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  • Question

    Does the purchase of standing desk using appropriated funds require a doctor's recommendation/prescription?


    Answer

    I am writing this response from my standing desk, given to me by DAU, without a medical prescription.  I also note that Executive Office of the President ordered $700K worth of standing desks for the White House staff a few years ago  (See FedBizOpps, US-GEN-R-0097).   I doubt that all those white house staffers and support staff had medical prescriptions.  I looked through the GAO Red Book, Principles of Appropriations Law, 4th Edition, 2017 Revision, Chapter 3.  Page 211 says “An agency’s appropriations are available without question to furnish the space it occupies with such necessary items as desks, filing cabinets, and other ordinary office equipment. Questions as to the availability of an appropriation occasionally arise when the item to be procured is decorative, rather than utilitarian.”  The basic rules your agency must apply is – Do I have enough funds to cover this purchase? AND Does the expense benefit the Government?  If your agency, like ours, decides that standing desks increases the productivity and health of its employees, you should be able to buy standing desks for your employees.  Obviously, if budgets are tight, there is no requirement for the Government to buy such a desk unless an employee brings in a doctor’s prescription. 
     https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/687162.pdf

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