A-19241, AUGUST 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 85

A-19241: Aug 1, 1927

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SHOULD BE MADE IN THE CASE OF TRAVELING OFFICIALS OR EMPLOYEES WHEN THEY ARE FURNISHED LODGING WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THEM EITHER BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES OR IN PUBLIC QUARTERS ASSIGNED TO OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16. REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE REDUCTION OF ONE-FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED RATE OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHEN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE FIELD ARE FURNISHED LODGING BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. THE SPECIFIC QUESTION SUBMITTED IS WHETHER THE REDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF LODGING FURNISHED SHOULD BE MADE WHEN THE TRAVELING OFFICIAL OCCUPIES A ROOM IN A GOVERNMENT BUILDING ASSIGNED TO A LOCAL EMPLOYEE FOR HIS PRIVATE USE AND FOR WHICH A DEDUCTION IS MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF JULY 16.

A-19241, AUGUST 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 85

SUBSISTENCE, PER DIEM IN LIEU OF - REDUCTION FOR LODGING FURNISHED - INDIAN SERVICE THE REDUCTION OF ONE-FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE ISSUED PURSUANT TO DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, A-8089, MARCH 19, 1925, AND A 9630, JULY 7, 1925, SHOULD BE MADE IN THE CASE OF TRAVELING OFFICIALS OR EMPLOYEES WHEN THEY ARE FURNISHED LODGING WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THEM EITHER BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES OR IN PUBLIC QUARTERS ASSIGNED TO OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 1, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE REDUCTION OF ONE-FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED RATE OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHEN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE FIELD ARE FURNISHED LODGING BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.

THE SPECIFIC QUESTION SUBMITTED IS WHETHER THE REDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF LODGING FURNISHED SHOULD BE MADE WHEN THE TRAVELING OFFICIAL OCCUPIES A ROOM IN A GOVERNMENT BUILDING ASSIGNED TO A LOCAL EMPLOYEE FOR HIS PRIVATE USE AND FOR WHICH A DEDUCTION IS MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF JULY 16, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 37.

IN A LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS DATED JULY 7, 1927, IT WAS STATED BY W. A. WALKER, FIELD COST ACCOUNTANT IN THE INDIAN SERVICE AT LARGE:

WHEN ON OFFICIAL TRIPS OUT IN THE FIELD, IN TWO OR THREE INSTANCES I HAVE HAD OCCASION TO STAY AT AN AGENCY IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. WHERE QUARTERS ARE FURNISHED IN GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, AND GOVERNMENT-OWNED BEDDING IS USED AND THE WORK IS DONE BY THE PUPILS WITHOUT COST TO ME, NO OBJECTION IS MADE TO DEDUCTING ONE-FOURTH OF MY PER DIEM. HOWEVER, WHERE NO SUCH QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE, AND THROUGH THE COURTESY OF SOME EMPLOYEE A BED AND BEDDING IS FURNISHED BY THE EMPLOYEE, IT WOULD SEEM INEQUITABLE TO DEDUCT ONE-FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM AND AT THE SAME TIME PAY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE ACCOMMODATION. THE EMPLOYEE PAYS RENTAL ON THE QUARTERS AND IF HE FURNISHED ANOTHER EMPLOYEE SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS HE IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION THEREFOR, IN MY OPINION. IN ANY EVENT AN EMPLOYEE COULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH ANOTHER TRANSIENT EMPLOYEE QUARTERS, ETC., AND DO ALL THE WORK NECESSARY WITHOUT BEING PAID FOR IT. IN BUT FEW CASES HAVE I FOUND IT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN QUARTERS EXCEPT IN SOME EMPLOYEE'S HOUSE.

IN DECISION OF MARCH 19, 1925, A-8089, IT WAS STATED IN SUBSTANCE THAT THE LAWS AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE DO NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE SAME IF LODGING AND MEALS ARE FURNISHED THE EMPLOYEE BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPENSE TO HIM AND WHERE THERE IS NO SHOWING OF NECESSITY FOR INCURRING ANY OTHER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES. AND IN DECISION OF JULY 7, 1925, A-9630, IT WAS HELD THAT THE REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE SHOULD PROVIDE FOR THE REDUCTION OF ONE- FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATHER THAN A FIXED CHARGE FOR LODGINGS WHEN LODGING WAS FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THE TRAVELING OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE.

WHEN NO OTHER QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE AT ANY GIVEN PLACE AND THE TRAVELING OFFICIAL IS OBLIGED TO OCCUPY PUBLIC QUARTERS ASSIGNED TO A LOCAL EMPLOYEE FOR HIS PERSONAL USE, THROUGH COURTESY AND WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THE TRAVELER, NO REASON APPEARS WHY REDUCTION OF THE PER DIEM ON ACCOUNT OF LODGING SHOULD NOT BE MADE THE SAME AS IN CASES WHERE THE GOVERNMENT BUILDING IN WHICH LODGING IS FURNISHED IS NOT OTHERWISE OCCUPIED. THERE IS NOTHING INEQUITABLE IN SUCH REDUCTION IN SO FAR AS THE TRAVELER IS CONCERNED.

THE QUARTERS WHICH THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHES TO AN EMPLOYEE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1927, 44 STAT. 1052, ARE FURNISHED SOLELY FOR HIS OCCUPANCY AS QUARTERS AND MAY NOT LEGALLY BE SUBLET BY HIM. THEY DO NOT LOSE THEIR CHARACTER AS GOVERNMENT QUARTERS; AND WHEN SUCH QUARTERS ARE OCCUPIED AS LODGINGS BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS, WHETHER THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE LOCAL EMPLOYEE OR OTHERWISE, THE LODGINGS ARE TO BE REGARDED AS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND REDUCTION IN PER DIEM MADE ACCORDINGLY.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE REDUCTION OF ONE-FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO DECISIONS OF MARCH 19 AND JULY 7, 1925, SHOULD BE MADE IN THE CASE OF TRAVELING OFFICIALS OR EMPLOYEES WHEN THEY ARE FURNISHED LODGINGS IN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ASSIGNED TO OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. SEE DECISION OF JULY 28, 1927, A-17186, 7 COMP. GEN. 82.