2002 Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS)
in Kind Not Available)
There are several
important changes in the way BAS is managed in FY 2002:
and foremost, under previous law, BAS was paid only when individuals
were officially allowed (for various reasons) to eat their meals outside
of the military dining facilities (chow halls). Those required to eat
meals in the dining facilities (usually, single enlisted, living on-base)
received a "partial allowance" of about $25.80 per month.
Under new procedures, all enlisted and officers receive full-rate BAS,
after initial entry training (boot camp and follow-on schooling). However,
for those required to consume meals in the dining facilities, most of
the BAS will be automatically deducted from their paychecks, resulting
in those members still only receiving about $26.00 each month. There
are plans (for the future) to only deduct the cost of meals actually
consumed in the dining facilities, but that is likely several years
in the future (for the present time, DOD depends on the fact that members
required to consume meals in the dining facilities only eat an average
of 70 percent of their meals there, and purchase 30 percent of the meals
elsewhere. The services rely upon the difference to help balance their
members with less than 4 months of service used to be paid BAS at a
lower rate. The new law eliminates this difference.
1998, BAS annual increases have been limited, by law, to one percent.
This year's law eliminates that provision and ties BAS annual increases
to the inflation rate as measured by the Agriculture Department's Food
Cost Index (which, for 2002 is 3.71 percent).
the previous system, there was a little-used category known as "Emergency
Conditions Where No Government Dining Facilities Exist." This category
has been eliminated
- Also eliminated
by the new law is the "Rations in Kind Not Available." This
rate is payable when a member's duty or location prevents access to
government dining facilities. In 2001, it paid about $30.00 per month
more than the normal rate. However, DOD has elected to temporarily continue
this category, but will not allow its rate to increase. When the rate
of "normal" BAS exceeds the rate currently allowed under the
"Rations in Kind Not Available" category (probably about two
years from now), it will be permanently eliminated.
- BAS used
to be calculated on a daily basis. That means that a person who received
BAS got just a little bit more during months that had 31 days in them,
and a little bit less during the month of February (which has less than
30 days). Under the new procedures, BAS is a monthly set rate.
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