B-120167, JUNE 25, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 604

B-120167: Jun 25, 1954

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THEREFORE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO FOREIGN TRAINEES PARTICIPATING IN SUCH PROGRAMS UNDER THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION IS GOVERNED BY SAID SECTION WHETHER THE TRAINEES ARE STATIONED IN THE UNITED STATES OR SOME COUNTRY OTHER THAN THEIR OWN. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 19. SECTION 108 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1954 (THE LANGUAGE OF WHICH IS IDENTICAL TO THAT CONTAINED IN SECTION 109 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1953) 67 STAT. 372. THE NORMAL IMPORT OF THE LANGUAGE "WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR OWN COUNTRIES" IS THAT THE RATES PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO THE SECTION. THE VIEW IS EXPRESSED IN THE LETTER OF MAY 19 THAT THE SAID PROVISION WAS NOT INTENDED TO REDUCE THE PER DIEM PAYABLE BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION TO TRAINEES PARTICIPATING IN ITS PROGRAMS IN AREAS FOREIGN TO THE UNITED STATES BELOW THE AMOUNTS PROVIDED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR SUCH AREAS.

B-120167, JUNE 25, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 604

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - FOREIGN TRAINEES - AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT SECTION 108 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1954 CONSTITUTES THE SOLE AUTHORITY AND BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN ANY EXCHANGE OF PERSONS PROGRAM OR TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AND THEREFORE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO FOREIGN TRAINEES PARTICIPATING IN SUCH PROGRAMS UNDER THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION IS GOVERNED BY SAID SECTION WHETHER THE TRAINEES ARE STATIONED IN THE UNITED STATES OR SOME COUNTRY OTHER THAN THEIR OWN.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO THE DIRECTOR, FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, JUNE 25, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 19, 1954, FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 108 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, 67 STAT. 371, PUBLIC LAW 195, 83D CONGRESS, APPLY TO FOREIGN CITIZENS AND SUBJECTS WHILE AWAY FROM HOME AND STATIONED IN COUNTRIES OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES INCIDENT TO THEIR PARTICIPATION UNDER A TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CARRIED ON PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 64 STAT. 204.

SECTION 108 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1954 (THE LANGUAGE OF WHICH IS IDENTICAL TO THAT CONTAINED IN SECTION 109 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1953) 67 STAT. 372, READS AS FOLLOWS:

THE SECRETARY OF STATE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, SHALL PRESCRIBE THE MAXIMUM RATES (NOT TO EXCEED $12 PER DAY) OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE (OR OF SUBSISTENCE (OR OF SIMILAR ALLOWANCES THEREFOR) PAYABLE WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR OWN COUNTRIES TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN ANY EXCHANGE OF PERSONS PROGRAM, OR IN ANY PROGRAM OF FURNISHING TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE, UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AND SAID RATES MAY BE FIXED WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY PROVISION OF LAW IN LIMITATION THEREOF.

THE NORMAL IMPORT OF THE LANGUAGE "WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR OWN COUNTRIES" IS THAT THE RATES PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO THE SECTION--- SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM RATE OF $12 PER DAY--- SHALL BE PAYABLE TO FOREIGN SUBJECTS PARTICIPATING IN EXCHANGE OF PERSONS PROGRAMS OR TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANT PROGRAMS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHENEVER SUCH PARTICIPATION NECESSITATES THEIR ABSENCE FROM THEIR NATIVE COUNTRIES.

HOWEVER, THE VIEW IS EXPRESSED IN THE LETTER OF MAY 19 THAT THE SAID PROVISION WAS NOT INTENDED TO REDUCE THE PER DIEM PAYABLE BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION TO TRAINEES PARTICIPATING IN ITS PROGRAMS IN AREAS FOREIGN TO THE UNITED STATES BELOW THE AMOUNTS PROVIDED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR SUCH AREAS. IN THAT CONNECTION, WHILE NOT EXPRESSLY SO STATED IN THE LETTER OF MAY 19, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF SUCH APPROPRIATION PROVISIONS IT HAD BEEN THE PRACTICE OF THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, UNDER THE BROAD AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 405 (D) OF THE ACT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 64 STAT. 205, TO USE THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS A GUIDE IN FIXING PER DIEM RATES FOR FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN AREAS FOREIGN TO THE UNITED STATES. ALSO, REFERENCE IS MADE TO AN EXCERPT FROM THE REPORT OF HEARINGS BEFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON H.R. 7289, 82ND CONGRESS, AT PAGE 1283, WHICH DISCLOSES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE APPROPRIATION PROVISION (SECTION 109 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953) WAS TO INCREASE THE EXISTING $10 MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER EXCHANGE OF PERSONS PROGRAMS. SUCH EXCERPT IS SAID TO BE INDICATIVE OF THE FACT THAT SECTION 109 WAS NOT INTENDED TO RESULT IN ANY REDUCTION IN THE PER DIEM THERETOFORE PAYABLE BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION TO FOREIGN TRAINEES PARTICIPATING IN TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IN AREAS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1953, THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS UNDER THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION WOULD APPEAR TO BE GOVERNED BY THE SPECIFIC LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 109 OF THAT ACT. THE PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE INSOFAR AS IT WAS AT VARIANCE WITH THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF SUCH SECTION NO LONGER PROPERLY COULD BE FOLLOWED. WHILE THE SAID EXCERPT FROM THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISCLOSES THE SECTION 109 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1953 WAS DESIGNED, IN PART AT LEAST, TO RAISE THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PAYABLE TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN THE UNITED STATES, NOTHING CONTAINED THEREIN IS VIEWED AS WARRANTING A CONSTRUCTION OF THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE OF THAT SECTION SO AS TO LIMIT ITS APPLICABILITY TO SUCH INSTANCES.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT SECTION 108 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1954 CONSTITUTES THE SOLE AUTHORITY AND BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN ANY EXCHANGE OF PERSONS PROGRAM OR TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY. THEREFORE, SAID LAW WOULD GOVERN THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO TRAINEES WHETHER STATIONED IN THE UNITED STATES OR SOME OTHER COUNTRY OTHER THAN THEIR OWN.