A-47540, APRIL 1, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 565

A-47540: Apr 1, 1933

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CONSTITUTE A PERSONAL AND NOT AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE AND THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES TO A CENTURY OF PROGRESS IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE RECEIVED NOTICES OF EXCEPTION FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO VOUCHERS NO. 17 AND NO. 25 OF THIS COMMISSION. WHICH AUTHORITY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DELEGATED TO THE COMMISSIONER BY FORMAL LETTER OF AUGUST 3. IN SO FAR AS THIS PARTICULAR EXPENDITURE IS CONCERNED. I FEEL THAT THIS IS A CHARGE WHICH COULD JUSTIFIABLY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE HOPE THAT YOUR OFFICE WILL SEE FIT TO MODIFY ITS DECISION AND APPROVE THE VOUCHERS ISSUED FOR THIS PURPOSE. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE COST OF OFFICIAL CALLING CARDS CONSTITUTES A PERSONAL RATHER THAN AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYEE OR OFFICER FOR WHOSE USE THEY ARE PROCURED AND THAT SUCH COSTS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE UNDER APPROPRIATED MONEYS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. 10 COMP.

A-47540, APRIL 1, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 565

CALLING CARDS CALLING CARDS, EVEN THOUGH FOR USE ONLY IN MAKING OFFICIAL CALLS, CONSTITUTE A PERSONAL AND NOT AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE AND THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES TO A CENTURY OF PROGRESS IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED STATES TO A CENTURY OF PROGRESS, APRIL 1, 1933:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1933, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE RECEIVED NOTICES OF EXCEPTION FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO VOUCHERS NO. 17 AND NO. 25 OF THIS COMMISSION, COVERING PURCHASES OF OFFICIAL CARDS.

IN THIS CONNECTION I WISH TO BRING IT TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT PUBLIC, NO. 14, THE ACT AUTHORIZING FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN THE A CENTURY OF PROGRESS EXPOSITION (47 STAT. 39) GAVE THE COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE ANY EXPENDITURES DEEMED NECESSARY TO FULFILL PROPERLY THE PURPOSES OF THE RESOLUTION, WHICH AUTHORITY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DELEGATED TO THE COMMISSIONER BY FORMAL LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1932.

IN SO FAR AS THIS PARTICULAR EXPENDITURE IS CONCERNED, I DESIRE TO RESPECTFULLY POINT OUT THAT I CONSIDER OFFICIAL CARDS REQUISITE TO THE CARRYING OUT OF MY DUTIES AND THOSE OF MEMBERS OF MY STAFF IN OFFICIAL CALLS ON DEPARTMENTS AND PRIMARILY ON VISITING DIPLOMATS AND FOREIGN REPRESENTATIVES CONNECTED WITH THE FAIR, BOTH IN CHICAGO AND IN WASHINGTON. IN VIEW OF THIS FACT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE QUESTION BECOMES SIMPLY ONE OF WHETHER THE COST OF THEIR PURCHASE SHOULD BE BORNE PRIVATELY BY THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED OR CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDED FOR GOVERNMENTAL PARTICIPATION.

DUE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES CITED, HOWEVER, I FEEL THAT THIS IS A CHARGE WHICH COULD JUSTIFIABLY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND THEREFORE HOPE THAT YOUR OFFICE WILL SEE FIT TO MODIFY ITS DECISION AND APPROVE THE VOUCHERS ISSUED FOR THIS PURPOSE.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE COST OF OFFICIAL CALLING CARDS CONSTITUTES A PERSONAL RATHER THAN AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYEE OR OFFICER FOR WHOSE USE THEY ARE PROCURED AND THAT SUCH COSTS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE UNDER APPROPRIATED MONEYS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. 10 COMP. DEC. 506; 12 ID. 661; 20 ID. 248. SEE, ALSO, THE REGULATIONS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1932, PARAGRAPH 30, IN WHICH PARTICULAR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY ON THIS SUBJECT.

NEITHER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 8, 1932, 47 STAT. 39, PROVIDING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BY THE UNITED STATES IN THE CENTURY OF PROGRESS NOR THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 7, 1932, 47 STAT. 645, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR CALLING CARDS NOR EXCEPTS THE EXPENDITURES OF THE COMMISSION FROM GENERAL RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO APPROPRIATED FUNDS. WHILE THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDES SPECIFICALLY FOR NUMEROUS ITEMS OF EXPENDITURE "AND ALL OTHER EXPENSES AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY BY THE COMMISSION TO FULFILL PROPERLY THE PURPOSE OF THIS RESOLUTION," SUCH LANGUAGE, FOLLOWING THE VARIOUS ITEMS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR, CAN NOT BE TAKEN TO MEAN THAT THE APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR WHATEVER THE COMMISSION MAY SEE FIT TO EXPEND IT IRRESPECTIVE OF THE GENERAL RULES APPLICABLE TO THE USES OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS BUT ONLY THAT THE APPROPRIATION IS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR OFFICIAL EXPENSES GENERALLY PERMITTED BY STATUTE OR BY ACCEPTED PRACTICE. CALLING CARDS, EVEN THOUGH FOR USE ONLY IN MAKING OFFICIAL CALLS, HAVING BEEN UNIFORMLY CONSIDERED AS PERSONAL AND NOT OFFICIAL EXPENSES, THE APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR.