B-136021, JUN. 11, 1958

B-136021: Jun 11, 1958

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WHILE NO BROCHURE OR OTHER LITERATURE DESCRIBING THE COURSE WAS FURNISHED WITH YOUR LETTER. WE SINCE HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE COURSE IS TO ACQUAINT EXECUTIVES WITH THE OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS AND WITH PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING PROCEDURES DESIGNED TO ENABLE THE MOST EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF SUCH COMPUTERS. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT MR. THE COURSE IS OF A SPECIALIZED NATURE. KING'S ACCEPTANCE OF MEALS AND LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY IBM DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE COURSE IS NOT ONE INVOLVED IN THE CERTIFICATION OF THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED HERE.

B-136021, JUN. 11, 1958

TO MISS Y. BUNNELL, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1958, FORWARDED HERE BY THE CHIEF, AUDIT DIVISION, BUDGET AND FINANCE OFFICE, REQUESTS A DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM M. KING, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C., COVERING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO ATTENDANCE AT AN IBM CUSTOMER EXECUTIVE CLASS (COMPUTER) AT POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED COVERS PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL TO AND FROM WASHINGTON, NO PER DIEM BEING CLAIMED FOR THE PERIOD SPENT IN POUGHKEEPSIE, MEALS AND LODGING THERE REPORTEDLY HAVING BEEN FURNISHED BY IBM WITHOUT CHARGE.

WHILE NO BROCHURE OR OTHER LITERATURE DESCRIBING THE COURSE WAS FURNISHED WITH YOUR LETTER, WE SINCE HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE COURSE IS TO ACQUAINT EXECUTIVES WITH THE OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS AND WITH PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING PROCEDURES DESIGNED TO ENABLE THE MOST EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF SUCH COMPUTERS.

WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT MR. KING'S DUTIES IN THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION INVOLVE, IN PART, PLANNING FOR THE INSTALLATION AND UTILIZATION OF IBM ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS. THE COURSE IS OF A SPECIALIZED NATURE, OF SHORT DURATION, AND THE KNOWLEDGE TO BE GAINED FROM ATTENDANCE APPEARS ESSENTIAL TO THE EFFECTIVE PLANNING FOR THE INSTALLATION AND UTILIZATION OF SUCH COMPUTERS. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE PERCEIVE NO OBJECTION GENERALLY TO HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE IBM COURSE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SEE OUR DECISION OF MARCH 1, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 621, FOR THE CRITERIA WHICH MUST BE COMPLIED WITH FOR ATTENDANCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF A TRAINING COURSE WHERE NO EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTS THEREFOR.

THE QUESTION RAISED IN YOUR LETTER CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF MR. KING'S ACCEPTANCE OF MEALS AND LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY IBM DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE COURSE IS NOT ONE INVOLVED IN THE CERTIFICATION OF THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED HERE, NO PER DIEM BEING CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER FOR THE PERIOD DURING WHICH SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS WERE FURNISHED THE EMPLOYEE IN KIND BY IBM, AND WE MAY NOT UNDERTAKE TO PASS UPON SUCH QUESTION ON THE BASIS OF YOUR PRESENT REQUEST. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 797, 799. HOWEVER, THE ADMINISTRATOR OF CIVIL AERONAUTICS, LIKE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, CONSIDERED IN 36 COMP. GEN. 268, IS AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES GIFTS TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE RESPECTIVE ACTS INVOLVED. 49 U.S.C. 452 (C). IN THAT DECISION WE HELD, IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT SERVICES IN KIND (HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, MEALS, AND TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS FURNISHED BY PRIVATE SOURCES MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A DONATION TO THE UNITED STATES AND ACCEPTED AND UTILIZED BY THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED BUT THAT FOR THE PERIOD DURING WHICH SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS WERE FURNISHED NO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WOULD APPEAR JUSTIFIED. WE ALSO STATED "WHEN THE SERVICE FURNISHED IN KIND DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES CONTEMPLATED BY THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE PER DIEM PAYABLE SHOULD BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.'

SINCE NO PER DIEM IS CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER DURING THE PERIOD WHEN ACCOMMODATIONS IN KIND WERE FURNISHED, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH IN THAT DECISION. IT MAY ACCORDINGLY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.