Reimbursement of Expenses To Secure Commission as Notary Public

B-196533: Apr 22, 1980

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A member of the Air Force was ordered to secure a commission as a notary public in connection with his official duties and was advised that the Air Force would reimburse him for expenses incurred in securing the commission. When the member submitted a voucher for reimbursement of his expenses, the officer responsible for disbursing the funds questioned the legality of the disbursement in the absence a specific law or regulation authorizing reimbursement of military members for such training. The voucher was submitted to GAO for an advance decision on the legality of the disbursement. Fees that must be paid by Government employees to various States to obtain licenses required by their Federal employment may not be reimbursed to the individual in the absence of legislation authorizing such payment. No provision exists that would allow reimbursement from appropriated funds of such fees paid by military members. Accordingly, payment was not permitted.