A-18162, NOVEMBER 23, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 348

A-18162: Nov 23, 1927

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRAVELING EXPENSES - LODGING - HIRE OF ROOM FROM WIFE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN AMOUNT ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PAID BY AN INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO THE WIFE OF ANOTHER INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEE FOR LODGING IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THIS AMOUNT WAS INCLUDED IN CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR JANUARY. WAS ELIMINATED THEREFROM BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER BEFORE PAYMENT AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE. IN THAT THE PAYMENT WAS MADE TO THE WIFE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE PROHIBITION FORCES. OR EMOLUMENTS ARE FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATIONS. UNLESS THE SAME IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. THE APPROPRIATION THEREFOR EXPLICITLY STATES THAT IT IS FOR SUCH ADDITIONAL PAY.

A-18162, NOVEMBER 23, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 348

TRAVELING EXPENSES - LODGING - HIRE OF ROOM FROM WIFE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN AMOUNT ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PAID BY AN INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO THE WIFE OF ANOTHER INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEE FOR LODGING IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 23, 1927:

KATHERINE A. SMITH HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 2, 1927, DISALLOWING HER CLAIM FOR $15 AS REIMBURSEMENTS OF EXPENSES OF LODGING FOR SIX DAYS IN JANUARY, 1927, WHILE IN AN OFFICIAL TRAVEL STATUS AT LAKE WORTH, FLA. THIS AMOUNT WAS INCLUDED IN CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR JANUARY, 1927, BUT WAS ELIMINATED THEREFROM BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER BEFORE PAYMENT AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, 4 COMP. GEN. 370, IN THAT THE PAYMENT WAS MADE TO THE WIFE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE PROHIBITION FORCES.

SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

NO OFFICER IN ANY BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE, OR ANY OTHER PERSON WHOSE SALARY, PAY, OR EMOLUMENTS ARE FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATIONS, SHALL RECEIVE ANY ADDITIONAL PAY, EXTRA ALLOWANCE, OR COMPENSATION, IN ANY FORM WHATEVER, FOR THE DISBURSEMENT OF PUBLIC MONEY, OR FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE OR DUTY WHATEVER, UNLESS THE SAME IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, AND THE APPROPRIATION THEREFOR EXPLICITLY STATES THAT IT IS FOR SUCH ADDITIONAL PAY, EXTRA ALLOWANCE, OR COMPENSATION.

IN EXPLANATION OF THIS EXPENDITURE THE CLAIMANT STATES:

UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 22, 1927, THE PROHIBITION OFFICE, TAMPA, FLORIDA, RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM ADMINISTRATOR TUTTLE OF SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, SAYING FOR SMITH TO PROCEED TO LAKE WORTH FOR DUTY BALANCE OF MONTH.

ACCORDING TO THE ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS I PROCEEDED ON JANUARY 23, 1927, TO LAKE WORTH, ARRIVING AT 8:30 P.M. THIS BEING MY FIRST TIME IN LAKE WORTH I ENGAGED A ROOM FROM MRS. W. M. SIMMONS, WIFE OF AGENT W. M. SIMMONS WHO TOOK IN ROOMERS. DURING THE WINTER OF 1926, I RENTED A ROOM HERE IN TAMPA FROM MRS. SIMMONS, THEREFORE KNOWING HER AND KNOWING SHE HAD ROOMS TO RENT I ENGAGED A ROOM FROM HER AT $2.50 PER NIGHT, THIS BEING AS REASONABLE AS ANY NICE ROOM COULD BE SECURED THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. I PREFERRED STOPPING AT HER HOME RATHER THAN A HOTEL WHERE I KNEW NO ONE. I SECURED VOUCHERS FOR THE LODGING SIGNED BY MRS. W. M. SIMMONS AND SAME WERE ATTACHED TO FORM 1012 WHEN FORWARDED TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, IN FEBRUARY, 1927.

WHEN MY ACCOUNT REACHED THE DISBURSING OFFICE IN SAVANNAH, ALL EXPENSES WERE ALLOWED EXCEPT THE EXPENSES FOR LODGING, STATING THAT UNDER THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN 4 COMP. GEN. 370, IT APPEARS THAT THE RENTING OF A ROOM BY ONE EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE BY WHICH ARRANGEMENT THE EMPLOYEE FROM WHOM THE ROOM WAS RENTED MIGHT RECEIVE ANY PERSONAL BENEFIT EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FROM THE RENTAL IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 1765 R.S., AND THAT THE AMOUNT SO PAID IS NOT REIMBURSABLE.

THROUGH PROHIBITION ADMINISTRATOR R. E. TUTTLE I PRESENTED MY CLAIM TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND ON AUGUST 2, 1927, THEY ADVISED ME,"YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF LODGING WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA, JANUARY 23D TO 31ST, 1927, HAS BEEN EXAMINED AND DISALLOWED, PER THE ABOVE CERTIFICATE NUMBER, FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: THE CLAIMANT WHILE AT LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA, OBTAINED LODGING DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 23D TO 31ST, 1927, FROM THE WIFE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES. REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF $15.00, WHICH WAS PAID FOR THE LODGING IS UNAUTHORIZED AS A CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES OF THE UNITED STATES.'

AS I DID NOT RENT THE ROOM FROM MR. SIMMONS, AND AS MRS. SIMMONS WAS RENTING ROOMS IN ORDER TO MEET LIVING CONDITIONS, I CAN NOT SEE WHERE MR. SIMMONS RECEIVED ANY PERSONAL BENEFIT FROM THE RENTAL. * * *

IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT PAYMENT TO THE WIFE OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR HIRE OF AN AUTOMOBILE, ROOM RENT, OR RENT OF A BOATHOUSE CONSTITUTES THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO THE EMPLOYEE AND IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF SAID SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES, EXCEPT POSSIBLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE IT IS AFFIRMATIVELY SHOWN THAT THE WIFE HAS A SEPARATE ESTATE, AND THAT THE PAYMENT DOES NOT INURE IN ANY WAY TO THE BENEFIT OF THE HUSBAND (4 COMP. GEN. 271; ID. 370; A-9242, MAY 15, 1926, OCTOBER 15, 1926, AND SEPTEMBER 23, 1927; AND A-14940, JULY 29, 1926). THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE.