B-152743, DEC. 5, 1963

B-152743: Dec 5, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE ESSENTIAL FACTS ARE SET FORTH IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: "FROM DISCUSSIONS WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSONNEL AND REVIEW OF AN AAA MOTOR GUIDE. CRUM WAS MADE AWARE OF THE NECESSITY FOR OBTAINING AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO. CRUM DID NOT HAVE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE. HE WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WHILE IN MEXICO. HE FORESTALLED THIS BY OBTAINING COVERAGE FOR THE PERIODS THAT HE WAS THERE AND AS A RESULT INCURRED PERSONAL EXPENSE OF $30.85 FOR THE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE PREMIUMS.'. IT IS A SETTLED POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES TO ASSUME ITS OWN RISKS OF LOSS. THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT. APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF INSURANCE TO COVER LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.

B-152743, DEC. 5, 1963

TO MR. E. G. SMITH, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS:

ON OCTOBER 22, 1963, REFERENCE 34-27, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $30.85, IN FAVOR OF MR. GEORGE W. CRUM, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, AS REIMBURSEMENT OF PREMIUMS PAID BY HIM FOR INSURANCE ON A GOVERNMENT OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH HE PERFORMED OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN MEXICO.

THE ESSENTIAL FACTS ARE SET FORTH IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"FROM DISCUSSIONS WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSONNEL AND REVIEW OF AN AAA MOTOR GUIDE, MR. CRUM WAS MADE AWARE OF THE NECESSITY FOR OBTAINING AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO. BECAUSE OF THE STRINGENT ACTION THAT WOULD APPEAR TO RESULT IF MR. CRUM DID NOT HAVE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE, AND HE WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WHILE IN MEXICO, HE FORESTALLED THIS BY OBTAINING COVERAGE FOR THE PERIODS THAT HE WAS THERE AND AS A RESULT INCURRED PERSONAL EXPENSE OF $30.85 FOR THE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE PREMIUMS.'

WHILE SECTION 10.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAKES PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES WHEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL, IT IS A SETTLED POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES TO ASSUME ITS OWN RISKS OF LOSS. THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT, UNLESS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE, APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF INSURANCE TO COVER LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. THIS RULE IS APPLICABLE TO INSURANCE AGAINST TORT LIABILITY AS WELL AS AGAINST FIRES, TORNADOS, ETC., AND SPECIFICALLY HAS BEEN HELD TO APPLY TO THE PURCHASE OF INSURANCE COVERING GOVERNMENT-OWNED CARS OPERATING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING MEXICO. SEE 39 COMP. GEN. 145 AND THE DECISIONS CITED THEREIN. STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES HAS BEEN GRANTED IN SOME INSTANCES (FOR EXAMPLES SEE 5 U.S.C. 170H; 22 U.S.C. 2396 (A) (9); ID. 2514 (D) (8) (, AND RECENTLY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET REQUESTED OUR COMMENTS CONCERNING A DRAFT BILL WHICH IF INTRODUCED AND ENACTED WILL EXTEND SUCH AUTHORITY TO ALL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.

WHILE WE FULLY APPRECIATE THE CONDITIONS WHICH PROMPTED MR. CRUM TO PURCHASE THE INSURANCE COVERAGE, WE FIND NO EXISTING AUTHORITY FOR CHARGING THE APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO YOUR DEPARTMENT WITH THE COSTS THEREOF. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.