B-129612, JUL. 1, 1957

B-129612: Jul 1, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DEBRAIL 33.00 YOU SAY THAT THE PER DIEM CLAIMED WAS IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED AT THE DIRECTION OF AN OFFICER HAVING PROPER DELEGATED AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE OFFICIAL TRAVEL. DECISION OF OUR OFFICE OR REGULATIONS YOU COULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT THE EXCEPTIONS WOULD BE TAKEN. THAT THE CENTRAL OFFICE IN WASHINGTON AFFIRMED THAT THERE WAS NO BASIS IN THE LAW FOR THE PAYMENT AND THAT SUCH PRACTICE SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED. THAT THE STATUTORY CONDITIONS FOR SUCH RELIEF HAVE BEEN MET. THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR ATTENDANCE AT A FUNERAL IS NOT REGARDED AS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO AUTHORIZING. THE ACTION TAKEN IN ISSUING THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION FOR THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM PAID FOR ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL WAS PROPER.

B-129612, JUL. 1, 1957

TO MR. T. WIGGINS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 18, 1957, FILE SW 73/206, FORWARDED HERE BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ON APRIL 3, 1957, FILE NO. CO 767 CONCERNS THE FOLLOWING LISTED NOTICES OF EXCEPTION ISSUED BY OUR OFFICE AGAINST VOUCHERS CERTIFIED BY YOU IN THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM INCIDENT TO ATTENDANCE AT A FUNERAL BY THE EMPLOYEES NAMED.

CHART

NUMBER NAME OF PAYEE AMOUNT

AM-0225 DAN W. FARROW $9.00

AM-0226 CARTER R. NEWSOME 39.00

AM-0227 THOMAS J. BRADY 12.00

AM-0228 PAUL T. GREEN15.00

AM-0229 ELMER B. DEBRAIL 33.00

YOU SAY THAT THE PER DIEM CLAIMED WAS IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED AT THE DIRECTION OF AN OFFICER HAVING PROPER DELEGATED AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE OFFICIAL TRAVEL; THAT EXCEPTIONS NOS. 0226 AND 0229 (CARTER W. NEWSOME AND ELMER B. DEBRAIL) REPRESENT PER DIEM PAID FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES AS WELL AS ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL; THAT THE OFFICERS DERIVED NO PERSONAL BENEFIT FROM THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM; THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF STATUTE, DECISION OF OUR OFFICE OR REGULATIONS YOU COULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT THE EXCEPTIONS WOULD BE TAKEN; AND THAT THE CENTRAL OFFICE IN WASHINGTON AFFIRMED THAT THERE WAS NO BASIS IN THE LAW FOR THE PAYMENT AND THAT SUCH PRACTICE SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES YOU REQUEST THAT RELIEF BE GRANTED YOU UNDER THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 31 U.S.C. 82C, AND MAY, AS A BASIC THEREFOR, THAT THE STATUTORY CONDITIONS FOR SUCH RELIEF HAVE BEEN MET.

THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR ATTENDANCE AT A FUNERAL IS NOT REGARDED AS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO AUTHORIZING, AND ANY EFFORT TO VALIDATE SUCH A PRACTICE BY THE ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS BY AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL WOULD NOT PROVIDE A PROPER BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN IN ISSUING THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION FOR THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM PAID FOR ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL WAS PROPER.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE REQUEST FOR RELIEF UNDER THE PROVISIONS IN 31 U.S.C. 82C, OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY TAKEN THE POSITION THAT PRIOR TO CONSIDERATION OF RELIEF UNDER THE STATUTE APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO EFFECT COLLECTION OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENT, SINCE SUCH COLLECTION WOULD REMOVE THE NEED FOR RELIEF. 30 COMP. GEN. 298. YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO 5 U.S.C. 46D WHICH PERMITS THE COLLECTION OF DEBTS DUE FROM EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE TO THEM BY THE DEDUCTION FROM CURRENT PAY.

THEREFORE, THE AMOUNTS REPRESENTING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM DURING THE PERIOD OF ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL SHOULD BE COLLECTED FROM THE EMPLOYEES NAMED IN THE ABOVE REFERRED TO EXCEPTIONS AND APPROPRIATE CREDIT SHOULD BE GIVEN CARTER M. NEWSOME AND ELMER H. DEBRAIL FOR THAT TIME WHICH WAS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF REQUIRED OFFICIAL DUTIES. ADVICE OF THE COLLECTION SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE IN THE USUAL MANNER.