B-80295, OCTOBER 8, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 236

B-80295: Oct 8, 1948

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WHICH IS A FUNCTION SIMILAR TO THAT OF SPECIAL CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT. 1948: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER DRAWN IN FAVOR OF BURNELLS DRUG STORE. - A LOTION WHICH IS APPLIED TO EXPOSED SKIN TO PREVENT MOSQUITOS FROM BITING. YOU STATE THAT THE MOSQUITO REPELLENT WAS PURCHASED FOR THE USE OF FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE REPAIR OF ROADS AND TRAILS IN AN AREA WHERE THE MOSQUITOS ARE MUCH MORE PREVALENT THAN NORMAL AND UNDER CONDITIONS WHERE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE EMPLOYEES EXPEDITIOUSLY TO PERFORM THEIR ASSIGNED TASKS WITHOUT USING A MOSQUITO REPELLENT OR OTHER SIMILAR PROTECTION. IT IS APPARENT FROM THE FACTS STATED THAT THERE WERE AMPLE GROUNDS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO PROVIDE PROTECTION TO THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED AT THE EXPENSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS.

B-80295, OCTOBER 8, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 236

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - INSECTICIDES OR REPELLANTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND MATERIAL OR EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE OF SPECIAL CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF PERSONNEL, INSECTICIDES OR MOSQUITO REPELLENTS MAY BE PURCHASED FROM OTHERWISE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS, THE USE THEREOF BEING PRIMARILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE SKIN FROM INSECT BITES, WHICH IS A FUNCTION SIMILAR TO THAT OF SPECIAL CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO E. C. CRARY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 8, 1948:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1948, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER DRAWN IN FAVOR OF BURNELLS DRUG STORE, BONNERS FERRY, IDAHO, IN THE AMOUNT OF $9.60, COVERING THE PURCHASE OF MOSQUITO REPELLENT--- A LOTION WHICH IS APPLIED TO EXPOSED SKIN TO PREVENT MOSQUITOS FROM BITING.

YOU STATE THAT THE MOSQUITO REPELLENT WAS PURCHASED FOR THE USE OF FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE REPAIR OF ROADS AND TRAILS IN AN AREA WHERE THE MOSQUITOS ARE MUCH MORE PREVALENT THAN NORMAL AND UNDER CONDITIONS WHERE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE EMPLOYEES EXPEDITIOUSLY TO PERFORM THEIR ASSIGNED TASKS WITHOUT USING A MOSQUITO REPELLENT OR OTHER SIMILAR PROTECTION.

IN THE MATTER OF CERTIFYING THIS VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT YOU EXPRESS DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CONSIDERING INSECTICIDES AND REPELLENTS AS EQUIPMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 809, QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:

APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND MATERIAL OR EQUIPMENT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE OF SPECIAL CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF PERSONNEL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR ASSIGNED TASKS.

IT IS APPARENT FROM THE FACTS STATED THAT THERE WERE AMPLE GROUNDS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO PROVIDE PROTECTION TO THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED AT THE EXPENSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. WHILE TECHNICALLY THE REPELLENT PURCHASED PROBABLY COULD MORE READILY BE CLASSIFIED AS A SUPPLY ITEM RATHER THAN ONE OF EQUIPMENT, THE USE THEREOF BEING PRIMARILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE SKIN FROM INSECT BITES, WHICH IS A FUNCTION SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE SPECIAL CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZED ABOVE, THE PURCHASE IN QUESTION PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SAID SECTION 13 OF THE 1946 ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.