B-171227, DEC. 14, 1970

B-171227: Dec 14, 1970

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THE MACHINES ARE USED SOLELY FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE. TUCKER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3. YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE FOR WHICH REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE CLAIMED IS THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT WHO ORIGINALLY QUALIFIED FOR HER GS-5 CLERK STENOGRAPHER POSITION ON THE BASIS OF HER USE OF THE MACHINE. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT: " *** WE CONSIDER THAT (1) THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVES THE PRINCIPAL BENEFIT RESULTING FROM THE USE OF STENOGRAPH MACHINE EQUIPMENT *** AND (2) THE EQUIPMENT WILL BE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS REGULAR DUTIES AND SUCH EQUIPMENT IS INTENDED FOR AND MAY BE USED BY DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES.".

B-171227, DEC. 14, 1970

EMPLOYEE OWNED STENOGRAPH MACHINE - COST OF REPAIR DECISION ALLOWING CLAIM OF EMPLOYEE FOR COSTS INCURRED FOR THE REPAIR OF HER PRIVATELY OWNED STENOGRAPH MACHINE. WHERE THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE NEEDS OF THE EMPLOYEE) REQUIRE THE USE OF STENOGRAPH MACHINE, AND THE MACHINES ARE USED SOLELY FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE, WITHOUT CHARGE, BY OWNER AND OTHER EMPLOYEES, THEN GOVERNMENT MAY PAY COST OF REPAIRS.

TO MR. W. L. TUCKER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3, 1970 (REFERENCE 2 363), REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMEENT THE CLAIM OF A DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS INCURRED FOR THE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE OF HER PRIVATELY OWNED STENOGRAPH MACHINE.

WE NOTE THAT YOUR SUBMISSION DOES NOT INCLUDE A VOUCHER. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 82D SUBMISSIONS TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FROM CERTIFYING OFFICERS SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY A VOUCHER WHICH HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION. ACCORDINGLY, FUTURE SUBMISSIONS FROM YOUR OFFICE REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PROPERLY EXECUTED VOUCHER FORM.

YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE FOR WHICH REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE CLAIMED IS THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT WHO ORIGINALLY QUALIFIED FOR HER GS-5 CLERK STENOGRAPHER POSITION ON THE BASIS OF HER USE OF THE MACHINE, AND NOT GREGG SHORTHAND ABILITY, THIS PROCEDURE APPARENTLY BEING CONSISTENT WITH THE APPLICABLE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION EXAMINATION ANNOUNCEMENT. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT:

" *** WE CONSIDER THAT (1) THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVES THE PRINCIPAL BENEFIT RESULTING FROM THE USE OF STENOGRAPH MACHINE EQUIPMENT *** AND (2) THE EQUIPMENT WILL BE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS REGULAR DUTIES AND SUCH EQUIPMENT IS INTENDED FOR AND MAY BE USED BY DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES."

THERE IS NO QUESTION BUT THAT IF THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE NEEDS OF THE EMPLOYEE) REQUIRE THE USE OF STENOGRAPH MACHINES OR IF IT IS DETERMINED ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR STENOGRAPHERS TO USE STENOGRAPH MACHINES, APPROPRIATED FUNDS WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE SUCH MACHINES. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 298 (1940). THIS BEING SO, IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD NOT APPEAR UNREASONABLE TO USE APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO REPAIR OR MAINTAIN EMPLOYEE-OWNED STENOGRAPH MACHINES USED SOLELY FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE- WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE GOVERNMENT--BY THE OWNER AND OTHER EMPLOYEES, WHERE IT IS DETERMINED TO BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE COST OF REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE, RATHER THAN PURCHASE STENOGRAPH MACHINES FOR THE EMPLOYEES. HOWEVER, THE CONVERSE WOULD ALSO BE TRUE, I.E., WHERE THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE IS PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OR CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE ONLY, APPROPRIATED FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED TO PURCHASE SUCH A MACHINE OR REPAIR OR MAINTAIN AN EMPLOYEE-OWNED MACHINE.

FURTHER, WE HAVE HELD THAT WHERE EQUIPMENT IS LOANED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH A PARTICULAR GOVERNMENT WORK THE APPROPRIATION FOR THAT WORK IS AVAILABLE FOR REPAIRS TO SUCH EQUIPMENT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH REPAIRS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE CONTINUED USE OF THE EQUIPMENT ON THAT WORK. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 617 (1941). FROM WHAT IS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE IN QUESTION REASONABLY MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AS BEING LOANED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR ITS BENEFIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE LAST CITED HOLDING. CF. 29 COMP. GEN. 391 (1950).

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING AND IN LIGHT OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN YOUR LETTER AS TO THE PRINCIPAL BENEFIT FROM, AND THE USE TO BE MADE OF, THE STENOGRAPH MACHINE, YOU MAY IN THE INSTANT CASE CERTIFY THE CLAIM FOR PAYMENT.

THE CLAIM AND ATTACHED BILL ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.