My attempt to unravel this one...
"Buying from machines is so much easier. But at least the Appeal to the Irrelevant Authorities at Headquarters works just as well here as at home."
Book ? Barrayar
"here" ? Barrayar, specifically Siegling's
"home" ? Beta Colony
For whom is "home" not "here" ? Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan
Bonus #1 : what was the item that the character who was not "home" was trying to buy ? (for 1/2
Bonus #2 For a second half
name the recipient XXX of the gift, the safekeeper-user YYY, the twice-witness ZZZ and describe this remarkable use of the item.
XXX = Koudelka
YYY = Bothari
ZZZ = Droushnakovi
The swordstick was used to cut off the head of Vordarian by Bothari
Bonus # 3: In the mind of the speaker,
Irrelevant Authorities at Headquarters clearly meant a specific character (other than XXX,YYY or ZZZ).
Name that character for a further half
Admiral Aral Vorkosigan, Vorkosigan House