A-37710, JULY 28, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 37

A-37710: Jul 28, 1931

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SUBSISTENCE - MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE THE AUTHORITY IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT TO PAY ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE WITHOUT FIXING ANY LIMIT IS SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION. REIMBURSEMENT UPON AN AVERAGE DAILY BASIS FOR THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT. WHEN AN AVERAGE OF NOT TO EXCEED $8 PER DAY IS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO PARAGRAPH 20 OF THE REGULATIONS TO GOVERN THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE. ACTUAL ITEMIZED EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE WILL BE ALLOWED AT NOT TO EXCEED $7.00 PER DAY IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT NOT TO EXCEED $8.00 PER DAY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. ACTUAL ITEMIZED EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AT NOT TO EXCEED $3.50 PER DAY WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT NOT TO EXCEED $4.00 PER DAY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.'.

A-37710, JULY 28, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 37

SUBSISTENCE - MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE THE AUTHORITY IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT TO PAY ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE WITHOUT FIXING ANY LIMIT IS SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION, FIXED BY THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, OF $7 FOR ANY ONE CALENDAR DAY, AND REIMBURSEMENT UPON AN AVERAGE DAILY BASIS FOR THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT, WHEN INCURRED BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHEN AN AVERAGE OF NOT TO EXCEED $8 PER DAY IS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JULY 28, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 18, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO PARAGRAPH 20 OF THE REGULATIONS TO GOVERN THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES:

"FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OVER TEN YEARS OF AGE, ACTUAL ITEMIZED EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE WILL BE ALLOWED AT NOT TO EXCEED $7.00 PER DAY IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT NOT TO EXCEED $8.00 PER DAY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY TEN YEARS OF AGE OR UNDER, ACTUAL ITEMIZED EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AT NOT TO EXCEED $3.50 PER DAY WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT NOT TO EXCEED $4.00 PER DAY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.' ALSO, PARAGRAPH 32, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"AVERAGE DAILY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES:

"THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAS RULED UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 6, 1921, 1 COMP. GEN. 299, THAT REIMBURSEMENT CAN NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF THE AVERAGE DAILY EXPENSES FOR A GIVEN PERIOD.'

IT IS NOTED THAT PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1931, ALLOWS ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE TRAVELING IN THE UNITED STATES AT NOT TO EXCEED $7.00 FOR ANY ONE CALENDAR DAY, AND NOT TO EXCEED AN AVERAGE OF $8.00 PER DAY WHILE TRAVELING BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926, AN ACT TO REGULATE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU WERE PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1931, WHICH ACT READS IN PART,

"TO PAY THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE MAY PRESCRIBE, * * *.' INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO ALLOW ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AT AN AVERAGE RATE PER DAY, BOTH IN THE UNITED STATES AND BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO ALLOW A HIGHER RATE THAN $7.00 PER DAY IN THE UNITED STATES AND $8.00 PER DAY ABROAD.

PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1931, REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION, IS BASED UPON EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISIONS FOUND IN THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 688, WHICH IN SECTION 3 PROVIDES FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF "ACTUAL NECESSARY EXPENSES IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $7 EACH FOR ANY ONE CALENDAR DAY," AND IN SECTION 5 PERMITS CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TRAVELING BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE REIMBURSED FOR "NOT TO EXCEED AN AVERAGE OF $8 PER DAY DURING THE TRAVEL.'

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT AUTHORITY IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT TO PAY ACTUAL AND NECESSARY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, WITHOUT FIXING ANY LIMIT, IS NEVERTHELESS SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS FIXED BY THE STATUTES OF GENERAL APPLICATION. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 168; A-28054, JULY 22, 1929; A 31829, MAY 28, 1930. THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926 PROVIDES FOR AN "AVERAGE" ALLOWANCE ONLY WHEN TRAVELING BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT YOU MAY NOT LAWFULLY BY REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES UPON A DAILY AVERAGE OR IN EXCESS OF $7 FOR ANY ONE CALENDAR DAY. 1 COMP. GEN. 299; 3 ID. 618. THE REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT UPON AN AVERAGE DAILY BASIS FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES BUT THE AVERAGE MAY NOT EXCEED $8 PER DAY.