A-17186, JULY 28, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 82

A-17186: Jul 28, 1927

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THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED WERE REGULARLY ASSIGNED TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE SERVICE STATIONED AT THE COLVILLE AGENCY AND THE AMOUNT FIXED AS THE REASONABLE VALUE THEREOF. WAS CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE SAID EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION. ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY THE AUTHORITIES AT THE AGENCY WHEREBY MR. WAS PERMITTED TO OCCUPY SUCH QUARTERS DURING HIS STAY. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ALLOWED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS FURNISHED MEALS AND (OR) LODGINGS BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT CHARGE. WHEN ANY TIME IS SPENT AT A GOVERNMENT INDIAN SCHOOL OR AGENCY. MEALS AND (OR) LODGINGS WERE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT COST TO THE EMPLOYEE. IT IS CONTENDED BY MR. THE TWO TRANSACTIONS ARE INDEPENDENT.

A-17186, JULY 28, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 82

SUBSISTENCE, PER DIEM IN LIEU OF - EMPLOYEE OF INDIAN SERVICE OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS THE FACT THAT A FIELD EMPLOYEE IN THE INDIAN SERVICE IN A TRAVEL STATUS OCCUPIES GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHICH HAD BEEN REGULARLY ASSIGNED TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, FOR WHICH A DEDUCTION HAD BEEN MADE FROM THE SALARY OF THE OTHER EMPLOYEE, DOES NOT RELIEVE THE EMPLOYEE IN THE TRAVEL STATUS FROM THE DEDUCTION OF ONE-FOURTH OF HIS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE DURING THE TIME HE OCCUPIED SUCH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 28, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1927, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN WITHHOLDING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF DAVID BUDDRUS, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, INDIAN FIELD SERVICE, PER SETTLEMENT K- 7139-IN, DATED APRIL 26, 1927, FOR THE AMOUNT OF $12.25, REPRESENTING ONE- FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF HARRY W. CAMP, TRAVELING AUDITOR OF THE INDIAN SERVICE, FOR 14 DAYS FROM SEPTEMBER 1 TO 14, 1926, DURING WHICH PERIOD HE OCCUPIED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WITHOUT CHARGE WHILE AT THE COLVILLE AGENCY.

THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED WERE REGULARLY ASSIGNED TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE SERVICE STATIONED AT THE COLVILLE AGENCY AND THE AMOUNT FIXED AS THE REASONABLE VALUE THEREOF, TO WIT, $15 PER MONTH, WAS CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE SAID EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION. APPARENTLY, ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY THE AUTHORITIES AT THE AGENCY WHEREBY MR. CAMP, THE TRAVELING AUDITOR, WAS PERMITTED TO OCCUPY SUCH QUARTERS DURING HIS STAY.

INDIAN ORDER NO. 209, DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1925, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

PER DIEM ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE

1. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ALLOWED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS FURNISHED MEALS AND (OR) LODGINGS BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT CHARGE, A DEDUCTION OF 1/4 OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH NIGHT'S LODGING AND 1/4 FOR EACH MEAL SO FURNISHED MUST BE MADE FROM THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE. WHEN ANY TIME IS SPENT AT A GOVERNMENT INDIAN SCHOOL OR AGENCY, A CERTIFICATE MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER SHOWING WHETHER, AND TO WHAT EXTENT, MEALS AND (OR) LODGINGS WERE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT COST TO THE EMPLOYEE.

IT IS CONTENDED BY MR. CAMP THAT BECAUSE THE DETERMINED VALUE OF THE QUARTERS HE OCCUPIED HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE REGULARLY ASSIGNED THERETO THE DEDUCTION UNDER SAID REGULATION FROM HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE SHOULD NOT BE MADE.

THE TWO TRANSACTIONS ARE INDEPENDENT. THAT IS, THE REQUIREMENT OF LAW FOR REGARDING THE VALUE OF QUARTERS FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE AUTHORIZED SALARY IN MAKING PAYMENT OF SALARY TO THE EMPLOYEE WHO WAS REGULARLY ASSIGNED THE QUARTERS, HAS NO PARTICULAR BEARING UPON THE REQUIREMENT OF THE REGULATION GOVERNING PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS OCCUPYING THE SAME QUARTERS.

THE CONTENTION OF MR. CAMP IS BASED ON THE THEORY THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAVING ONCE RECEIVED THE VALUE OF THE QUARTERS FROM ONE EMPLOYEE, NO FURTHER CHARGE FROM ANOTHER EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS SHOULD BE MADE. BOTH THE STATUTE REQUIRING THE DETERMINED VALUE OF QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES (FISCAL YEAR 1927, HERE INVOLVED, ACT OF MARCH 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 161), AND THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTE, ARE CONCERNED WITH WHAT EXPENSE THE EMPLOYEE IS RELIEVED OF PAYING BY REASON OF OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, AND NOT WITH THE AMOUNT RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OCCUPANCY OF ANY PARTICULAR QUARTERS.

IN THIS CASE MR. CAMP WAS PERMITTED TO OCCUPY LODGINGS FURNISHED IN KIND BY THE GOVERNMENT WITHOUT CHARGE, AND UNDER THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED ONE-FOURTH OF HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD HE OCCUPIED SUCH QUARTERS. ACCORDINGLY, CREDIT FOR THE ITEM IN QUESTION IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD MR. CAMP HAS FORWARDED TO COVER THE ITEM SHOULD BE DEPOSITED FORTHWITH TO THE CREDIT OF THE PROPER APPROPRIATION.