A-56216, JULY 13, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 41

A-56216: Jul 13, 1934

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ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWED FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE WHEN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN PAID AS A PART OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. CREDIT FOR WHICH WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE REASON THAT TIPS OR FEES. ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE WHEN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN PAID. THE SUSPENDED ITEMS ON THIS VOUCHER ARE AS FOLLOWS: PORTER AT PIER. .29 2.52 IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER: IN SUPPORT OF THIS SUSPENSION REFERENCE IS MADE BY YOUR OFFICE TO SECTION 207 (47 STAT. 405) AMENDING SECTION 3 OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926. THE PROVISION OF LAW REFERRED TO IS. QUITE CONCLUSIVE SO FAR AS GRATUITOUS FEES OR TIPS ARE CONCERNED BUT IT IS THE OPINION OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT WHERE.

A-56216, JULY 13, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 41

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TIPS TO PIER OR STATION PORTERS - FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS FEES TO PIER OR STATION PORTERS, WHETHER OBLIGATED OR GRATUITOUS, ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWED FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE WHEN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN PAID AS A PART OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JULY 13, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1934, REGARDING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE APRIL 18, 1934, AS TO ITEMS AGGREGATING $2.52 CHARGED ON VOUCHER NO. 27 OF THE ACCOUNT OF HERBERT O. WILLIAMS, FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, AS EXPENDITURES INCURRED ON ACCOUNT OF HANDLING HIS BAGGAGE AT STEAMSHIP PIERS AND RAILROAD STATIONS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, CREDIT FOR WHICH WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE REASON THAT TIPS OR FEES, WHETHER OBLIGATED OR GRATUITOUS, ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE WHEN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN PAID. THE SUSPENDED ITEMS ON THIS VOUCHER ARE AS FOLLOWS: PORTER AT PIER, CRISTOBAL ---------- ------------------------- - $0.80 PORTER AT PIER, HABANA ----------------- ---------------------- .85 PORTER AT STATION, VERACRUZ ------------------- ---------------- .29 PORTER AT STATION, MEXICO CITY ---------------------- ---------- .29 PORTER AT STATION, VERACRUZ ------------------------------- ---- .29

2.52

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER:

IN SUPPORT OF THIS SUSPENSION REFERENCE IS MADE BY YOUR OFFICE TO SECTION 207 (47 STAT. 405) AMENDING SECTION 3 OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH PROHIBIT THE CHARGING BY AN OFFICER OF FEES TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS IN ADDITION TO HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE.

THE PROVISION OF LAW REFERRED TO IS, OF COURSE, QUITE CONCLUSIVE SO FAR AS GRATUITOUS FEES OR TIPS ARE CONCERNED BUT IT IS THE OPINION OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT WHERE, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, SUCH CHARGES REPRESENT A FIXED TARIFF FOR THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE THEY ARE THUS REMOVED FROM THE CATEGORY OF GRATUITOUS FEES AND ARE IN FACT AN UNAVOIDABLE AND ALLOWABLE CHARGE FOR THE TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE. REFERENCE IS MADE TO A DESPATCH, NO. 21, DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1933, SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT BY MR. WILLIAMS, A COPY OF WHICH HAS BEEN SENT TO YOUR OFFICE PREVIOUSLY, WHEREIN THE CONSUL EXPLAINS THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING THE INCURRENCE OF EXPENDITURES OF THIS NATURE.

IT IS SINCERELY HOPED THAT IN VIEW OF THE EXPLANATION NOW SUBMITTED IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO REMOVE THE SUSPENSION UNDER REFERENCE AND TO APPROVE IN PRINCIPLE THE INCURRENCE OF CHARGES OF THIS NATURE. A SPECIFIC RULING OF YOUR OFFICE WILL BE APPRECIATED FOR THE FUTURE GUIDANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ITS PERSONNEL.

IN THIS CONNECTION THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION, ALSO, VOUCHER NO. 798 FROM THE ACCOUNT FOR JULY 1933, OF COERT DU BOIS, AMERICAN CONSUL GENERAL AT NAPLES, WHEREON CREDIT WAS SUSPENDED APRIL 16, 1934, FOR SIMILAR ITEMS AGGREGATING $1.24 CLAIMED AT RAILWAY STATIONS IN ROME AND NAPLES. THE SUSPENDED ITEMS ON THIS VOUCHER ARE AS FOLLOWS: BAGGAGE AT STATION, NAPLES ----------------------------------- $0.31 BAGGAGE PORTER AT STATION, ROME ------------------------------ .31

DO -------------------------------------------------------- .31 BAGGAGE PORTER AT STATION, NAPLES ---------------------------- .31

1.24

IN EXPLANATION OF THESE CHARGES THE OFFICER SUBMITTED A CERTIFICATE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE EXPENDITURES WERE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DEFINITE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ITALIAN STATE RAILWAY AND THAT THE AMOUNTS WERE FIXED BY ITS OFFICIAL RATE SCHEDULE.

THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, UNDER THE SUBTITLE "PERMANENT REDUCTION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE," PROVIDES:

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.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THESE FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WERE ALLOWED A PER DIEM OF $6 EACH IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, WHICH UNDER THE PLAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, SUPRA, PRECLUDES IN ADDITION THE ALLOWANCE OF FEES OR TIPS TO PORTERS.

AS TO ALLOWING THE SAME AS PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES THERE HAS BEEN NOTED THE STATEMENT THAT "SUCH CHARGES REPRESENT A FIXED TARIFF FOR THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE.' EVEN IF THE MATTER BE CONSIDERED ON THAT BASIS IT IS NOT APPARENT WHY ALLOWANCE OF THE CHARGES SHOULD BE MADE. IT IS ADMITTED THAT THEY ARE CHARGES SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE COST OF RAILWAY OR STEAMSHIP TICKETS, THE SERVICES OF STATION OR PIER PORTERS FOR CARRYING BAGGAGE NOT BEING RECOGNIZED AS A PART OF THE SERVICE TO WHICH THE PURCHASE OF A RAILROAD OR STEAMSHIP TICKET ENTITLES THE PASSENGER. COMP. GEN. 410.) THE TIPS OR FEES WHICH IT IS CONTENDED REPRESENT A FIXED TARIFF MUST BE CONSIDERED IN ANY EVENT ON THE BASIS OF PERSONAL EXPENSES OF THE TRAVELER TO BE TAKEN CARE OF UNDER THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED, RATHER THAN AS PART OF OR INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT MUST BE HELD THAT THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWING CREDIT FOR THESE ITEMS. ACCORDINGLY, HERBERT O. WILLIAMS BEING INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $2.52, AND COERT DU BOIS, IN THE SUM OF $1.24, IT IS REQUESTED THESE RESPECTIVE SUMS BE REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY.