B-49482, MAY 5, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 805

B-49482: May 5, 1945

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1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2. A LARGE NUMBER OF THESE PERSONS ARE BEING RECRUITED FROM OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. ARRANGEMENTS ARE BEING MADE TO OBTAIN THEIR SERVICES ON A REIMBURSABLE-DETAIL BASIS. THE DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENTS WILL VARY. POSSIBLY WILL RUN SIX MONTHS OR MORE. IT IS DESIRABLE THAT SUCH PERSONS SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME AS OUR REGULAR EMPLOYEES. IT IS OUR PRACTICE IN THIS RESPECT TO FOLLOW THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATIONS. SUCH ALLOWANCES MAY BE PAID ONLY WHEN THE EMPLOYEES ARE OFFICIALLY STATIONED ABROAD. THE QUESTION IS RAISED. TO THE EFFECT THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO CHANGING THE OFFICIAL STATION OF EMPLOYEES ON SUCH DETAIL. SINCE THE EMPLOYEES' DESTINATIONS ARE NOT DETERMINABLE AT THE TIME OF THEIR DETAIL.

B-49482, MAY 5, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 805

DETAILS - INTER-OFFICE - STATION DESIGNATIONS IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES ON DETAIL FROM ONE FEDERAL AGENCY TO ANOTHER FOR SERVICE ABROAD, THE DESIGNATION OF OFFICIAL STATIONS FOR PURPOSES OF THE LIVING AND QUARTERS ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY BUDGET CIRCULAR A-8, PART II, FOR EMPLOYEES TEMPORARILY STATIONED ABROAD SHOULD BE MADE BY THE BORROWING AGENCY RATHER THAN THE LOANING AGENCY. 24 COMP. GEN. 420, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION, MAY 5, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS AGENCY HAS RECENTLY BEEN GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECRUITING, TRAINING AND SENDING ABROAD CERTAIN TYPES OF SPECIALIZED PERSONNEL FOR WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE POST-HOSTILITIES CONTROL OF GERMANY. A LARGE NUMBER OF THESE PERSONS ARE BEING RECRUITED FROM OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND ARRANGEMENTS ARE BEING MADE TO OBTAIN THEIR SERVICES ON A REIMBURSABLE-DETAIL BASIS. THE DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENTS WILL VARY, FROM TWO TO FOUR MONTHS, AND IN SOME INSTANCES, POSSIBLY WILL RUN SIX MONTHS OR MORE.

FOR OBVIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS, IT IS DESIRABLE THAT SUCH PERSONS SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME AS OUR REGULAR EMPLOYEES, PARTICULARLY IN REGARD TO SUCH MATTERS AS TRAVEL AND LIVING ALLOWANCES. IT IS OUR PRACTICE IN THIS RESPECT TO FOLLOW THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATIONS, CONTAINED IN PART II OF BUDGET CIRCULAR A-8, DATED AUGUST 1, 1943, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF LIVING AND QUARTER ALLOWANCES TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TEMPORARILY STATIONED IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. AS YOUR KNOW, SUCH ALLOWANCES MAY BE PAID ONLY WHEN THE EMPLOYEES ARE OFFICIALLY STATIONED ABROAD.

THE QUESTION IS RAISED, THEREFORE, AS TO THE METHOD OF HANDLING THE CHANGES OF OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS WHICH WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE CASES OF THE EMPLOYEES DETAILED FROM OTHER AGENCIES. SPECIFICALLY, THERE HAS BEEN NOTED YOUR RULING OF NOVEMBER 30, 1944, B-45780, PUBLISHED IN 24 COMP. GEN. 420, TO THE EFFECT THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO CHANGING THE OFFICIAL STATION OF EMPLOYEES ON SUCH DETAIL, BUT THAT THE ORDER AUTHORIZING SUCH CHANGE SHOULD BE ISSUED BY THE LOANING AGENCY.

