A-64560, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 212

A-64560: Sep 14, 1935

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WHO IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL THROUGH OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND RETURN TO HIS STATION. ARE FOR COMPUTING AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE APPLICABLE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION UPON THE DATE OF HIS RETURN THERETO FROM THE TRAVEL STATUS. EXCHANGE LOSSES ON SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES ARE FOR COMPUTATION AS OF THE DATE OF SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUED IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE THE CHECK THEREFOR WAS CASHED. THIS RULE IS FOR APPLICATION. THE RATE OF EXCHANGE FOR USE IN COMPUTING EXCHANGE LOSSES IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON SHIPBOARD ON THE LAST DAY OF A MONTH AND FOR WHOM A PER DIEM ON VESSELS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED. IS THE RATE APPLICABLE AT THE FOREIGN PORT AT WHICH THE VESSEL REPORTS AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

A-64560, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 212

EXCHANGE LOSSES - OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - COMPENSATION AND PER DIEM EXCHANGE LOSSES UPON PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, OF AN EMPLOYEE HAVING A PERMANENT FOREIGN STATION, WHO IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL THROUGH OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND RETURN TO HIS STATION, ARE FOR COMPUTING AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE APPLICABLE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION UPON THE DATE OF HIS RETURN THERETO FROM THE TRAVEL STATUS. EXCHANGE LOSSES ON SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES ARE FOR COMPUTATION AS OF THE DATE OF SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUED IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE THE CHECK THEREFOR WAS CASHED. THIS RULE IS FOR APPLICATION, HOWEVER, TO THOSE ALLOWANCES WHICH ACCRUE AT REGULAR STATED INTERVALS AND NOT ALLOWANCES SUCH AS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. THE RATE OF EXCHANGE FOR USE IN COMPUTING EXCHANGE LOSSES IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON SHIPBOARD ON THE LAST DAY OF A MONTH AND FOR WHOM A PER DIEM ON VESSELS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED, IS THE RATE APPLICABLE AT THE FOREIGN PORT AT WHICH THE VESSEL REPORTS AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED, OR AT THE RATE AT THE FOREIGN PORT AT WHICH THE SHIP LAST REPORTED IF THE JOURNEY IS FROM A FOREIGN PORT TO THE UNITED STATES. IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT CHECKS FOR SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES BE ACTUALLY CONVERTED INTO FOREIGN CURRENCY TO ENTITLE TO CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES, EXCEPT IN CASES OF SALARY PAYMENTS TO EMPLOYEES TRAVELING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND NOT EMPLOYED IN OR ASSIGNED OR DETAILED TO A POST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS MAY BE COMPUTED UPON A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IN PURSUANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT SAID ALLOWANCE PLUS EXCHANGE LOSSES MUST BE SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES THAN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, IF AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION NO. A-59705 OF MAY 28, 1935 (14 COMP. GEN. 857), WHEREIN IT IS HELD, WITH REFERENCE TO THE PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS FOR LOSSES SUSTAINED AS A RESULT OF EXCHANGE APPRECIATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE PER DIEM OF PERSONS TRAVELING THROUGH EUROPE WHO ARE UNDER GENERAL ORDERS BUT NOT ASSIGNED TO ANY PARTICULAR COUNTRY, AS FOLLOWS:

"PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BECOMES PAYABLE WHEN THE EXPENSE VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. ACCORDINGLY, LOSSES UPON PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ARE TO BE COMPUTED EITHER AT THE EXCHANGE RATE IN FORCE FOR THE PARTICULAR COUNTRY ON THE LAST DAY OF TRAVEL WITHIN THAT COUNTRY, OR IF THE PERIOD EXTENDS OVER ONE MONTH, ON THE LAST DAY OF EACH MONTH WITHIN THE TRAVEL PERIOD.'

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PROCEDURE THUS APPROVED APPLIES TO THOSE CASES WHERE THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES ABROAD IS TRANSITORY IN CHARACTER AND WHERE THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE DOES NOT HAVE A DEFINITELY ASSIGNED STATION ABROAD.

THERE HAS COME BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT FOR CONSIDERATION, HOWEVER, ANOTHER SITUATION OF A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT NATURE IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH IT APPEARS ADVISABLE TO REQUEST A FURTHER CLARIFYING DECISION. THIS DEPARTMENT HAS UNDER ITS SUPERVISION CERTAIN EMPLOYEES, KNOWN AS COURIERS, WHOSE DUTY IT IS TO TRANSPORT IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS BETWEEN DIFFERENT POINTS IN EUROPE. THESE COURIERS HAVE THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN PARIS WHERE THEIR RESIDENCES ARE MAINTAINED. WHILE TRAVELING FROM POINT TO POINT IN PURSUANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL MISSION, THEY RECEIVE A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. A SPECIFIC QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED IN THIS CONNECTION BY THE DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER AT PARIS AS FOLLOWS: IN THE CASE OF COURIERS, STATIONED IN PARIS, MAKING OFFICIAL JOURNEYS FROM THAT POINT TO ISTANBUL AND RETURN, PASSING THROUGH ELEVEN COUNTRIES IN FOURTEEN DAYS, IS THE CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS ON PER DIEM TO BE PRORATED ON THE BASIS OF THE TIME ACTUALLY SPENT IN EACH COUNTRY OR IS PAYMENT OF SUCH LOSS AUTHORIZED AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE OBTAINING IN PARIS ON THE DATE OF RETURN TO THAT POINT AND PRESENTATION OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE TRAVELER? YOUR RULING ON THIS POINT IS REQUESTED.

