Comments on Use of Appropriated Funds To Pay for Publicists

A-82332: Published: Dec 15, 1936. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 1936.

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GAO commented on congressional concerns regarding: (1) whether any employee who acquires and disseminates information could be considered a publicity expert and therefore bound by the statutory regulation prohibiting the expenditure of appropriated funds for publicity experts; and (2) how to implement the statute to ensure that the statute is not violated. GAO held that: (1) the regulation only prohibited the use of appropriated funds for the compensation of publicity experts, and that an employee whose publicity-related work is incidental to his/her job would not be considered an expert; and (2) Congress should amend the statute to withhold appropriated funds from administrative officers who knowingly allow their staff to engage in any publicity-related activity.