A-43792, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 218

A-43792: Aug 9, 1932

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PROVISION IS MADE FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF DIPLOMATIC. IN VIEW OF THIS AND WHAT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE OBVIOUS INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE SUBSTITUTED IN ALL CASES FOR ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FOR SUBSISTENCE. IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: "SEC. 3. 6 OF THE SAID SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 ARE HEREBY REPEALED. SECTION 7 THEREOF IS HEREBY AMENDED BY STRIKING OUT THE REFERENCE THEREIN TO ACTUAL EXPENSES SO THAT THE SECTION AS AMENDED WILL READ AS FOLLOWS: "SEC. 7. THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES OF FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE OFFICERS THEMSELVES AND. PROVIDES FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS OF AN OFFICER'S FAMILY "IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH MEMBER OF A FAMILY.'.

A-43792, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 218

ECONOMY ACT - PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE - DEPENDENTS OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS BEING AUTHORIZED ONLY AS INCIDENTAL TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF OFFICERS THEMSELVES, THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE FAMILY WHEN AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SHOULD BE LIMITED TO A PER DIEM NOT EXCEEDING $5, IN LIEU OF ALL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AND ALL FEES AND TIPS TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS, FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, OR AN AVERAGE PER DIEM NOT TO EXCEED $6 BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, HAVING DUE REGARD TO THE DIFFERING NEEDS BETWEEN ADULT AND YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY IN FIXING THE RESPECTIVE PER DIEMS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 9, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

THE LEGISLATIVE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932 (ECONOMY ACT), PROVIDES IN SECTION 207 FOR THE DISCONTINUANCE OF PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE OF "CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS" AND THE SUBSTITUTION THEREFOR OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. SECTION 803 OF THE ACT MAKES THIS PROVISION APPLICABLE TO ALL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.

IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, PUBLIC NO. 232, JULY 1, 1932, PROVISION IS MADE FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE AND FOR "THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF THEIR FAMILIES AND EFFECTS.'

OBVIOUSLY TO ALLOW AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE A PER DIEM AND REQUIRE HIM WHEN HIS WIFE AND FAMILY ACCOMPANY HIM TO RENDER AN ACCOUNT FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURES WHICH HE INCURS FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THEM CREATES CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY ADMINISTRATIVELY IN ACCOUNTING AND THE AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS.

IN VIEW OF THIS AND WHAT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE OBVIOUS INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE SUBSTITUTED IN ALL CASES FOR ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FOR SUBSISTENCE, NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 207 MENTIONS ONLY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, THE DEPARTMENT WOULD BE GLAD TO RECEIVE AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR OPINION WHETHER IT MAY GRANT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OF AN OFFICER'S FAMILY NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISION OF THE APPROPRIATION QUOTED ABOVE AS TO "THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES.'

SHOULD YOU DECIDE THAT PER DIEMS IN LIEU OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES MAY BE GRANTED MEMBERS OF THE FAMILIES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, PERHAPS YOU WOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH TO PASS UPON THE ADEQUACY TO MEET THE SITUATION OF THE ENCLOSED DRAFT OF A DEPARTMENTAL ORDER ABOLISHING ALL PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS.

SECTIONS 207 AND 208 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

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.' OF CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.'

SEC. 208. SECTIONS 4, 5, AND 6 OF THE SAID SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 ARE HEREBY REPEALED, AND SECTION 7 THEREOF IS HEREBY AMENDED BY STRIKING OUT THE REFERENCE THEREIN TO ACTUAL EXPENSES SO THAT THE SECTION AS AMENDED WILL READ AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 7. THE FIXING AND PAYMENT, UNDER SECTION 3, OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE, OR PORTIONS THEREOF, SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS WHICH SHALL BE PROMULGATED BY THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS AND WHICH SHALL BE STANDARDIZED AS FAR AS PRACTICABLE AND SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.'

THE TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES OF FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE OFFICERS THEMSELVES AND, ACCORDINGLY, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES AND REGULATIONS. IT WOULD BE PROPER, THEREFORE, TO LIMIT THE MEMBERS OF AN OFFICER'S FAMILY WHEN AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A PER DIEM OF NOT TO EXCEED $5 IN LIEU OF ALL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE AND ALL FEES AND TIPS TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR AN AVERAGE PER DIEM NOT TO EXCEED $6 BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, HAVING REGARD ALSO IN FIXING PER DIEM TO THE DIFFERING NEEDS BETWEEN ADULT AND THE YOUNGER FAMILY MEMBERS.

THE PARAGRAPH 7 (A) OF THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS, SUBMITTED BY YOU, PROVIDES FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS OF AN OFFICER'S FAMILY "IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH MEMBER OF A FAMILY.' AS THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THERE BE INSERTED AFTER THE WORD "TRANSPORTATION" THE WORDS "AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE," ELIMINATING THE WORD "IS.' WITH THIS MODIFICATION THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS DO NOT APPEAR AT THIS TIME TO BE OBJECTIONABLE, BUT WILL BE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION SHOULD ANY CLAIMS OR ACCOUNTING QUESTIONS ARISE THEREUNDER.