B-127537, MAY 16, 1956

B-127537: May 16, 1956

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BUREAU OF MINES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 6. THE FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ANY EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO A POST AT WHICH HE IS UNABLE TO USE HIS FURNITURE AND EFFECTS. THE PROHIBITION AGAINST ADVANCES OF PUBLIC MONEYS IS CONTAINED IN 31 U.S.C. 529. THERE IS NO EXPRESS AUTHORIZATION FOR ADVANCE PAYMENTS MADE FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO RENDITION OF SERVICES CONSTITUTE AN ADVANCE OF PUBLIC MONEY WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED.

B-127537, MAY 16, 1956

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 6, 1956, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN L. G. WEYSSER, HEADQUARTERED AT KARACHI, PAKISTAN, FOR $114, COVERING PERMANENT STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 1, 1955, TO OCTOBER 31, 1956.

MR. WEYSSER ACCEPTED AN APPOINTMENT EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 31, 1955, AS MINING ENGINEER, DIVISION OF FOREIGN ACTIVITIES, KARACHI, PAKISTAN, SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS PROVIDED FOR FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE AND STAFF EMPLOYEES OF THE POINT IV PROGRAM, INCLUDING THOSE PROVIDED IN THE STANDARDIZED CIVILIAN ALLOWANCE REGULATIONS, THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS.

PURSUANT TO A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1955, MR. WEYSSER PLACED HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND FURNITURE IN PERMANENT STORAGE. HE PAID $114 IN ADVANCE FOR TWELVE MONTHS' SERVICE TO TERMINATE ON OCTOBER 31, 1956. ON APRIL 5, 1956, HE SUBMITTED A VOUCHER CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR HIS PAYMENT.

YOU STATE THAT SOME BUREAU EMPLOYEES ON FOREIGN ASSIGNMENTS FIND IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO THE STORAGE COMPANIES FOR THEIR PERMANENT STORAGE; AND, AS A PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THEY PAY SEMI ANNUALLY OR ANNUALLY, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE. YOU QUESTION WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT CAN LEGALLY BE MADE, AND IN THE EVENT IT CANNOT YOU ASK TO BE ADVISED HOW THE MATTER OF REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE HANDLED.

SECTION 102 OF THE MUTUAL SECURITY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, 69 STAT. 435, 437-438, PROVIDES:

"THAT APPROPRIATIONS MADE UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH * * * COST OF STORING, THE FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ANY EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO A POST AT WHICH HE IS UNABLE TO USE HIS FURNITURE AND EFFECTS, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OR SUCH PERSON AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, MAY PRESCRIBE.'

ALSO SEE SECTION 527 (C) (1), MUTUAL SECURITY ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 857. THE SECRETARY OF STATE BY SECTION 5C, DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY 85 1, 20 F.R. 7950, DESIGNATED THE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION AS THE PERSON TO ISSUE REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 102, SUPRA.

THE PROHIBITION AGAINST ADVANCES OF PUBLIC MONEYS IS CONTAINED IN 31 U.S.C. 529. IT PROVIDES:

"* * * IN ALL CASES OF CONTRACTS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY SERVICE, OR THE DELIVERY OF ARTICLES OF ANY DESCRIPTION, FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES, PAYMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE VALUE OF THE SERVICE RENDERED * *

UNDER THE STATUTES PERTINENT TO THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM, THERE IS NO EXPRESS AUTHORIZATION FOR ADVANCE PAYMENTS MADE FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. IN FACT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 529, SUPRA, PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO RENDITION OF SERVICES CONSTITUTE AN ADVANCE OF PUBLIC MONEY WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED. ALSO SEE GENERALLY 12 COMP. DEC. 308; 2 COMP. GEN. 581. ACCORDINGLY, MR. WEYSSER'S VOUCHER MAY ONLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN AN AMOUNT COVERING SERVICES RENDERED TO DATE. FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE REMAINING SERVICES TO BE RENDERED THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1956, WE RECOMMEND THAT MR. WEYSSER SUBMIT A VOUCHER AT THE END OF EACH MONTHLY PERIOD AFTER WHICH SERVICE HAS BEEN RENDERED. IN THE ALTERNATIVE, HE MAY WAIT UNTIL OCTOBER 31, 1956, AND PRESENT A VOUCHER AT THAT TIME FOR THE FULL AMOUNT THEN DUE HIM.