A-64350, SEPTEMBER 13, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 206

A-64350: Sep 13, 1935

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SUBSISTENCE - COMPENSATION - PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT A COMMUTATION OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE TRAVELING IS NEVER ALLOWABLE EXCEPT WHEN AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE. WHO IS LATER APPOINTED. IS NOT ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE EITHER IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OR AS SALARY. PREAUDIT CERTIFICATION WAS ORIGINALLY REFUSED FOR THE REASON THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT. IT APPEARING FROM HIS NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT DATED MAY 15 THAT THE APPOINTMENT WAS TO BE EFFECTIVE MAY 16. THE RESUBMISSION IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION: THIS EXCEPTION WAS REFERRED TO THE DIVISION OF OPERATION. IS RETURNED FOR RECONSIDERATION AS THE CASES CITED BY YOU.

A-64350, SEPTEMBER 13, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 206

SUBSISTENCE - COMPENSATION - PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT A COMMUTATION OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE TRAVELING IS NEVER ALLOWABLE EXCEPT WHEN AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE. A PERSON WHO PERFORMS TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSULTING WITH THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT AS TO HIS QUALIFICATIONS, AND WHO IS LATER APPOINTED, IS NOT ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE EITHER IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OR AS SALARY, FOR THE PERIOD FROM DATE OF CONSULTATION TO THE DATE PRECEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE APPOINTMENT (3 COMP. GEN. 590 DISTINGUISHED).

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 13, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RESUBMITTED FOR PREAUDIT VOUCHER 74911, SCHEDULE 18755, IN FAVOR OF MILO PERKINS, AN EMPLOYEE IN YOUR OFFICE, FOR $202.28 AS PER DIEM COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD MAY 3 TO MAY 15, 1935. PREAUDIT CERTIFICATION WAS ORIGINALLY REFUSED FOR THE REASON THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT, IT APPEARING FROM HIS NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT DATED MAY 15 THAT THE APPOINTMENT WAS TO BE EFFECTIVE MAY 16, 1935. THE RESUBMISSION IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION:

THIS EXCEPTION WAS REFERRED TO THE DIVISION OF OPERATION, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, AND IS RETURNED FOR RECONSIDERATION AS THE CASES CITED BY YOU, 3 C.G. 559, 8 ID. 582, HAVE NO APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE. THOSE CASES DEAL WITH APPOINTMENTS OR PROMOTIONS, WHEREAS IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZED MR. PERKINS TO PROCEED FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSULTING WITH HIM AS TO HIS QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT AS ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY. IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER EXPENSES INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE, HE WAS ALLOWED A PER DIEM OF $15.56 FOR A PERIOD NOT EXCEEDING 15 DAYS. MR. PERKINS WAS IN WASHINGTON FROM MAY 3 TO MAY 15TH, INCLUSIVE, A TOTAL PERIOD OF 13 DAYS AND TOTAL PER DIEM OF $202.28.

THE DEPARTMENT PROCEEDED ON THE BASIS OF DECISION, 3 C.G. 590, THE FACTS DISCLOSED THEREIN APPEARING TO BE IDENTICAL WITH THOSE PRESENTED IN THE INSTANT CASE, IN THAT MR. PERKINS IS IN AN EXCEPTED POSITION UNDER SCHEDULE A OF THE CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE SAME AS EXPERTS WHOSE TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WERE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE DECISION LAST REFERRED TO. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE DEPARTMENT FEELS THAT THE SUSPENSION IN THIS CASE IS NOT JUSTIFIED AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE RAISED.

IN THE DECISION IN 3 COMP. GEN. 590, IT WAS HELD:

THE ACTUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES TO AND FROM WASHINGTON OF PERSONS REQUESTED BY THE TARIFF COMMISSION TO COME TO WASHINGTON FOR PERSONAL CONFERENCE REGARDING THEIR QUALIFICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS EXPERTS, SUCH AS ARE EXCEPTED BY LAW FROM CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, ARE A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION OF THAT COMMISSION.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE ALLOWANCE IN THE REPORTED CASE WAS FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY, WHILE IN THE PRESENT CASE A COMMUTED ALLOWANCE WAS PRESCRIBED WHICH WAS STATED TO BE IN LIEU OF ALL ACTUAL EXPENSES. IT IS NOTED THAT THERE IS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT WHAT PURPORTS TO BE A COPY OF A LETTER DATED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 1, 1935, ADDRESSED TO MR. PERKINS AT HOUSTON, TEX., REQUESTING HIM TO PROCEED FROM HOUSTON TO WASHINGTON AND THAT THE EXPLANATION HEREINBEFORE QUOTED SHOWS THAT HE WAS IN WASHINGTON MAY 3. IT IS NOTED, ALSO, THAT THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHICH SAID LETTER PURPORTED TO AUTHORIZE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE DAY'S COMPENSATION AT $5,600 PER ANNUM, THE SALARY OF THE POSITION TO WHICH MR. PERKINS WAS SUBSEQUENTLY APPOINTED. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS CLEARLY SHOWN AN ATTEMPT TO GIVE THE EMPLOYEE THE SALARY OF THE POSITION FROM MAY 3, THE DATE HE ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, INSTEAD OF FROM MAY 16, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT. FURTHERMORE, A COMMUTATION OF ACTUAL EXPENSES IS NEVER ALLOWABLE EXCEPT WHEN AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE AND THERE IS NO STATUTE AUTHORIZING A PER DIEM OF THIS AMOUNT IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER EXPENSES. THE PROPOSED PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE.