B-107916, APRIL 4, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 501

B-107916: Apr 4, 1952

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PROVIDING THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS DESIGNED TO COVER ROOM RENTALS. SO THAT THE COST OF ICE DEEMED NECESSARY TO COOL WATER IN ORDER TO MAKE IT POTABLE FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO ARE RECEIVING PER DIEM WHILE ON DETACHED DUTY IS NOT AN EXPENSE FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 21. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE COMMUNITY ICE AND PRODUCE CO. TWO COUPON BOOKS WHICH WERE USED TO PROCURE ICE IN THE AMOUNT OF 50 POUNDS PER WORKING DAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF COOLING DRINKING WATER FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE DETACHMENT "WHILE ENGAGED IN DEDUDDING OPERATIONS AT THE SOUTHWESTERN PROVING GROUND.

B-107916, APRIL 4, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 501

WATER - DRINKING - COST OF COOLING AS EXPENSE OF SUBSISTENCE THE TERM "OTHER SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 4202.1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDING THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS DESIGNED TO COVER ROOM RENTALS, MEALS, TIPS, STREET CAR OR TAXI FARES, LAUNDRY AND "OTHER SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES," INCLUDES THE COST OF ICE FOR COOLING DRINKING WATER, SO THAT THE COST OF ICE DEEMED NECESSARY TO COOL WATER IN ORDER TO MAKE IT POTABLE FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO ARE RECEIVING PER DIEM WHILE ON DETACHED DUTY IS NOT AN EXPENSE FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO LT. COL. V. S. GAFFORD, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, APRIL 4, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 21, 1951, YOUR FILE CA- 400.138, TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE BY THIRD ENDORSEMENT OF FEBRUARY 4, 1952, FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE COMMUNITY ICE AND PRODUCE CO., IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.14 REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR TWO COUPON BOOKS, PLUS STATE SALES TAX, PROCURED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, 9800 TSE-1CE DETACHMENT NO. 13, BOMB, AND SHELL DISPOSAL TEAM.

IN A REPORT DATED DECEMBER 7, 1951, THE COMMANDING OFFICER STATED THAT HE PURCHASED FROM THE COMMUNITY ICE AND PRODUCE CO, DURING AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, AND OCTOBER 1951, TWO COUPON BOOKS WHICH WERE USED TO PROCURE ICE IN THE AMOUNT OF 50 POUNDS PER WORKING DAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF COOLING DRINKING WATER FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE DETACHMENT "WHILE ENGAGED IN DEDUDDING OPERATIONS AT THE SOUTHWESTERN PROVING GROUND, HOPE, ARKANSAS.' IT WAS STATED FURTHER THAT THE PERSONNEL WERE WORKING 9 HOURS PER DAY IN EXTREME HEAT IN REMOTE AREAS WHERE DRINKING WATER WAS NOT AVAILABLE AND THAT "IT WAS DEEMED NECESSARY TO COOL THE WATER CARRIED TO THE FIELD IN ORDER TO MAKE IT POTABLE.' WHILE THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE DETACHMENT HERE INVOLVED REPORTED THAT ALL COUPONS IN THE TWO BOOKS WERE USED, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT THE PURCHASE OF COUPON BOOKS, AS SUCH, TO BE USED IN THE PROCUREMENT OF ICE, AS IN THIS CASE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS SUCH PURCHASES INVOLVE PAYMENT FOR SUPPLIES IN ADVANCE OF DELIVERY. SEE SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED. 31 U.S.C. 529.

IN 28 COMP. GEN. 627, IT WAS HELD THAT THE COST OF ICE FOR COOLING DRINKING WATER PROPERLY SHOULD BE REGARDED AS AN EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY IF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE ARE REIMBURSABLE AND THAT SUCH COST MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED REIMBURSABLE IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS. HOWEVER, THAT DECISION RELATED TO EXPENSES INCURRED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 689. THE QUESTION IS RAISED BY COLONEL H. C. ROWLAND, JR., CE, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, IN FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1951, WHETHER THE TERM " PER DIEM ALLOWANCE" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 4202.1 OF PART E OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED BY VIRTUE OF AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, APPROVED OCTOBER 12, 1949, 63 STAT. 802, IS BROAD ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE COST OF ICE FOR COOLING DRINKING WATER, IT BEING STATED THAT THE ICE WAS PROCURED BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHILE RECEIVING PER DIEM UNDER THAT ACT.

PARAGRAPH 4200 OF PART E OF THE SAID JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN THIS PART ARE APPLICABLE FOR ALL PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND TRAVEL IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:

1. PERIODS OF NECESSARY DELAY AWAITING FURTHER TRANSPORTATION,

2. PERIODS OF DELAY AT PORTS OF EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION,

3. PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY DIRECTED IN A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER.

PARAGRAPH 4202.1 OF THE REGULATIONS DEFINES " PER DIEM ALLOWANCE" AS FOLLOWS:

THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS DESIGNED TO COVER ROOM RENTALS, MEALS, TIPS, STREET CAR OR TAXI FARES (OTHER THAN TO AND FROM STATION, WHARF, OR LANDING FIELD), LAUNDRY, AND OTHER SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES.

IT IS A RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION (THE REGULATIONS HERE HAVING THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW) THAT GENERAL WORDS FOLLOWING AN ENUMERATION OF SPECIFIC THINGS ARE USUALLY RESTRICTED TO THINGS OF THE SAME KIND AS THOSE SPECIFICALLY ENUMERATED. THE TERM "OTHER SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 4202.1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SUPRA, FOLLOWS THE ENUMERATIONS OF "ROOM RENTALS," "MEALS," "TIPS," "STREET CAR OR TAXI FARES," AND "LAUNDRY.' THESE WORDS HAVE A DEFINITE MEANING AND ARE DEFINITELY WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF SUBSISTENCE ITEMS. APPLYING THE ABOVE RULE IN THE INSTANT MATTER THE TERM "OTHER SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" AS USED IN THE REGULATIONS MUST BE HELD TO COMPREHEND THE COST OF ICE FOR COOLING DRINKING WATER. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THE COST OF THE ICE SHOULD BE REGARDED AS COVERED BY THE PER DIEM PAID THE PERSONNEL. HENCE, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER COVERING THE COST OF THE TWO COUPON BOOKS PLUS STATE TAX IS NOT AUTHORIZED.