B-13503, DECEMBER 4, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 298

B-13503: Dec 4, 1940

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ARE NOT PERSONAL FURNISHINGS SUCH AS MAY NOT BE FURNISHED TO EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BUT ARE RATHER OFFICE APPLIANCES OR LABOR-SAVING DEVICES FOR WHICH THE BOARD'S MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE APPROPRIATION (1941) IS AVAILABLE. 1940: I HAVE A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS BOARD MAY PURCHASE FROM ITS CURRENT APPROPRIATION A STENOGRAPH MACHINE. OR WHETHER SUCH MACHINE IS CONSIDERED A PERSONAL FURNISHING AND WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF AND PROHIBITED BY YOUR DECISIONS 2 C.G. 258. THIS MACHINE WILL BE USED PRINCIPALLY BY ONE OF THE BOARD'S EMPLOYEES IN TAKING STENOGRAPHIC DICTATION OF HEARINGS BEFORE THE APPEALS COUNCIL SUCH STENOGRAPHIC NOTES TO BECOME A PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORDS.

B-13503, DECEMBER 4, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 298

DEVICES - LABOR-SAVING - STENOGRAPH MACHINES - APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY STENOGRAPH MACHINES, PURCHASED NOT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE BUT FOR THE USE OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, ARE NOT PERSONAL FURNISHINGS SUCH AS MAY NOT BE FURNISHED TO EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BUT ARE RATHER OFFICE APPLIANCES OR LABOR-SAVING DEVICES FOR WHICH THE BOARD'S MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE APPROPRIATION (1941) IS AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, DECEMBER 4, 1940:

I HAVE A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1940, FROM THE CONTROLLER OF YOUR BOARD, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS BOARD MAY PURCHASE FROM ITS CURRENT APPROPRIATION A STENOGRAPH MACHINE, OR WHETHER SUCH MACHINE IS CONSIDERED A PERSONAL FURNISHING AND WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF AND PROHIBITED BY YOUR DECISIONS 2 C.G. 258; 652, AND 3 C.G. 433.

THIS MACHINE WILL BE USED PRINCIPALLY BY ONE OF THE BOARD'S EMPLOYEES IN TAKING STENOGRAPHIC DICTATION OF HEARINGS BEFORE THE APPEALS COUNCIL SUCH STENOGRAPHIC NOTES TO BECOME A PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORDS.

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PARTICULAR STENOGRAPHER, OR FOR RELIEF PURPOSES,THE MACHINE IS TO BE USED FOR THE SAME PURPOSE BY ANOTHER STENOGRAPHER, WHO ALSO USES THIS MECHANICAL METHOD OF TAKING STENOGRAPHIC DICTATION, AND BOTH WERE SELECTED FROM AMONG OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE BOARD FOR THIS SPECIAL WORK BECAUSE OF THE ADVANTAGES THAT WOULD ACCRUE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN BEING ABLE, WHEN NECESSARY, TO HAVE OTHERS TRANSCRIBE READILY THE DICTATION TAKEN BY A DIFFERENT STENOGRAPHER.

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL RENDER AN EARLY DECISION ON THIS MATTER.

THE RULE WITH RESPECT TO PERSONAL FURNISHINGS IS STATED IN 2 COMP. GEN. 258, AS FOLLOWS:

ARTICLES OF PERSONAL EQUIPMENT OR FURNISHINGS FOR THE PROTECTION, BENEFIT, COMFORT, OR CONVENIENCE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, SUCH AS SUITS, OVERCOATS, RAINCOATS, BOOTS, AND GLOVES, FOR CHAUFFEURS OPERATING GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILES, TRUCKS, OR MOTORCYCLES, MAY NOT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF LAW THEREFOR BE FURNISHED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES.

IN 2 COMP. GEN. 652, IT WAS ALSO HELD:

FURNISHINGS--- WEARING APPAREL, FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, ETC.--- ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE PURCHASED AND CHARGED UNDER CONTINGENT OR OTHER APPROPRIATIONS, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY PROVISION THEREFOR, IF SUCH FURNISHINGS ARE FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, COMFORT, OR PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES, OR ARE SUCH AS TO BE REASONABLY REQUIRED AS A PART OF THE USUAL AND NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR THE WORK ON WHICH ENGAGED OR FOR WHICH EMPLOYED, INCLUDING UNIFORMS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT REQUIRED TO BE WORN OR USED FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFICATION, ETC., EXCEPT GENERALLY SUCH FURNISHINGS AS ARE MADE NECESSARY BY THE UNUSUAL REQUIREMENTS OF PARTICULAR FIELD OR OFFICE WORK OR AS PARTAKE OF THE CHARACTER OF "TOOLS OF THE TRADE.'

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, 1941, ACT OF JUNE 26, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 655, PROVIDES:

MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES (OTHER THAN SALARIES): FOR ALL AUTHORIZED AND NECESSARY EXPENDITURES, OTHER THAN SALARIES, OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD IN PERFORMING THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAW OR IN PURSUANCE OF LAW, INCLUDING * * * CONTRACT STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES; OFFICE APPLIANCES AND LABOR-SAVING DEVICES; * * *

IN VIEW OF YOUR REPRESENTATION AS TO THE USE TO BE MADE OF THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE, IT APPEARING THAT THE MACHINE IS NOT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE BUT MAY BE USED BY DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES OF YOUR BOARD, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE PERSONAL FURNISHINGS BUT ARE RATHER OFFICE APPLIANCES OR LABOR SAVING DEVICES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF YOUR APPROPRIATION. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.