A-58599, NOVEMBER 22, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 408

A-58599: Nov 22, 1934

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ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY PAYMENTS AS CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES IN ADDITION TO THEIR AGREED COMPENSATION AS NO PRESUMPTION OF LOSS ARISES UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE THE HONOR TO AGAIN REFER TO THE QUESTION OF THE PAYMENT FOR REPORTS OF INVESTIGATIONS OBTAINED THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN CASES OF BENEFICIARIES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION RESIDING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. YOU NOTED THAT THE PHYSICIANS WHO ARE PROCURED THROUGH THE FOREIGN SERVICE ARE NOT REGULARLY DESIGNATED OR EMPLOYED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AS IS THE CASE GENERALLY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT THAT THE SELECTION IS LEFT TO THE FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS AND THE FEES ARE NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO THE SCHEDULE OF FEES PRESCRIBED FOR EXAMINATIONS AND TREATMENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

A-58599, NOVEMBER 22, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 408

EXCHANGE - LOSSES - TEMPORARY ALIEN EMPLOYEES PERSONS EMPLOYED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR A PARTICULAR OR TEMPORARY SERVICE AT AN AGREED COMPENSATION, PRESUMABLY FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PREVAILING LOCAL RATES, ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY PAYMENTS AS CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES IN ADDITION TO THEIR AGREED COMPENSATION AS NO PRESUMPTION OF LOSS ARISES UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, NOVEMBER 22, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO AGAIN REFER TO THE QUESTION OF THE PAYMENT FOR REPORTS OF INVESTIGATIONS OBTAINED THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN CASES OF BENEFICIARIES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION RESIDING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

IN YOUR DECISION (A-51258; A-51915) DATED APRIL 6, 1934, ON THE QUESTION OF THE 15 PERCENT COMPENSATION REDUCTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY LEGISLATION, YOU NOTED THAT THE PHYSICIANS WHO ARE PROCURED THROUGH THE FOREIGN SERVICE ARE NOT REGULARLY DESIGNATED OR EMPLOYED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AS IS THE CASE GENERALLY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT THAT THE SELECTION IS LEFT TO THE FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS AND THE FEES ARE NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO THE SCHEDULE OF FEES PRESCRIBED FOR EXAMINATIONS AND TREATMENT IN THIS COUNTRY. THE DECISION STATES:

"UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE SERVICE MAY BE CONSIDERED AS ENGAGED FOR THE PARTICULAR CASE AT AN AGREED FEE NOT FIXED UNDER ANY LAW, REGULATION, OR ORDER IN EFFECT PRIOR TO MARCH 20, 1933, AND THE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICE SO RENDERED IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION UNDER THE ACT OF SAID DATE. INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS FOR AMOUNTS HERETOFORE DISALLOWED AS REPRESENTING THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION IN THE COMPENSATION OF PRIVATE PHYSICIANS FOR MAKING MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OR RENDERING SERVICES TO BENEFICIARIES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION.'

THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES AS TO EMPLOYMENT ALSO APPLIED TO INVESTIGATORS AND YOUR DECISION, ABOVE QUOTED, HAS BEEN APPLIED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO FEES FOR THEIR SERVICES.

INSTRUCTIONS HAVE NOW BEEN REQUESTED BY MR. VICTOR M. LENZER, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT IN THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICE OF THE AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN PARIS, FRANCE, AS TO WHETHER INVESTIGATORS WHO ARE NOT REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE ENTITLED TO CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES ON TREASURY CHECKS ISSUED BY HIM IN PAYMENT OF THEIR COMPENSATION AND/OR PER DIEM WHILE ENGAGED ON INVESTIGATION WORK FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION.

SECTION 1 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6657-A, PROMULGATED MARCH 27, 1934, FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING INTO EFFECT PUBLIC, NO. 129, 73D CONGRESS, DEFINES THE WORDS IN THE ACT "WHILE IN SERVICE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES" SO AS TO MEAN (A) WHILE EMPLOYED IN OR ON ASSIGNMENT OR DETAIL TO A POST OF DUTY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS DEFINITION IS BROAD ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE SERVICES OF INVESTIGATORS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES ABOVE OUTLINED.

PARAGRAPH 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6657-A DECLARES THE PURPOSE OF THAT ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

THE PURPOSE OF THESE REGULATIONS IS TO PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS EMPLOYEES), FOR LOSSES SUSTAINED FROM APPRECIATION OF FOREIGN CURRENCIES IN THEIR RELATION TO THE AMERICAN DOLLAR, AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE AFORESAID ACT.

WHEN NO ACTUAL LOSS HAS BEEN SUSTAINED AND THE CONDITIONS ARE SUCH THAT NO PRESUMPTION OF LOSS ARISES, THE STATUTE AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE INVESTIGATORS WERE ENGAGED IN THE FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR A PARTICULAR OR TEMPORARY SERVICE AND AT AN AGREED COMPENSATION, AND PRESUMABLY IN FIXING THE COMPENSATION THERE WERE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION THE PREVAILING LOCAL RATES FOR SUCH SERVICES, THE COMPENSATION NOT BEING BASED UPON CLASSIFICATION OR OTHER FIXED RATES APPLICABLE IN THE UNITED STATES. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN PAID THE AGREED COMPENSATION FOR SUCH TEMPORARY SERVICE, NO PRESUMPTION OF LOSS DUE TO THE APPRECIATION OF THE FOREIGN CURRENCY ARISES AND, ACCORDINGLY, SUCH INVESTIGATORS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY PAYMENTS AS CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES IN ADDITION TO THEIR AGREED COMPENSATION.