B-101878, MARCH 29, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 389

B-101878: Mar 29, 1951

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1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT HE MADE PAYMENT OUT OF HIS PERSONAL FUNDS PURSUANT TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE REGIONAL FINANCE OFFICER. PILOTS OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AIRPLANE WHO WERE STATIONED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THAT THESE TELEGRAMS WERE SENT AS A PART OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY IN COORDINATING THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AND OTHER ACTIVITIES AT THE MEETING. IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT TELEGRAMS RESERVING HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS STEMMING FROM ARRANGEMENTS FOR OFFICIAL CONFERENCES AND NECESSARY IN EXPECTING PUBLIC BUSINESS MAY BE PAID FOR FROM AVAILABLE APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THAT IT WAS PART OF THE OFFICIAL DUTY OF MR. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

B-101878, MARCH 29, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 389

TELEGRAMS - REQUESTS FOR HOTEL RESERVATIONS - PERSONAL OR OFFICIAL STATUS TELEGRAMS RESERVING HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PRESS CORRESPONDENTS AND OTHERS ATTENDING A CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THE COST OF SUCH TELEGRAMS MAY BE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE SPONSORING AGENCY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO A. W. EMPIE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 29, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1951 (FILE 360), FORWARDED BY LETTER OF MARCH 6, 1951 (FILE 370), FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND FINANCE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF HUBERT C. BLONK, REGIONAL INFORMATION OFFICER FOR REGION NO. 1, IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.20 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR AMOUNTS PAID TO THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY FOR TELEGRAMS (INCLUDING TAX) PERTAINING TO HOTEL RESERVATIONS IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL RECLAMATION ASSOCIATION CONVENTION HELD IN NOVEMBER 1950.

IN A LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1951, FROM THE CLAIMANT, IT IS EXPLAINED THAT HE MADE PAYMENT OUT OF HIS PERSONAL FUNDS PURSUANT TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE REGIONAL FINANCE OFFICER; THAT THE TELEGRAMS COVERED RESERVATIONS FOR CORRESPONDENTS OF THE UNITED PRESS AND ASSOCIATED PRESS, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CANADIAN RECLAMATION PROJECT, AND PILOTS OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AIRPLANE WHO WERE STATIONED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THAT THESE TELEGRAMS WERE SENT AS A PART OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY IN COORDINATING THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AND OTHER ACTIVITIES AT THE MEETING.

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1943, B-37399, IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT TELEGRAMS RESERVING HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS STEMMING FROM ARRANGEMENTS FOR OFFICIAL CONFERENCES AND NECESSARY IN EXPECTING PUBLIC BUSINESS MAY BE PAID FOR FROM AVAILABLE APPROPRIATED FUNDS. SEE ALSO B 54082, NOVEMBER 30, 1945; B-72065, JANUARY 14, 1948; AND 24 COMP. GEN. 583. UPON THE ASSUMPTION, THEREFORE, THAT IT WAS PART OF THE OFFICIAL DUTY OF MR. BLONK TO COORDINATE THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AND OTHER ACTIVITIES AT THIS CONFERENCE, THE TELEGRAMS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THE COST PAYABLE FROM AN APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. AS THE VOUCHER INCLUDES A FEDERAL TAX ON SUCH TELEGRAMS, MR. BLONK MAY ALSO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE AMOUNT SO PAID THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND THAT COMPANY SHOULD BE REQUESTED TO REFUND THE TAX TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.