A-7604, APRIL 1, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 825

A-7604: Apr 1, 1925

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" SUBMITS CHARGES WHICH INDICATE THAT THE ALLEGED PAYMENTS WERE NOT FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED. WERE PREPARED UPON A "UNIFORM BASIS" INTENDED AS A PER DIEM AT A RATE NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW. PAYMENT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR $195 REPRESENTING EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE AT WASHINGTON. HE OBTAINED MEALS AND LODGING AT THE HOTEL LA FAYETTE FOR WHICH A RECEIPT WAS SUBMITTED. NO CHARGES ARE MADE FOR LODGING AND AS TO THE CHARGES FOR MEALS. WILL BE GRANTED TO ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHEN TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ON DUTY AWAY FROM THEIR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. WHO WILL BE ALLOWED ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY RATE OF $5 FOR ANY ONE DAY.

A-7604, APRIL 1, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 825

SUBSISTENCE, ITEMIZATION - FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE IN A TRAVEL STATUS UNDER AN ORDER AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF $5 PER DAY ONLY WHEN PROPERLY "ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED," SUBMITS CHARGES WHICH INDICATE THAT THE ALLEGED PAYMENTS WERE NOT FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED, BUT WERE PREPARED UPON A "UNIFORM BASIS" INTENDED AS A PER DIEM AT A RATE NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW, PAYMENT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 1, 1925:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF FREDERICK C. CHABOT, FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, CARACAS, VENEZUELA, THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR $195 REPRESENTING EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE AT WASHINGTON, AT THE RATE OF $5 PER DAY DURING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 3 TO 21, AND NOVEMBER 21 TO DECEMBER 10, 1924.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. CHABOT ARRIVED AT WASHINGTON SEPTEMBER 26, 1924, AND THAT FROM SAID DATE TO AND INCLUDING OCTOBER 2, 1924, HE OBTAINED MEALS AND LODGING AT THE HOTEL LA FAYETTE FOR WHICH A RECEIPT WAS SUBMITTED.

FOR THE PERIOD HERE IN QUESTION, HE MAKES A UNIFORM CHARGE OF $5 PER DAY (BREAKFAST $1, LUNCHEON $2, AND DINNER $2) FOR SUBSISTENCE. NO CHARGES ARE MADE FOR LODGING AND AS TO THE CHARGES FOR MEALS, HE SUBMITTED NEITHER RECEIPTS NOR STATEMENT OF FACTS TENDING TO SHOW WHY RECEIPTS COULD NOT BE OBTAINED.

THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF MAY 28, 1924, 43 STAT. 209, PROVIDES:

TO PAY THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS AND CLERKS IN EMBASSIES, LEGATIONS, AND CONSULATES, * * * OR OF SUCH OFFICERS AND CLERKS WHEN TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, BUT NOT INCLUDING ANY EXPENSE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE, * *

THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1918) GOVERNING TRAVEL OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS PROVIDE:

1. A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $4 IN LIEU OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, WILL BE GRANTED TO ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHEN TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ON DUTY AWAY FROM THEIR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS; EXCEPT DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS AND CLERKS TO MISSIONS AND CONSULATES, TRAVELING BETWEEN THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR POSTS OF DUTY, AND UNDER ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE (EXCEPT ON LEAVES OF ABSENCE), WHO WILL BE ALLOWED ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY RATE OF $5 FOR ANY ONE DAY, WHICH MUST BE FULLY ITEMIZED. * * *

THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR THE DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICERS AND CLERKS IN EMBASSIES, LEGATIONS, AND CONSULATES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND EFFECTS PROVIDE:

59. EACH ITEM OF EXPENSE CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE STATED SEPARATELY, AND ITEMS MUST NOT BE CHARGED COLLECTIVELY. THE ITEMS MUST FOLLOW EACH OTHER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER IN WHICH THE EXPENSES WERE INCURRED. EACH DAY'S CHARGES SHOULD APPEAR TOGETHER IN THE MANNER SHOWN IN THE SAMPLE FORM EMBODIED IN THESE REGULATIONS. * * *

DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, MR. CHABOT WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF HIS ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY RATE (ACT OF APRIL 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 318) OF $5 PER DAY ONLY WHEN PROPERLY "ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED.'

IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHARGES FOR THE PERIOD HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION, THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 14, 1925, ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THIS OFFICE IN WHICH HE STATED THAT MR. CHABOT'S EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION WERE IN EXCESS OF ANY AMOUNT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO PROCURE BY WAY OF REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT, AND FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE DID NOT DEEM IT ADVISABLE TO INDICATE JUST WHAT AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE HAD BEEN EXPENDED, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, RENDERED HIS ACCOUNT FOR MEALS ON A UNIFORM BASIS, WHICH WAS AGREEABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, IN AS MUCH AS THE AMOUNT CHARGED DID NOT EXCEED THE SUM ACTUALLY EXPENDED. THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU ALSO STATED THAT WHILE THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. CHABOT EXPENDED EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT ON EACH DAY FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCHEON, AND DINNER, IT DID BELIEVE THAT HE EXPENDED SUMS IN EXCESS OF THE UNIFORM RATE CHARGED, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, APPROVED THE ACCOUNT. HE FURTHER STATED THAT SO LONG AS AN OFFICER'S EXPENDITURES APPEARED TO BE REGULAR IN EVERY RESPECT, THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT FEEL AT LIBERTY TO QUESTION THE TRUTHFULNESS OF SUCH EXPENDITURE.

UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 5, 1925, MR. CHABOT CERTIFIED AS FOLLOWS:

I, FREDERICK C. CHABOT, FORMERLY A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER OF CLASS 5, HEREBY CERTIFY THAT FOR EACH DAY FROM OCTOBER 3 TO 31, AND NOVEMBER 21 TO DECEMBER 10, 1924, I EXPENDED FUNDS FOR MEALS IN EXCESS OF $1 FOR BREAKFAST, $2 FOR LUNCHEON, AND $2 FOR DINNER; THEREFORE, THE CHARGES IN THIS ACCOUNT ARE NOT EXCESSIVE, BUT ARE CHARGED ON A STRAIGHT BASIS RATHER THAN ATTEMPT TO GIVE THE EXACT EXPENDITURE FOR EACH MEAL, AND MAKE THE NECESSARY DEDUCTIONS FROM THE TOTALS.

THE FOREGOING STATEMENT CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE VOUCHER AS SUBMITTED, INDICATES THAT THE CHARGES WERE NOT IN REIMBURSEMENT OF NECESSARY EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS, BUT WERE PREPARED UPON A "UNIFORM BASIS" INTENDED AS A PER DIEM, WHICH IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.