B-63803, APRIL 18, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 797

B-63803: Apr 18, 1947

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SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS SUBMITTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION. " THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR A CERTIFYING OFFICER TO PRESENT OR TO OBTAIN A DECISION ON A GENERAL QUESTION NOT INVOLVED IN THE PARTICULAR VOUCHER BEFORE THE OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION. DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO DECISIONS ONLY UPON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE THEM FOR PAYMENT. THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS MAY APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT WHICH A DISBURSING OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE OR WHICH MAY ARISE IN CONSEQUENCE OF ANY CONTEMPLATED ACTION BY SUCH HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT.

B-63803, APRIL 18, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 797

CERTIFYING OFFICERS; HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, ETC. - ADVANCE DECISION REQUESTS; USE OF TAXICABS LOCALLY UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, PROVIDING THAT AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICERS ,SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS SUBMITTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION," THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR A CERTIFYING OFFICER TO PRESENT OR TO OBTAIN A DECISION ON A GENERAL QUESTION NOT INVOLVED IN THE PARTICULAR VOUCHER BEFORE THE OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION. WHILE, UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 OF THE DOCKERY ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, AS AMENDED, DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO DECISIONS ONLY UPON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE THEM FOR PAYMENT, THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS MAY APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT WHICH A DISBURSING OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE OR WHICH MAY ARISE IN CONSEQUENCE OF ANY CONTEMPLATED ACTION BY SUCH HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT. A VOUCHER COVERING A 2-YEAR OLD EXPENSE AND WHICH WAS UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS BEFORE BEING SUBMITTED BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR DECISION MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A CURRENT ACCOUNT AS TO WHICH THERE IS NO MATERIAL DOUBT SUCH AS IS PROPER FOR PAYMENT BY A DISBURSING OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 2 OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 50, AND, THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER WILL BE TRANSMITTED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, FOR CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT AS A CLAIM. IN CASES WHERE TAXICABS ARE USED LOCALLY IN LIEU OF CHEAPER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION ON THE BASIS OF THE TIME SAVED THEREBY, A SHOWING IS REQUIRED IN EACH INSTANCE OF THE FACTS WHICH WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT THE USE OF TAXICABS WAS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST, AND, IN SUCH CASES, A BROAD OR GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE REGULAR USE OF TAXICABS BY A PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE OR CLASS OF EMPLOYEES IS NECESSARY AT ALL TIMES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT OTHER CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION SUCH AS USED BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY CANNOT BE USED ADVANTAGEOUSLY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, APRIL 18, 1947:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21, 1947, RELATIVE TO THE DECISION OF MARCH 6, 1947, B-63803, TO MR. C. C. CRUIKSHANK, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, CONCERNING A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY DR. A. N. RICHARDS, RECLAIMING TAXI FARE IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.40 WHICH ADMINISTRATIVELY HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FROM TRAVEL VOUCHER NO. 1776674, PAID MARCH 22, 1945, UPON THE GROUND THAT THE USE OF TAXICABS LOCALLY DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 2 TO FEBRUARY 2, 1945, WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. BECAUSE THE VOUCHER DID NOT INVOLVE A CURRENT ACCOUNT, THE CERTIFYING OFFICER WAS ADVISED IN THE REFERRED-TO DECISION THAT SAID VOUCHER WOULD BE RETAINED HERE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND SETTLEMENT AS A CLAIM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 71. THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE FOUND IT NECESSARY, IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIM, TO FORWARD THE VOUCHER TO THE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR CITATION TO THE APPROPRIATION DEEMED CHARGEABLE WITH ANY AMOUNT FOUND DUE.

