B-10720, JUNE 27, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 1032

B-10720: Jun 27, 1940

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AS FOLLOWS: THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES WILL BE PAID THE VALUE OF THEIR SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS WHILE ON LEAVE. NECESSARY FUNDS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS INCREASED EXPENSE. "THIS ACTION WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE APRIL 1. IT SHOULD BE DEFINITELY UNDERSTOOD BY ALL CONCERNED THAT THIS ACTION CANNOT BE USED AS A BASIS FOR CLAIMS FOR THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS WHICH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PAID TO ANY EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE WHILE ON LEAVE PRIOR TO APRIL 1. HAS RAISED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: "THE POLICY OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF ST ENDORSEMENT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SO FAR AS THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE INDICATE.

B-10720, JUNE 27, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 1032

ALLOWANCES IN KIND - CASH PAYMENTS DURING LEAVES OF ABSENCE WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR HAS DETERMINED THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ON ARMY TRANSPORTS, ON A FULL TIME BASIS RATHER THAN ON AN ACTUAL DUTY BASIS, THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED MAY NOT BE PAID THE CASH VALUE OF THEIR ALLOWANCES IN KIND DURING PERIODS OF ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF LEAVE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JUNE 27, 1940:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 31, 1940, REF. WD 248.5 (4-22-40) M, AS FOLLOWS:

THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, AND THE SUPERINTENDENT, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, SAN FRANCISCO PORT OF EMBARKATION, FORT MASON, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNDER DATE OF MARCH 27, 1940, RE PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES TO THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES SERVING ON THE ARMY TRANSPORTS:

"IN THE FUTURE, CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES WILL BE PAID THE VALUE OF THEIR SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS WHILE ON LEAVE. NECESSARY FUNDS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS INCREASED EXPENSE.

"THIS ACTION WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1940. IT SHOULD BE DEFINITELY UNDERSTOOD BY ALL CONCERNED THAT THIS ACTION CANNOT BE USED AS A BASIS FOR CLAIMS FOR THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS WHICH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PAID TO ANY EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE WHILE ON LEAVE PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1940.'

THE SUPERINTENDENT, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, FORT MASON, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, HAS RAISED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

"THE POLICY OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF ST ENDORSEMENT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SO FAR AS THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE INDICATE, THE COMPTROLLER HAS RULED THAT QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES TO EMPLOYEES ON TRANSPORTS ARE TO BE FURNISHED IN KIND ONLY, AND CANNOT BE PAID IN CASH WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE ON LEAVE. THERE HAVE BEEN THREE KNOWN CLAIMS SUBMITTED BY EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CLAIMING SUCH ALLOWANCES IN CASH WHILE ON A LEAVE STATUS, NAMELY--- L. C. DREWSON, LATE FIRST OFFICER, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE; G. A. SCHMITT, Q.M. AGENT, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE; AND EMIL DEREMBERG, FORMER 3RD ASSISTANT ENGINEER, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE. IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ALL OF THESE CLAIMS WERE REJECTED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. THIS OFFICE HAS OBTAINED COPY OF THE DECISION IN THE CASE OF EMIL DEREMBERG, AND COPY IS ATTACHED. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT, AS LATE AS AUGUST 28, 1939, THE COMPTROLLER SUSTAINED HIS FORMER DECISION DISALLOWING THE CLAIM.

"IN VIEW OF THESE DECISIONS, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED THAT A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT IN CASE OF QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES TO TRANSPORT EMPLOYEES WHILE ON LEAVE, COULD BE PROPERLY CERTIFIED UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN A LATER DECISION NULLIFYING THE FORMER ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. THE FINANCE OFFICER HERE HAS INDICATED INFORMALLY THAT IF SUCH AN ACCOUNT WERE PRESENTED TO HIM, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO FORWARD SAME TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE FOR DECISION BEFORE PAYMENT. IT IS THE THOUGHT OF THIS OFFICE THAT UNLESS FAVORABLE DECISION FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAS ALREADY BEEN RECEIVED BY YOUR OFFICE, IT WOULD EXPEDITE THE MATTER IF AN ADVANCE DECISION COULD BE OBTAINED AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THIS PROCEDURE BEFORE ANY ACCOUNTS ARE PRESENTED FOR SETTLEMENT.'

IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISION OF AUGUST 28, 1939, IN THE CASE OF EMIL DEREMBERG, B-4984, INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PAYMENTS IN CASH, WHILE ON LEAVE OF QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES TO THE EMPLOYEES ON THE ARMY TRANSPORTS CAN BE MADE UNDER THE INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL UNDER DATE OF MARCH 27, 1940.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE HEAD OF AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, WHERE, IN HIS JUDGMENT, CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT REQUIRE IT, MAY CONTINUE TO FURNISH CIVILIANS EMPLOYED IN THE FIELD SERVICE WITH QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT, SUBSISTENCE, AND LAUNDRY SERVICE; AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 AND THEREAFTER OF THE CHARACTER HERETOFORE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR: PROVIDED, THAT THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE OF SUCH CIVILIANS.

PARAGRAPH 2A (1), C (2), G AND H, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-3840, MARCH 15, 1937, PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE STATUTE PROVIDES:

* * * IN THE CASE OF SUBSISTENCE FURNISHED ON TRANSPORTS ITS VALUE IS HEREBY DETERMINED TO BE: SALOON MESS, AT THE RATE OF $360 PER ANNUM; SHIP'S OFFICERS' MESS, AT THE RATE OF $270 PER ANNUM; SHIP'S PETTY OFFICERS-, SAILORS' AND FIREMEN'S MESS, AT THE RATE OF $192 PER ANNUM; AND FILIPINO MESS, AT THE RATE OF $144 PER ANNUM.

C (2) ARMY TRANSPORTS.--- ON ARMY TRANSPORTS VALUATIONS WILL BE GIVEN QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, EQUIPMENT, AND LAUNDRY SERVICE (EXCEPT FOR PERSONAL ARTICLES WHICH ARE NOT LAUNDERED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE), AT THE RATE OF $15 PER MONTH FOR LICENSED OFFICERS, CHIEF STEWARDS, QUARTERMASTER AGENTS, AND QUARTERMASTER CLERKS; AND $5 PER MONTH FOR ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES.

G. RATES OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES.--- THE RATES OF PAY OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE WILL BE THE CASH RATES AUTHORIZED AND THE VALUE OF SUCH AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES, AS GIVEN IN THESE REGULATIONS, AS FORM A PART OF THE TOTAL AUTHORIZED COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE IN EACH CASE.

H. ADJUSTMENTS OR DISCONTINUANCE OF ALLOWANCES.--- HEREAFTER SERVICES WILL BE ENGAGED AND APPOINTMENTS MADE AT, AND READJUSTMENTS IN RATES OF PAY WILL BE MADE TO, AMOUNTS WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE CASH RATES OF PAY IN EACH CASE AND THE VALUE OF AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES TO BE DETERMINED AS DIRECTED IN THESE REGULATIONS.

THE GRANTING TO AN EMPLOYEE OF ANY ALLOWANCE OF VALUE IN ADDITION TO HIS FORMER TOTAL AUTHORIZED COMPENSATION OR THE DISCONTINUANCE OF SUCH AN ALLOWANCE THERETOFORE FORMING A PART OF HIS TOTAL AUTHORIZED COMPENSATION WILL BE MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AND BY THE SAME AUTHORITY AS INCREASES OR DECREASES IN RATES OF PAY ARE MADE.

WHENEVER AN ALLOWANCE IS GRANTED TO AN EMPLOYEE IN THE SERVICE, ITS VALUE, DETERMINED AS HEREIN DIRECTED, WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE CASH PAYMENT OF SALARY. WHENEVER AN ALLOWANCE TO AN EMPLOYEE IS DISCONTINUED, ITS VALUE, DETERMINED AS HEREIN DIRECTED, WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE CASH PAYMENT OF SALARY. IN EITHER CASE, IF WARRANTED BY THE CONDITIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR AN APPROPRIATE READJUSTMENT IN THE TOTAL RATE OF PAY TO THE EMPLOYEE.

I. SPECIAL CASES.--- IF IN SPECIAL CASES IT IS FOUND TO BE NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE IN THE INTEREST OF THE SERVICE TO DEVIATE FROM THE RATES HEREIN ESTABLISHED, CHIEFS OF ARMS, SERVICES, AND BUREAUS SHOULD PRESENT THE CASES TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR WITH RECOMMENDATIONS.

THE CASE OF LOUIS C. DREWSON, REFERRED TO BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, FORT MASON, COVERED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF SUBSISTENCE AND LODGING WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING THE PERIODS FROM SEPTEMBER 24 TO NOVEMBER 23, 1935, AND FROM JULY 1 TO 31, 1937, WHILE EMPLOYED IN THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT NO. 10296500, DATED JUNE 15, 1938. THE CASE OF GEORGE A. SCHMITT, ALSO REFERRED TO BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, COVERED A CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $158.90 STATED TO REPRESENT DEDUCTIONS OF 22 1/2 DAYS' COMPENSATION DURING THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1932, TO MARCH 31, 1933, COVERING 18 DAYS' LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH, WHILE EMPLOYED AS QUARTERMASTER CLERK ON THE UNITED STATES ARMY TRANSPORT U.S. GRANT. THAT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY DECISION A 57331, DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1934. THE CLAIM IN THE CASE OF EMIL DEREMBERG WAS DISALLOWED IN SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 13, 1938, AND THE SETTLEMENT, UPON REVIEW, WAS SUSTAINED IN DECISION B-4984, DATED AUGUST 28, 1939, THE DECISION CITED IN YOUR LETTER.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 528, 530, IT WAS HELD THAT:

IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND EITHER FOR PERIOD OF ACTUAL DUTY ONLY, EXCLUSIVE OF PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE, OR FOR FULL TIME, INCLUDING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE. * * *

SEE, ALSO, 10 COMP. GEN. 493, AND LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR DATED DECEMBER 15, 1932, A-45871.

THE EFFECT OF THE CITED DECISIONS IS THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS AUTHORIZED, FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT, TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND, ON A FULL TIME BASIS, IN WHICH CASE NO ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, OR ON AN ACTUAL DUTY BASIS, IN WHICH EVENT THERE WOULD BE FOR ADJUSTMENT THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY.

IT IS APPARENT FROM THE REGULATIONS CITED THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR, PURSUANT TO THE STATUTE, HAS PRESCRIBED A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF DEDUCTIONS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES IN THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE AND THAT HE HAS BASED THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND, ON FULL TIME SERVICE, THAT IS, THE REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT IN CASH OF THE VALUE OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, ETC., DURING ABSENCE ON ACCOUNT OF LEAVE.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE BASIS OF THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND THE CITED DECISIONS, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.