A-20504, NOVEMBER 15, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 336

A-20504: Nov 15, 1927

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QUARTERS - DEDUCTION FROM COMPENSATION FOR VALUE OF - INDIAN SERVICE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO DEDUCT THE DETERMINED VALUE OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FROM THE COMPENSATION OF ONLY ONE OF TWO EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IN COMMON. STATES THAT DEDUCTIONS MUST BE MADE FROM THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FROM EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ALTHOUGH THEY OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO OTHER EMPLOYEES AND DEDUCTIONS ARE BEING MADE FROM THE SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES REGULARLY ASSIGNED THE QUARTERS. KINDLY INSTRUCT ME REGARDING THE FOLLOWING: A DEDUCTION OF $15.00 PER MONTH FOR QUARTERS IS BEING MADE FROM A PERMANENT EMPLOYEE (COMPENSATION $2. YOUR DECISION REFERS TO EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHO ARE ON A PER DIEM BASIS.

A-20504, NOVEMBER 15, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 336

QUARTERS - DEDUCTION FROM COMPENSATION FOR VALUE OF - INDIAN SERVICE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO DEDUCT THE DETERMINED VALUE OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FROM THE COMPENSATION OF ONLY ONE OF TWO EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IN COMMON, BUT THE COMPENSATION OF EACH INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE MUST SHOW THE PROPER DEDUCTION FOR THE VALUE TO HIM OF THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OCCUPIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO JANET V. SHARP, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, INDIAN SERVICE, NOVEMBER 15, 1927:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL JULY 28, 1927, VOLUME 7, PAGE 82, STATES THAT DEDUCTIONS MUST BE MADE FROM THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FROM EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ALTHOUGH THEY OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO OTHER EMPLOYEES AND DEDUCTIONS ARE BEING MADE FROM THE SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES REGULARLY ASSIGNED THE QUARTERS.

KINDLY INSTRUCT ME REGARDING THE FOLLOWING:

A DEDUCTION OF $15.00 PER MONTH FOR QUARTERS IS BEING MADE FROM A PERMANENT EMPLOYEE (COMPENSATION $2,100.00 GROSS OR $1,860.00 NET PER ANNUM) LOCATED IN A CONSTRUCTION CAMP. IF THIS EMPLOYEE SHARES HIS QUARTERS WITH ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, SHOULD DEDUCTIONS ALSO BE MADE FROM THE SALARY OF THE LATTER, OR SHOULD THE DEDUCTION BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO EMPLOYEES? YOUR DECISION REFERS TO EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHO ARE ON A PER DIEM BASIS.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER BOTH OF THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED WOULD BE OCCUPYING LIVING QUARTERS OWNED OR LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT. SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1927, 44 STAT. 1052, SPECIFICALLY REQUIRES WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH SITUATIONS, ,THAT THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE OF SUCH CIVILIANS.' AS HELD IN THE DECISION OF JULY 28, 1927, TO WHICH YOU REFER, THE STATUTE IS CONCERNED WITH WHAT EXPENSE THE EMPLOYEE IS RELIEVED FROM PAYING BY REASON OF OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND NOT WITH THE AMOUNT RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OCCUPANCY OF ANY PARTICULAR QUARTERS. IT WOULD BE NECESSARY, IN THE CASE PRESENTED BY YOU, TO DETERMINE THE VALUE TO EACH EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED AND TO MAKE THE NECESSARY DEDUCTIONS FROM THE TOTAL SALARY RATE IN EACH CASE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NUMBER OF PERSONS OCCUPYING THE SAME ROOMS OR BUILDING. THE FACT OF SHARING QUARTERS WOULD NOT PERMIT THE DETERMINED VALUE OF THE QUARTERS TO BE DEDUCTED FROM ONLY ONE OF THE OCCUPANTS OF THE SAME QUARTERS, OR AUTHORIZE DIVIDING THE CHARGE ON THE BASIS OF THE VALUE AS DETERMINED FOR ONE EMPLOYEE, BETWEEN THE TWO OR MORE EMPLOYEES SHARING THE SAME ROOMS OR BUILDING. THE SALARY ACCOUNT IS WITH EACH INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE, AND AS THE VALUE OF THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OCCUPIED IS REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED EXACTLY THE SAME AS COMPENSATION, THE PAY ROLLS OR VOUCHERS MUST SHOW THE PROPER DEDUCTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE.

WHETHER IN THE CASE YOU SUBMIT, $15 PER MONTH SHOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM EACH EMPLOYEE'S SALARY ON ACCOUNT OF OCCUPYING COMMON QUARTERS, IS A MATTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION AND DETERMINATION IN THE FIRST INSTANCE. AS THE BASIS OF THE CHARGE ON ACCOUNT OF QUARTERS FURNISHED IS THE SAVING TO THE EMPLOYEE THEREBY, IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT IF $15 IS THE PROPER CHARGE WHEN A CERTAIN SET OF QUARTERS IS OCCUPIED EXCLUSIVELY BY AN EMPLOYEE THAT A LOWER RATE SHOULD BE CHARGED WHEN THE SAME SET OF QUARTERS IS SHARED WITH ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. AND IN SUCH A CASE IT MIGHT BE PROPER TO DEDUCT $15 PER MONTH FROM THE MONEY PAYMENT OF EACH OF THE TWO EMPLOYEES.