B-88452, OCTOBER 5, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 153

B-88452: Oct 5, 1949

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WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IN RECEIPT OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS IN KIND AT HIS STATION EITHER IS AWAY FROM SUCH STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY WITH OR WITHOUT A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. PROVIDED THE QUARTERS NORMALLY OCCUPIED ARE VACATED FOR OTHER OCCUPANCY. FOR THE SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS HE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED IN KIND DURING SUCH PERIOD. AS FOLLOWS: THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS CONSIDERING THE PROMULGATION OF A TECHNICAL BULLETIN IN CONNECTION WITH ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY DEDUCTIONS FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE. IN CONNECTION THEREWITH THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ABSENT FROM HIS OWN STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY AND IS RECEIVING PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY RECEIVE CREDIT OR REFUND FOR (A) MEALS NOT TAKEN.

B-88452, OCTOBER 5, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 153

COMPENSATION - DEDUCTIONS - SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS IN KIND THIS OFFICE PERCEIVES NO OBJECTION TO THE ISSUANCE OF APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND NEED NOT BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IN RECEIPT OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS IN KIND AT HIS STATION EITHER IS AWAY FROM SUCH STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY WITH OR WITHOUT A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, OR AWAY FROM SUCH STATION ON MILITARY LEAVE, PROVIDED THE QUARTERS NORMALLY OCCUPIED ARE VACATED FOR OTHER OCCUPANCY. IN VIEW OF THE REQUIREMENT IN SECTION 6 (B) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1948, THAT EMPLOYEES RESTORED TO DUTY AFTER PERIODS OF ERRONEOUS REMOVAL, SUSPENSION, OR FURLOUGH WITHOUT PAY BE PAID COMPENSATION AT THE RATE RECEIVED ON THE DATE OF REMOVAL, ETC., DEDUCTIONS NEED NOT BE MADE UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, FROM A RESTORED EMPLOYEE'S BASIC COMPENSATION DURING A PERIOD OF ERRONEOUS REMOVAL, ETC., FOR THE SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS HE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED IN KIND DURING SUCH PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, OCTOBER 5, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 29, 1949, AS FOLLOWS:

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS CONSIDERING THE PROMULGATION OF A TECHNICAL BULLETIN IN CONNECTION WITH ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY DEDUCTIONS FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE. IN CONNECTION THEREWITH THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ABSENT FROM HIS OWN STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY AND IS RECEIVING PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY RECEIVE CREDIT OR REFUND FOR (A) MEALS NOT TAKEN, AND (B) QUARTERS NOT UTILIZED, IF THE QUARTERS NORMALLY OCCUPIED BY HIM ARE VACATED FOR OTHER OCCUPANCY.

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS MATTER THE QUESTION ALSO ARISES AS TO WHETHER A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION IS NECESSARY WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IS AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY WITHOUT PER DIEM OR IS AWAY FROM HIS STATION ON MILITARY LEAVE. IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 8, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 664 (663), AND APRIL 9, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 919.

THE QUESTION HAS ALSO ARISEN AS TO WHETHER WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED, RELEASED OR FURLOUGHED FOR MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS, AND IS SUBSEQUENTLY RESTORED TO ACTIVE DUTY WITH COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF SUSPENSION, RELEASE OR FURLOUGH, DEDUCTIONS SHOULD BE MADE FROM HIS BASIC COMPENSATION FOR THE QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED BUT FOR THE SUSPENSION, RELEASE OR FURLOUGH.

YOUR DECISION ON THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

WHILE THE CLASS OF EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IS NOT SPECIFIED IN YOUR LETTER, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEIR SALARIES ARE FIXED UPON AN ANNUAL BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND THAT, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS IN KIND TO SAID EMPLOYEES IS REGARDED AS A PART OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITIONS.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, SUPRA, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE HEAD OF AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, WHERE IN HIS JUDGMENT, CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT REQUIRE IT, MAY CONTINUE TO FURNISH CIVILIANS EMPLOYED IN THE FIELD SERVICE WITH QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT, SUBSISTENCE, AND LAUNDRY SERVICES; AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 AND THEREAFTER OF THE CHARACTER HERETOFORE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR: PROVIDED, THAT THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE OF SUCH CIVILIANS.

UNDER SAID PROVISION OF LAW, THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS IS DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL SALARY OF A POSITION WHEN SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS ARE FURNISHED IN KIND, THE REMAINDER, ONLY, BEING PAID IN CASH. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT IN SUCH PROVISION OF LAW THAT THE VALUE OF SUCH SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS CONTINUE TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE SALARY ATTACHED TO SUCH POSITION WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IS AWAY FROM THE PLACE OF DUTY WHERE SUCH SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS ARE BEING FURNISHED IN KIND. CF. 21 COMP. GEN. 663; ID. 919.

ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE PERCEIVES NO OBJECTION TO THE ISSUANCE BY YOU OF APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND NEED NOT BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMPENSATION WHEN AN EMPLOYEE EITHER IS AWAY FROM SUCH STATION ON OFFICIAL DUTY WITH OR WITHOUT A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, OR AWAY FROM SUCH STATION ON MILITARY LEAVE, PROVIDED THAT THE QUARTERS NORMALLY OCCUPIED BY SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE VACATED FOR OTHER OCCUPANCY. CF. B-85375, MAY 26, 1949.

YOUR LAST QUESTION APPARENTLY HAS REFERENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN REMOVED, SUSPENDED, OR FURLOUGHED WITHOUT PAY, AND REINSTATED OR RESTORED TO DUTY SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR SUCH PERIOD OF REMOVAL, SUSPENSION, OR FURLOUGH WITHOUT PAY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 (B) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 5 U.S.C. 652, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1948, 62 STAT. 355. THE SAID SECTION, 6 (B), PROVIDES, IN PART, THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES "SHALL BE PAID COMPENSATION AT THE RATE RECEIVED ON THE DATE OF SUCH REMOVAL," SUSPENSION, OR FURLOUGH. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.) HEREINBEFORE STATED, SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, QUOTED ABOVE, PROVIDES THAT THE VALUE OF THE SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE. OBVIOUSLY, THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF SUCH AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVING SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS IN KIND INCLUDES NOT ONLY THE CASH ORDINARILY RECEIVED BUT ALSO THE VALUE OF SUCH SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS. CONSEQUENTLY, DEDUCTIONS NEED NOT BE MADE FROM SUCH AN EMPLOYEE'S BASIC COMPENSATION DURING A PERIOD OF SUSPENSION, REMOVAL, OR FURLOUGH WITHOUT PAY FOR THE SUBSISTENCE AND/OR QUARTERS HE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD.