A-7483, AUGUST 5, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 90

A-7483: Aug 5, 1925

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PURCHASES - DRINKING WATER THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER UNDER APPROPRIATIONS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THEREFOR MAY BE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES ONLY: WHERE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE. REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES THEREFOR AS A PART OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED UPON A SHOWING OF REASONABLE NECESSITY THEREFOR FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. WHERE THE PURCHASE IS FOR OFFICE USE IT IS AUTHORIZED AS A CHARGE UNDER SAID APPROPRIATIONS ONLY WHEN THERE IS SHOWN TO BE (A) A NECESSITY FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT TO MAINTAIN A SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER IN SAID OFFICE AND (B) NO OTHER WATER FIT FOR DRINKING PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE FOR SAID OFFICE WITHOUT CHARGE OR AT A LOWER COST.

A-7483, AUGUST 5, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 90

PURCHASES - DRINKING WATER THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER UNDER APPROPRIATIONS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THEREFOR MAY BE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES ONLY: WHERE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, SUBJECT TO STATUTORY LIMITATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES THEREFOR AS A PART OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED UPON A SHOWING OF REASONABLE NECESSITY THEREFOR FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. WHERE THE PURCHASE IS FOR OFFICE USE IT IS AUTHORIZED AS A CHARGE UNDER SAID APPROPRIATIONS ONLY WHEN THERE IS SHOWN TO BE (A) A NECESSITY FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT TO MAINTAIN A SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER IN SAID OFFICE AND (B) NO OTHER WATER FIT FOR DRINKING PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE FOR SAID OFFICE WITHOUT CHARGE OR AT A LOWER COST.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 5, 1925:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATIONS,"CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN MISSIONS, 1926," AND "CONTINGENT EXPENSES, UNITED STATES CONSULATES, 1926," ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER.

THE APPROPRIATIONS IN QUESTION ARE MADE IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1016 AND 1017, RESPECTIVELY, IN TERMS AS FOLLOWS:

TO ENABLE THE PRESIDENT TO PROVIDE, AT THE PUBLIC EXPENSE, ALL SUCH STATIONERY, BLANKS, RECORDS, AND OTHER BOOKS, SEALS, PRESSES, FLAGS, AND SIGNS AS HE SHALL THINK NECESSARY FOR THE SEVERAL EMBASSIES AND LEGATIONS IN THE TRANSACTION OF THEIR BUSINESS, AND ALSO FOR RENT, REPAIRS, POSTAGE, TELEGRAMS, FURNITURE, HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS NOT TO EXCEED $25,000, TYPEWRITERS AND EXCHANGE OF SAME, MESSENGER SERVICE, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF LAUNCH FOR EMBASSY AT CONSTANTINOPLE NOT EXCEEDING $2,500, COMPENSATION OF KAVASSES, GUARDS, DRAGOMANS, AND PORTERS, INCLUDING COMPENSATION OF INTERPRETERS, TRANSLATORS, AND THE COMPENSATION OF AND RENT FOR DISPATCH AGENTS AT LONDON, NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, SEATTLE, AND NEW ORLEANS, AND FOR TRAVELING AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF EMBASSIES AND LEGATIONS, AND FOR LOSS ON BILLS OF EXCHANGE TO AND FROM EMBASSIES AND LEGATIONS, INCLUDING SUCH LOSS ON BILLS OF EXCHANGE TO OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES COURT FOR CHINA, AND PAYMENT IN ADVANCE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR NEWSPAPERS (FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC), RENT, TELEPHONE, AND OTHER SIMILAR SERVICES UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED, $713,162 * * *.

FOR EXPENSES OF PROVIDING ALL SUCH STATIONERY, BLANKS, RECORD AND OTHER BOOKS, SEALS, PRESSES, FLAGS, SIGNS, RENT (SO MUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY), REPAIRS TO CONSULAR BUILDINGS OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES, POSTAGE, FURNITURE, HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS NOT TO EXCEED $10,000, TYPEWRITERS AND EXCHANGE OF SAME, STATISTICS, NEWSPAPERS, FREIGHT (FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC), TELEGRAMS, ADVERTISING, MESSENGER SERVICE, TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CONSULAR AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, COMPENSATION OF INTERPRETERS, KAVASSES, GUARDS, DRAGOMANS, TRANSLATORS, AND CHINESE WRITERS, LOSS BY EXCHANGE, AND SUCH OTHER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AS THE PRESIDENT MAY THINK NECESSARY FOR THE SEVERAL CONSULATES AND CONSULAR AGENCIES IN THE TRANSACTION OF THEIR BUSINESS AND PAYMENT IN ADVANCE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR NEWSPAPERS (FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC), RENT, TELEPHONE, AND OTHER SIMILAR SERVICES UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED, $968,900.

WHILE THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, IDENTIFY WITH PARTICULARITY AND IN DETAIL THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THEY ARE AVAILABLE, THEY MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER.

THERE IS NO DUTY OR OBLIGATION UPON THE UNITED STATES TO FURNISH DRINKING WATER TO EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER A SUITABLE SUPPLY IS OR IS NOT AVAILABLE WITHOUT CHARGE, 5 COMP. GEN. 53. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR SHOWING AS TO THE NECESSITY THEREFOR FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE PERSONAL NEEDS OR PREFERENCES OF THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES, THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER UNDER THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, FOR USE IN OFFICES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE PURCHASING OF SPECIAL DRINKING WATER IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A NECESSITY FOR THE FURNISHING OF DRINKING WATER AND THE AVAILABLE SUPPLY OF FREE WATER IS NOT SO DESIRABLE, SEE 21 COMP. DEC. 319; ID 739; 22 ID. 31; 23 ID. 581; 2 COMP. GEN. 750; ID 776; 3 ID. 661; ID. 828.

THE RULES HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED BY THE DECISIONS HEREINBEFORE CITED AND OTHERS RELATIVE TO THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER UNDER APPROPRIATIONS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THEREFOR MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

1. IF THE PURCHASE IS BY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE SUBJECTTO STATUTORY LIMITATIONS, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENDITURE THEREFOR AS A PART OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY LIMITATIONS, IS AUTHORIZED UPON A SHOWING OF REASONABLE NECESSITY THEREFOR FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.

2. IF THE PURCHASE IS FOR OFFICE USE, IT IS AUTHORIZED AS A CHARGE UNDER SAID APPROPRIATION ONLY WHEN THERE IS SHOWN TO BE (A) A NECESSITY FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT TO MAINTAIN A SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER IN SAID OFFICE, AND (B) NO OTHER WATER FIT FOR DRINKING PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE FOR SAID OFFICE WITHOUT CHARGE OR AT A LOWER COST.

THESE RULES WILL CONTINUE TO BE APPLIED IN THE AUDIT AND SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS INVOLVING SUCH EXPENDITURES.