B-91015, MARCH 3, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 351

B-91015: Mar 3, 1950

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WAS PAID FOR PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE FROM ALASKA TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. WHICH ORDER AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY OTHER LAW. IT IS STATED THAT MR. THAT HIS REMAINS WERE TAKEN TO THE MORTUARY OF PHILLIPS AND MAPLETON. WHERE THE BODY WAS EMBALMED. THAT THE REMAINS THEN WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE ANCHORAGE AIRPORT. FOR EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF ANY EMPLOYEE IN ANY CASE WHERE PAYMENT THEREFOR IS AUTHORIZED BY ANY OTHER LAW OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS DEPRIVING ANY PERSON OF ANY PAYMENT HEREUNDER BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE WAS ELIGIBLE FOR BURIAL BENEFITS ON ACCOUNT OF SERVICE RENDERED IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES. * * SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JULY 8.

B-91015, MARCH 3, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 351

PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF REMAINS - CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE DYING IN ALASKA WHERE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, AS AMENDED, WAS PAID FOR PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE FROM ALASKA TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES, PAYMENT OF ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT MAY NOT BE MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8557 ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO, WHICH ORDER AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY OTHER LAW.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, MARCH 3, 1950:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1949, RELATIVE TO THE EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF THE LATE RICHARD B. MILLS, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION STATIONED IN ALASKA.

IT IS STATED THAT MR. MILLS FROZE TO DEATH ON JANUARY 2, 1948, WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AT PORT HEIDEN, ALASKA; THAT HIS REMAINS WERE TAKEN TO THE MORTUARY OF PHILLIPS AND MAPLETON, FUNERAL DIRECTORS, AT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, WHERE THE BODY WAS EMBALMED, AND PLACED IN A CASKET; AND THAT THE REMAINS THEN WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE ANCHORAGE AIRPORT, AND THEREFROM BY PLANE TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. PHILLIPS AND MAPLETON RENDERED A BILL IN THE AMOUNT OF $521.17 FOR SERVICES, ETC., FURNISHED AS FOLLOWS: CASKET, SHIPPING BOX, EMBALMING, PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL

SERVICE ---------------------------------------------------- $424.50 TRANSPORTATION TO MORTUARY ----------------------------------- 15.00 TRANSPORTATION FROM MORTUARY -------------------------------- - 15.00 SUIT OF CLOTHES BOUGHT OUT --------------------------------- -- 60.00 SHIRT, UNDERWEAR, TIE, AND SOCKS -------------------------- --- 6.67

TOTAL COST FOR SHIPPING PREPARATIONS -------------------- $521.17

UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, 39 STAT. 745, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 761, THE BUREAU OF EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION, FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY, PAID THE BILL IN PART IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $305, CONSISTING OF $200 FOR THE CASKET, $90 FOR EMBALMING, AND $15 FOR TRANSPORTING THE BODY TO THE AIRPORT. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOUR DEPARTMENT MAY PAY THE BALANCE OF THE BILL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, 54 STAT. 743, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8557, DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1940, ISSUED THEREUNDER--- YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISING FROM THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN SECTION 17 OF THE SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER READING, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

PROHIBITION OF PAYMENTS WHEN OTHER LAWS APPLY--- NO PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE UNDER THE SAID ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, FOR EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF ANY EMPLOYEE IN ANY CASE WHERE PAYMENT THEREFOR IS AUTHORIZED BY ANY OTHER LAW OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WHERE ANY OTHER LAW OF THE UNITED STATES PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF EITHER OF SAID SERVICES PAYMENT HEREUNDER SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR SUCH SERVICE: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS DEPRIVING ANY PERSON OF ANY PAYMENT HEREUNDER BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE WAS ELIGIBLE FOR BURIAL BENEFITS ON ACCOUNT OF SERVICE RENDERED IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES. * *

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, 54 STAT. 743, SUPRA, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT IN CASE ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES DIES (1) WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR (2) WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL DUTIES IN A TERRITORY OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES OR IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY OR IN TRANSIT THERETO OR THEREFROM, THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, AGENCY, OR FEDERALLY OWNED OR CONTROLLED CORPORATION, HEREINAFTER CALLED DEPARTMENT, IN THE SERVICE OF WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS ENGAGED, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED, UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, TO PAY FROM THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE ACTIVITY IN WHICH HE WAS ENGAGED--- * * * (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

CAREFUL CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE ARGUMENT PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE ACT AND OF SECTION 17 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8557 WAS ONLY TO PREVENT THE MAKING OF DUPLICATE PAYMENTS FOR THE TYPE OF EXPENSES INVOLVED. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT FELT THAT, BY ITSELF, THE LANGUAGE OF THE ACT AND EXECUTIVE ORDER PROPERLY MAY BE SO LIMITED. MOREOVER, NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE REPORTS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEES ON THE BILL WHICH WOULD SUPPORT THE VIEW URGED IN YOUR LETTER. FURTHERMORE, THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET--- WHICH SPONSORED THE BILL THAT LATER WAS ENACTED INTO LAW AS THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1940--- HAS ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT THE INTENT OF SAID BUREAU WAS TO PERMIT PAYMENT UNDER THE SAID ACT AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8557 ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF AN EMPLOYEE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY OTHER LAW.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE, IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE EXPENSE BOTH OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE 1916 ACT, ALTHOUGH LIMITED AS TO AMOUNT, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT FURTHER PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE EXPENSES HERE INVOLVED IS PRECLUDED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT OF JULY 8, 1940, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8557.