[Legality of VA Expenditures for Recruitment and Contest Items and Employees' Liability Relief]

B-247563.3: Apr 5, 1996

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requested a decision concerning: (1) the legality of expenditures made for recruitment and contest items; and (2) its liability for improper payments made by some of its employees'. GAO held that: (1) VA use of medical care appropriations for contest prizes and novelty items was inappropriate, since the items did not directly contribute to an authorized function and were not expenditures that were necessary; (2) VA could not pay the fees of the employees that participated in personal events; (3) VA officials were not liable for the unauthorized payments; and (4) VA should designate a third party to handle improper payments in the future.

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