B-133913, JAN. 21, 1958

B-133913: Jan 21, 1958

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THE MEMORANDUM ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF DAILY SALARIES OF $47.37 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1957. THUS THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER IS COMPUTED BY MULTIPLYING THE NET WORK DAYS IN THE PERIOD (54). OUR INFORMATION IS THAT THE BILLING USED IN THIS CASE WAS ESTABLISHED BY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE IN 1946. THE AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICES INVOLVED WERE RENDERED PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART: "FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IS AGREEABLE TO MR. "REIMBURSEMENT TO (FCA) WILL BE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO MR. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT (ICA)WILL PAY ALL TRAVEL EXPENSES RESULTING FROM THE DETAIL AS WELL AS PER DIEM AND OTHER ALLOWANCES.'. THE METHODS OF ASCERTAINING THE AMOUNT OF THE "ACTUAL COST" PRIMARILY ARE FOR DETERMINATION BY THE AGENCIES CONCERNED.

B-133913, JAN. 21, 1958

TO MR. NEAL J. PRICE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1957, REFERENCE AUD:AAB:BW, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED, NAMELY, NO. 8202772, DATED AUGUST 27, 1957, FOR $2,571.40, PRESENTED BY THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION.

THE VOUCHER COVERS THE SALARY CLAIMED FOR THE REIMBURSABLE DETAIL OF MR. R. U. BATTLES TO INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION FOR THE PERIOD MAY 8, 1957, TO JULY 24, 1957, AT AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $10,280. THE MEMORANDUM ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF DAILY SALARIES OF $47.37 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1957, AND $46.73 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1958, SUCH SALARIES BEING COMPUTED BY DEDUCTING FROM THE TOTAL WORKING DAYS (260 AND 261, RESPECTIVELY), THE NUMBER OF HOLIDAYS PER YEAR (9 AND 7, RESPECTIVELY), ANNUAL LEAVE (26 DAYS), AND AVERAGE SICK LEAVE (8 DAYS), AND DIVIDING THE ANNUAL SALARY BY THE NET WORK DAYS (217 AND 220, RESPECTIVELY). THUS THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER IS COMPUTED BY MULTIPLYING THE NET WORK DAYS IN THE PERIOD (54), EXCLUDING TWO HOLIDAYS (MAY 30 AND JULY 4), BY THE DAILY RATES ABOVE REFERRED TO, PLUS SIX AND ONE-HALF PERCENT OF $373.84 (SALARY FOR EIGHT DAYS FROM JULY 14 TO 24) FOR RETIREMENT.

THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION PRESENTS THE VIEW THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE $2,522.65, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE TOTAL WORKING DAYS DURING THE PERIOD MAY 8 THROUGH JULY 24, 1957 (56 DAYS), INCLUDING HOLIDAYS, MULTIPLIED BY A DAILY SALARY RATE OF $39.54 (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SALARY TABLE NO. 38, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1956, SHOWS A RATE OF $39.52 FOR EIGHT HOURS AT AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $10,280) PLUS 13 PERCENT FOR ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE, PLUS SIX AND ONE-HALF PERCENT OF $316.32 (SALARY FOR EIGHT DAYS FROM JULY 14 TO 24) FOR RETIREMENT.

IN ITS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1957, THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION SAYS THAT THE FORMULA USED BY IT IN THIS CASE HAS BEEN USED BY IT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS IN OBTAINING REIMBURSEMENT FROM OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. OUR INFORMATION IS THAT THE BILLING USED IN THIS CASE WAS ESTABLISHED BY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE IN 1946.

THE AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICES INVOLVED WERE RENDERED PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IS AGREEABLE TO MR. BATTLES' DETAIL TO INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT THREE MONTHS BUT NOT TO EXTEND BEYOND JULY 15, 1957 FOR THE PURPOSE OF GIVING TECHNICAL GUIDANCE AND LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM OF AGRICULTURAL CREDIT IN IRAN.

"REIMBURSEMENT TO (FCA) WILL BE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO MR. BATTLES' SALARY AT A PER ANNUM RATE OF $10,280, ADJUSTED TO COMPENSATE FOR LEAVE ACCRUED DURING THE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT (ICA)WILL PAY ALL TRAVEL EXPENSES RESULTING FROM THE DETAIL AS WELL AS PER DIEM AND OTHER ALLOWANCES.'

SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, 47 STAT. 417, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 686, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT TRANSACTIONS THEREUNDER SHALL BE ON AN "ACTUAL COST" BASIS AS AGREED UPON BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES CONCERNED, AND THE METHODS OF ASCERTAINING THE AMOUNT OF THE "ACTUAL COST" PRIMARILY ARE FOR DETERMINATION BY THE AGENCIES CONCERNED. AS LONG AS THE AMOUNT AGREED UPON RESULTS FROM A BONA FIDE ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE THE ACTUAL COST AND, IN FACT, REASONABLY APPROXIMATES THE ACTUAL COST, NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT AGREED UPON WILL BE MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

ALTHOUGH THE TWO METHODS OF COMPUTATION HERE IN QUESTION CREATE SOME VARIANCE FOR PERIODS OF REIMBURSABLE DETAIL OF LESS THAN A YEAR, EVIDENTLY BECAUSE OF THE METHOD OF COMPUTING THE REIMBURSEMENT FOR LEAVE ACCRUED, IT WOULD NOT APPEAR TO US THAT EITHER METHOD NEED BE CONSIDERED AS VIOLATING THE ECONOMY ACT REQUIREMENT ABOVE, AS INTERPRETED BY OUR OFFICE, NOR AS CONTRARY TO THE TERMS OF AGREEMENT.

SINCE THE METHOD OF BILLING ON THE VOUCHER HAS BEEN FOLLOWED CONSISTENTLY BY THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION FOR MANY YEARS AND IS CONSIDERED BY US AS REASONABLE AND LAWFUL, WE CONCLUDE THAT OUR OFFICE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN DISAPPROVING THE METHOD USED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THERE ARE MINOR INCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN THE METHOD USED BY THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION AND THAT SUGGESTED AND EVIDENTLY USED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER AGENCIES. THEREFORE, WE BELIEVE THAT THE VOUCHER AS SUBMITTED MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.