A-6141, NOVEMBER 20, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 466

A-6141: Nov 20, 1924

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SUBSISTENCE - ACTUAL EXPENSE WHILE AT HEADQUARTERS A PROHIBITION AGENT WHOSE PLACE OF ABODE IS MINNEAPOLIS. PLACE OF DUTY IS ST. IS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE IN ATTENDANCE UPON A COURT IN MINNEAPOLIS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR LUNCHEONS TAKEN UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS WHILE IN MINNEAPOLIS IS NOT AUTHORIZED. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 21. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE EMPLOYEE LEFT HIS POST OF DUTY OCTOBER 15 AND DID NOT RETURN THERETO UNTIL OCTOBER 20. THEREFORE ITS APPLICABILITY TO THE CASE PRESENTED HERE IS NOT APPARENT. THIS DEPARTMENT IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS CLEARLY ENTITLED TO THE SUBSISTENCE CHARGES CLAIMED. SINCE HE WAS ABSENT FROM HIS POST OF DUTY ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

A-6141, NOVEMBER 20, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 466

SUBSISTENCE - ACTUAL EXPENSE WHILE AT HEADQUARTERS A PROHIBITION AGENT WHOSE PLACE OF ABODE IS MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., AND PLACE OF DUTY IS ST. PAUL, MINN., IS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE IN ATTENDANCE UPON A COURT IN MINNEAPOLIS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR LUNCHEONS TAKEN UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS WHILE IN MINNEAPOLIS IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, NOVEMBER 20, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 21, 1924, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN ON ITEMS IN VOUCHER 262 INCLUDED IN SETTLEMENT C 15759, DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1924, ACCOUNTS OF SIGURDT B. QVALE, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, INTERNAL REVENUE, WHICH RESULTED IN THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE SUMS OF 50 CENTS, 50 CENTS, AND 40 CENTS COVERING CHARGES FOR MIDDAY MEALS OBTAINED BY JACOB P. BRANDT, PROHIBITION AGENT, WHILE ATTENDING COURT IN MINNEAPOLIS, OCTOBER 16, 17, AND 19, 1923, CONCERNING WHICH YOU STATE:

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE DISALLOWED THE CHARGES FOR SUBSISTENCE IN MINNEAPOLIS BECAUSE THAT PLACE APPEARS TO BE WITHIN THE FIELD OF THE OFFICER'S DUTIES; ALSO THE REQUIREMENT OF DUTY AT THE PLACE OF DOMICILE WOULD INVOLVE NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THAT DUTY. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR ITS AUTHORITY FOR MAKING THE DISALLOWANCES REFERS TO YOUR DECISION 3 COMP. GEN. 598.

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE EMPLOYEE LEFT HIS POST OF DUTY OCTOBER 15 AND DID NOT RETURN THERETO UNTIL OCTOBER 20, AND THAT DURING THE PERIOD OF ABSENCE HE CLAIMED SUBSISTENCE CHARGES OF MIDDAY MEALS OCTOBER 16, 17, AND 19. YOUR DECISION 3 COMP. GEN. 598 REFERS TO SHORT TEMPORARY ABSENCES DURING THE DAY, AND THEREFORE ITS APPLICABILITY TO THE CASE PRESENTED HERE IS NOT APPARENT. THIS DEPARTMENT IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS CLEARLY ENTITLED TO THE SUBSISTENCE CHARGES CLAIMED, SINCE HE WAS ABSENT FROM HIS POST OF DUTY ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE PLACE AT WHICH THE SUBSISTENCE WAS CLAIMED HAPPENED TO BE THE EMPLOYEE'S DOMICILE.

IT IS REPRESENTED, AND NOT DENIED, THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S ABODE IS AT MINNEAPOLIS AND THE PLACE OF DUTY IS ASSIGNED AS ST. PAUL. THE DAIRY OF DUTY, HOWEVER, DISCLOSES THAT SOME OF THE TIME IS SPENT UPON DUTY AT AN OFFICE IN MINNEAPOLIS, SO THAT THE DUTY STATION EVIDENTLY COMPRISES BOTH THE ADJACENT CITIES, BUT FOR REASONS HEREINAFTER STATED THIS POINT IS NOT MATERIAL.

FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION, AND THE FACT OF THE CHARGE UPON APPROPRIATION FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC AND PROHIBITION ACTS, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS IN ATTENDANCE UPON COURT IN PURSUANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY TO AID IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE ACTS. CONSEQUENTLY ANY EXPENSES CLAIMED AS INCIDENT TO SUCH ATTENDANCE ARE ONLY SUCH AS ARE ALLOWABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 452, AND WHAT MAY BE SAID TO BE AN AMENDMENT THEREOF, THE ACTS OF APRIL 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 318, AND AUGUST 1, 1914, 38 STAT. 680. 16 COMP. DEC. 411.

UNDER THE TERMS OF THESE ACTS, TO ENTITLE AN EMPLOYEE TO SUBSISTENCE THERE MUST BE A TRAVEL STATUS, INVOLVING EXPENSES ADDITIONAL TO THOSE USUALLY INCURRED AT THE DUTY STATION. WHERE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AS IN THIS CASE, HAS A REGULAR DUTY STATION IN ONE CITY AND MAINTAINS A HOME OR OBTAINS LODGINGS IN ANOTHER NEARBY CITY, A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE CITY IN WHICH HE RESIDES DOES NOT OPERATE TO PLACE HIM IN A TRAVEL STATUS SUCH AS IS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACTS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE.

ACCORDINGLY THE DISALLOWANCE APPEARS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW IS SUSTAINED.