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TRAVEL EXPENSES - MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - TUXEDO RENTAL THE FACT THAT A CIVILIAN OFFICIAL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS ASSIGNED THE DUTY OF APPEARING AS A SPEAKER ON AN OCCASION REQUIRING FORMAL DRESS DOES NOT ENTITLE HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER SECTION 10.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. CONSIDERED A USUAL OR ORDINARY ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT IS PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S WARDROBE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT A REQUEST WAS MADE TO THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION TO FURNISH A SPEAKER FOR AN OCCASION AT THE PEASE AIR FORCE BASE. IT WAS STATED IN THE REQUEST FOR A SPEAKER THAT THE DRESS WAS FORMAL FOR THE OCCASION. NEIMANN WAS OFFICIALLY ASSIGNED THE DUTY OF MAKING THE SPEECH.

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B-126056, NOV. 19, 1965, 45 COMP. GEN. 272

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - TUXEDO RENTAL THE FACT THAT A CIVILIAN OFFICIAL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS ASSIGNED THE DUTY OF APPEARING AS A SPEAKER ON AN OCCASION REQUIRING FORMAL DRESS DOES NOT ENTITLE HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER SECTION 10.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AUTHORIZING NECESSARY MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES, FOR THE COST OF RENTING A TUXEDO, CONSIDERED A USUAL OR ORDINARY ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT IS PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S WARDROBE, AND THE PERSONAL PREFERENCE OF RENTING RATHER THAN OWNING A TUXEDO DOES NOT PLACE THE ITEM IN A SPECIAL CLOTHING CATEGORY NECESSARY FOR THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 10.5.

TO T. C. CRABE, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, NOVEMBER 19, 1965:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1965, REFERENCE BFA-2, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $9 IN FAVOR OF DR. FRED L. NIEMANN, REPRESENTING HIS RECLAIM FOR THAT AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR THE RENTAL OF A TUXEDO.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT A REQUEST WAS MADE TO THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION TO FURNISH A SPEAKER FOR AN OCCASION AT THE PEASE AIR FORCE BASE, PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE. IT WAS STATED IN THE REQUEST FOR A SPEAKER THAT THE DRESS WAS FORMAL FOR THE OCCASION. APPARENTLY DR. NEIMANN WAS OFFICIALLY ASSIGNED THE DUTY OF MAKING THE SPEECH.

YOU SAY THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE CLAIM DIFFER FROM THOSE IN OUR DECISION IN 35 COMP. GEN. 361 WHEREIN WE HELD THAT THE RENTAL OF A DINNER JACKET MAY NOT BE DEEMED TO BE ESSENTIAL TO THE "TRANSACTING OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE REGULATIONS. THAT CONCLUSION WAS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT A PERSON OCCUPYING AN OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE RANK THERE INVOLVED MAY BE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE OFFICIAL DINNER INVITATIONS FROM TIME TO TIME DURING OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND TO BE PREPARED THEREFOR SO FAR AS CONCERNS PROPER DRESS REQUIRED FOR THE OCCASION.

SECTION 10.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

OTHER EXPENSES.--- MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES, NOT ENUMERATED HEREIN, WHEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE TRAVELER IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN APPROVED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PRIOR TO ACCEPTING THE SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT AND PERFORMING THE TRAVEL THE OFFICIAL WAS AWARE OF THE NECESSITY FOR A TUXEDO. A TUXEDO IS TO BE CLASSIFIED AS A USUAL OR ORDINARY ITEM OF WEARING APPAREL RATHER THAN ONE WHICH GENERALLY WOULD NOT BE A PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S WARDROBE. WE RECOGNIZE THAT HERE THE OFFICIAL SAYS IT IS HIS PRACTICE TO RENT A TUXEDO WHEN THE OCCASION ARISES AND THAT HE DOES NOT OWN ONE. THAT, HOWEVER, IS A MATTER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND CANNOT REASONABLY FORM A BASIS FOR PLACING A TUXEDO IN A SPECIAL CLOTHING CATEGORY. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE HOLD THAT THE RENTAL COST OF A TUXEDO IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN ITEM NECESSARY TO TRANSACT OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

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