A-3567, JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 88

A-3567: Jul 19, 1924

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IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO PROVIDE BY REGULATION FOR A MAXIMUM WEEKLY ALLOWANCE. TO AUTHORIZE THE DIVISION OF SUCH EXPENSES AMONG THE DAYS OF THE WEEK OR FRACTIONAL WEEK ACCORDING AS THE AMOUNT OF OTHER EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE RESPECTIVE DAYS IS LESS THAN $5. 1924: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3. OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE REGULATIONS IN REGARD TO CHARGES FOR LAUNDERING AND PRESSING CLOTHES INCURRED BY EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS IS AUTHORIZED AND ALSO. THAT THERE BE REMOVED ALL SUSPENSIONS AND DISALLOWANCES IN DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS THAT HAVE BEEN BASED UPON THE CONSTRUCTION BY THIS OFFICE. PRESSING CLOTHES WILL BE ALLOWED IN AMOUNTS NOT TO EXCEED AN AGGREGATE OF $2.80 PER WEEK.

A-3567, JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 88

PRORATING LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING CHARGES - INTERNAL REVENUE SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY MAXIMUM OF $5 PER DAY FOR EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO PROVIDE BY REGULATION FOR A MAXIMUM WEEKLY ALLOWANCE, AND A PROPORTIONATE MAXIMUM FOR FRACTIONAL WEEKS, FOR EXPENSES OF LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING INCURRED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DIVISION OF SUCH EXPENSES AMONG THE DAYS OF THE WEEK OR FRACTIONAL WEEK ACCORDING AS THE AMOUNT OF OTHER EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE RESPECTIVE DAYS IS LESS THAN $5.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JULY 19, 1924:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1924, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED IF THE PROPOSED MODIFICATION, THEREIN SET OUT, OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE REGULATIONS IN REGARD TO CHARGES FOR LAUNDERING AND PRESSING CLOTHES INCURRED BY EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS IS AUTHORIZED AND ALSO, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN, THAT THERE BE REMOVED ALL SUSPENSIONS AND DISALLOWANCES IN DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS THAT HAVE BEEN BASED UPON THE CONSTRUCTION BY THIS OFFICE, APRIL 4, 1924, OF THE PROVISION OF THE EXISTING REGULATION IN REGARD TO ALLOWANCES FOR EACH DAY OF A FRACTIONAL WEEK.

FIRST YOU QUOTE THE PRESENT REGULATIONS, WHICH READ:

CHARGES FOR LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES WILL BE ALLOWED IN AMOUNTS NOT TO EXCEED AN AGGREGATE OF $2.80 PER WEEK, PROVIDED THE EMPLOYEE SUBMITTING THE CLAIM WAS ABSENT FROM HIS POST OF DUTY, IN A TRAVELING STATUS SEVEN OR MORE CONSECUTIVE DAYS DURING THE MONTH COVERED BY HIS EXPENSE VOUCHER. THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS OF A TRIP IN A GIVEN MONTH CONSTITUTE THE FIRST ,LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING" WEEK, AND EACH SUBSEQUENT WEEK, OR FRACTION THEREOF, ON THE SAME TRIP, SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN THE "LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING" PERIOD FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES AT THE RATE OF NOT TO EXCEED $2.80 PER WEEK, OR 40 CENTS PER DAY FOR EACH DAY OF FRACTIONAL WEEK. THE EXPENSE OF LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES BEING CUMULATIVE AND NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED IN ONE DAY, THE CHARGE FOR A PERIOD, ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD BE ENTERED IN THE ACCOUNT AS OF THE DATE OF PAYMENT, WILL BE HELD TO BE DISTRIBUTABLE AMONG THE PRECEDING DAYS OF THE PERIOD AND ALLOWED TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSE FOR SUBSISTENCE, EXCLUSIVE OF LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES ON SUCH DAYS IS LESS THAN $5. LAUNDRY SLIPS, TAILOR CHECKS, OR RECEIPTED BILLS MUST SUPPORT ALL SUCH CHARGES, AND MUST SHOW THE DATE OF PAYMENT AND THE RECEIPT OF THE PAYEE.

AFTER REFERRING TO DECISION OF APRIL 4, 1924, IN WHICH THIS OFFICE CONSTRUED THESE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR ALLOWANCE AT THE CLOSE OF A FRACTIONAL WEEK, WHERE THE TOTAL ABSENCE IS MORE THAN SEVEN DAYS,AN AMOUNT FOR LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING, TO THE EXTENT, NOT EXCEEDING 40 CENTS PER DAY FOR EACH DAY OF SUCH PERIOD, THAT EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE WERE LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM OF $5, PROVIDED THE AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR SUCH ITEMS FOR SAID PERIOD EQUALED OR EXCEEDED THE RATE OF 40 CENTS PER DAY, FOR THE PERIOD, YOU STATE:

IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT AT THE TIME OF THE ADOPTION OF THE REGULATION REFERRED TO IT WAS NOT INTENDED THAT THE CHARGES TO BE ALLOWED FOR LAUNDRY, ETC., WERE TO BE RESTRICTED TO 40 CENTS PER DAY FOR A FRACTIONAL PART OF A WEEK. IT WAS INTENDED THAT SUCH CHARGES WERE TO BE ALLOWED AT THE RATE OF NOT TO EXCEED AS MANY SEVENTHS OF A WEEKLY ALLOWANCE OF $2.80 AS THERE ARE NUMBER OF DAYS MAKING UP A FRACTION OF A WEEK. IT WAS ALSO INTENDED THAT THE CHARGES WERE TO BE DISTRIBUTABLE AMONG THE DAYS COMPRISING THE FRACTION OF A WEEK AND BE APPLIED TO ANY OR ALL OF THEM IN WHICH THE TOTALS OF OTHER ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE CHARGES WERE SUFFICIENTLY BELOW THE $5.00 MAXIMUM AS TO ABSORB ALL OR ANY PART OF A LAUNDRY, ETC., EXPENSES NOT GREATER IN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT THAN AS MANY SEVENTHS OF $2.80 AS THERE WERE NUMBER OF DAYS INVOLVED. SINCE YOUR DECISION IS MERELY AN INTERPRETATION OF A PHRASE IN THE REGULATION, THE DEPARTMENT IS DESIROUS OF CORRECTING AND CLARIFYING THE MATTER, AND TO THAT END THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE FOLLOWING MODIFIED REGULATION FOR THE ONE HEREINBEFORE QUOTED IS CONTEMPLATED:

"CHARGES FOR LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES WILL BE ALLOWED IN AMOUNTS NOT TO EXCEED AN AGGREGATE OF $2.80 PER WEEK, PROVIDED THE EMPLOYEE SUBMITTING THE CLAIM WAS ABSENT FROM HIS POST OF DUTY, IN A TRAVELING STATUS, SEVEN OR MORE CONSECUTIVE DAYS DURING THE MONTH COVERED BY HIS EXPENSE VOUCHER. THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS OF A TRIP IN A GIVEN MONTH CONSTITUTE THE FIRST ,LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING" WEEK, AND EACH SUBSEQUENT WEEK, OR FRACTION THEREOF, ON THE SAME TRIP, SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN THE "LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING" PERIOD FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES AT THE RATE OF NOT TO EXCEED $2.80 PER WEEK, OR FOR A FRACTION OF A WEEK, AT THE RATE NOT TO EXCEED AS MANY SEVENTHS OF $2.80 AS THERE ARE NUMBER OF DAYS COMPRISING SUCH FRACTION OF A WEEK. THE EXPENSE OF LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES BEING CUMULATIVE AND NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED IN ONE DAY, THE CHARGE FOR A PERIOD, ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD BE ENTERED IN THE ACCOUNT AS OF THE DATE OF PAYMENT, WILL BE HELD TO BE DISTRIBUTABLE AMONG THE PRECEDING DAYS OF THE PERIOD AND ALLOWED TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSE FOR SUBSISTENCE, EXCLUSIVE OF LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES ON SUCH DAYS IS LESS THAN $5. ILLUSTRATION FOR CLAIMING LAUNDRY, PRESSING, AND CLEANING CHARGES FOR SEVEN OR MORE CONSECUTIVE DAYS: FOR 7 DAYS (1 WEEK) SUBSISTENCE, OTHER THAN LAUNDRY, CLEANING, AND PRESSING, $4.75, $4.25, $5.00, $4.60, $4.10, $4.95, AND $3.00. LAUNDRY, CLEANING, AND PRESSING EXPENSES INCURRED, $3.75. AMOUNTS DISTRIBUTABLE BACK WHICH WILL BE ALLOWED 25 CENTS, 75 CENTS, NOTHING, 40 CENTS, 90 CENTS, 5 CENTS, AND 45 CENTS; TOTAL $2.80. FOR 3 DAYS ( 3/7 WEEK), SUBSISTENCE, OTHER THAN LAUNDRY, CLEANING, AND PRESSING, $4.80, $5.00, AND $2.10. LAUNDRY, CLEANING, AND PRESSING EXPENSES INCURRED $1.65. AMOUNTS DISTRIBUTABLE BACK 20 CENTS, NOTHING, $1.00; TOTAL $1.20. LAUNDRY SLIPS, TAILOR CHECKS, OR RECEIPTED BILLS MUST SUPPORT ALL SUCH CHARGES AND MUST SHOW THE DATE OF YMENT.'

