Payment of Travel Expenses at Seminars

B-193644: Jul 2, 1979

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A decision was requested on whether the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has authority to expend appropriated funds to pay the travel and subsistence expenses of non-government employees to attend mine safety and health training seminars conducted by MSHA. It was concluded that in the absence of specific authority, use of appropriated funds by MSHA to pay travel and subsistence expenses for such seminars is prohibited by regulation. MSHA has no such authority either in its organic legislation or in its appropriations language. Also, regulation does not provide the necessary authority since it authorizes payment of travel expenses of non-government employees only where they are providing a direct service to the government.