A-25449, DECEMBER 22, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 313

A-25449: Dec 22, 1928

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IT IS REPRESENTED IN A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. THAT THE AUTOMOBILES ARE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE AGENCY AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OVER LONG DISTANCES. THAT THE TEMPERATURE IS OFTEN FROM 20 TO 40 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. THE INHIBITION AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR PERSONAL FURNISHINGS IS. THAT IS. ACCESSORIES FOR INSTALLATION IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILES ARE NOT PERSONAL FURNISHING. PURCHASES OF LAP ROBES WERE AUTHORIZED AS ACCESSORIES TO AUTOMOBILES FROM APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SUCH VEHICLES. YOUR LETTER DOES NOT STATE FROM WHAT APPROPRIATION THE FIVE CARS WERE PURCHASED.

A-25449, DECEMBER 22, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 313

PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES - ACCESSORIES APPROPRIATED FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES MAY BE USED FOR THE INSTALLATION OF HEATERS IN AUTOMOBILES SO PURCHASED WHEN NECESSARY FOR THEIR USE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DECEMBER 22, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PUBLIC FUNDS OR APPROPRIATIONS FROM INDIAN TRIBAL FUNDS MAY BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF HEATERS TO BE INSTALLED IN FIVE PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLES RECENTLY PURCHASED FOR THE CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS AT THE CONSOLIDATED CHIPPEWA AGENCY IN MINNESOTA.

IT IS REPRESENTED IN A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, INCLOSED BY YOU, THAT THE AUTOMOBILES ARE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE AGENCY AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OVER LONG DISTANCES, AND THAT THE TEMPERATURE IS OFTEN FROM 20 TO 40 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

IT APPEARS FROM THE PAPERS ACCOMPANYING YOUR SUBMISSION THAT YOUR DOUBT ARISES FROM THE DECISION RENDERED BY THIS OFFICE ON THE PURCHASE OF ARTICLES OF PERSONAL FURNISHINGS FOR THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE OF EMPLOYEES. (3 COMP. GEN. 433.) THE INHIBITION AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR PERSONAL FURNISHINGS IS, HOWEVER, CONFINED TO FURNISHINGS APPLICABLE TO THE PERSON OF THE EMPLOYEE; THAT IS, SUCH AS ARTICLES OF CLOTHING, TOOLS OF THE TRADE, ARMS AND AMMUNITION FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION, ETC. (SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 652.) ACCESSORIES FOR INSTALLATION IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILES ARE NOT PERSONAL FURNISHING, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMFORT OF THE EMPLOYEE USING SUCH VEHICLES. DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE OF MAY 31, 1924, A-2398, AND JUNE 17, 1924, A- 1397, PURCHASES OF LAP ROBES WERE AUTHORIZED AS ACCESSORIES TO AUTOMOBILES FROM APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SUCH VEHICLES.

YOUR LETTER DOES NOT STATE FROM WHAT APPROPRIATION THE FIVE CARS WERE PURCHASED, BUT I FIND IN THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1928, 45 STAT. 205, THE FOLLOWING AUTHORITY:

THAT NOT TO EXCEED $150,000 OF APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS MADE HEREIN FOR THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED AND HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLES FOR THE USE OF SUPERINTENDENTS, FARMERS, PHYSICIANS, FIELD MATRONS, ALLOTTING, IRRIGATION, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES IN THE INDIAN FIELD SERVICE: PROVIDED, THAT NOT TO EXCEED $3,000 MAY BE USED IN THE PURCHASE OF HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, AND NOT TO EXCEED $40,000 FOR THE PURCHASE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES, AND THAT SUCH VEHICLES SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR OFFICIAL SERVICE.

WITHIN THE LIMITS IMPOSED BY THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE USE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN SAID ACT FOR THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF HEATERS IN THE PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES IN QUESTION.