A-12734, FEBRUARY 2, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 574

A-12734: Feb 2, 1926

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THE INCUMBENTS OF WHICH ARE FURNISHED QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN KIND. A FIXED REASONABLE CHARGE IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE FOR SUCH QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15. WHERE IT IS ALLEGED THERE EXISTS A VERY REAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LIVING QUARTERS OF THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES AND THE CONDUCT OF HIS OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THIS DECISION WAS APPLIED TO QUARTERS FURNISHED INTERPRETERS. IT WAS HELD: * * * ON AND AFTER JULY 1. AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION AND IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THERE ARE GOOD AND SUFFICIENT REASONS FOR CONTINUATION THEREOF IN CERTAIN INSTANCES. THE REASONS ADVANCED BY YOU HAVE LIKEWISE BEEN GIVEN SUCH CONSIDERATION.

A-12734, FEBRUARY 2, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 574

COMPENSATION, ALLOWANCES - FOREIGN SERVICE FOREIGN SERVICE POSITIONS IN CHINA OR ELSEWHERE, THE INCUMBENTS OF WHICH ARE FURNISHED QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN KIND, MAY NOT, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY, BE EXCEPTED FROM THE RULE THAT ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1926, A FIXED REASONABLE CHARGE IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE FOR SUCH QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND. IN THE EVENT OF LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING SUCH ALLOWANCES AS A PART OF THE COMPENSATION, PAY ROLLS OR VOUCHERS COVERING SUCH POSITIONS SHOULD SHOW THE TOTAL AUTHORIZED COMPENSATION, THE AMOUNT PAID IN CASH AND THE FIXED VALUE OF THE QUARTERS, C., FURNISHED IN KIND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, FEBRUARY 2, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 15, 1926, REFERRING TO DECISION DATED JULY 16, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 37, AND STATING THE REASONS FOR THE LONG EXISTING PRACTICE OF FURNISHING CERTAIN FOREIGN OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH LIVING QUARTERS AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION, ESPECIALLY IN CHINA, WHERE IT IS ALLEGED THERE EXISTS A VERY REAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LIVING QUARTERS OF THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES AND THE CONDUCT OF HIS OFFICIAL BUSINESS. YOU REQUEST THAT APPROVAL BE GIVEN TO THE EXISTING PRACTICE.

THE DECISION OF JULY 16, 1925, SUPRA, HELD THAT ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1926, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, THE PRACTICE OF CONTRACTING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES PARTLY ON THE BASIS OF QUARTERS, MAINTENANCE, OR EQUIPMENT FURNISHED FOR PERSONAL USE BY THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE DISCONTINUED AND THEREAFTER COMPENSATION PAID SOLELY ON A CASH BASIS. IN DECISION OF AUGUST 13, 1925, A-10644, ADDRESSED TO YOU, THIS DECISION WAS APPLIED TO QUARTERS FURNISHED INTERPRETERS, JANITORS, WATCHMEN, GUARDS, AND MESSENGERS AT LEGATIONS AND EMBASSIES. IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 6, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 236, 238, IT WAS HELD:

* * * ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1926, IN THE ABSENCE OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO THE CONTRARY, RENTAL MUST BE CHARGED ALL EMPLOYEES FURNISHED QUARTERS BY THE GOVERNMENT, WHETHER IN A SEPARATE HOUSE OR ROOMS IN QUARTER HOUSES AND DORMITORIES.

PREPARATORY TO THE RENDITION OF EACH OF THESE DECISIONS THERE HAS BEEN GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO THE REASONS ADVANCED FOR THE LONG EXISTING PRACTICE OF FURNISHING OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WITH QUARTERS, ETC., AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION AND IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THERE ARE GOOD AND SUFFICIENT REASONS FOR CONTINUATION THEREOF IN CERTAIN INSTANCES. THE REASONS ADVANCED BY YOU HAVE LIKEWISE BEEN GIVEN SUCH CONSIDERATION. BUT I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT IN ALL CASES THE RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE POSITION SHOULD BE FIXED ON THE BASIS OF NO QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES BEING FURNISHED IN KIND AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THAT WHERE NECESSARY TO FURNISH ANY SUCH ALLOWANCES A FIXED REASONABLE CHARGE SHOULD BE MADE THEREFOR AND EVEN WHERE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY IS OBTAINED TO FURNISH QUARTERS, C., AS A PART OF COMPENSATION THE PAY ROLLS OR VOUCHERS SHOULD SHOW THE TOTAL AUTHORIZED COMPENSATION, THE AMOUNT PAID IN CASH, AND THE FIXED VALUE OF THE QUARTERS, ETC., FURNISHED. HOWEVER DESIROUS AND NECESSARY THE PRACTICE MAY BE, THERE DOES NOT EXIST AT THE PRESENT TIME ANY GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR AND THIS OFFICE HAS VIEWED THE MATTER AS ONE REQUIRING ACTION BY THE CONGRESS TO GIVE IT LEGISLATIVE SANCTION. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO H.R. 5959,A BILL PROPOSING TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1927, WHICH CONTAINS A PROVISION DESIGNED TO AUTHORIZE A CONTINUATION OF THE PRACTICE OF FURNISHING FIELD EMPLOYEES GENERALLY WITH QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, ETC., AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION, TO THE EXTENT THAT SAME HAS BEEN FURNISHED IN THE PAST.