THE VOUCHER NOW HAS BEEN RETURNED HERE WITH YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21, 1947, IN WHICH IT IS URGED THAT THE USE OF TAXICABS IN ZONES OR METERED AREAS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A PUBLIC AND REGULAR MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AND THAT ANY EXCESS OF TAXICAB FARES OVER FARES CHARGED ON STREETCARS OR BUSES IS OFFSET BY THE SAVING OF TIME WHICH THEIR USE MAKES POSSIBLE. ALSO, IT IS URGED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE USE OF FASTER METHODS OF TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED; THAT DETAILED JUSTIFICATION SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED WHEN THE SAVING OF TIME IS, OR SHOULD BE, AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION; AND THAT BLANKET EXPLANATIONS SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE, MAKING IT UNNECESSARY FOR A TRAVELER TO REPEAT A NUMBER OF TIMES, ON THE SAME OR SUBSEQUENT VOUCHERS, IDENTICAL EXPLANATIONS FOR THE USE OF TAXICABS PROCURED UNDER IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN RETAINING THE VOUCHER HERE FOR SETTLEMENT AS A CLAIM UPON THE GROUND STATED IN THE DECISION TO THE CERTIFYING OFFICER, YOU STATE--- APPARENTLY BY WAY OF OBJECTION TO SUCH HANDLING OF THE VOUCHER AS A CLAIM FOR SETTLEMENT BY THIS OFFICE--- THAT ALTHOUGH TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1945 THE FUNDS OBLIGATED FOR THE TRAVEL COST ARE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT UNTIL JUNE 30, 1947, AND IF THE VOUCHER HAD BEEN APPROVED BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SCHEDULED TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR PAYMENT, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID BY THAT DEPARTMENT WITHOUT OBJECTION AS TO THE STALENESS OF THE CLAIM. YOU REQUEST (1) SPECIFIC ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SCHEDULED AS USUAL TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR PAYMENT, AND (2) A GENERAL DECISION ON THE USE OF TAXICABS UNDER THE SITUATIONS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER. ALSO, YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THIS OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED TO RENDER DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT IS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED TO RENDER DECISIONS TO THE HEADS OF THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS ARE NOT CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD.

THERE FIRST WILL BE DISCUSSED HEREIN THE JURISDICTION WHICH HAS BEEN PLACED BY THE CONGRESS IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO RENDER DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS AND TO THE HEADS OF THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND THIS DISCUSSION WILL BE FOLLOWED BY THE DECISION UPON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN PRESENTED.

THE AUTHORITY TO RENDER DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO QUESTIONS OF LAW INVOLVED IN PAYMENTS ON VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION. THAT AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, 31 U.S.C. 82D, AS FOLLOWS:

THE LIABILITY OF CERTIFYING OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES SHALL BE ENFORCED IN THE SAME MANNER AND TO THE SAME EXTENT AS NOW PROVIDED BY LAW WITH RESPECT TO ENFORCEMENT OF THE LIABILITY OF DISBURSING AND OTHER ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS; AND THEY SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.

WHEN REQUEST IS MADE FOR DECISION UPON A QUESTION OF LAW UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THAT SECTION, THE VOUCHER PRESENTED TO THE CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION MUST ACCOMPANY THE REQUEST FOR DECISION. 21 COMP. GEN. 1128. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THAT SECTION FOR A CERTIFYING OFFICER TO PRESENT OR TO OBTAIN A DECISION ON A GENERAL QUESTION NOT INVOLVED IN THE PARTICULAR VOUCHER BEFORE THE CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION. 24 COMP. GEN. 546, 548; ID. 84; 23 ID. 793, 795. THE CERTIFYING OFFICER, WHEN HE ORIGINALLY PRESENTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. A. N. RICHARDS, APPARENTLY DESIRED A MUCH BROADER DECISION UPON THE USE OF TAXICABS THAN WAS REQUIRED BY THE QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED TO HIM FOR CERTIFICATION AND HE CORRECTLY WAS ADVISED THAT SUCH GENERAL MATTERS PROPERLY ARE NOT FOR SUBMISSION BY CERTIFYING OFFICERS.

THE AUTHORITY TO RENDER DECISIONS TO THE HEADS OF VARIOUS GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS IS MUCH BROADER. THAT AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 OF THE DOCKERY ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, 28 STAT. 207, AS AMENDED BY THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT, APPROVED JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 24, 31 U.S.C. 74 (THIRD PARAGRAPH), WHICH PROVIDES:

DISBURSING OFFICERS, OR THE HEAD OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER ESTABLISHMENT NOT UNDER ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, MAY APPLY FOR AND THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SHALL RENDER HIS DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION INVOLVING A PAYMENT TO BE MADE BY THEM OR UNDER THEM, WHICH DECISION, WHEN RENDERED, SHALL GOVERN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN PASSING UPON THE ACCOUNT CONTAINING SAID DISBURSEMENT.

