to the individual.
Normally, a safe is provided for the mess treasurer.
when provided, it should be located in a place where
adequate security can be maintained. If a safe is not
available, the funds must be placed with the disbursing
officer for safekeeping.
When practical, messes should establish bank
Normally, the maximum amount of cash
funds that the mess treasurer is authorized to have on
hand is established by the commanding officer. A
separate bank account should be established for each
mess aboard ship. Joint accounts are prohibited.
When petty cash funds are provided to an MS or a
mess member to make purchases for the mess, a
memorandum cash receipt must be issued and
maintained by the mess treasurer as cash on hand. This
receipt is held until it is replaced by a cash register tape
receipt or similar type of document that substantiates the
expenditure and any cash change totaling the entire
amount of the funds issued.
Checks and Bank Statements
Canceled checks support payments for purchases
and other expenditures of the mess. They must be
retained and filed so as to be readily available to auditing
and inspecting officers. Bank balances support entries
of cash assets in mess accounts.
Control of Safe Combinations
Every person responsible for mess funds must be
provided with a safe or a separate locked compartment
in a large safe.
The rules in the Navy Comptroller
Manual, volume 4, are applicable. One important rule
is that the responsible individual is not to reveal the
combination of the safe to any person. Placing the
combination in a sealed envelope to be kept in the
custody of the commanding officer or any other officer
is prohibited. Safe combinations must be changed every
6 months and whenever a new custodian takes over.
Control of Keys
To pinpoint responsibility, it is essential that only
one person has an active key to any storerooms or other
secured spaces. If considered necessary, a duplicate key
may be placed in a sealed envelope in the mess
treasurerss safe or inside a glass-fronted, locked
In the absence of the custodian for a
particular store or storage space, emergency entrance
may be accomplished by the mess treasurer who should
open the storeroom or space in the presence of two
witnesses. After entry, the space is to be sealed, in the
presence of the two witnesses, until the custodian
All provisions on hand that have been procured
from mess funds are inventoried on the last day of each
month. The inventory is taken by the mess treasurer and