A-20116, OCTOBER 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 276

A-20116: Oct 19, 1927

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IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OF AN OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION IN EUROPE IS NOT ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF WHILE AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF SAID OFFICE IN EUROPE. WHILE MISS GUINN WAS IN EUROPE THE TARIFF COMMISSION'S REPRESENTATIVE. WAS ADVISED AS FOLLOWS: LETTER JULY 7. IS GOING TO EUROPE DURING THE PRESENT MONTH ON A TRIP FOR PERSONAL REASONS. SHE WILL PROBABLY VISIT THE BRUSSELS OFFICE ABOUT THE FIRST OF AUGUST. THE COMMISSION HAS AUTHORIZED ME TO SAY THAT IF THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE UPON WHICH MISS GUINN'S SERVICES AS AN ACCOUNTANT CAN PROFITABLY BE UTILIZED SHE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH WORK OF THE BRUSSELS OFFICE ON PENDING INVESTIGATIONS.

A-20116, OCTOBER 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 276

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM IN LIEU OF - HEADQUARTERS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TARIFF COMMISSION WHO, WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN EUROPE, IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OF AN OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION IN EUROPE IS NOT ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF WHILE AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF SAID OFFICE IN EUROPE. ORDERS PRESCRIBING OR INCREASING A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY NOT BE MADE EFFECTIVE RETROACTIVELY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES TARIFF COMMISSION, OCTOBER 19. 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 1, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

DURING THE PAST SUMMER MISS ROSE S. GUINN, ONE OF THE ACCOUNTANTS ON THE STAFF OF THE TARIFF COMMISSION, SPENT HER VACATION IN EUROPE. WHILE MISS GUINN WAS IN EUROPE THE TARIFF COMMISSION'S REPRESENTATIVE, STATIONED AT BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, WAS ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

LETTER

JULY 7, 1927. DR. PERCY, W. BIDWELL, U.S. TARIFF COMMISSION, 15 RUE DE SPA BRUSSELS, BELGIUM.

DEAR DR. BIDWELL: MISS ROSE GUINN, ONE OF THE ACCOUNTANTS ON THE COMMISSION'S STAFF, IS GOING TO EUROPE DURING THE PRESENT MONTH ON A TRIP FOR PERSONAL REASONS. SHE WILL PROBABLY VISIT THE BRUSSELS OFFICE ABOUT THE FIRST OF AUGUST.

THE COMMISSION HAS AUTHORIZED ME TO SAY THAT IF THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE UPON WHICH MISS GUINN'S SERVICES AS AN ACCOUNTANT CAN PROFITABLY BE UTILIZED SHE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH WORK OF THE BRUSSELS OFFICE ON PENDING INVESTIGATIONS. NEITHER THE COMMISSION NOR MISS GUINN HAS IT IN MIND, OF COURSE, THAT ANY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE MADE OTHER THAN SUCH AS IN YOUR JUDGMENT MAY BE IN KEEPING WITH EFFICIENCY AND GOOD ADMINISTRATION. SINCE SHE IS TO BE IN EUROPE, HOWEVER, AND IS QUALIFIED TO DO SUCH WORK, THE COMMISSION HAS AUTHORIZED THE COURSE OUTLINED ABOVE.

IN CASE THERE BE OCCASION TO USE HER SERVICES SHE WILL BE ALLOWED THE USUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES AND $5.00 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE ENGAGED ON SUCH DUTY OUTSIDE OF BRUSSELS.

A FULL REPORT SHOULD BE MADE TO THIS OFFICE AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF ANY SUCH ASSIGNMENT.

VERY TRULY YOURS,

(SIGNED)LINCOLN DIXON,

ACTING CHAIRMAN.

MISS GUINN LATER REPORTED TO THE COMMISSION'S REPRESENTATIVE AND WAS PLACED IN DUTY STATUS AT BRUSSELS ON AUGUST 1, 1927.

ON SEPTEMBER 22, THE COMMISSION CONSIDERED A REPORT BY ONE OF THE COMMISSIONERS WHO, HAVING VISITED BRUSSELS DURING AUGUST, STATED THAT MISS GUINN HAD EXPECTED TO RECEIVE A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN DUTY STATUS IN BRUSSELS AS WELL AS WHILE TRAVELING OUTSIDE OF BRUSSELS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AS OCCASION MIGHT REQUIRE. HE RECOMMENDED THAT SUCH AN ALLOWANCE BE MADE. AFTER CONSIDERATION OF THE SUBJECT, THE COMMISSION DIRECTED THAT MISS GUINN BE ALLOWED, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1927, FIVE ($5.00) DOLLARS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE ON DUTY IN BRUSSELS AND SEVEN ($7.00) DOLLARS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHEN ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OUTSIDE OF BRUSSELS. NO EXPENSE OF TRAVEL TO OR FROM EUROPE, OR WHILE ENGAGED ON PERSONAL BUSINESS, WILL BE PAID MISS GUINN UNDER ANY OF THESE AUTHORIZATIONS.

INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT WILL BE PROPER FOR THE COMMISSION TO PAY TO MISS GUINN ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AS INDICATED ABOVE.

IF THERE WAS A BONA FIDE NEED FOR SERVICES OF THE KIND WHICH THIS EMPLOYEE WAS QUALIFIED TO RENDER, THE FACT THAT SHE WAS IN EUROPE ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT THAT TIME WOULD NOT PRECLUDE HER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AT BRUSSELS AND THE PAYMENT TO HER OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE ABSENT ON OFFICIAL DUTY FROM BRUSSELS. ORDERS AUTHORIZING PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OR INCREASING THE RATE OF PER DIEM ALREADY AUTHORIZED CAN NOT BE GIVEN ANY RETROACTIVE EFFECT. 22 COMP. DEC. 601; 5 COMP. GEN. 337; A-18946, AUGUST 6, 1927; SEE ALSO RECENT DECISION A -20079 TO YOU IN THE CASE OF THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE TO THE TARIFF COMMISSION'S REPRESENTATIVE AT BRUSSELS. FOR ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1927, THEREFORE, IT WOULD NOT BE LEGAL TO PAY MISS GUINN ANY PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN EXCESS OF THAT AUTHORIZED BY THE LETTER OF JULY 7, 1927; THAT IS, $5 PER DIEM WHILE ENGAGED ON DUTY OUTSIDE OF BRUSSELS.

IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM THE SUBMISSION THAT THE DUTIES TO WHICH MISS GUINN WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE ASSIGNED WHILE AT BRUSSELS WERE SUCH AS PERTAINED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE WORK OF THE OFFICE AT BRUSSELS AND HAD NO DIRECT CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES ORDINARILY PERFORMED BY HER AT HER FORMER HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, D.C. IN OTHER WORDS, HER DUTIES AT BRUSSELS WERE IN THE NATURE OF DUTIES PERFORMED AT HEADQUARTERS. THE ORIGINAL AUTHORITY FOR HER EMPLOYMENT AT BRUSSELS EVIDENTLY SO CONSIDERED THE DUTY, AND, ACCORDINGLY, DID NOT AUTHORIZE ANY PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF WHILE AT BRUSSELS; THAT BEING HER HEADQUARTERS AND ONLY DUTY STATION FOR THE TIME BEING, SHE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OR TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE AT THAT PLACE. THE ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1927, PURPORTING TO AUTHORIZE PER DIEM WHILE AT BRUSSELS WAS, THEREFORE, NOT EFFECTIVE, AS PER DIEM CAN NOT BE PAID WHILE ON DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR.