B-40965, APRIL 4, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 751

B-40965: Apr 4, 1944

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DURING PERIOD OF ABSENCE ON FURLOUGH AS THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE PAID TO CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ASSIGNED BY THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE TO THE WEATHER BUREAU ON "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" IS NOT CONSIDERED OR PAID AS COMPENSATION. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO SUCH WORK MAY BE PAID SAID ALLOWANCE DURING PERIODS OF ABSENCE ON FURLOUGHS DULY AUTHORIZED UNDER PROPER RULES AND REGULATIONS. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 18. AS FOLLOWS: THE UNDERSIGNED IS IN CHARGE OF A PROJECT CONDUCTED BY THE WEATHER BUREAU AT MT. 1944.)" " THE WORK IS BEING PERFORMED BY SELECTIVE SERVICE ASSIGNEES. BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION IT WAS DETERMINED THAT AN ALLOWANCE COVERING "FOOD.

B-40965, APRIL 4, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 751

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ASSIGNED TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - CASH ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, ETC., DURING PERIOD OF ABSENCE ON FURLOUGH AS THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE PAID TO CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ASSIGNED BY THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE TO THE WEATHER BUREAU ON "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" IS NOT CONSIDERED OR PAID AS COMPENSATION, BUT RATHER, TO COVER SUNDRY SUBSISTENCE AND MAINTENANCE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF QUALIFIED CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ON SUCH WORK, CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO SUCH WORK MAY BE PAID SAID ALLOWANCE DURING PERIODS OF ABSENCE ON FURLOUGHS DULY AUTHORIZED UNDER PROPER RULES AND REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO LEONARD B. CORWIN, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, APRIL 4, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THE UNDERSIGNED IS IN CHARGE OF A PROJECT CONDUCTED BY THE WEATHER BUREAU AT MT. WEATHER, VA., UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "1345914.004, WORKING FUND, COMMERCE, WEATHER BUREAU, 1944, ( ADVANCE FROM "1741502.4 AVIATION, NAVY, 1944.)" " THE WORK IS BEING PERFORMED BY SELECTIVE SERVICE ASSIGNEES.

BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION IT WAS DETERMINED THAT AN ALLOWANCE COVERING "FOOD, LODGING, MEDICAL CARE, CLOTHING, TOILET ARTICLES AND MISCELLANEOUS PERSONAL NEEDS" WAS DEEMED TO BE APPROPRIATE AND LEGAL.

THE QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF THIS ALLOWANCE FOR PERIODS OF FURLOUGH ABSENCE.

FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE ONLY FOR THOSE DAYS WHEN ASSIGNEES WERE NOT ON FURLOUGH. THE ATTACHED VOUCHER COVERS PAYMENTS FOR THOSE PERIODS OF FURLOUGH. ATTACHED ARE COPIES OF LETTERS RECEIVED FROM ANOTHER FEDERAL AGENCY UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF SELECTIVE SERVICE ASSIGNEES AND PAYING THEM AN ALLOWANCE IN A SIMILAR FASHION TO THE SITUATION AT MT. WEATHER.

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE EXPENSES COVERED BY THIS VOUCHER ARE LEGALLY PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO ABOVE.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE REFERRED-TO SELECTIVE SERVICE ASSIGNEES ARE OF THE CLASS COMMONLY KNOWN AS CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS CERTAIN ALLOWANCE FOR WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF DECISIONS OF APRIL 27, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 995, AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 153. IN THE FORMER DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE WEATHER BUREAU FOR CARRYING OUT ITS OTHERWISE PROPER FUNCTIONS COULD BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE EXPENSES (SUCH AS FOR FOOD, SHELTER, WORK CLOTHES, MEDICAL CARE, TRANSPORTATION, ETC.) NECESSARILY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF QUALIFIED CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO MIGHT BE ASSIGNED TO THE WEATHER BUREAU TO AID IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WORK OF THE NATURE DESCRIBED IN THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION ACT. IN THE LATTER DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT IF, AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPEDIENCY, IT WOULD BE PREFERABLE TO COMMUTE SUNDRY SUBSISTENCE AND MAINTENANCE ITEMS OF EXPENSE IN THE FORM OF A SMALL CASH ALLOWANCE, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOWANCE TO CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS FROM OTHERWISE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS. ALSO, IT WAS STRESSED THAT THE ALLOWANCE CONTEMPLATED WAS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED OR PAID AS IN THE NATURE OF COMPENSATION.

IN THAT VIEW OF THE MATTER THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO DIRECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLOWANCE AND THE SERVICES ACTUALLY RENDERED. THAT IS TO SAY, THE ALLOWANCE IS NOT COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS OF SO MUCH FOR SO MANY HOURS OR DAYS OF WORK PERFORMED, BUT RATHER, SUCH ALLOWANCE APPARENTLY IS BASED UPON AN ESTIMATE OF THE NEEDS OF THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS OR ASSIGNEES DURING THE PARTICULAR PERIOD THEY ARE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OR CONTROL OF THE AGENCY TO WHICH ASSIGNED. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISION OTHERWISE, ABSENCE OF THE ASSIGNEES HERE INVOLVED ON FURLOUGHS DULY AUTHORIZED UNDER PROPER RULES AND REGULATIONS--- PRIMARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER--- WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT UPON SUCH ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED ALLOWANCES. HENCE, THE SUBMITTED VOUCHERS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.