THIS LATTER APPARENT REQUIREMENT WOULD ENTAIL SERIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTIES IN OUR SITUATION, SINCE THE EMPLOYEES' DESTINATIONS ARE NOT DETERMINABLE AT THE TIME OF THEIR DETAIL, OR EVEN SOMETIMES BEFORE THEIR ACTUAL DEPARTURE, DUE TO THE RAPIDLY CHANGING MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC SITUATION AFFECTING THE AREAS CONCERNED. ALSO, IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO MAKE MORE THAN ONE CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS DURING THE TERM OF THE ASSIGNMENT.

THEREFORE, IT WOULD BE MOST DESIRABLE IF THE FIXING OF OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS ABROAD OF EMPLOYEES ON DETAIL COULD BE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED BY THIS AGENCY AS IN THE CASE OF OUR OWN EMPLOYEES SIMILARLY ASSIGNED. THIS WOULD BE PARTICULARLY ADVANTAGEOUS SINCE I MAY, UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO ALL WAR AGENCY HEADS IN PUBLIC LAW 372, 77TH (78TH) CONGRESS, DELEGATE SUCH AUTHORITY TO THE CHIEFS OF OUR FIELD OFFICES ABROAD. (B-34392, MAY 18, 1943.)

I NEED NOT IMPRESS UPON YOU THE VITAL NATURE OF THIS WORK OR THE IMPORTANCE OF ELIMINATING EVERY POSSIBLE ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTY WHICH WOULD HINDER ITS SWIFT AND EFFICIENT EXECUTION. I TRUST, THEREFORE, THAT WE MAY HAVE YOUR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.

IN THE DECISION CITED, 24 COMP. GEN. 420, THERE WAS CONSIDERED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE RETURN TO TENNESSEE OF AN OFFICIAL OF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, WHOSE SERVICES HAD BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO THE WAR PRODUCTION BOARD IN WASHINGTON. IN VIEW OF THE DURATION OF THE SERVICES, A CHANGE IN STATION FROM CHATTANOOGA TO WASHINGTON HAD BEEN DETERMINED UPON FOR THE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL. REFERRING ESPECIALLY TO THE INITIAL CHANGE OF STATION WHEN SUCH DETAIL IS BEGUN, AND THE RETURN TO THE LOCATION OF THE LENDING AGENCY AT ITS CONCLUSION, IT WAS HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE THE NECESSARY ORDERS TO EFFECT THOSE CHANGES OF STATION IS THE LENDING AGENCY, SINCE THE PRIMARY AND PERMANENT STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE ESTABLISHED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS REGULAR WORK WAS THE ONE AFFECTED IN EACH INSTANCE.

AS THE PRESENT PROBLEM IS UNDERSTOOD, THERE APPEARS TO BE IN CONTEMPLATION THE DETAIL TO YOUR AGENCY OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES NOT MERELY UNDER THE GENERAL BASIS OF SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 31 U.S.C. 606, BUT UNDER THE EXPRESS AUTHORITY "FOR THE DETAIL OR LOAN OF PERSONNEL" AND WITHIN THE CONDITIONS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 203 OF THE NATIONAL WAR AGENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, 58 STAT. 546, AND THE PAYMENT TO SUCH PERSONS OF THE ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AND LIVING EXPENSES AUTHORIZED (FOR PERSONS TEMPORARILY STATIONED ABROAD) BY SECTION 209 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, 58 STAT. 386. THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THAT ALLOWANCE ARE CONTAINED IN BUDGET CIRCULAR A-8, PART II, IN WHICH THERE ARE NOT INVOLVED THE STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION SUCH AS WAS THE SUBJECT OF 24 COMP. GEN. 420.

SINCE, IN THE MATTER NOW PRESENTED, THE CONTEMPLATED STATIONS ABROAD ARE TEMPORARY ONES, RATHER THAN PERMANENT, NO QUESTION AS TO PERMANENT STATION ARISES AND THE DESIGNATION OF TEMPORARY STATIONS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY BUDGET CIRCULAR A-8 QUITE PROPERLY IS TO BE MADE BY THE APPROPRIATE OFFICERS IN THE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION, IN THE WORK OF WHICH THE DETAILED EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY WOULD BE ENGAGED.