WHILE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT UNDER THAT PROVISION A DECISION MAY BE RENDERED TO A DISBURSING OFFICER ONLY UPON A SPECIFIC QUESTION INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH PROPERLY IS BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT (22 COMP. GEN. 588, 25 COMP. DEC. 653), IT ALSO HAS BEEN HELD FOR MANY YEARS THAT THE HEAD OF THE PROPER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT MAY APPLY FOR DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT WHICH A DISBURSING OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE OR WHICH MAY ARISE IN CONSEQUENCE OF ANY ACTION CONTEMPLATED BY SUCH HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT. 4 COMP. DEC. 332. DECISIONS CONSTANTLY ARE BEING RENDERED AT THE REQUEST OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS UPON QUESTIONS PROPERLY PRESENTED INCLUDING MANY QUESTIONS OTHER THAN THOSE ARISING IN VOUCHERS WHICH HAVE BEEN PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. A. N. RICHARDS MAY BE CERTIFIED BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SCHEDULED AS USUAL TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 2 OF GENERAL REGULATIONS 50, 5 COMP. GEN. 1058, WHICH READS:

2. CURRENT ACCOUNTS, EXCEPTING TRANSPORTATION CLAIMS AND ACCOUNTS, AS TO WHICH THERE IS NO MATERIAL DOUBT SHOULD BE PAID BY THE PROPER DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS FROM FUNDS AVAILABLE THEREFOR, WITH DUE REGARD FOR THEIR PERSONAL AND BONDED RESPONSIBILITY, UPON WHOM THE BURDEN WILL REST TO ESTABLISH SUCH LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS AS WILL SUPPORT CERTIFICATION OF CREDIT FOR THE EXPENDITURES. ACCOUNTS, CLAIMS, AND DEMANDS AS TO WHICH IT HAS BEEN HELD OR DIRECTED THAT PAYMENT SHOULD BE EFFECTED THROUGH DIRECT SETTLEMENT, MUST NOT BE PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS, EXCEPT PURSUANT TO THE CERTIFICATE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN PARTICULAR CASES.

EVEN BEFORE THAT GENERAL REGULATION WAS ISSUED, IT HAD BEEN HELD THAT DISBURSING OFFICERS SHOULD PAY ONLY CURRENT OBLIGATIONS WHICH DID NOT REQUIRE FOR THE ASCERTAINMENT OF THEIR VALIDITY THE WEIGHING OF EVIDENCE OR THE DETERMINATION OF QUESTIONS OF LAW OR FACT. FOR EXAMPLE, IT WAS STATED IN 4 COMP. GEN. 56, AT PAGE 57:

IN ANSWER TO YOUR INQUIRY AS TO THE TIME LIMIT IN MAKING PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT GENERALLY PAYMENTS BY A DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD NOT BE MADE AFTER THREE MONTHS FROM THE CLOSE OF A FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE OBLIGATION WAS INCURRED, UNEXPENDED DISBURSING BALANCES OF ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BEING REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED WITHIN THAT TIME. SEE TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 133 OF DECEMBER 15, 1903. THE REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO OTHER APPROPRIATIONS, SUCH, FOR INSTANCE, AS THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE " CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF RAILROADS IN ALASKA," ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1923, 42 STAT. 1217, ARE GENERALLY THAT A DISBURSING OFFICER PAY ONLY CURRENT OBLIGATIONS FOR FIXED SALARIES, BILLS FOR SUPPLIES PURCHASED AND APPROVED, AND OTHER SIMILAR DEMANDS WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE FOR THE ASCERTAINMENT OF THEIR VALIDITY THE WEIGHING OF EVIDENCE OR THE DETERMINATION OF QUESTIONS OF LAW OR FACT. 4 COMP. DEC. 332.