IN ORDER THAT THERE SHALL BE NO FURTHER QUESTION AS TO LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES ALLOWANCES AND THE APPLICATION THEREOF, IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT WHETHER THE PROPOSED MODIFICATION OF THE REGULATION ALLOWING LAUNDRY, ETC., CHARGES IS IN ACCORD WITH YOUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 3, 1922, WHEREIN YOU STATE THAT UNDER PROPER TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE EXPENSES OF LAUNDERING, CLEANING, AND PRESSING CLOTHES MAY BE DISTRIBUTED AND CHARGED AGAINST THE MAXIMUM SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR EACH DAY OF A PRECEDING PERIOD. 1 COMP. GEN. 403.

SINCE THE ISSUANCE OF YOUR MEMORANDUM A-24, DATED APRIL 4, 1924, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IN THE CERTIFICATES OF SETTLEMENT ISSUED AGAINST THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, HAS BEEN SETTING UP SUSPENSIONS WHERE LAUNDRY, ETC., CHARGES HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF 40 CENTS PER DAY IN CASES OF FRACTIONAL PARTS OF A WEEK. AS THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE MATTER WERE GENERALLY MISCONSTRUED THROUGHOUT THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, AND THE NECESSARY STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO MODIFY THE REGULATION TO ALLOW LAUNDRY, ETC., CHARGES AS WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED UNDER THE OLD REGULATION, IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT ALL SUCH EXCESS PAYMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN DISALLOWED BE RECONSIDERED AND ALLOWED IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED.

IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 3, 1922, 1 COMP. GEN. 403, IT WAS STATED, WITH REFERENCE TO THE THEN EXISTING REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR ALLOWANCE OF CHARGES FOR LAUNDERING AND PRESSING CLOTHES IN AMOUNTS NOT TO EXCEED $3 PER WEEK, WITH A PROVISION THAT CHARGES SHOULD NOT BE PRORATED OVER A NUMBER OF DAYS BUT SHOULD BE CHARGED AS AN EXPENSE OF THE DATE ON WHICH DELIVERED, THAT THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE AMOUNT OF THE AGGREGATE MAXIMUM WEEKLY ALLOWANCE, REDUCING IT TO $2.80, WAS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AND RESPONSIBILITY, AND THERE WAS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE REGULATION PROVIDING FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE WEEKLY ALLOWANCE OVER THE SEVERAL DAYS OF THE WEEKLY PERIOD. IT WAS ALSO STATED IN SAID DECISION THAT THE VIEWS THEREIN EXPRESSED, IN SO FAR AS APPROVAL OF REGULATIONS WAS CONCERNED, WERE TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN A GENERAL SENSE, AND THAT THE LEGALITY OF ANY PARTICULAR PROVISION WAS FOR DETERMINATION SHOULD IT SPECIFICALLY COME IN QUESTION.

THE PROPOSED MODIFICATION OF THE PRESENT REGULATIONS CONSISTS IN OMITTING THE PHRASE "OR 40 CENTS PER DAY FOR EACH DAY OF A FRACTIONAL WEEK," SUBSTITUTING THEREFOR "OR FOR A FRACTION OF A WEEK, AT THE RATE NOT TO EXCEED AS MANY SEVENTHS OF $2.80 AS THERE ARE NUMBER OF DAYS COMPRISING SUCH FRACTION OF A WEEK.' THE MODIFICATION SETS OUT ALSO EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATING CLAIMS FOR LAUNDERING, PRESSING, AND CLEANING, FOR SEVEN OR MORE CONSECUTIVE DAYS, WITH THE APPORTIONMENT OF CHARGES ALLOWABLE, VARYING ACCORDING AS THE AMOUNT FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR EACH DAY FOR THE PERIOD OVER WHICH THE CHARGES ARE DISTRIBUTABLE IS LESS THAN THE STATUTORY MAXIMUM OF $5, THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE FOR A PERIOD OF SEVEN DAYS BEING LIMITED TO $2.80 AND FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN SEVEN DAYS TO AS MANY SEVENTHS OF $2.80 AS THERE ARE DAYS COMPRISED THEREIN.

THE REGULATION AS MODIFIED PROVIDES FOR NOT TO EXCEED A CERTAIN AMOUNT FOR A FULL WEEK, FOR A PROPORTIONATE PART THEREOF FOR A FRACTION OF A WEEK, AND FOR A PRACTICAL PROCEDURE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ALLOWANCE OVER THE SEVERAL DAYS OF THE PERIOD TO WHICH APPLICABLE. THERE APPEARS NO OBJECTION TO THE REGULATION AS MODIFIED AND IT IS ACCORDINGLY APPROVED. SEE 1 COMP. GEN. 403; 2 ID. 246.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR REQUEST THAT, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN, ALL SUSPENSIONS AND DISALLOWANCES IN DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE DECISION OF APRIL 4, 1924, BE REMOVED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE MATTER IS NOW BEING RECONSIDERED IN A REVIEW REQUESTED BY THE ACTING SECRETARY IN LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1924, OF DISALLOWANCES IN SETTLEMENT NO. C-10362, DATED MAY 14, 1924, ACCOUNTS OF JOHN A. KIRK, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.