A-3644, SEPTEMBER 3, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 251

A-3644: Sep 3, 1924

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SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES - MEALS AT HOME AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE WHO TRAVELED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS TO A NEAR-BY CITY WHERE HE MAINTAINED HIS HOME IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN APART FROM HIS FAMILY WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT THE LATTER PLACE. CORY'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS WERE AT BOSTON. THAT HIS HOME WAS IN NEW BEDFORD. ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED TO MR. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS ON THE GROUND THAT THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PROHIBIT ALLOWANCE OF CHARGES FOR MEALS OR LODGING TAKEN AT THE OFFICIAL STATION OR HOME OF AN EMPLOYEE. IT IS NOW SHOWN THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S INTERPRETATION OF THE REGULATION MENTIONED HAS BEEN THAT AN EMPLOYEE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHARGE FOR MEALS OR LODGING TAKEN IN HIS OWN HOME.

A-3644, SEPTEMBER 3, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 251

SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES - MEALS AT HOME AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE WHO TRAVELED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS TO A NEAR-BY CITY WHERE HE MAINTAINED HIS HOME IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN APART FROM HIS FAMILY WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT THE LATTER PLACE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 3, 1924:

SETTLEMENT C-10686-C, DATED MAY 22, 1924, DISALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF E. W. SAWYER CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS AMOUNTING TO $16 MADE BY HIM TO I. N. CORY, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, SECOND LIGHTHOUSE DISTRICT, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEALS TAKEN BY CORY WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT NEW BEDFORD, MASS.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. CORY'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS WERE AT BOSTON, MASS., AND THAT HIS HOME WAS IN NEW BEDFORD, MASS. ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED TO MR. CORY BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY DIRECTING HIM TO TRAVEL TO NEW BEDFORD AND RETURN TO BOSTON FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPERINTENDING REPAIRS BEING MADE TO VESSELS BELONGING TO THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE.

THE DISALLOWANCE WAS ON THE GROUND THAT THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PROHIBIT ALLOWANCE OF CHARGES FOR MEALS OR LODGING TAKEN AT THE OFFICIAL STATION OR HOME OF AN EMPLOYEE.

IT IS NOW SHOWN THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S INTERPRETATION OF THE REGULATION MENTIONED HAS BEEN THAT AN EMPLOYEE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHARGE FOR MEALS OR LODGING TAKEN IN HIS OWN HOME, BUT THAT THE REGULATION DID NOT PRECLUDE THE ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED WHILE ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF HIS HOME AND APART FROM HIS FAMILY. APPARENTLY THE DEPARTMENT'S INTERPRETATION HAS BEEN ACQUIESCED IN BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD AND WOULD SEEM TO BE CORRECT.

EACH OF THE VOUCHERS INVOLVED IN THE DISALLOWANCE BEARS THE EMPLOYEE'S CERTIFICATE THAT NONE OF THE MEALS CHARGED FOR WAS TAKEN AT HIS HOME. THE EMPLOYEE HAS SUBMITTED THE EXPLANATION THAT THE WORK SUPERINTENDED WAS LOCATED AT A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE FROM HIS HOME AND THAT INSPECTION OFTEN HAD TO BE MADE BEFORE OR AFTER REGULAR WORKING HOURS, MAKING IT IMPRACTICABLE TO RETURN HOME FOR THE MEALS FOR WHICH CHARGE IS MADE.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS NOW PRESENTED THE CHARGES APPEAR TO BE PROPERLY ALLOWABLE. SEE 1 COMP. GEN. 120.

UPON REVIEW, $16 IS CERTIFIED FOR CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF E.W. SAWYER, THE DISBURSING OFFICER.