A-66643, NOVEMBER 6, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 377

A-66643: Nov 6, 1935

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ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME ALLOWANCES FOR THEMSELVES. WHEN SO ASSIGNED THEY MAY RECEIVE THE SAME TRAVELING EXPENSES AS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE. I WOULD BE GLAD IF YOU WILL CONFIRM MY UNDERSTANDING THAT. WHERE ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATELY ASSIGNED UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW FOR DUTY AS COURIERS AND INSPECTORS OF GOVERNMENT- OWNED BUILDINGS ABROAD. IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT COURIERS WILL HAVE DEFINITE HEADQUARTERS ABROAD. THAT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE INSPECTORS WILL BE CONSIDERED WASHINGTON. THE SAME AS THE REGULAR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED AS. ARE INSPECTORS ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICES. IS TO OVERCOME THE LEGAL RESTRICTIONS SET OUT IN THE DECISIONS TO YOU OF AUGUST 7.

A-66643, NOVEMBER 6, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 377

ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO DEPARTMENT OF STATE ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS ASSIGNED FOR DUTY AS COURIERS AND INSPECTORS IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOREIGN SERVICE UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR SAID DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, 49 STAT. 70, ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME ALLOWANCES FOR THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND EFFECTS, WHEN ORDERED TO TRAVEL FROM THEIR PRESENT POSTS OF DUTY, THAT FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING TRAVEL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR CONSULTATION AND INSTRUCTION BEFORE PROCEEDING ABROAD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, NOVEMBER 6, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936 (PUBLIC, NO. 22, 74TH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 22, 1935), CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION UNDER THE HEADING ,TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS: "

"THAT THE PRESIDENT, IN HIS DISCRETION, MAY ASSIGN OFFICERS OF THE ARMY AND THE NAVY FOR DUTY IN THE COURIER SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND FOR THE INSPECTION OF BUILDINGS OWNED OR OCCUPIED BY THE UNITED STATES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THAT DEPARTMENT, AND WHEN SO ASSIGNED THEY MAY RECEIVE THE SAME TRAVELING EXPENSES AS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, PAYABLE FROM THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.'

IN ORDER THAT POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACCOUNTS MAY BE AVOIDED, I WOULD BE GLAD IF YOU WILL CONFIRM MY UNDERSTANDING THAT, WHERE ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATELY ASSIGNED UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW FOR DUTY AS COURIERS AND INSPECTORS OF GOVERNMENT- OWNED BUILDINGS ABROAD, THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES AND EFFECTS, MAY BE PAID FROM THEIR PRESENT POSTS TO THEIR NEW POSTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SUPPLEMENT THERETO, AS IN THE CASE OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, AND FURTHER, THAT THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM OF THE OFFICERS MAY BE AUTHORIZED FROM THEIR PRESENT POSTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR CONSULTATION AND INSTRUCTION BEFORE PROCEEDING ABROAD.

IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT COURIERS WILL HAVE DEFINITE HEADQUARTERS ABROAD, AND THAT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE INSPECTORS WILL BE CONSIDERED WASHINGTON, D.C., THE SAME AS THE REGULAR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED AS, AND ARE INSPECTORS ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICES.

THE PURPOSE OF THE CITED STATUTE, IT WOULD APPEAR, IS TO OVERCOME THE LEGAL RESTRICTIONS SET OUT IN THE DECISIONS TO YOU OF AUGUST 7, 1931, A- 36368, AND JULY 9, 1934, A-51555, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT, IN HIS DISCRETION, TO DETAIL OFFICERS OF THE ARMY AND THE NAVY FOR COURIER AND INSPECTION SERVICE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. IN 3 COMP. DEC. 588, IT WAS SAID THAT THE MILITARY STATUS OF OFFICERS OF THE ARMY IS NOT CHANGED BY AN ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN A CIVIL DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE SAME RULE IS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF THE NAVY SIMILARLY ASSIGNED. THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS ALSO THAT WHERE ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS, UNDER AUTHORIZED DETAILS, PERFORM TRAVEL FOR OTHER DEPARTMENTS, THEY ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME TRAVEL ALLOWANCES THAT THEY WOULD BE ENTITLED TO WERE THEY ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OR NAVAL SERVICE, UNLESS SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ARE MADE BY STATUTE FOR OTHER TRAVELING ALLOWANCES (1 COMP. GEN. 98). IN THE ACT HERE IN QUESTION IT IS PROVIDED THAT ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS WHEN SO ASSIGNED SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME "TRAVELING EXPENSES" AS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, PAYABLE FROM THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THIS IS AN ASSIMILATION OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN REGULARLY DETAILED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS STATUTE FOR DUTY AS COURIERS AND INSPECTORS UNDER THE STATE DEPARTMENT. THE EFFECT OF THE STATUTE IS TO PLACE SUCH OFFICERS ON A PARITY WITH OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, AND ENTITLES THEM TO THE SAME ALLOWANCES FOR THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND EFFECTS, WHEN ORDERED TO TRAVEL FROM THEIR PRESENT POSTS OF DUTY, THAT FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE UNDER APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING TRAVEL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR CONSULTATION AND INSTRUCTION BEFORE PROCEEDING ABROAD AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.