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The U.S. Embassy in London requested a decision regarding whether the ambassador could use representation funds to reimburse six embassy officials for the cost of renting ceremonial dress. The Embassy advised that: (1) protocol required the newly appointed ambassador, accompanied by embassy officials, to present his credentials to the United Kingdom's head of state; and (2) such ceremonial occasions requiring formal attire were rare and not within the typical official duties. GAO held that protocol required officials attending the ceremony to wear formal evening attire. Accordingly, the Embassy could use the representation fund to reimburse the officials for the costs of renting formal evening attire.


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