B-145740, JUNE 21, 1961, 40 COMP. GEN. 706

B-145740: Jun 21, 1961

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YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION HOLDING THAT THE COST OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE NOT CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THEREFOR (31 COMP. THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN QUESTION WERE REQUESTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE III (1GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1. WHICH PROVIDES: THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY CASH AWARDS TO. YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF OUR DECISIONS OF MAY 31. PACE WAS NOMINATED DOES NOT COME UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT. YOU REQUEST ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE EXPENSE OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION ACT WAS APPROVED.

B-145740, JUNE 21, 1961, 40 COMP. GEN. 706

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - EXPENSES INCIDENT TO AWARDS BY NON-FEDERAL AGENCIES CASH OR HONORARY AWARDS BY NON-FEDERAL ORGANIZATIONS DO NOT COME UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2121, ET SEQ., WHICH AUTHORIZES AWARDS TO BE MADE BY FEDERAL AGENCIES AND BY THE PRESIDENT; THEREFORE, EXPENSES FOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF AN EMPLOYEE, INCIDENT TO A NOMINATION FOR A "CAREER SERVICE AWARD" BY THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE, A NONPARTISAN CITIZENS' ORGANIZATION, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A NECESSARY EXPENSE UNDER THE AWARDS ACT TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT.

TO LESTER H. THOMPSON, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, JUNE 21, 1961:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 27, 1961, REQUESTS OUR ADVISE AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $28.33, REPRESENTING THE CLAIM OF MRS. EULA K. PACE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. THE CLAIM COVERS A REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN AMOUNT EXPENDED BY MRS. PACE FOR SIX 8X10 GLOSSY PHOTOGRAPHS OF HERSELF FROM THE H AND W STUDIOS.

YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION HOLDING THAT THE COST OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE NOT CHARGEABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THEREFOR (31 COMP. GEN. 452).

YOUR LETTER INDICATES, HOWEVER, THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN QUESTION WERE REQUESTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE III (1GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1105, 1112, 5 U.S.C. 2121 NOTE, FOR USE IN OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZING MRS. PACE'S SUPERIOR CONTRIBUTION AND IN PUBLICIZING THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AWARDS PROGRAM. YOU SPECIFICALLY REFER TO SECTION 304 (A) OF THE ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2123 (A), WHICH PROVIDES:

THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY CASH AWARDS TO, AND TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF, CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO BY THEIR SUGGESTIONS, INVITATIONS, SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR OTHER PERSONAL EFFORTS CONTRIBUTE TO THE EFFICIENCY, ECONOMY, OR OTHER IMPROVEMENT OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS OR WHO PERFORM SPECIAL ACTS OR SERVICES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN CONNECTION WITH OR RELATED TO THEIR OFFICIAL EMPLOYMENT.

YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF OUR DECISIONS OF MAY 31, 1957, B 111642 AND SEPTEMBER 12, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 134, WHEREIN WE HELD THAT TRAVEL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTICIPATING IN CEREMONIES IN HONORARY RECOGNITION OF SPECIAL OR MERITORIOUS SERVICE MAY BE CONSIDERED A DIRECT AND ESSENTIAL EXPENSES OF AWARD WITHIN THE SCOPE AND MEANING OF THE PHRASE "TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES" AS USED IN THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT. HOWEVER, YOU RAISE THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER A CAREER SERVICE AWARD OF THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE MAY BE CONSTRUED AS AN AWARD COMING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT. IF SO, YOU ASK WHETHER THE COST OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS INVOLVED HERE MAY BE CONSTRUED AS A DIRECT AND ESSENTIAL EXPENSE OF AWARD AND WITHIN THE SCOPE AND MEANING OF THE PHRASE "TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES" AS USED IN THE STATUTE. IN THIS SAME CONNECTION YOU INQUIRE AS TO WHETHER AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD MUST BE SELECTED BEFORE PAYMENT MAY BE APPROVED FOR "NECESSARY EXPENSES.'

