B-106469, MAY 26, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 614

B-106469: May 26, 1952

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000 AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE TO EMPLOYEES STATIONED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT BE PAID TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS DETAILED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8. WHEREIN RECONSIDERATION IS REQUESTED OF DECISION TO YOU DATED DECEMBER 19. BROWN WAS ASSIGNED AS A MEMBER OF AN INVESTIGATIVE SURVEY GROUP WHOSE MISSION IT WAS TO INVESTIGATE THE FEASIBILITY OF CERTAIN POWER AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENTS IN NICARAGUA PURSUANT TO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. THE PERTINENT FACTS IN THE CASE ARE REITERATED BRIEFLY AS FOLLOWS: BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 14. WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM DENVER TO " WASHINGTON.

B-106469, MAY 26, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 614

FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL - EMPLOYEES STATIONED OUTSIDE UNITED STATES FOR TEMPORARY PERIODS THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL AUTHORIZED UNDER PART I OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10,000 AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE TO EMPLOYEES STATIONED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT BE PAID TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS DETAILED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO WILLIAM E. FRANK, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 26, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1952, FILE NO. 312, FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 26, FILE NO. 370, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND FINANCE, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, WHEREIN RECONSIDERATION IS REQUESTED OF DECISION TO YOU DATED DECEMBER 19, 1951, B -106469. THE SAID DECISION INVOLVED THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A CLAIM FOR $306.67 PRESENTED ON STANDARD FORM 1154, PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE A DECEASED EMPLOYEE, BY MARGARET L. BROWN, WIDOW OF BOYD S. BROWN, DECEASED.

PRIMARILY THE CLAIM INVOLVES THE PAYMENT OF FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL CONCURRENTLY WITH PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE THE LATE BOYD S. BROWN WAS ASSIGNED AS A MEMBER OF AN INVESTIGATIVE SURVEY GROUP WHOSE MISSION IT WAS TO INVESTIGATE THE FEASIBILITY OF CERTAIN POWER AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENTS IN NICARAGUA PURSUANT TO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. THE PERTINENT FACTS IN THE CASE ARE REITERATED BRIEFLY AS FOLLOWS:

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 14, 1951, THE DECEDENT, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION WITH PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT DENVER, COLORADO, WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM DENVER TO " WASHINGTON, D.C., TO POINTS IN NICARAGUA * * * AND RETURN TO DENVER, COLORADO," FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING THE AFOREMENTIONED SURVEY. THE SAID ORDERS AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATES ALLOWABLE UNDER REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET FOR AREAS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. MOREOVER, MR. BROWN'S LETTER OF ASSIGNMENT STATED THAT HE, AS WELL AS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE INVESTIGATIVE GROUP, WOULD RECEIVE WHILE IN NICARAGUA A 25 PERCENT FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL IN ADDITION TO THE SAID PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. ON JUNE 7, FOLLOWING HIS ARRIVAL IN NICARAGUA ON MAY 27, 1951, MR. BROWN WAS STRICKEN WITH THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF HEART ATTACKS RESULTING IN HIS DEATH ON JUNE 9.

IT WAS POINTED OUT IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1951, THAT THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL AUTHORIZED UNDER PART I OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, IS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN AREAS DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS FOREIGN AREAS HAVING CONDITIONS OF ENVIRONMENT WHICH DIFFER SUBSTANTIALLY FROM CONDITIONS OF ENVIRONMENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND WARRANT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE. UNDER SECTION 106 OF THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER PAYMENT OF THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL "SHALL BEGIN AS OF THE DATE OF ARRIVAL AT THE POST OF ASSIGNMENT, TRANSFER OR DETAIL * * *.' IT IS CLEAR THAT THE STATION IN NICARAGUA WAS NOT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF THE LATE MR. BROWN DURING THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL IS CLAIMED, SINCE THE TRAVEL ORDERS OF MAY 14, 1951, DID NOT PURPORT TO EFFECT A TRANSFER OF HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO NICARAGUA. MOREOVER, THE TERM,"DETAIL," AS USED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MUST BE CONSTRUED IN THE LIGHT OF THE INTENDED PURPOSE OF THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL AS EXPRESSED IN THE STATUTORY LANGUAGE, THAT IS, A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE TO PERSONS STATIONED OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THIS BEING TRUE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ONLY DETAILS OF SUCH CHARACTER AND DURATION AS WOULD INDICATE SOME SUBSTANTIAL DEGREE OF PERMANENCY TO THE ASSIGNMENT AND WHICH WOULD WARRANT THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE REASONABLY MAY BE REGARDED AS DETAILS FOR WHICH THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL IS PAYABLE.

IN THE INSTANT SITUATION I FIND NO SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE DETAIL OF THE LATE MR. BROWN WAS SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT THE PAYMENT OF THE FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE TO AN EMPLOYEE STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND, ACCORDINGLY, OFFICE DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1951, IS AFFIRMED.