A-89472, OCTOBER 12, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 327

A-89472: Oct 12, 1937

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TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE - FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES - EVACUATION FROM DANGEROUS POST OF DUTY PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES IN GOING FROM THEIR OFFICIAL POST. WHERE CONDITIONS ARE UNSETTLED AND DANGEROUS. PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHILE AT SUCH PLACE OF SAFETY IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE FAMILIES OF OUR REPRESENTATIVES AT THAT PORT HAVE BEEN EVACUATED TO A PLACE OF SAFETY. I SHALL APPRECIATE IT IF YOU CAN FIND IT CONVENIENT TO LET ME HAVE AN EARLY DECISION AS TO WHETHER EXPENSES INCURRED AS ABOVE LISTED ARE REIMBURSABLE.

A-89472, OCTOBER 12, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 327

TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE - FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES - EVACUATION FROM DANGEROUS POST OF DUTY PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES IN GOING FROM THEIR OFFICIAL POST, WHERE CONDITIONS ARE UNSETTLED AND DANGEROUS, TO A PLACE OF SAFETY, AND IN RETURNING TO THEIR POST, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1930, 46 STAT. 497, AND REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO, BUT PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHILE AT SUCH PLACE OF SAFETY IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 12, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 6, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 5, 1930 (PUBLIC, 304, 71ST CONGRESS) (46 STAT. 497; TITLE 7 U.S.C. 1934 ED.SECS. 541 TO 545), PROVIDING FOR THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 5, 1930, ISSUED THE FOLLOWING REGULATION:

"TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OF OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE MAY BE ALLOWED UNDER ORDERS ISSUED OR APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY TO A DESIGNATED PLACE OF SAFETY WHEN, ON ACCOUNT OF POLITICAL DISTURBANCE, WAR, EARTHQUAKE, EPIDEMIC, OR SIMILAR CAUSES, RESIDENCE AT THE OFFICIAL POST CAN NOT BE MAINTAINED WITHOUT DANGER OR DSHIP.'

DUE TO THE UNSETTLED AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS EXISTING IN SHANGHAI, CHINA, THE FAMILIES OF OUR REPRESENTATIVES AT THAT PORT HAVE BEEN EVACUATED TO A PLACE OF SAFETY. THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN SUCH EVACUATION INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN GOING TO THE PLACE OF SAFETY, SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE AT SUCH PLACE, AND TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN RETURNING TO SHANGHAI, CHINA, AFTER THE EMERGENCY HAS PASSED.

IN VIEW OF THE URGENCY OF THIS MATTER, AND IN ORDER TO AVOID SUSPENSIONS OR DISALLOWANCES IN OUR REPRESENTATIVES' ACCOUNTS, I SHALL APPRECIATE IT IF YOU CAN FIND IT CONVENIENT TO LET ME HAVE AN EARLY DECISION AS TO WHETHER EXPENSES INCURRED AS ABOVE LISTED ARE REIMBURSABLE.

SECTIONS 2 (F), 4 (B), AND 5 OF THE ACT (7 U.S.C., 542 (F), 544 (B), AND 545) PROVIDE:

(F) EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OF OFFICERS AND FAMILIES IN GOING TO AND FROM POSTS; LEAVES OF ABSENCE; REQUIRING SERVICE FROM OFFICERS ON LEAVE. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OF OFFICERS IN THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS UNDER ORDERS FROM THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED, WHENEVER HE DEEMS IT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, TO ORDER TO THE UNITED STATES ON HIS OFFICIAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE ANY FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICER WHO HAS PERFORMED THREE YEARS OR MORE OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE ABROAD: PROVIDED, THAT THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OF SUCH OFFICERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES IN TRAVELING TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN SHALL BE PAID UNDER THE SAME RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS UNDER ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE WHEN NOT ON LEAVE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES THE SERVICES OF SUCH OFFICERS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH DUTIES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AS THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY PRESCRIBE. ANY OFFICER IN THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY BE GIVEN LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY FOR NOT TO EXCEED THIRTY DAYS FOR ANY ONE YEAR, WHICH MAY BE TAKEN IN THE UNITED STATES OR ELSEWHERE, ACCUMULATIVE FOR THREE YEARS, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SHALL PRESCRIBE.

(B) CLERICAL AND OTHER ASSISTANTS EMPLOYED BY OFFICER OF FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE; ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL LIMITS. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY AUTHORIZE ANY OFFICER OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE TO FIX, IN AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING THE ALLOWANCE FIXED FOR SUCH OFFICER, AN ALLOWANCE FOR ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE, OR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU THEREOF, FOR ANY CLERICAL OR OTHER ASSISTANT EMPLOYED BY SUCH OFFICER UNDER SUBDIVISION (B) OF SECTION 543 OF THIS TITLE WHEN SUCH CLERICAL OR OTHER ASSISTANT IS ENGAGED IN TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AND AWAY FROM THE POST TO WHICH HE IS ASSIGNED.

AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AS TO REGULATIONS, COOPERATION WITH VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, AND EXPENDITURES FOR RENT, SUPPLIES, AND SO FORTH. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER AND MAY COOPERATE WITH ANY DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT, STATE, TERRITORY, DISTRICT, OR POSSESSION, OR DEPARTMENT,AGENCY, OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF, COOPERATIVE AND OTHER FARM ORGANIZATIONS, OR ANY PERSON, AND SHALL HAVE POWER TO MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES FOR RENT OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FOR PRINTING, TELEGRAMS, TELEPHONES, LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, MAPS, PUBLICATIONS, FURNITURE, STATIONERY, OFFICE EQUIPMENT, TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AND OTHER SUPPLIES AND EXPENSES AS SHALL BE NECESSARY TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE. WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AN OFFICER OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE MAY ENTER INTO LEASES FOR OFFICE QUARTERS AND MAY PAY RENT, TELEPHONE, SUBSCRIPTIONS TO PUBLICATIONS, AND OTHER CHARGES INCIDENT TO THE CONDUCT OF HIS OFFICE AND THE DISCHARGE OF HIS DUTIES, IN ADVANCE IN ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY WHERE CUSTOM OR PRACTICE REQUIRES PAYMENT IN ADVANCE.

THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THIS SERVICE UNDER "BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS," SUBHEAD ,FOREIGN COMPETITION AND DEMAND," 47 STAT. 637 AND 1459; 48 ID. 493; 49 ID. 275 AND 1450, HAVE BEEN IN SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME FORM AS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1937, PUBLIC, NO. 173, SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION (P. 34), FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, AS FOLLOWS:

FOREIGN COMPETITION AND DEMAND: TO ENABLE THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO CARRY INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROMOTE THE AGRICULTURE OF THE UNITED STATES BY EXPANDING IN THE FOREIGN FIELD THE SERVICE NOW RENDERED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN ACQUIRING AND DIFFUSING USEFUL INFORMATION REGARDING AGRICULTURE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JUNE 5, 1930 (U.S.C., TITLE 7, SECS. 541-545), AND FOR COLLECTING AND DISSEMINATING TO AMERICAN PRODUCERS, IMPORTERS, EXPORTERS, AND OTHER INTERESTED PERSONS INFORMATION RELATIVE TO THE WORLD SUPPLY OF AND NEED FOR AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, MARKETING METHODS, CONDITIONS, PRICES, AND OTHER FACTORS, A KNOWLEDGE OF WHICH IS NECESSARY TO THE ADVANTAGEOUS DISPOSITION OF SUCH PRODUCTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, INDEPENDENTLY AND IN COOPERATION WITH OTHER BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT, STATE AGENCIES, PURCHASING AND CONSUMING ORGANIZATIONS, AND PERSONS ENGAGED IN THE TRANSPORTATION, MARKETING, AND DISTRIBUTION OF FARM AND FOOD PRODUCTS, INCLUDING THE PURCHASE OF SUCH BOOKS AND PERIODICALS AND NOT TO EXCEED $1,000 FOR NEWSPAPERS AS MAY BE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THIS WORK, $298,000.

THE REGULATIONS OF AUGUST 5, 1930, ARE NOT CONTRARY TO ANY PROVISION OF THE LAW OR THE APPROPRIATION ACTS, AND THE REGULATION IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION AND AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE CONFERRED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT. HOWEVER, IT IS NOTED THAT IN ADDITION TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FROM THE PLACE OF DUTY TO THE PLACE OF SAFETY, AND RETURN TO THE PLACE OF DUTY, IT IS STATED THE EXPENSES INVOLVED INCLUDE "SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE AT SUCH PLACE" OF SAFETY. I FIND NOTHING IN THE ACT OR APPROPRIATIONS WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OTHER THAN WHILE EN ROUTE TO OR FROM THE OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND FOR THE OFFICER WHEN ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL AWAY FROM THE POST TO WHICH HE IS ASSIGNED. ACCORDINGLY, TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR AN OFFICER OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY IN GOING FROM HIS OFFICIAL POST IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED, AND RETURN THERETO, ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID PURSUANT TO THE QUOTED REGULATION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE. HOWEVER, EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THE OFFICER AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY ARE NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW OR THE APPROPRIATION ACT WHILE AT SUCH PLACE OF SAFETY NOR DO THE REGULATIONS PURPORT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.