A-43360, JULY 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 71

A-43360: Jul 16, 1932

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I HAVE INSTRUCTED THE AMERICAN MINISTER AT COPENHAGEN TO PROCEED TO REYKJAVIK FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING FORMAL PRESENTATION OF THE STATUE OF LEIFERICSSON ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES. I AM DESIROUS OF INFORMING THE MINISTER WITHOUT DELAY OF THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES TO WHICH HE WILL BE ENTITLED WHILE ENGAGED ON THIS ASSIGNMENT. A DELEGATION WAS INSTRUCTED ON MAY 20. TO PROCEED TO REYKJAVIK AND ITS MEMBERS WERE GRANTED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF TWENTY DOLLARS ($20.00) WHILE IN ICELAND. THIS AMOUNT WAS REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE UNUSUAL CONDITIONS CONFRONTING VISITORS TO REYKJAVIK. WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ORDINARILY FOUND IN THE HOTELS OF MORE FREQUENTED CITIES.

A-43360, JULY 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 71

ECONOMY ACT - SUBSISTENCE, PER DIEM - DELEGATION TO ICELAND SECTIONS 207 TO 210, INCLUSIVE, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, 406, SUPERSEDE ALL INCONSISTENT PROVISIONS IN STATUTES PREVIOUSLY ENACTED AND ALL SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES APPEARING IN APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, EVEN THOUGH ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1932. MEMBERS OF THE DELEGATION TO ICELAND MAY NOT BE PAID SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN EXCESS OF AN AVERAGE PER DIEM OF $6 WHILE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JULY 16, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 12, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CARRYING OUT THE HEREUNDER DESCRIBED PORTION OF PUBLIC ACT NO. 232, 72D CONGRESS (H.R. 9349), MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE STATE AND CERTAIN OTHER DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933, I HAVE INSTRUCTED THE AMERICAN MINISTER AT COPENHAGEN TO PROCEED TO REYKJAVIK FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING FORMAL PRESENTATION OF THE STATUE OF LEIFERICSSON ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES. I AM DESIROUS OF INFORMING THE MINISTER WITHOUT DELAY OF THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES TO WHICH HE WILL BE ENTITLED WHILE ENGAGED ON THIS ASSIGNMENT.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH JOINT RESOLUTION APPROVED JANUARY 20, 1930 (46 STAT. 57), REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT, A DELEGATION WAS INSTRUCTED ON MAY 20, 1930, TO PROCEED TO REYKJAVIK AND ITS MEMBERS WERE GRANTED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF TWENTY DOLLARS ($20.00) WHILE IN ICELAND. THIS AMOUNT WAS REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THE UNUSUAL CONDITIONS CONFRONTING VISITORS TO REYKJAVIK, WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ORDINARILY FOUND IN THE HOTELS OF MORE FREQUENTED CITIES. THE REPRESENTATIVE CHARACTER OF THE DELEGATION ALSO LED TO THE GRANTING OF A PER DIEM IN EXCESS OF THE THEN STATUTORY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.

ON JUNE 30, 1932, THE PRESIDENT APPROVED PUBLIC ACT NO. 212, 72D CONGRESS (H.R. 11267), MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933, WHICH CONTAINED IN PART 2, TITLE 2, THE FOLLOWING SECTION:

"SEC. 207, SECTION 3 OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, APPROVED JUNE 3, 1926 (44 STAT. 688, 689), IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

" "SEC. 3. CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED, IN LIEU OF THEIR ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND ALL FEES OR TIPS TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS, A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, NOT TO EXCEED THE RATE OF $5 WITHIN THE LIMITS OF CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND NOT TO EXCEED AN AVERAGE OF $6 BEYOND THE LIMITS OF CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.'"

ON JULY 1, 1932, THE PRESIDENT APPROVED THE PUBLIC ACT DESCRIBED IN THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THIS LETTER. THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF THE SECTION IN TITLE 1 OF THIS ACT DEALING WITH INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS, COMMISSIONS, BUREAUS, AND SO FORTH, PROVIDES THAT---

"NOT TO EXCEED $2,500 OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF THE APPROPRIATION OF $55,000 CONTAINED IN THE JOINT RESOLUTION APPROVED JANUARY 20, 1930 (46 STAT. 57), FOR THE EXPENSES OF PARTICIPATION BY THE UNITED STATES IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE ONE THOUSANDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALTHING, THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT OF ICELAND, IS CONTINUED AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1933, FOR THE SAME PURPOSES, AND FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF (NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, OR REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED PURSUANT THERETO) OF A REPRESENTATIVE OR REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO MAKE THE FORMAL PRESENTATION OF THE STATUE OF LIEF ERICSSON, INCLUDING SUCH EXPENSES OF ENTERTAINMENT AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DEEM PROPER.'

IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE EFFECT OF THIS LATTER ENACTMENT THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE AMENDMENT OF JUNE 30, 1932, TO THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, FUNDS ARE PROVIDED FOR SUCH A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT REYKJAVIK AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DEEM PROPER.

I WOULD BE APPRECIATIVE OF YOUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS THE CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. LET ME ADD THAT BECAUSE OF THE NECESSITY OF TELEGRAPHING TO THE MINISTER AT COPENHAGEN IN THIS REGARD WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS, I SHALL BE GRATEFUL FOR AN EARLY REPLY.

THE SECTION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, QUOTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION IS FOLLOWED BY SECTION 210, WHICH PROVIDES:

THE PROVISIONS OF ALL ACTS HERETOFORE ENACTED INCONSISTENT WITH SECTIONS 207, 208, AND 209 ARE, TO THE EXTENT OF SUCH INCONSISTENCY, HEREBY REPEALED, AND SUCH SECTIONS SHALL TAKE EFFECT ON JULY 1, 1932.

SECTIONS 207, 208, 209, AND 210 WERE ENACTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF STANDARDIZING SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES OF ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES. IN DECISION OF JULY 13, 1932, A-39298, 12 COMP. GEN. 22, IT WAS HELD THAT THIS SECTION SUPERSEDES, TO THE EXTENT OF ANY INCONSISTENCY, ALL INCONSISTENT PROVISIONS IN STATUTES PREVIOUSLY ENACTED AND ALL SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES APPEARING IN APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, EVEN THOUGH ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1932. (10 COMP. GEN. 409.) SEE ALSO SECTION 803 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE DELEGATION TO THE ICELAND CELEBRATION MAY NOT BE PAID SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN EXCESS OF AN AVERAGE OF $6 PER DAY WHILE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, AS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 207 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932.