B-107887, APRIL 4, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 499

B-107887: Apr 4, 1952

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SUBSISTENCE PER DIEMS - CONCURRENT PAYMENTS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS IN THE TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT RECEIVE THE TERRITORIAL COST OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 31. IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF THE ACTING SECRETARY THAT THE OFFICIAL STATION OF THE REVENUE AGENT WAS JACKSONVILLE. THAT HE WAS ON A TEMPORARY DETAIL IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FROM FEBRUARY 1. THAT DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS HE WAS PAID A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE RATE OF $11 AND IN ADDITION THERETO WAS PAID A TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PART 350.

B-107887, APRIL 4, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 499

ALLOWANCES AND DIFFERENTIALS - TERRITORIAL COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE; SUBSISTENCE PER DIEMS - CONCURRENT PAYMENTS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS IN THE TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT RECEIVE THE TERRITORIAL COST OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE, PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000 FOR INCREASED LIVING COSTS IN TERRITORIES, FOR THE SAME PERIOD THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVES A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 4, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 31, 1952, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH, OF THE PAYMENT OF A 25 PERCENT COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE CONCURRENTLY WITH A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT ON TEMPORARY DETAIL IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF THE ACTING SECRETARY THAT THE OFFICIAL STATION OF THE REVENUE AGENT WAS JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, BUT THAT HE WAS ON A TEMPORARY DETAIL IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FROM FEBRUARY 1, TO MAY 12, 1951; THAT DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS HE WAS PAID A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE RATE OF $11 AND IN ADDITION THERETO WAS PAID A TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PART 350, CHAPTER III, OF THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL. IT IS STATED THAT SEVERAL NOTICES OF EXCEPTIONS WERE ISSUED BY THE AUDITOR-IN 1CHARGE, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, AGAINST THE CONCURRENT PAYMENT OF BOTH THE TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE AND A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. A PORTION OF ONE OF SUCH EXCEPTIONS IS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, AS FOLLOWS:

IT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT THE PAYMENT OF A 25 PERCENT TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE EMPLOYEE WHO WAS CONCURRENTLY REIMBURSED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE DURING ASSIGNMENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN * * * THE VIRGIN ISLANDS * * *.

FURTHER IT IS POINTED OUT IN THE LETTER OF THE ACTING SECRETARY THAT THE DUTIES PERFORMED BY THE AGENT IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, FOR THE MOST PART, WERE DIFFERENT FROM THOSE NORMALLY PERFORMED BY HIM AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, AND, THEREFORE, THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED INCIDENT TO SUCH DUTY. IN THAT CONNECTION, ATTENTION WAS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT WHILE IN PUERTO RICO, WHERE HIS DUTIES WERE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THOSE OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION, THE AGENT WAS PAID NO TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE.

SECTION 208 (A) (1) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE FOLLOWING SHALL GOVERN THE PAYMENT OF TERRITORIAL POST DIFFERENTIALS AND TERRITORIAL COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES UNDER THIS PART:

(1) PAYMENTS SHALL BEGIN AS OF THE DATE OF ARRIVAL AT THE POST ON ASSIGNMENT, TRANSFER, OR DETAIL AND SHALL STOP AS OF DEPARTURE FROM THE POST FOR SEPARATION, TRANSFER, OR DETAIL, EXCEPT THAT IN THE CASE OF LOCAL RECRUITMENT SUCH PAYMENTS SHALL BEGIN AND STOP AS OF THE BEGINNING AND END OF EMPLOYMENT.

THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER DEFINE THE TERM "ON DETAIL," AS FOLLOWS:

(G) "ON DETAIL" AT A POST OF DUTY MEANS PERFORMING TEMPORARILY, AT A POST OTHER THAN THE POST OF REGULAR ASSIGNMENT, DUTIES WHICH INVOLVE CARRYING OUT FUNCTIONS OF THE POST TO WHICH DETAILED. AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT "ON DETAIL" TO A POST IF HE IS THERE TEMPORARILY, IN A TRAVEL STATUS, PERFORMING DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES OF HIS REGULAR POSITION AT ANOTHER POST.

THE TERRITORIAL COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000 IS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO ASSIST AN EMPLOYEE TO DEFRAY LIVING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS RESIDENCE OR PRESENCE AT A TERRITORIAL POST WHERE THE COST OF LIVING HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS DESIGNED TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE INCURS INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION. SINCE BOTH OF THE SAID ALLOWANCES ARE DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR THE SAME PURPOSE, THE PAYMENT OF THE TWO CONCURRENTLY WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE PROPER. MOREOVER, IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE THAT NEITHER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS NOR THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000 CONTEMPLATE THAT FOR THE SAME PERIOD AN EMPLOYEE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN A TERRITORY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES MAY BE PAID BOTH OF THE SAID ALLOWANCES. VIEW THEREOF, THE AUDIT ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN THE CASE HERE INVOLVED IS CONSIDERED TO BE CORRECT.