IN ITS ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 26, 1934, AND OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, THE DEPARTMENT HAS FROM TIME TO TIME HAVE BEEN DEFINITE RULINGS FROM YOUR OFFICE. TO THE END THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW AND OF ITS RELATED EXECUTIVE ORDERS MAY BE ADMINISTERED IN CONFORMITY WITH A PROPER INTERPRETATION, FROM AN ACCOUNTING POINT OF VIEW, OF ITS INTENT, I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST A RULING ON EACH OF THE QUESTIONS GIVEN BELOW:

(1) IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES ON A CHECK OR DRAFT COVERING SALARY OR ALLOWANCES EARNED (ACCRUING) OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHEN SUCH CHECK OR DRAFT IS CASHED IN THE UNITED STATES?

(2) IF THE RATE OF EXCHANGE TO BE USED IN DETERMINING CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSSES IS THAT PREVAILING WHEN THE SALARY OR ALLOWANCE ACCRUES, WHAT RATE IS TO BE USED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON SHIPBOARD ON THE LAST DAY OF A MONTH AND FOR WHOM A PER DIEM ON VESSELS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED?

(3) IS IT NECESSARY FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO CONVERT A SALARY OR ALLOWANCE CHECK OR DRAFT INTO FOREIGN CURRENCY TO BE ENTITLED TO CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS?

(4) IS THE PAYMENT OF CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS PERMISSIBLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE GRANTING OF A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IN PURSUANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS?

IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOUR QUESTIONS RELATE TO PERIODS SUBSEQUENT TO APRIL 1, 1934, AND THEY WILL BE ANSWERED ON THAT BASIS.

WITH RESPECT TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO A COURIER COVERING ABSENCES FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, IT WAS SAID IN THE DECISION OF MAY 28, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 857, THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BECOMES PAYABLE WHEN THE EXPENSE VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. AND AS THE TRAVELER INVOLVED IN THAT CASE HAD NO REGULAR DUTY STATION ABROAD, IT WAS ASSUMED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE EXCHANGE, THAT THE EXPENSE VOUCHER WOULD BE PRESENTED ON THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM THE COUNTRY OR AT THE END OF EACH MONTH IF THE DURATION OF THE TRAVEL STATUS WITHIN THE COUNTRY WAS MORE THAN A MONTH. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAVING A PERMANENT FOREIGN STATION IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL THROUGH OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND RETURN TO HIS STATION, IT IS TO BE ASSUMED HE WOULD NOT SUBMIT HIS EXPENSE VOUCHER UNTIL HIS RETURN. ACCORDINGLY, EXCHANGE LOSSES UPON PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, IN SUCH CASES, ARE FOR COMPUTING AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE APPLICABLE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION UPON THE DATE OF HIS RETURN THERETO FROM THE TRAVEL STATUS.

(1) EXCHANGE LOSSES ON SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUING AFTER APRIL 1, 1934, ARE FOR COMPUTATION AS OF THE DATE THE SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES ACCRUED TO THE EMPLOYEE IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE THE CHECK THEREFOR WAS CASHED. 14 COMP. GEN. 206; A-59314, JANUARY 3, 1935. THE ALLOWANCES TO WHICH THIS RULE IS FOR APPLICATION ARE THOSE WHICH ACCRUE AT REGULAR STATED INTERVALS AND ARE NOT ALLOWANCES SUCH AS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHICH BECOME PAYABLE ONLY WHEN THE VOUCHER THEREFOR IS SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT.

(2) IN THE APPLICATION OF RULE (1) TO EMPLOYEES ON BOARD SHIP THE RATE OF EXCHANGE TO BE USED IS THE RATE APPLICABLE AT THE FOREIGN PORT AT WHICH THE SHIP REPORTS AFTER THE PERIOD INVOLVED OR IF THE JOURNEY IS FROM A FOREIGN PORT TO THE UNITED STATES AT THE RATE AT FOREIGN PORT AT WHICH THE SHIP LAST REPORTED.

(3) IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT THE CHECK FOR SALARIES OR ALLOWANCES BE ACTUALLY CONVERTED INTO FOREIGN CURRENCY TO ENTITLE TO CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF SALARY PAYMENTS TO EMPLOYEES TRAVELING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND NOT EMPLOYED IN OR ASSIGNED OR DETAILED TO A POST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. SEE PARAGRAPH 3 (C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6928, ISSUED DECEMBER 24, 1934.

(4) CURRENCY APPRECIATION LOSS MAY BE COMPUTED UPON A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE PLUS EXCHANGE LOSSES MUST BE SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES THAN TRAVEL BY A COMMON CARRIER, IF AVAILABLE.