B-120256, JULY 22, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 37

B-120256: Jul 22, 1954

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ALLOWANCES AND DIFFERENTIALS - LIVING QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - AT FAMILY RATE EMPLOYEE STATION IN FOREIGN COUNTRY WHOSE DEPENDENT MOTHER AND BROTHER WERE FOREIGN NATIONALS IS ENTITLED TO QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AT "WITH FAMILY" RATE UNDER PARAGRAPH 215C OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS ( GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26. RECEIVING QUARTERS ALLOWANCES ON A "WITH FAMILY" BASIS FOR A DEPENDENT MOTHER AND STUDENT BROTHER UNDER AGE WHO WAS 50 PERCENT DEPENDENT UPON HER FOR SUPPORT. BOTH DEPENDENTS ARE MEXICAN NATIONALS. THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE "WITH FAMILY" WAS AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS. YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IN MEXICO WAS INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT THE DEPENDENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE.

B-120256, JULY 22, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 37

ALLOWANCES AND DIFFERENTIALS - LIVING QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - AT FAMILY RATE EMPLOYEE STATION IN FOREIGN COUNTRY WHOSE DEPENDENT MOTHER AND BROTHER WERE FOREIGN NATIONALS IS ENTITLED TO QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AT "WITH FAMILY" RATE UNDER PARAGRAPH 215C OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS ( GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREAS) WHICH LIMITED THE AMERICAN NATIONALITY REQUIREMENT TO DEPENDENTS OF EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE, EVEN THOUGH THE STATE DEPARTMENT INTENDED SUCH REQUIREMENT TO BE APPLICABLE TO DEPENDENTS OF BOTH EMPLOYEE AND SPOUSE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO M. LILLIAN RUPPERT, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, JULY 22, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1954, BRC, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO MISS BEATRIZ E. PROVENCIO, OR MUST BE APPLIED AGAINST HER INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES, IF ANY, UNDER THE FACTS STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION. THE VOUCHER REPRESENTS COMPENSATION FOR MARCH 1, 1954, AT $3,175 PER ANNUM PLUS QUARTERS ALLOWANCE "WITHOUT FAMILY.'

YOU STATE THAT PRIOR TO HER ENTRANCE ON DUTY IN YOUR MEXICO OFFICE, MISS PROVENCIO HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN MEXICO, RECEIVING QUARTERS ALLOWANCES ON A "WITH FAMILY" BASIS FOR A DEPENDENT MOTHER AND STUDENT BROTHER UNDER AGE WHO WAS 50 PERCENT DEPENDENT UPON HER FOR SUPPORT. BOTH DEPENDENTS ARE MEXICAN NATIONALS. ON AUGUST 30, 1951, SHE ENTERED ON DUTY IN YOUR MEXICO CITY OFFICE, AND THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE "WITH FAMILY" WAS AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS, WHICH YOU STATE "APPEARED TO IMPLY THAT PARENTS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE SPOUSE ONLY MUST BE AMERICAN NATIONALS.' IN JANUARY 1954, YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IN MEXICO WAS INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT THE DEPENDENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE, AS WELL AS OF THE SPOUSE, MUST BE AMERICAN NATIONALS IN ORDER FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE. EFFECTIVE JANUARY 17, 1954, MISS PROVENCIO'S QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WAS REDUCED TO "WITHOUT FAMILY" STATUS PENDING CLARIFICATION OF THE REGULATIONS AS WRITTEN. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE INFORMALLY ADVISED YOUR OFFICE THAT THE INTENT OF THE REGULATIONS WAS THAT THE DEPENDENTS OF EMPLOYEES AS WELL AS OF THE SPOUSE MUST BE AMERICAN NATIONALS. FROM AUGUST 30, 1951 THROUGH JANUARY 16, 1954, MISS PROVENCIO RECEIVED A TOTAL OF $1,651.06 FOR QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON THE "WITH FAMILY" BASIS WHEREAS ON THE "WITHOUT FAMILY" BASIS THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WOULD HAVE BEEN $1,435.28, A DIFFERENCE OF $215.78.

PRIOR TO MARCH 13, 1954, AND DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED IN THE PAYMENTS OF THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE "WITH FAMILY" TO MISS PROVENCIO, PARAGRAPH 215C, SUBPARAGRAPHS 3 AND 4, OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS ( GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREAS) PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

(3) PARENTS (INCLUDING STEPPARENTS AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS) OF THE EMPLOYEE, OR OF THE SPOUSE WHEN SUCH PARENTS ARE AMERICAN NATIONALS,WHO ARE 50 PERCENT OR MORE DEPENDENT UPON THE EMPLOYEE FOR SUPPORT.

(4) SISTERS AND BROTHERS (INCLUDING STEPSISTERS, STEPBROTHERS, ADOPTIVE SISTERS AND ADOPTIVE BROTHERS) OF THE EMPLOYEE, OR OF THE SPOUSE WHEN SUCH SISTERS AND BROTHERS ARE AMERICAN NATIONALS, WHO ARE 50 PERCENT OR MORE DEPENDENT UPON THE EMPLOYEE FOR SUPPORT AND WHO ARE UNMARRIED AND UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF AGE.

ON MARCH 13, 1954, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AMENDED THE ABOVE REGULATIONS BY CHANGING THE PUNCTUATION, SO THAT THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPHS NOW READ AS FOLLOWS:

(3) PARENTS (INCLUDING STEPPARENTS AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS) OF THE EMPLOYEE OR OF THE SPOUSE, WHEN SUCH PARENTS ARE AMERICAN NATIONALS, WHO ARE 50 PERCENT MORE DEPENDENT UPON THE EMPLOYEE FOR SUPPORT.

(4) SISTERS AND BROTHERS (INCLUDING STEPSISTERS, STEPBROTHERS, ADOPTIVE SISTERS AND ADOPTIVE BROTHERS) OF THE EMPLOYEE OR OF THE SPOUSE, WHEN SUCH SISTERS AND BROTHERS ARE AMERICAN NATIONALS, WHO ARE 50 PERCENT OR MORE DEPENDENT UPON THE EMPLOYEE FOR SUPPORT AND WHO ARE UNMARRIED AND UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF AGE.

IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT MEANING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE INTENDED TO CONVEY BY THE REGULATION AS PUNCTUATED PRIOR TO MARCH 13, 1954, THE REGULATION IS NOT VIEWED AS HAVING REQUIRED THAT THE PARENTS OR BOTHERS OF THE EMPLOYEE BE AMERICAN NATIONALS, SUCH REQUIREMENT BEING APPLICABLE ONLY TO RELATIVES OF THE SPOUSE. ACCORDINGLY, THE PAYMENTS TO THE PERIOD OF AUGUST 30, 1951, THROUGH JANUARY 16, 1954, WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS NOTWITHSTANDING THAT HER DEPENDENT RELATIVES WERE NOT AMERICAN NATIONALS.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO MISS PROVENCIO.