Comments on FAA Employee's Claim for Cookware

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-08-10.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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       AmCOMPTROLLER                                  GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES
                                              WASHINGTON. D.C.              2D5O4

                                                                            AUG 10 1971

  . n.J. Schualery
A thorized Certifying Officer
AccoUnting Progreas Division
office of Management System.
Federal Aviation AdminstratiO!.
Department of Transportation
   Rashington,   D.C.   20590

Dear Mr. Schullery:
                                                                                                             -        :;
      Reference is made to your letter of May 28, 1971, asking our decision
 as to whether you properly may certify for payment from appropriated funds
.a voucher stated in favor of John L. Prudhomme. The voucher in incooking
 arunt of  $28.09o, and covers the cost of a set of stainless steel

      It is explained that many air traffic control fcilities operate on
a 24-hour schedule at r                     te locations without comercial restauP                    ants
or snack bars readily accessible, It is necessary at most of the facili-
ties for the employees to eat their lunches and have coffee breaks at or
near their operating places of duty. .Also, it is reported that the con-
trollers are required to be continuously an-ailable for duty during a full
8-hour tour which may cover any period of the day or night, seven days a

     You state that the cookware in question was purchased for use at the
Flight Service Station at Memphis, Tennessees so that the employees could
PrePare their food. As described above, this facility also has no cafe-
teria or snack bar frAm which employees can purchase food and the Flight
Service Station is manned 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and the
employees mist remain at their post of duty for the full 8-hour tour

     The appropriation proposed to be charged. with the amomtof the
Purchase is that for "Operations, Federal Aviation Administiation' which,
while not specifically available for cooking utensils, is available for
 necessary expenses not otherwise provided for.' Obviously the numerous
Obiects of expenditure neces'y to accomplish the general purposes for


                         .          .                       .   .

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- .lM49

w*ich tbi partictlar appropriation was mde could not be stated in the
act appropriating the Axnds to carry out such purposes. Necessarily,
therefore, thee is veted in the administrative office a lrge masure
0 f discretion as to what particular expenditures
                                                  are meesary to effect
the purposes of the appropriation.

     In recognition of such faet, the use of appropriated fands for
objects not specifcal3y mentioned in the various appropriations acts,
sed not otberwise proiibited has not ben questioned by us when such
objects were deemed to have a direct connetion with and to twe esential                     -
to the carrying out -of the stated general purpoes for which -the funds
were appropriated.

     While we have not previously considered the proprity of purchasing
cooking utensils we have held that the pursbaxe of a coffee mker ri.
rqlated articles to be used to xerve refr@s    1t at Metings could not
be considered to be a "neeesary-expenset  as that  ;   was used in the                             t
appropriation therein    o1:ed.- 47 Camp, Gen, 657              19l6).

           r, as noted in youri letter, the eircmistances relating to
that purchase are entirely different then those present in this case.
Such differeres include the fact tbat in the present case snack bare
or other public eating facilities where food can be purchased are not
readily accessible to the employees, the employees must remin at their
place of duty for their full 8-hour tour, and the utensils were not pur-
       for thee purp   of se      refsbtts     at meetings or to private
imivduast vfisiting the air traffc          control facltties       for buxins   ozr;
other rvasonm                    .    -si1

     rn view of thajoregoing it                   ible official in the Federal
, Avation Adadistiition deteari       si      ass dnatesined tat these utensils
Ar* essential for the proper perfomnce of the air traffic control
ftcility involved, we would not question your certification of the.
voucher whch is herewith returned.                              TuEqIUpa
                           MOITAIVI¶G       'eraly YM

                                qs~ar.L~e        R. F. Kellet
                esasq~     yo'-.29Du9                                    -~             ,       I: IF
                                      Deputy C     ptroler General
                                                of the Uaited States