Tips on Base Level Fiscal Law. Keith M. Dunn Counsel to the Navy Surgeon General Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery [email protected] 202.762.3299 www.twitter.com/TheFiscalLawyer. The Power of the Purse.
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“The established rule is that the expenditure of public funds is proper only when established by Congress, not that public funds may be expended unless prohibited by Congress.”
United States v. MacCollom, 426 US 317 (1976)
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Sending money to GSA does not change the character of your money!
(Neither does MIPRing it somewhere!)
You cannot extend the life of money by offloading it somewhere!
Speaking of GSA . . .Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board – Interagency Agreement with the General Services Administration, B318425, December 8, 2009
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – Obligations under a Cost-Reimbursement, Nonseverable Services Contract, B-317139, June 1, 2009
Plus ca change plus c\'est la meme
“[F]ree food . . . Normally cannot be justified as a ‘necessary expense’ under an appropriation since such expenses are considered personal expenses that government employees are expected to bear from their own salaries.”
72 Comp. Gen. 178
Forest Service--Light Refreshments for National Trails Day, B-310023, April 17, 2008
Cultural Awareness Ceremonies
DoD DGC(Fiscal) memo dtd 1 Sept 05
FMB memo dtd 12 May 06
Appropriated funds may be used only upon a showing of necessity; i.e., there is no potable water available.
2 Comp. Gen 776 (1923) and many other cases!
B-318588, Sept. 29, 2009
B-310502, 4 Feb 2008
“ . . . every employee of the Government is required to present himself for duty properly attired according to the requirements of his position.”
63 Comp. Gen. 245, 246 (1984)
See also B-288828, 3 Oct 02; B-289683, 7 Oct 02
Official Civilian DOD Uniforms: 10 U.S.C. § 1593
Administrative Expenses Act: 5 U.S.C. § 7903
Item must be for the benefit of the Government, essential to the safe and successful accomplishment of the work, and not solely for the protection/comfort of employee
Must involve hazardous duty
OSHA Compliance: 29 U.S.C. § 668
Raincoats and umbrellas for employees who must frequently go out into the rain
Running shoes for couriers
Cold weather/foul weather gear
Jackets with cool Command Logos given to all employees to increase esprit d’ corps
Clothing items that are specifically required safety equipment under NAVOSH Instructions
Foul weather gear and work overalls demanded by the local Labor Union
Grateful Dead® T-Shirts
T-shirts with the CFC logo given to employees who contributed a certain amount
Ice scrapers imprinted with the logo “Don’t Drink and Drive”
Novelty plastic garbage cans containing candy in the shape of solid waste, given by EPA to attendees at an exposition
Decorative ashtrays given to conference attendees
Three sources of funding
Traditional ceremonies are considered official events
Authorized to use appropriated funds, government personnel, and other resources
Includes cost of printing/addressing/sending reasonable number of invitations, as appropriate
Does not include cost of food, beverages, or other entertainment
Presentation of award during a traditional ceremony does not permit use of appropriated funds to purchase food at follow-on reception or ceremony
Only as authorized by 31 U.S.C. § 1344, e.g. Secretaries and Chiefs of Staff, certain others as justified by command & control or security issues
Ground Transportation of Spouses
Funded Travel of Spouses & Family Members
“Rare Exception” authorized only if
DoDD 4500.56, DoD 4515.13-R
Unofficial travel of Spouses and Family Members of Senior Official on MilAir – also a rare exception:
Spouse/family member may accompany General Officer, SES and equivalents on official business if -
Travel is reimbursed at full coach fare
MilAir already scheduled for official trip
Spouse/family member cannot displace official travelers
Larger aircraft not required to accommodate spouse/family member travel