A-76589, AUGUST 20, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 158

A-76589: Aug 20, 1936

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THERE NOT HAVING BEEN INCURRED EXPENSES OTHER THAN THOSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF USUAL DUTIES. 1936: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION PREAUDIT VOUCHER RECEIVED ON SCHEDULE A 576. WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON DUTY AT NEWARK. THE REASONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER ARE GIVEN IN MEMORANDUM OF THE ASSISTANT DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. AS FOLLOWS: THE PER DIEM CLAIMED IN QUESTION WAS TO COVER ACTUAL EXPENSES OR THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PER DIEM ALLOWABLE FOR THREE MEALS DAILY FOR SEVEN DAYS WHILE THIS INVESTIGATOR WAS MAINTAINING A TWENTY-FOUR HOUR SUPERVISION OF A TELEPHONE IN CONNECTION WITH A CONSPIRACY CASE INVOLVING SMUGGLING. WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO RELIEVE THIS INVESTIGATOR DUE TO THE POST OF OBSERVATION BEING IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WHICH WOULD EASILY CAUSE SUSPICION IF STRANGE PERSONS WERE IN THE VICINITY.

A-76589, AUGUST 20, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 158

SUBSISTENCE - UNUSUAL DUTIES AT HEADQUARTERS - INTERNAL REVENUE INVESTIGATORS AN INTERNAL REVENUE INVESTIGATOR REQUIRED TO PERFORM TWENTY FOUR HOUR DAILY DUTY ON A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT AT HEADQUARTERS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO COVER MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN AT PLACE OF ASSIGNMENT, NOR MAY HE BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSE OF SUCH MEALS, THERE NOT HAVING BEEN INCURRED EXPENSES OTHER THAN THOSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF USUAL DUTIES.

DECISION BY ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT, AUGUST 20, 1936:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION PREAUDIT VOUCHER RECEIVED ON SCHEDULE A 576, DATED MAY 19, 1936, FROM THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ALCOHOL TAX UNIT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, APPROVED BY THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR PAYMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE, 1936.'

THE VOUCHER COVERS A RECLAIM OF ANGELO J. MENEGHIN, ACTING SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR, ALCOHOL TAX UNIT, FOR $8.75 ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED ON VOUCHER 2-88634 OF THE APRIL, 1936, ACCOUNT OF G. F. ALLEN AS PER DIEM AT $1.25 FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 19-25, 1936, INCLUSIVE, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON DUTY AT NEWARK, N.J., HIS OFFICIAL STATION.

THE REASONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER ARE GIVEN IN MEMORANDUM OF THE ASSISTANT DISTRICT SUPERVISOR, DATED APRIL 24, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THE PER DIEM CLAIMED IN QUESTION WAS TO COVER ACTUAL EXPENSES OR THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PER DIEM ALLOWABLE FOR THREE MEALS DAILY FOR SEVEN DAYS WHILE THIS INVESTIGATOR WAS MAINTAINING A TWENTY-FOUR HOUR SUPERVISION OF A TELEPHONE IN CONNECTION WITH A CONSPIRACY CASE INVOLVING SMUGGLING. WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO RELIEVE THIS INVESTIGATOR DUE TO THE POST OF OBSERVATION BEING IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WHICH WOULD EASILY CAUSE SUSPICION IF STRANGE PERSONS WERE IN THE VICINITY. FURTHERMORE, IT WAS NECESSARY THAT THIS INVESTIGATOR SUPERVISE THIS TELEPHONE AT ALL TIMES AS HE WAS THE ONLY INVESTIGATOR WHO RECOGNIZED THE VOICES OF THE PERSONS UNDER INVESTIGATION. FOR THESE REASONS, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR MR. MENEGHIN TO OBTAIN THREE MEALS EACH DAY IN THE HOME WHERE THE OBSERVATION POST OF THIS TELEPHONE WIRE WAS MAINTAINED, AND HE ACTUALLY PAID FIFTY CENTS PER MEAL FOR THE SEVEN DAYS IN QUESTION IN ORDER TO PROPERLY CARRY OUT THIS ASSIGNMENT.

IT IS REALIZED THAT PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE AT POST OF DUTY AND THAT IN THE INSTANT CASE, MR. MENEGHIN INCURRED THESE EXPENSES AT A POINT CONSIDERED WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF HIS OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE NECESSITY FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT AS ABOVE OUTLINED, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE ABOVE EXPLANATION BE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH A RECLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED. IT WOULD SEEM TO WORK AN ADDITIONAL HARDSHIP ON ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS TO REQUIRE HIM TO PERFORM TWENTY-FOUR HOUR DUTY ON A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT AND NOT ALLOW HIM THE ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR HIS MEALS INCURRED WHILE ON SUCH ASSIGNMENT WHEN IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO OBTAIN HIS MEALS ELSEWHERE AND HE WAS COMPELLED TO EXPEND THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY IN ORDER TO PROPERLY CARRY OUT HIS ASSIGNMENT.

SECTIONS 207, 208, AND 210, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, AMENDED THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 688, BY PROVIDING EXCLUSIVELY FOR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE. PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT JANUARY 30, 1934, PROVIDES:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, ACT OF MAY 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 223, PROVIDES:

* * * THAT NOT MORE THAN $100,000 OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT APPROPRIATED HEREIN MAY BE EXPENDED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE INTERNAL-REVENUE LAWS OR CONNIVING AT THE SAME, INCLUDING PAYMENTS FOR INFORMATION AND DETECTION OF SUCH VIOLATION. * * *.

THE APPROPRIATION, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION IN AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN THE ACT, IS AVAILABLE FOR MAKING INVESTIGATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE INTERNAL-REVENUE LAWS. WHILE AN INVESTIGATOR MAY, THEREFORE, BE REIMBURSED IN THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO WHICH HE HAS BEEN SUBJECTED AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION BY REASON OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO UNUSUAL DUTIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE INTERNAL-REVENUE LAWS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PAYMENT TO HIM OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OR AN AMOUNT IN REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AT HIS HEADQUARTERS WHILE ON SAID DUTY.

IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE INVESTIGATOR IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS USUAL DUTIES WOULD HAVE HAD THE EXPENSE OF THREE MEALS PER DAY AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND IT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN THAT HE WAS SUBJECTED TO ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSE BY REASON OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO UNUSUAL DUTIES IN THIS CASE. ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT SHOWING THE CLAIM MUST BE, AND IS, DISALLOWED.

AS PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED, IT WILL BE RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE.