A-11486, MARCH 25, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 759

A-11486: Mar 25, 1926

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THE REGULATIONS MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF FIXED MAXIMUM RATES THAT WERE TO BE ALLOWED FOR MEALS AND LODGING. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE OFFICERS FOR THE EXCESS COST OF LODGING INCURRED UNDER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS EITHER FROM THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION OR FROM THE APPROPRIATION . JONES AND MOSES WERE ASSIGNED TO SHORE PATROL DUTY AT RIO DE JANEIRO. REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE TO LIEUTENANT JONES AS PER SAID VOUCHER NO. 96. WHICH WAS AN AVERAGE OF $4.55 1/3 PER DAY EACH. IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION OF LIEUTENANT OVERAND'S ACCOUNTS $30.64 WAS SUSPENDED AS BEING IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF $2 PER DAY FOR LODGING AS FIXED BY THE REGULATIONS. MARYLAND ADVISED THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION THAT DUE TO THE FACT THE BRAZILIAN CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION WAS GOING ON AT THAT TIME.

A-11486, MARCH 25, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 759

SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS - OFFICERS OF NAVY ON SHORE PATROL AS THE APPROPRIATION "PAY MISCELLANEOUS" FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1923, ACT OF JULY 1, 1922, 42 STAT. 787, CONTAINED A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THE NAVY WHILE ON SHORE PATROL DUTY, AND THE REGULATIONS MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF FIXED MAXIMUM RATES THAT WERE TO BE ALLOWED FOR MEALS AND LODGING, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE OFFICERS FOR THE EXCESS COST OF LODGING INCURRED UNDER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS EITHER FROM THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION OR FROM THE APPROPRIATION ,CONTINGENT NAVY.'

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 25, 1926:

J. W. OVERAND, LIEUTENANT (SUPPLY CORPS), UNITED STATES NAVY, HAS APPLIED FOR REVISION OF SETTLEMENT NO. M-14614-N, DATED AUGUST 27, 1925, DISALLOWING $18.31 OF THE AMOUNT OF VOUCHER NO. 96, FIRST QUARTER 1923, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT TO LIEUT. C. H. JONES, UNITED STATES NAVY, SENIOR PATROL OFFICER, FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED FOR HIMSELF AND FOR LIEUT. (JUNIOR GRADE) W. M. MOSES, UNITED STATES NAVY, WHILE ON SHORE PATROL DUTY AT RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, SEPTEMBER 6 TO 11, 1922,AND $30.64, THE AMOUNT OF VOUCHER NO. 325, FOURTH QUARTER 1923, COVERING THE EXCESS COST INCURRED BY SAID OFFICERS FOR LODGING DURING SAID PERIOD.

IT APPEARS THAT BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 6, 1922, ISSUED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. MARYLAND, LIEUT. JONES AND MOSES WERE ASSIGNED TO SHORE PATROL DUTY AT RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL; THAT IN OBEDIENCE THERETO THEY LEFT THE SHIP 8 A.M. SEPTEMBER 6 AND RETURNED 11.30 A.M. SEPTEMBER 12, 1922. REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE TO LIEUTENANT JONES AS PER SAID VOUCHER NO. 96, FOR MEALS FOR SIX DAYS FOR THE TWO OFFICERS AMOUNTING TO $23.67, WHICH AVERAGED LESS THAN $1 PER MEAL, AND FOR LODGING FOR THE TWO OFFICERS AMOUNTING TO $54.64, WHICH WAS AN AVERAGE OF $4.55 1/3 PER DAY EACH.

IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION OF LIEUTENANT OVERAND'S ACCOUNTS $30.64 WAS SUSPENDED AS BEING IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF $2 PER DAY FOR LODGING AS FIXED BY THE REGULATIONS.

IN LETTER OF FEBRUARY 7, 1923, THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. MARYLAND ADVISED THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION THAT DUE TO THE FACT THE BRAZILIAN CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION WAS GOING ON AT THAT TIME, THE PRICES CHARGED FOR ROOMS WERE CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN UNDER ORDINARY CONDITIONS AND THAT THE EXPENDITURE FOR ROOMS, WHILE IN EXCESS OF THE REGULAR ALLOWANCE AS AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS, WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY HIM AS EXCESSIVE UNDER THE THEN EXISTING CONDITIONS AND AS THE OFFICERS CONCERNED HAD NO ALTERNATIVE OTHER THAN TO OBTAIN ROOMS AT THE PRICES CHARGED RECOMMENDED THAT THE FULL AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR LODGING BE AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE NAVY BY FOURTH INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 9, 1923, GRANTED AN ALLOTMENT OF $30.64 FROM THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT NAVY, 1923," TO COVER THE EXCESS COST IN QUESTION.

BY FIFTH INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 19, 1923, TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. MARYLAND, THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS GAVE THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

1. IN VIEW OF THE ALLOTMENT OF $30.64 UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT NAVY, 1923," GRANTED IN THE FOURTH INDORSEMENT, THE AMOUNT WHICH IS REPORTED AS DUE THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $30.64 IN THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION SHOULD BE PAID THESE OFFICERS ON THE PUBLIC BILL UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT NAVY, 1923.' REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE ON THE FACE OF THIS PUBLIC BILL TO THE PUBLIC BILL UNDER WHICH PAYMENT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE UNDER "PAY MISCELLANEOUS," AND COPIES OF THIS CORRESPONDENCE (ATTACHED HERETO) SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE ORIGINAL PUBLIC BILL. AFTER THIS PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE, THE CHECK AGE REQUIRED BY THE REPORT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION SHOULD BE MADE IN THE REQUIRED MANNER, THE ENTRY ON THE PAY ROLL TO BEAR REFERENCE TO THE REPORT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION AND BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE USUAL REQUEST FOR CHECK AGE UPON WHICH SHOULD APPEAR A BRIEF STATEMENT OF THE ITEM CONCERNED.

