B-101285, MARCH 14, 1951

B-101285: Mar 14, 1951

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 29. REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $1.35 COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF PERSONAL FUNDS ADVANCED BY MR. WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY TO ATTACH THE POSTAGE DUE COVERS TO THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER MAKING THE REIMBURSEMENT. YOU STATE THAT WHILE THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE GENERALLY SHALL A CONSIDERABLE SUM COULD ACCUMULATE OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. THAT IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED TO BE INADVISABLE TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT POSTAGE DUE MAIL IN ORDER TO AVOID POSSIBLE IRRITATION OR ANNOYANCE TO INFLUENTIAL INDIVIDUALS OF OFFICIALS OF GOVERNMENTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD AND POSSIBLY SERIOUS DELAY IN THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

B-101285, MARCH 14, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. E. A. VALLOW, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 29, 1951 (REFERENCE 312), WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $1.35 COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF PERSONAL FUNDS ADVANCED BY MR. GEORGE L. EVANS IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF, CORRESPONDENCE AND RECORDS GROUP, FOR PAYMENT OF POSTAGE AND CUSTOM CLEARANCE FEES DUE ON INCOMING OFFICIAL MAIL TO THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AND, IF SO AUTHORIZED, WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY TO ATTACH THE POSTAGE DUE COVERS TO THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER MAKING THE REIMBURSEMENT.

YOU STATE THAT WHILE THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE GENERALLY SHALL A CONSIDERABLE SUM COULD ACCUMULATE OVER A PERIOD OF TIME, BUT THAT IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED TO BE INADVISABLE TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT POSTAGE DUE MAIL IN ORDER TO AVOID POSSIBLE IRRITATION OR ANNOYANCE TO INFLUENTIAL INDIVIDUALS OF OFFICIALS OF GOVERNMENTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD AND POSSIBLY SERIOUS DELAY IN THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT CAN CREATE A VALID CLAIM IN HIS FAVOR BY PAYING OBLIGATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM HIS OWN FUNDS, EXCEPT WHERE AUTHORIZED BY LAW OR REGULATION, AS IN THE CASE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES, OR UNDER URGENT AND UNFORESEABLE PUBLIC NECESSITY. 24 COMP. DEC. 155; 2 COMP. GEN. 581; 3 ID. 633; 7 ID. 104. ACCORDINGLY, WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT POSTAGE DUE MAIL SHOULD BE ACCEPTED, THE AMOUNT DUE THEREON SHOULD NOT BE ADVANCED FROM PERSONAL FUNDS OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT BUT SHOULD BE PAID FROM A PETTY CASH FUND MAINTAINED FOR THAT PURPOSE. 44005, JULY 22, 1942.

HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN YOUR LETTER AS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DESIRABILITY AND NECESSITY IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST OF ACCEPTING POSTAGE DUE MAIL IN THOSE INSTANCES, THE VOUCHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS FOR $1.35 IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. B-32848, MARCH 10, 1943.

THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE POSTAGE DUE COVERS SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE ORIGINAL VOUCHERS IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.