B-134448, DEC. 6, 1957

B-134448: Dec 6, 1957

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ALSO SUBMITTED WERE A RECEIPTED INVOICE FROM VIKING PRESS. IT IS URGED THAT THE COST OF THEIR PROCUREMENT SHOULD BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE LONG HELD 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 TO PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. 10 COMP. BRANCH OR OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL CAUSE TO BE PRINTED * * * ANY DOCUMENT OR MATTER EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND NECESSARY TO THE PUBLIC BUSINESS. THE PROVISION FOR PRINTING AND COSTS OF REPRODUCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE CURRENT SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION IS CONFINED TO THE PREPARATION OF LOAN FORMS NEEDED IN THE FIELD AND OTHER OFFICES AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR OR AUTHORIZES THE PRINTING OF CALLING CARDS.

B-134448, DEC. 6, 1957

TO MR. H. E. CLEEK, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION:

ON NOVEMBER 19, 1957, YOU TRANSMITTED HERE A RECLAIM VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY DONALD MCLARNAN, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, IN THE AMOUNT OF $10.50, TAX EXCLUDED, REPRESENTING THE COST OF PRINTING 2,000 BUSINESS CALLING CARDS FOR USE BY HIM AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE REGIONAL STAFF IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL CONTACTS WITH VARIOUS SEGMENTS OF SMALL BUSINESS. ALSO SUBMITTED WERE A RECEIPTED INVOICE FROM VIKING PRESS, LOS ANGELES, AND A MEMORANDUM FROM MR. MCLARNAN TO KEITH L. HANNA, CONTROLLER, S.S.A., WASHINGTON, C., IN EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE EXPENDITURE, AND SAMPLES OF THE CALLING CARDS. YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, 1957.'

YOU SAY THAT IN VIEW OF THE EXPLANATION GIVEN BY THE CLAIMANT AS TO THE OFFICIAL USE AND NEEDS FOR THE CARDS, IT IS URGED THAT THE COST OF THEIR PROCUREMENT SHOULD BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, BUT THAT DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THIS CLAIM EXISTS IN VIEW OF OFFICE DECISION OF APRIL 1, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 565.

THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE LONG HELD 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 TO PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. 10 COMP. DEC. 506; 12 ID. 661; 20 ID. 248; 7 COMP. GEN. 481; AND 12 ID. 565. ALSO 44 U.S.C. 219 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT "NO HEAD OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, OR OF ANY BUREAU, BRANCH OR OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL CAUSE TO BE PRINTED * * * ANY DOCUMENT OR MATTER EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND NECESSARY TO THE PUBLIC BUSINESS; * * *.'

THE PROVISION FOR PRINTING AND COSTS OF REPRODUCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE CURRENT SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION IS CONFINED TO THE PREPARATION OF LOAN FORMS NEEDED IN THE FIELD AND OTHER OFFICES AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR OR AUTHORIZES THE PRINTING OF CALLING CARDS.

THEREFORE, UNDER THE ABOVE CITED HOLDING OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THE COST OF THE CALLING CARDS MAY NOT BE CHARGED TO APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING COMMENTS, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.