When Recruiting and Retention is purchasing meals for these approved RR events can they purchase bottled water to go with the meals?
My general understanding of the National Guard purchasing bottled water is that it requires the state's United States Property and Fiscal Officer's approval. The justification has to center around the available water being non-potable and/or a lack of potable water being available within a reasonable distance (remote location).
If we are providing meals to potential recruits and community leaders at these RR events are we subject to the same limitation? We can't buy bottled water to go with the meal without USPFO approval?
Federal law and Corps policy require that the Corps provide access to potable water for employees working at Corps work sites. For employees working at remote sites with no access to potable water, it is within the Corps’ discretion to determine how best to meet this responsibility, whether by providing coolers or jugs for transporting water or by providing bottled water. We have no objection to the Corps using appropriated funds to provide bottled water so long as the Corps administratively determines that bottled water is the best way to provide employees at a particular site with access to potable water.
Open full Question Details
Based on this GAO decision, is there potable (drinkable) water located in the building? If no, then the GPC may be used to purchase bottled water. Furthermore, has an official water test been performed by the appropriate health officials and the published report(s) indicate the potable (drinkable) water in the building is not for human consumption? If yes, then the GPC may be used to purchase bottled water.
The Department of the Army and the Air Force Personnel-Procurement Army National Guard Strength Maintenance Program NGR 601-1 states:
a. Food and non-alcoholic beverage items, including meals, are authorized for certain RR activities that are directly influential in generating leads or prospects for recruitment/re-enlistment into the ARNG. The most common use is to provide sandwiches, pastries, baked goods or similar snack items and assorted non-alcoholic beverages during RR orientations, open houses, presentations and displays. RRCs should determine reasonable spending limits for these functions not to exceed $15 per individual and $1,000 per event.
b. Use of RR Expense Funds in support of events will only be used to pay for meals, refreshments, and nonalcoholic beverages. A meal may be provided for COIs at events such as counselor orientation programs, media promotional events, etc. Cost of this type meal must not exceed $15 per individual and not more than $1,000 per event. Requests for exception to this limitation must be forwarded with written justification to CNGB, ATTN:NGB-ASM-R
The answer to this question is going to rest with your leadership and legal team’s position/decision on if what you are doing here under NGR 601-1 Chapter 9 Section 10 falls outside of or within Government Accountability Office (GAO) Decision B-247871 and/or any agency restrictions on the purchasing bottled water. Unfortunately, there is no case law or legal decision where the court has been asked to render a decision on if NGR 601-1 Chapter 9 Section 10 falls within or outside of GAO's and/or your agency's decision on purchasing bottled water. This is why the answer to this question rest with your leadership and legal team’s decision on if NGR 601-1 Chapter 9 Section 10 falls within or outside of GAO's and/or your agency's decision on purchasing bottled water.