ALSO, IF WE HOLD THAT THE AWARD FOR WHICH MRS. PACE WAS NOMINATED DOES NOT COME UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, YOU REQUEST ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE EXPENSE OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION ACT WAS APPROVED.

SECTION 302 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2121, PROVIDES THAT THE ,DEPARTMENTAL AWARDS" PROGRAM SET FORTH IN THE ACT SHALL BE CARRIED OUT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS AS MAY BE ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. AS INDICATED ABOVE, SECTION 304 (A) (5 U.S.C.. 2123 (A) ( OF THE ACT PROVIDES THAT THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY CASH AWARDS AND TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHO MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS. SECTION 304 (E), 5 U.S.C. 2123 (E), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

(E) AWARDS TO EMPLOYEES AND EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF EMPLOYEES MAY BE PAID FROM THE FUNDS OR APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE ACTIVITY PRIMARILY BENEFITING OR MAY BE PAID FROM THE SEVERAL FUNDS OR APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES BENEFITING AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR AWARDS UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, AND BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED FOR AWARDS UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

PURSUANT TO SECTION 302, THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ISSUED REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE GRANTING OF INCENTIVE AWARDS, WHICH ARE CONTAINED IN 5 C.F.R. 32.101-32.403. THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 32.103 DEFINITIONS. * * *

(G) INCENTIVE AWARD. THE TERM "INCENTIVE AWARD" MEANS EITHER A CASH AWARD, AN HONORARY AWARD, OR BOTH.

(H) HONORARY AWARD. THE TERM "HONORARY AWARD" MEANS AN INCENTIVE AWARD GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT IN THE FORM OF A CERTIFICATE, EMBLEM, PIN OR OTHER ITEM THAT CAN BE WORN OR DISPLAYED BY THE RECIPIENT.

(I) DEPARTMENTAL AWARD. THE TERM "DEPARTMENTAL AWARD" MEANS AN INCENTIVE AWARD GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT FOR AN APPROVED EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTION FROM AN EMPLOYEE OR EMPLOYEES OF HIS DEPARTMENT.

SEC. 32.301 ELIGIBILITY OF EMPLOYEE FOR AWARDS. AN EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTION MUST HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE BENEFITING DEPARTMENT BEFORE AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE GRANTED AN INCENTIVE AWARD.

SEC. 32.304 HONORARY AWARDS. WHENEVER APPROPRIATE, AN HONORARY AWARD MAY BE GRANTED IN RECOGNITION OF AN EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTION. SUCH HONORARY AWARD MAY BE GRANTED IN ADDITION TO A CASH AWARD. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT IS CLEAR THAT NEITHER THE ABOVE CITED AND QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISIONS NOR THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE AWARDS (CASH OR HONORARY) BY OTHER THAN FEDERAL AGENCIES OR THE PRESIDENT. THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE IS, ACCORDING TO ITS BROCHURE ON "1CAREER SERVICE AWARDS," A NONPARTISAN CITIZENS' ORGANIZATION FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, I.E; A NON-FEDERAL ORGANIZATION. THUS IT IS OUR VIEW THAT A CAREER SERVICE AWARD OF THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS AN AWARD COMING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN QUESTION WERE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION.

IN ANY EVENT, THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT TWO PHOTOGRAPHS WERE REQUIRED BY THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THOSE PERSONS WHO WERE NOMINATED BY THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY FOR A CAREER SERVICE AWARD. INASMUCH AS MRS. PACE WAS NOT NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD BUT ONLY RECOMMENDED FOR NOMINATION BY THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, THERE WAS NO NECESSITY FOR OBTAINING ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER. ALSO, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT WHILE ONLY TWO PHOTOGRAPHS WERE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAGUE IN CONNECTION WITH A NOMINATION, THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT COVERS THE PURCHASE OF SIX PHOTOGRAPHS.

IN LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. AS REQUESTED THE VOUCHER, SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS, AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE ENCLOSED.