A-17601, MARCH 11, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 567

A-17601: Mar 11, 1927

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SUCH DIRECTION HAVING FOR ITS OBJECT THE RELIEF OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER AND NOT THE EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THE UNAUTHORIZED OR IMPROPER PAYMENT MAY HAVE BEEN MADE. WHEN SAID EXPENSES ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE AUTHORIZED BY EXISTING ARMY REGULATIONS. PAYMENTS MADE BY THE DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THIS DISTRICT HAVE BEEN DISALLOWED AND REFUNDMENTS MADE BY THE SEVERAL EMPLOYEES AFFECTED. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE REPAYMENT OF THE AMOUNTS REFUNDED BY THEM SHOULD NOW BE MADE. 3. DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WILL NOW PASS VOUCHERS REPAYING THESE AMOUNTS TO EMPLOYEES. THE PROVISION IN QUESTION IS FOR THE RELIEF OF DISBURSING OFFICERS AND NOT THE EMPLOYEES TO WHOM THE UNAUTHORIZED OR IMPROPER PAYMENTS WERE MADE AND IT ONLY AUTHORIZES THE ALLOWANCE AND CREDIT FOR "PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE.

A-17601, MARCH 11, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 567

SUBSISTENCE - FRACTIONAL DAYS - REFUNDS - REPAYMENTS THE DIRECTION IN SECTION 5 (C) OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 21, 1927, 44 STAT. 1021, THAT PAYMENTS THERETOFORE MADE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED ON JOURNEYS WHOLLY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M.'SHALL BE ALLOWED AND CREDITED" DOES NOT AUTHORIZE REPAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DISALLOWED AND REFUNDED BY THE TRAVELERS, SUCH DIRECTION HAVING FOR ITS OBJECT THE RELIEF OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER AND NOT THE EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THE UNAUTHORIZED OR IMPROPER PAYMENT MAY HAVE BEEN MADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MARCH 11, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED, PRESUMABLY BY YOUR DIRECTION, A REQUEST OF THE DIVISION ENGINEER, NORTHEAST DIVISION, FOR DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. SECTION 5 OF THE RIVER AND HARBOR ACT APPROVED JANUARY 21, 1927, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:

"/C) ALL PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, AS REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED ON JOURNEYS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS UNDER PROPER ORDERS, COMMENCING AFTER EIGHT O-CLOCK ANTEMERIDIAN AND COMPLETED NOT LATER THAN SIX O-CLOCK POST MERIDIAN OF ANY DAY, WHEN SAID EXPENSES ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE AUTHORIZED BY EXISTING ARMY REGULATIONS, SHALL BE ALLOWED AND CREDITED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICER.'

2.SINCE THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED ON JOURNEYS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING AFTER 8 O-CLOCK AND COMPLETED BEFORE 6 O CLOCK COULD NOT BE MADE, PAYMENTS MADE BY THE DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THIS DISTRICT HAVE BEEN DISALLOWED AND REFUNDMENTS MADE BY THE SEVERAL EMPLOYEES AFFECTED. IN JUSTICE TO THESE EMPLOYEES, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE REPAYMENT OF THE AMOUNTS REFUNDED BY THEM SHOULD NOW BE MADE.

3. DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WILL NOW PASS VOUCHERS REPAYING THESE AMOUNTS TO EMPLOYEES.

THE PROVISION IN QUESTION IS FOR THE RELIEF OF DISBURSING OFFICERS AND NOT THE EMPLOYEES TO WHOM THE UNAUTHORIZED OR IMPROPER PAYMENTS WERE MADE AND IT ONLY AUTHORIZES THE ALLOWANCE AND CREDIT FOR "PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE; " IT AFFORDS NO RELIEF IN CASES WHERE THE DISALLOWED ITEMS HAVE BEEN REFUNDED BY THE PAYEES AND THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE DISBURSING ACCOUNT ADJUSTED THEREBY. THEREFORE, DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO REFUND TO EMPLOYEES THE AMOUNT OF SUCH ITEMS PREVIOUSLY PAID TO THEM AND THEREAFTER RECOVERED. IT WILL ALSO BE NOTED THAT THE ACT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AFTER ITS DATE WHEN INCURRED UPON A TRIP WHOLLY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. OF THE SAME DAY.