Gen 619 1927 same 3 in some instances congress has

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General Anton Stephan, 6 Comp. Gen. 619 (1927) (same). 3. In some instances, Congress has specifically authorized expenditures as “necessary expenses” of an existing appropriation. See e.g., 10 U.S.C. § 1124 (authorizing the Secretary of Defense to “incur necessary expense for the honorary recognition of a member of the armed forces” who increases their agency’s efficiency or improves its operations); 5 U.S.C. §§ 4503-4504 (authorizing the same for civilian employees).
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Fiscal Law Overview Ethics Counselor's Deskbook November 2013 15 4. Necessary Expense Defined. a. “[A]n expenditure is permissible if it is reasonably necessary in carrying out an authorized function or will contribute materially to the effective accomplishment of that function . . . .” Internal Revenue Serv. Fed. Credit Union-Provision of Automatic Teller Machine, 66 Comp. Gen. 356, 359 (1987) (emphasis added). b. The fact that an expense may be desirable or beneficial does not mean that it is a necessary expense. Utility Costs under Work-at- Home Programs, 68 Comp. Gen. 502 (1989) (payment for incremental utility costs at residential workplaces not a necessary expense); Secretary of the Interior, 34 Comp. Gen. 599 (1955) (construction of sewage system in excess of capacity required by government for joint use with reclamation camp and general public not a necessary expense even if the cost of the larger system would be about the same). 5. Determinations are fact/agency/purpose/appropriation specific. See Federal Executive Bd.-Appropriations-Employee Tax Returns-Electronic Filing, 96-1 CPD ¶ 129, Comp. Gen. No. B-259947 (Nov. 28, 1995) (New Orleans Federal Executive Board appropriations may not be used to provide its employees with means to electronically file income tax returns because there was no showing that such expenditures were reasonably related to the purpose of the appropriation); compare to Use of Appropriated Funds for an Employee Electronic Tax Return Program, 71 Comp. Gen. 28 (1991) (IRS appropriations may be used to provide its employees with means to electronically file income tax returns to facilitate tax collection efforts by improving IRS’s efficiency in processing returns, resulting in cost savings to the government). E. Typical Questionable Expenses. 1. Agencies may have specific guidance about “questionable” expenditures. See, e.g., AFI 65-601, Budget Guidance and Procedures, Vol. 1, Ch. 4, §§ 4K-4O (3 March 2005) .
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Fiscal Law Overview Ethics Counselor's Deskbook November 2013 16 2. Food: Buying food for individual employees (who are not away from their official duty station on travel status) generally does not materially contribute to an agency’s mission performance. As a result, food is generally considered a personal expense, and appropriated funds are legally unavailable for such expenses. See Department of the Army- Claim of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1989 WL 241549, Comp. Gen. No.
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  • Spring '14
  • JuandaL.Daniel
  • United States Code, Gen. No, Fiscal Law Overview

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