Information Concerning White House Regional Conferences

B-147578: Nov 8, 1962

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The Chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations requested a decision on the legality of expenditures in connection with White House Regional Conferences held during November 1961 in 12 major cities of the United States.

The White House advised us that it was aware of the statute which prohibits lobbying for legislation with appropriated funds and as a consequence all who participated in the Conferences had the statute pointedly brought to their attention with the instruction it must not be violated. Consequently, where a determination is, in effect, made by the President, a cabinet officer or other agency head or an assistant, that certain activities are in connection with official duties and there is a reasonable basis for such a determination we do not feel that we would be warranted in questioning the expenses incurred in connection with such activities.