The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania requested an advance decision regarding its authority to reimburse an employee for representational expenses he incurred in attending local business club meetings. The embassy advised that the claimant submitted vouchers for meal expenses that he and two other individuals incurred in attending the meetings, contending that attendance was necessary to fulfill his responsibility to cultivate effective business relationships and monitor local business conditions. GAO held that the chief of mission could approve the claimant's expenditures after determining whether: (1) they were necessary to the performance of his duties; and (2) the two other individuals' meal expenses qualified for reimbursement. Accordingly, the embassy could so use representational funds if the chief of the mission approved the expenses.
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