THAT DECISION AND THE DECISION REPORTED IN 7 COMP. GEN. 751 WERE REFERRED TO IN THE DECISION OF MARCH 6, 1947, B-63803, TO MR. CRUIKSHANK. IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21, 1947, YOU STATE THAT BOTH OF THOSE DECISIONS SEEM TO BE BASED UPON TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 133 OF DECEMBER 15, 1903, WHICH HAS BEEN WAIVED ANNUALLY FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AND WHICH YOU UNDERSTAND PROBABLY WILL BE RESCINDED OR AMENDED WITHIN THE NEAR FUTURE. ALTHOUGH THOSE DECISIONS PARTIALLY WERE BASED UPON TREASURY CIRCULAR NO. 133, THE REPORTED ANNUAL WAIVER OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THAT CIRCULAR DOES NOT HAVE ANY BEARING UPON PARAGRAPH 2 OF GENERAL REGULATIONS 50.

THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. RICHARDS IS STAMPED AS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED IN THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, ON APRIL 16, 1945, AND IS SUPPORTED BY A LETTER DATED MARCH 22, 1945 SIGNED BY DR. A. N. RICHARDS, PROTESTING THE ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSION ON THE VOUCHER ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED BY HIM. CERTAINLY, A VOUCHER INVOLVING EXPENSES INCURRED OVER 2 YEARS AGO AND WHICH HAD BEEN UNDER CONSIDERATION IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR ALMOST 22 MONTHS BEFORE BEING SUBMITTED BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR DECISION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED A CURRENT ACCOUNT AS TO WHICH THERE IS NO MATERIAL DOUBT SUCH AS IS PROPER FOR PAYMENT BY A DISBURSING OFFICER EXCEPT PURSUANT TO CERTIFICATE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. ACCORDINGLY, AS THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION NOW HAS BEEN NOTED ON THE VOUCHER IT WILL BE RETURNED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT AS A CLAIM. CF. 23 COMP. GEN. 212, AT PAGE 216.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR GENERAL QUESTION REGARDING THE USE OF TAXICABS, IT MAY BE STATED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME STATUTE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE GENERAL RULE NECESSARILY IS THAT TRANSPORTATION MUST BE BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL MEANS USUALLY USED BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY UNLESS IT CLEARLY IS SHOWN THAT SOME OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS USED PRIMARILY IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES:

(A) THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND FROM EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO STATIONS, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED.

THAT PARAGRAPH DISPENSES WITH THE NECESSITY OF SHOWING THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRED THE USE OF A TAXICAB RATHER THAN A CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION UNDER THE CONDITIONS SPECIFIED, BUT NEITHER THAT PARAGRAPH NOR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW OR REGULATION OF WHICH I AM AWARE PURPORTS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF TAXICABS GENERALLY. WHILE THE SAVING OF TIME IS ONE OF THE FACTORS WHICH MAY BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE USE OF TAXICABS IS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND, FOR SIMILAR REASONS, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT A BROAD OR GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE REGULAR USE OF TAXICABS BY A PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE OR CLASS OF EMPLOYEES IS A NECESSITY AT ALL TIMES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT OTHER CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION SUCH AS ARE USED BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY CANNOT BE USED ADVANTAGEOUSLY IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. 23 COMP. GEN. 310.

THE REASONS ADVANCED IN YOUR LETTER FOR URGING THAT THE RULES HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED REGARDING THE USE OF TAXICABS BE CHANGED OR MODIFIED HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY CONSIDERED AND AFTER DUE DELIBERATION IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THEY DO NOT FORM AN ADEQUATE BASIS FOR ANY CHANGE IN THE RULES HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED WHICH HAVE EVOLVED FROM A LONG LINE OF DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS.

THEREFORE, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF APPROPRIATE LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENT; IT WOULD NOT BE PROPER FOR THIS OFFICE TO APPROVE THE USE OF TAXICABS, WITHOUT RESTRICTION, BY A PARTICULAR OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AS IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE NECESSARY AT ALL TIMES AND UNDER ALL CONDITIONS.