Payment of an Annual Housing Supplement to Employees Assigned to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York

ID-77-58: Published: Sep 26, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1977.

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Although there is statutory authority for the payment of housing allowances to certain employees of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations who have "important representational responsibilities" and therefore must live in "extraordinarily high-rent areas immediately surrounding the headquarters of the United Nations," the authority does not precisely define these key phrases.

State Department regulations do not specifically delimit the area in which an employee must live to qualify, leaving considerable discretion to the official administering the supplements. Employees who lived within 20 miles of U.N. headquarters when the regulations became effective were granted exceptions because of the phrase "or other high rent areas." The statutory language does not, however, indicate that the entire metropolitan area of New York be included. The regulations require that the employee attend or host a substantial number of representational functions as part of his official duties. The number of functions must be substantial enough to merit the housing supplement. Twenty-three of the 38 employees receiving the supplement were considered unquestionably eligible for it, seven were considered ineligible, and eight were questionable.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The regulations should be changed to precisely delimit the area of residence for eligibility in a manner consistent with the statutory standard.

    Agency Affected:


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