- Can we use appropriated funds to purchase items to give away at the conference, i.e. mugs, t-shirts, magnets, etc.?
Expending appropriated funds to purchase items that are in the nature of personal gifts, such as trinkets (items given away merely to generate goodwill or create a favorable impression of the agency), is generally improper because such an expenditure would not constitute a valid “necessary expense” of the agency. This is because the distribution of items in the nature of personal gifts generally bears no direct link to a purpose for which the agency receives appropriations. Some informational items may, however, be authorized as necessary expenses. Click here  for more information.