2. THIS ACTION WILL RESULT IN THE AUTHORIZED AMOUNT BEING LODGED AS A CHARGE AGAINST "PAY MISCELLANEOUS," AND THE DIFFERENCE, WHICH IS DUE TO THE UNUSUAL CONDITIONS EXISTING IN RIO DE JANEIRO, WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT NAVY, 1923.'

CHECK AGE OF $30.64 WAS MADE AGAINST THE ACCOUNT OF LIEUTENANT JONES, FOURTH QUARTER 1923, AND HE WAS PAID THE SAME AMOUNT UNDER "CONTINGENT NAVY, 1923," APRIL 11, 1923, AS PER SAID VOUCHER NO. 325.

THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1922, 42 STAT. 787, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1923, PROVIDES UNDER THE HEAD OF "PAY MISCELLANEOUS" FOR "ACTUAL EXPENSES OF OFFICERS WHILE ON SHORE PATROL DUTY.'

ARTICLE 698, NAVY REGULATIONS, 1920, AS AMENDED BY CHANGES NO. 2, NOVEMBER 1, 1921, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME IN QUESTION, PROVIDES:

5. (A) IN CASES WHERE IT IS IMPRACTICABLE FOR MEMBERS OF A SHORE PATROL TO RETURN TO THEIR REGULAR STATION FOR MEALS OR LODGING, THE COMMANDING OFFICER SHALL ISSUE ORDERS TO THE OFFICER OR MAN IN CHARGE OF EACH PATROL WHICH SHALL STATE THE NUMBER OF THE MEN FORMING THE PATROL, THE TIME OF LEAVING THE SHIP OR STATION, AND THE TIME OF RETURNING. ORDERS SHALL ALSO DIRECT THE SUPPLY OFFICER TO ADVANCE THE OFFICER OR MAN IN CHARGE OF THE PATROL A SPECIFIC AMOUNT FOR THE NECESSARY LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE, AND SUCH ADVANCE SHALL BE AT THE RATE OF $1 PER MEAL AND $2 PER LODGING PER PERSON. A COPY OF THE ORDERS,CERTIFIED A TRUE COPY BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, SHALL BE FURNISHED THE SUPPLY OFFICER, WHO SHALL OBTAIN THEREON THE RECEIPT OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE ADVANCE IS MADE. PERSONS IN CHARGE OF PATROL PARTIES MAY PROVIDE THEMSELVES AND THE MEMBERS OF THEIR PARTIES WITH MEALS AT AN AVERAGE COST NOT IN EXCESS OF $1 EACH; I.E., IF $0.75 IS EXPENDED FOR BREAKFAST, $1.25 MAY BE EXPENDED FOR DINNER. IN NO CASE SHALL AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $2 BE ALLOWED FOR ONE NIGHT'S LODGING PER PERSON. IF THE ALLOWANCE FOR MEALS AND LODGING IS EXCEEDED, THE EXCESS COST MUST BE BORNE BY THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED. * * *

IN THE SETTLEMENT OF $18.31 WAS DISALLOWED ON VOUCHER NO. 96, BEING THE EXCESS AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR MEALS AND LODGING COMBINED OVER AND ABOVE $5 PER DAY, THE REGULATION APPARENTLY BEING CONSTRUED AS PROVIDING A MAXIMUM PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $5 FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES. THE REGULATION, HOWEVER, FIXES A MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE FOR MEALS AND ALSO A MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE FOR LODGING, NEITHER OF WHICH CAN BE EXCEEDED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THE EXCESS PAID FOR LODGING FOR THE TWO OFFICERS WAS $30.64, AND AS THIS AMOUNT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RECOVERED BY CHECK AGE AGAINST THE ACCOUNT OF LIEUTENANT JONES, THE AMOUNT OF THE DISALLOWANCE ON VOUCHER NO. 96, WAS $18.31 WILL BE ALLOWED.

AS STATED ABOVE THIS EXCESS COST FOR LODGING WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PAID TO LIEUTENANT JONES FROM THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT NAVY," 1923, AS PER VOUCHER NO. 325. THIS APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1922, 42 STAT. 788, IS AS FOLLOWS:

FOR ALL EMERGENCIES AND EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES, * * * ARISING AT HOME OR ABROAD, BUT IMPOSSIBLE TO BE ANTICIPATED OR CLASSIFIED, TO BE EXPENDED ON THE APPROVAL AND AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AND FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS HE MAY DEEM PROPER, * * *

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH THIS APPROPRIATION MAY BE EXPENDED ARE CONFINED TO EXPENDITURES IN THEMSELVES LEGAL, BUT WHICH, DUE TO THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF ANTICIPATING OR CLASSIFYING THEM, NO OTHER APPROPRIATION FOR THEIR PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE. SEE 23 COMP. DEC. 420.

SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE FOR THE EXPENSES OF OFFICERS WHILE ON SHORE PATROL DUTY UNDER "PAY MISCELLANEOUS," WHICH IS EXCLUSIVELY APPLICABLE THERETO, AND THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES OR ANY PART THEREOF FROM "CONTINGENT NAVY" IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 399.

THE DISALLOWANCE OF THIS VOUCHER IS THEREFORE SUSTAINED.

UPON REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT IS MODIFIED AND THERE IS CERTIFIED A CREDIT OF $18.31 IN THE ACCOUNTS OF LIEUTENANT OVERAND.