§ 734.503Allocation and reimbursement of costs associated with political activities.
(a) The costs associated with the political activities described in § 733.502(c) of this chapter may not be paid for by money derived from the Treasury of the United States. Costs associated with a political activity are deemed not to be paid for by money derived from the Treasury of the United States if the Treasury is reimbursed for the costs within a reasonable period of time.
(b) For the purposes of this section, costs associated with a political activity do not include any costs that the Government would have or have incurred regardless of whether the activity was political. Examples of such costs are:
(1) The compensation of the employee described in § 734.502(a);
(2) The value of any office or other real property owned or leased by the Government;
(3) The compensation and expenses of any Government employee that is required in the performance of his or her duties to accompany or assist the person engaging in the political activity; and
(4) The cost of special security arrangements for the person engaging in the political activity, including special transportation vehicles or methods.
(1) An employee covered under this subpart must apportion the costs of mixed travel based on the time spent on political activities and the time spent performing official duties. Prorating the cost of travel involves determining the “total activity time” which is the amount of time actually spent by the employee in meetings, receptions, rallies, and similar activities. Time spent in actual travel, private study, or rest and recreation is not included in the computation of the “total activity time”. The proration of the cost then is determined based on how the “total activity time” was spent. The formula is as follows:
Time spent in official meetings, receptions, etc. Time spent in political meetings, receptions, rallies = Total activity time
Time spent in official activity ÷ Total activity time = Percentage of trip that is official
Time spent in political activity ÷ Total activity time = Percentage of trip that is political
The percentage figure that represents the political portion of the trip is then multiplied by the amount that would be reimbursed to the Government if all of the travel was political. The product of that calculation represents the amount to be paid by the political entity or organization.
(2) The allocation method must be applied to all of the relevant costs of mixed travel.
(3) Expenses that are associated specifically with a political activity and not with any official activity must be treated as political, and expenses associated specifically with an official activity and not with any political activity must be treated as official.
(4) In allocating the costs of travel other than air travel, the allocation formula should be applied to any Government maximum for that type of expenditure.
(5) The determination of the proper amount of allocation must be based on the facts and circumstances involved.
(6) In the event that a minor, clearly incidental percentage of the activity of a mixed trip is devoted to either official or political activity, e.g. less than 3%, the entire trip should be treated as if it was wholly of the type represented by the substantial figure. The balance should be treated as de minimis and need not be reimbursed as political or charged as official.
(d) For any cost of a political activity of an employee that is required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) or the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act (PECFA), the employee shall use the same method of allocation as used under the FECA or PECFA and regulations thereunder in lieu of the allocation method in paragraph (c) of this section.
The Secretary, an employee described by section 7324(b)(2) of title 5 of the United States Code, holds a catered political activity (other than a fundraiser) in her office. Her security detail attends the reception as part of their duty to provide security for her. The Secretary will not be in violation of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments if the costs of her office, her compensation, and her security detail are not reimbursed to the Treasury. A violation of the Hatch Act Amendments occurs if Government funds, including reception or discretionary funds, are used to cater the political activity, unless the Treasury is reimbursed for the cost of the catering within a reasonable time.
There should be no allocation between official and political funds for a sound system rented for a single event.
If on a mixed trip a Government employee is only entitled to $26 per diem for food on a wholly official trip and the trip is 50% political and 50% official, the Government share would be 50% of $26, not 50% of the actual amount spent.
The President is transported by special motorcade to and from the site of the political event. The expense of the motorcade is for special security arrangements. Thus, it would not be a violation of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments if the costs of the security arrangements, including the cost of the motorcade, are not reimbursed to the Treasury.
Title 5 published on 2014-01-01
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