A-80453, OCTOBER 15, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 383

A-80453: Oct 15, 1936

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" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES TO BE CACHED FOR EMERGENCY USE BY FIELD PARTIES IN MAKING THE SNOW SURVEYS AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION. OR TO THOSE PAID A PER DIEM PROVIDED THE PROPER DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17. THIS VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT AND WAS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION ON AUGUST 24. IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF THAT DATE WITH THE STATEMENT THAT THE PURCHASE OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION ACT. THIS VOUCHER WAS RETURNED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION ON AUGUST 26.

A-80453, OCTOBER 15, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 383

APPROPRIATIONS - SNOW SURVEYS - AVAILABILITY FOR PURCHASE OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES - LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE FOR FIELD PARTIES THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1936, 49 STAT. 1448, UNDER THE HEADING "BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING," IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES TO BE CACHED FOR EMERGENCY USE BY FIELD PARTIES IN MAKING THE SNOW SURVEYS AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION. SECTIONS 207 AND 208 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, REQUIRING THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS BE ON A PER DIEM BASIS ONLY, DO NOT PRECLUDE THE FURNISHING OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES AND LODGING IN KIND TO EMPLOYEES IN FIELD PARTIES NOT PAID A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, OR TO THOSE PAID A PER DIEM PROVIDED THE PROPER DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 15, 1936:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, 1936, IN RESPONSE TO LETTER OF THIS OFFICE SEPTEMBER 17, 1936, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1936 (A-80453), IN REFERENCE TO VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF GATES AND LYDIARD, GROCETERIA SUPER FOOD MARKET, MEDFORD, OREGON, IN THE AMOUNT OF $10.61 SUBMITTED ON SCHEDULE NO. 294B BY THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COVERING CERTAIN SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES DELIVERED JULY 6, 1936.

THIS VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT AND WAS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION ON AUGUST 24, 1936, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF THAT DATE WITH THE STATEMENT THAT THE PURCHASE OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION ACT. THIS VOUCHER WAS RETURNED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION ON AUGUST 26, 1936, WITH A STATEMENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING, A COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED. YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1936, REQUESTS THAT EVIDENCE BE FURNISHED AS TO THE STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEES CONDUCTING THE SURVEYS AND THE CONDITION OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT, AND ALSO AS TO THE PAST PRACTICE OF THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING IN MAKING SNOW SURVEYS IN THE WESTERN STATES.

THE EMPLOYEES MAKING THE SURVEYS ARE EMPLOYED UNDER LETTER OF AUTHORITY ESPECIALLY FOR THIS WORK AND DESIGNATED AS "SNOW SURVEYORS" AND ARE MEN SECURED IN THE LOCALITY OF THE SNOW COURSES, SINCE IT IS NECESSARY THAT FOR THIS WORK WE EMPLOY MEN WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE COUNTRY AND ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE HARDSHIPS OF THE MOUNTAINS IN THE WINTER MONTHS. THE SNOW SURVEYORS ARE SENT OUT IN GROUPS OF TWO OR MORE BECAUSE OF THE DANGERS INVOLVED IN TRAVELING IN SUCH COUNTRY ALONE AND ARE PAID FOR THEIR SERVICES ONLY AND ARE NOT GRANTED ANY PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES BECAUSE THE TRIPS FROM THE BASE STATION ARE USUALLY MADE IN A DAY'S TIME AND ON FEW OCCASIONS REQUIRE TWO DAYS TO COVER A PARTICULAR SNOW COURSE. THE FOOD WHICH HAS BEEN CACHED ALONG THE COURSES IS AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY ONLY AND IS USED ONLY WHEN NECESSARY TO TAKE MEALS AWAY FROM THEIR BASE STATION. SINCE NO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED, THERE IS, OF COURSE, NO DEDUCTION TO BE MADE AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 47 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THERE MAY BE TIMES WHEN REGULARLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING WHO ARE AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR OFFICIAL STATION ARE REQUIRED TO BE ON THE SNOW COURSES WITH THE SNOW SURVEYORS, AND IT IS NECESSARY THAT THEY TAKE THEIR MEALS FROM THE SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES PURCHASED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WHEN SUCH IS THE CASE, THESE EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO DEDUCT FROM THEIR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ONE-FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH MEAL FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY THE GOVERNMENT.

THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED IN THIS INSTANCE WAS MADE IN THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1936, 49 STAT. 1448, UNDER THE HEADING "BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING," AND PROVIDES SPECIFICALLY FOR ,SNOW SURVEYS AND FORECASTS OF IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLIES.'

IN VIEW OF THE NATURE OF THE WORK INVOLVED, AND THE FACTS AND EXPLANATIONS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE COST OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES PURCHASED AND CACHED FOR USE IF AND WHEN NEEDED BY THE SNOW SURVEYORS, MAY BE REGARDED AS A NECESSARY EXPENSE OF THE SNOW SURVEYS FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION HAS PROVIDED.

THE PURPOSE OF SECTIONS 207 AND 208 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, AMENDING THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, REQUIRING THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS BE ON A PER DIEM BASIS, ONLY, WAS NOT INTENDED TO, AND DOES NOT, PRECLUDE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FROM FURNISHING SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES AND LODGING IN KIND TO EMPLOYEES IN FIELD PARTIES WHO ARE NOT PAID A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, OR TO THOSE WHO ARE PAID A PER DIEM, PROVIDED THE PROPER DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM THE PER DIEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. 13 COMP. GEN. 67; DECISION OF MARCH 16, 1933, A-47331.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION WILL BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF BUSINESS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.