B-116571, OCTOBER 22, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 183

B-116571: Oct 22, 1953

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THE PHRASE " GOVERNMENT AGENCY" REFERS TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ONLY AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO MEALS AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED TO EMPLOYEES BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT WITHOUT COST TO THE UNITED STATES SO AS TO REDUCE THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF SUCH EMPLOYEES. A LIKE RESULT IS REQUIRED IN THE APPLICATION OF SIMILAR ADMINISTRATIVE TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH USE THE TERM " GOVERNMENT.'. MAY NOT HAVE A RETROACTIVE EFFECT. PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL PERFORMED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATION IS FOR ADJUSTMENT UNDER SAID REGULATIONS WHERE THE MEALS AND/OR LODGING ARE FURNISHED WITHOUT COST BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT.

B-116571, OCTOBER 22, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 183

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - REDUCTION - MEALS, LODGINGS, ETC., FURNISHED BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENT - RATES - RETROACTIVE CHANGES UNDER PARAGRAPH 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES FOR A DEDUCTION OF ONE-FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, THE PHRASE " GOVERNMENT AGENCY" REFERS TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ONLY AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO MEALS AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED TO EMPLOYEES BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT WITHOUT COST TO THE UNITED STATES SO AS TO REDUCE THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF SUCH EMPLOYEES, AND A LIKE RESULT IS REQUIRED IN THE APPLICATION OF SIMILAR ADMINISTRATIVE TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH USE THE TERM " GOVERNMENT.' WHILE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZE PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND PROVIDE FOR A DEDUCTION OF ONE- FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT COST TO AN EMPLOYEE, BECAUSE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT STATUS, MAY NOT HAVE A RETROACTIVE EFFECT, PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL PERFORMED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATION IS FOR ADJUSTMENT UNDER SAID REGULATIONS WHERE THE MEALS AND/OR LODGING ARE FURNISHED WITHOUT COST BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, PROVIDED THE RESTRICTION "BECAUSE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT STATUS" IS SATISFIED AND THE EMPLOYEE IS NOTIFIED BY TRAVEL ORDERS, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE NOTICE, THAT THE TRAVEL IS SUBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRAVEL REGULATIONS. UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZE PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND PROVIDE FOR A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE WHERE GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR OPERATED QUARTERS AND/OR MEAL FACILITIES OR QUARTERS IN A FACILITY OPERATED UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL OR SUPERVISION ARE USED BY AN EMPLOYEE AND PAID FOR FROM PERSONAL FUNDS, THE TERM " GOVERNMENT" REFERS TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND DOES NOT COVER MEALS AND/OR QUARTERS PAID FOR BY THE EMPLOYEE TO A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, OR TO A FACILITY OPERATED UNDER THE CONTROL OR SUPERVISION OF A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, SO AS TO REQUIRE REDUCTION IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM RATE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, OCTOBER 22, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 2, 1953, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING AN INTERPRETATION OF THE PHRASE " GOVERNMENT AGENCY" AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDI GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES FOR A DEDUCTION OF ONE-FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.

THE QUESTION ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1951, CARL L. YOUNGBERG AND 18 OTHER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WERE ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE BASE, FROBISHER BAY, CANADA, WHERE, IT IS STATED, QUARTERS WERE FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE AND MEALS WERE PURCHASES AT A CHARGE OF 50 CENTS FOR EACH MEAL. OTHER EVIDENCE ON FILE HERE INDICATES A CHARGE OF APPROXIMATELY $1.50 PER DAY FOR RATIONS AND QUARTERS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR THE TRAVEL HAVE BEEN MADE WITHOUT DEDUCTION.

IT IS THE CONTENTION OF YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT UNDER PARAGRAPH 47 (A), QUOTED BELOW, A DEDUCTION SHOULD BE MADE IN AN EMPLOYEE'S AUTHORIZED PER DIEM WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY IN CANADA WHERE MEALS AND/OR LODGINGS ARE FURNISHED BY THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WITHOUT CHARGE. YOU REFER TO B- 66978, AUGUST 27, 1947; HOWEVER THAT DECISION RELATED TO A SITUATION WHERE UNITED STATES FUNDS HAD BEEN USED TO PAY FOR A REGISTRATION FEE, WHICH FEE INCLUDED THE COST OF MEALS FURNISHED.

PARAGRAPH 47 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

NOT LESS THAN ONE-FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE WILL BE DEDUCTED FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 7A (1), SECTION 9, CHAPTER AFT11, AFM 40-1) AT THE TIME THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED, PROVIDED FOR A ONE-FIFTH DEDUCTION " IF MEALS AND/OR QUARTERS ARE FURNISHED BY A GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR OPERATED FACILITY FOR WHICH NO DIRECT CHARGE OF ANY KIND IS COLLECTED IN CASH FROM THE TRAVELER.'

IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH 47 (A), SUPRA,"FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY," WHICH, IN SUBSTANCE, FIRST APPEARED IN THE UNIFORM TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF MARCH 1, 1929, REFERS TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ONLY AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO MEALS AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT WITHOUT COST, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES. B-66627, JULY 24, 1947. ALSO, SINCE PRESUMABLY THE WORD " GOVERNMENT" IN PARAGRAPH 47 (A) AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS WAS INTENDED TO BE SYNONYMOUS, A LIKE RESULT IS REQUIRED WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLICATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TO POINTS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 22, 1952, OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION, PROVIDES IN PARAGRAPH 4B (1) (D), CHAPTER AFT11.9, AIR FORCE MANUAL 40-1, IN PART AS FOLLOWS.

THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WILL BE REDUCED BY ONE-FIFTH FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR NIGHT'S LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT COST TO AN EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT STATUS * * * .

WHILE THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS MAY NOT HAVE A RETROACTIVE EFFECT, PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL PERFORMED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SUBSEQUENT TO SEPTEMBER 22, 1952, IS FOR ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS WHERE THE MEALS AND/OR LODGING ARE FURNISHED WITHOUT COST BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, PROVIDED THE RESTRICTION "BECAUSE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT STATUS" BE SATISFIED AND THE EMPLOYEE IS NOTIFIED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDERS, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE NOTICE, THAT THE TRAVEL IS SUBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOUR SUBMISSION ALSO COVERS THE QUESTION OF THE PROPER APPLICATION OF THE PROVISION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH 4B (1) (D), SECTION 9, CHAPTER AFT11, AFM 40-1, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED, WHICH PROVIDES FOR A $7 PER DIEM RATE IN LIEU OF THE $11 MAXIMUM WHERE "IT IS KNOWN THAT GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR OPERATED QUARTERS AND/OR MEAL FACILITIES FOR ALL THREE MEALS FOR A DAY ARE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND PAID FOR FROM PERSONAL FUNDS.' CONSISTENT WITH THE VIEW EXPRESSED ABOVE WITH RESPECT TO PARAGRAPH 47 (A), STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE TERM " GOVERNMENT" AS USED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS WOULD NOT APPEAR TO THIS OFFICE TO COVER THE MEALS AND/OR QUARTERS PAID FOR BY THE TRAVELER TO A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT. LIKEWISE, THE LANGUAGE OF THE CURRENT REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 4B (1) (C) ( "QUARTERS IN A FACILITY OPERATED UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL OR SUPERVISION ARE USED AND A CHARGE IS PAID OUT OF PERSONAL FUNDS" WOULD NOT BE FOR APPLICATION TO QUARTERS FURNISHED AND OPERATED UNDER THE CONTROL OR SUPERVISION OF A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT.