B-108060, MARCH 5, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 452

B-108060: Mar 5, 1952

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ARE OF A PERSONAL NATURE. THE COSTS OF SUCH PHOTOGRAPHS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12. YOU ENTERTAINED DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE CLAIM PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE TO REGULAR APPROPRIATED FUNDS. OR IF IT IS OF A PERSONAL NATURE. THE BASIC QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER IS WHETHER OR NOT APPROPRIATED FUNDS PROPERLY MAY BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION. ALTHOUGH SUCH PURPOSE IS NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THE ACT MAKING SUCH FUNDS AVAILABLE. IN WHICH CASE REQUESTS ARE RECEIVED FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED IN NEWSPAPERS OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADDRESS. WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED IN EITHER YOUR SUBMISSION OR THE ENCLOSURES.

B-108060, MARCH 5, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 452

PHOTOGRAPHS - OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - GOVERNMENT LIABILITY PHOTOGRAPHS OF A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL TO BE USED IN NEWSPAPERS OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH PUBLIC ADDRESSES BEFORE NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLICIZING THE CURRENT DEFENSE PROGRAM, ARE OF A PERSONAL NATURE, AND THEREFORE, THE COSTS OF SUCH PHOTOGRAPHS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO G. GRACE KINGSBURY, NATIONAL SECURITY RESOURCES BOARD, MARCH 5, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12, 1952, TRANSMITTING VOUCHER NO. ODM 1091-52, DATED JANUARY 24, 1952, IN THE SUM OF $12.24, IN FAVOR OF HARRIS AND EWING, COVERING PRINTS, GLOSSY, OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF DR. W. Y. ELLIOTT, FOR PRESS PURPOSES. YOU STATE THAT SINCE CHAPTER X, PUBLIC LAW 253, OF THE 82D CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION, APPROVED NOVEMBER 1, 1951, 65 STAT. 736, CONTAINS NO REFERENCE WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE A COMMITMENT FOR SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER HERE INVOLVED, YOU ENTERTAINED DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE CLAIM PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE TO REGULAR APPROPRIATED FUNDS, OR IF IT IS OF A PERSONAL NATURE. ALSO, IN THE EVENT THE FORMER BE TRUE, YOU REQUEST TO BE ADVISED WHETHER PAYMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED FOR PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN OF A GROUP ATTENDING A LUNCHEON MEETING.

THE BASIC QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER IS WHETHER OR NOT APPROPRIATED FUNDS PROPERLY MAY BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION, ALTHOUGH SUCH PURPOSE IS NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THE ACT MAKING SUCH FUNDS AVAILABLE. FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU WITH THE VOUCHER IT APPEARS THAT DR. WILLIAM Y. ELLIOTT OCCASIONALLY MAKES PUBLIC ADDRESSES BEFORE A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION, IN WHICH CASE REQUESTS ARE RECEIVED FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED IN NEWSPAPERS OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADDRESS--- SUCH PHOTOGRAPHIC COPIES TO BE GIVEN OUT UPON REQUESTS OF PUBLIC INFORMATION MEDIA. WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED IN EITHER YOUR SUBMISSION OR THE ENCLOSURES, THEREWITH, IT IS PRESUMED THAT THE SPEECHES MADE BY DR. ELLIOTT ARE IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLICIZING THE CURRENT DEFENSE PROGRAM ACTIVITIES, ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO DEFINITE INDICATION THAT SUCH IS THE CASE--- NOR, IN PARTICULAR, HAS THERE BEEN A SHOWING AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS EVEN WERE THE SPEECHES MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESPOUSING THE DEFENSE EFFORT.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE COST OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE NOT CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. WHILE PUBLICITY BY MEANS OF SPEECHES MAY BE A LEGITIMATE MEANS OF EFFECTING ENCOURAGEMENT IN ANY NATIONAL EFFORT, IT IS QUITE CLEAR THAT PHOTOGRAPHS OF A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL ENGAGED IN OR CONNECTED WITH SUCH ACTIVITY ARE OF A PERSONAL NATURE, AND HAVE NO SUCH PUBLIC RELATION AS TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. THE EXPLANATION THAT DR. ELLIOTT OCCASIONALLY MAKES A PUBLIC ADDRESS BEFORE A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR MR. WILSON IS NOT SUCH A SHOWING AS TO JUSTIFY CERTIFICATION UNDER THE REQUIREMENT STATED ABOVE.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DEFINITE INDICATION AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE EXPENDITURES IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF SOME PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, THE VOUCHER, TOGETHER WITH THE ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT CERTIFICATION THEREOF FOR PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE APPROPRIATION SUGGESTED AS CHARGEABLE IS " SALARIES AND EXPENSES, OFFICE OF DEFENSE MOBILIZATION, 1952" MADE BY CHAPTER X OF PUBLIC LAW 253, APPROVED NOVEMBER 1, 1951, FOR SALARIES AND THE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF DEFENSE MOBILIZATION. THE APPROPRIATION ALSO MAKES PROVISION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING, HIRE OF PASSENGER MOTOR-VEHICLES, REIMBURSEMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR SECURITY GUARD SERVICE, AND EXPENSE OF ATTENDANTS AT MEETINGS CONCERNED WITH THE PURPOSE OF THIS APPROPRIATION. IN ADDITION, THERE IS MADE AVAILABLE THE SUM OF $5,000 FOR EMERGENCY AND EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES, TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE DIRECTOR FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS HE DEEMS PROPER, AND HIS DETERMINATION THEREON SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE. BUT AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESENT EXPENDITURE SHOULD BE CHARGED AGAINST THE ABOVE-MENTIONED LIMITATION OF $5,000 FOR EMERGENCY AND EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES IS NOT HERE BEING DECIDED.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR INQUIRY CONCERNING THE USE OF THE MATTERS SET FORTH IN THE MEMORANDUM DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1952, OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, IN CONNECTION WITH FUTURE CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE IS SUCH THAT A DECISION CANNOT BE RENDERED TO A CERTIFYING OFFICER EXCEPT ON A QUESTION SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE HIM FOR CERTIFICATION.