A-14731, OCTOBER 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 290

A-14731: Oct 25, 1926

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OR UPON CHANGE OF BOND MAY TRANSFER THE FUNDS TO AN ACCOUNT UNDER THE NEW BOND UPON A CERTIFICATE BY TWO DISINTERESTED PERSONS WHO HAVE VERIFIED THE CASH ON HAND AND ON DEPOSIT. READING IN PART AS FOLLOWS: WHEN DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE TAKE OUT NEW BONDS OR ARE RELIEVED BY THEIR SUCCESSORS IN OFFICE. THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DEPOSIT THEIR UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES. THE BUSINESS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE WOULD BE VERY GREATLY EXPEDITED IF DISBURSING AGENTS WERE PERMITTED TO TRANSFER THEIR UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF PUBLIC FUNDS FROM OLD TO NEW BONDS OR TO THEIR SUCCESSORS. AS IS DONE WITH RESPECT TO MONEYS HELD IN TRUST FOR INDIVIDUAL INDIANS AND DEPOSITED IN BANKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING LAW.

A-14731, OCTOBER 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 290

DISBURSING OFFICERS - CLOSING AND TRANSFERRING ACCOUNTS DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS WHEN CLOSING THEIR ACCOUNTS ON A CHANGE OF BOND OR UPON RELINQUISHING THEIR OFFICE SHOULD DEPOSIT THE UNEXPENDED FUNDS IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, OR TRANSFER THEM TO THEIR SUCCESSOR TAKING A RECEIPT THEREFOR, OR UPON CHANGE OF BOND MAY TRANSFER THE FUNDS TO AN ACCOUNT UNDER THE NEW BOND UPON A CERTIFICATE BY TWO DISINTERESTED PERSONS WHO HAVE VERIFIED THE CASH ON HAND AND ON DEPOSIT, THE PARTICULAR METHOD TO BE FOLLOWED BEING DEPENDENT UPON THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE LOCATION OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 25, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1926, READING IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

WHEN DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE TAKE OUT NEW BONDS OR ARE RELIEVED BY THEIR SUCCESSORS IN OFFICE, THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DEPOSIT THEIR UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 1 OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 197, ISSUED DECEMBER 1, 1898 (5 COMP. DEC. 988).

THIS PROCEDURE RESULTS IN CONSIDERABLE INCONVENIENCE AND EMBARRASSMENT BECAUSE OF THE LONG PERIODS WHICH MUST ELAPSE BETWEEN THE DEPOSITS AND ADVANCES UNDER NEW BONDS OR TO NEW DISBURSING AGENTS. THE BUSINESS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE WOULD BE VERY GREATLY EXPEDITED IF DISBURSING AGENTS WERE PERMITTED TO TRANSFER THEIR UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF PUBLIC FUNDS FROM OLD TO NEW BONDS OR TO THEIR SUCCESSORS, AS IS DONE WITH RESPECT TO MONEYS HELD IN TRUST FOR INDIVIDUAL INDIANS AND DEPOSITED IN BANKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING LAW.

ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATUTORY PROHIBITION AGAINST THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS BY ONE DISBURSING OFFICER OR AGENT TO ANOTHER WHEN CLOSING ACCOUNTS DUE TO A CHANGE OF BOND OR RELINQUISHMENT OF OFFICE BY RESIGNATION, REMOVAL, CHANGE OF STATION, ETC., IT HAS LONG BEEN THE PRACTICE TO CLOSE ACCOUNTS IN SUCH CASES BY DEPOSIT OF THE PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE TREASURY SO THAT THE LIABILITY OF SURETIES ON THE RESPECTIVE BONDS MAY BE DEFINITELY FIXED. WHEN, HOWEVER, AN OFFICER IS STATIONED REMOTE FROM A UNITED STATES DEPOSITORY AND THE BALANCE OF FUNDS ON HAND IS DESIRED FOR IMMEDIATE USE AT HIS STATION, THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO SOME OTHER PROPER DISBURSING OFFICER OR AGENT HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED. SEE 5 COMP. DEC. 988, 7 ID. 373 AND 5 COMP. GEN. 170. WITH RESPECT TO DISBURSING OFFICERS AND AGENTS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, DECISION OF APRIL 22, 1926, A -13478, PRESCRIBED THE METHOD TO BE FOLLOWED IN CLOSING ACCOUNTS UNDER CHANGE OF BOND.

WITHOUT QUESTION THE CLOSING OF ACCOUNTS BY DEPOSIT OF UNEXPENDED FUNDS IN THE TREASURY IS MUCH MORE SATISFACTORY FROM THE ACCOUNTING STANDPOINT THAN THE CLOSING THEREOF BY TRANSFER OF UNEXPENDED FUNDS TO OTHER OFFICERS, AS THERE IS REMOVED ALL POSSIBILITY OF DIFFERENCES ARISING LATER AS TO THE AMOUNTS, ESPECIALLY OF CASH, TRANSFERRED.

OWING TO THE PECULIAR NEEDS OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL SERVICES THE CLOSING OF ACCOUNTS BY TRANSFER TO OTHER PROPER DISBURSING OFFICERS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED, AND IN VIEW OF THE INCREASING VOLUME OF BUSINESS DONE BY THE CIVIL DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE WIDE DISPERSION OF THEIR OFFICERS AND AGENTS, THE NECESSITY FOR THE PROMPT PAYMENT OBLIGATIONS AND THE CONTINUOUS OPERATION OF PUBLIC BUSINESS, THE EXTENSION OF THAT PRACTICE WITHIN REASONABLE LIMITS TO THOSE DEPARTMENTS APPEARS TO BE JUSTIFIED. THAT THERE MAY BE UNIFORMITY IN ALL DEPARTMENTS IN THE MANNER OF CLOSING ACCOUNTS, GENERAL RULES ARE PRESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

1. DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS STATIONED IN WASHINGTON, OR WHEN STATIONED IN THE FIELD AND THE FUNDS ARE NOT URGENTLY NEEDED FOR DISBURSEMENT PURPOSES, WILL CLOSE THEIR ACCOUNTS BY DEPOSIT OF UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF FUNDS IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES.

2. (A) WHEN THE DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN THE FIELD ARE STATIONED AT A DISTANCE FROM WASHINGTON OR THE EXIGENCIES OF THE PUBLIC BUSINESS SO REQUIRE UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF FUNDS MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO OTHER PROPER DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS UPON RELINQUISHING OFFICE, RECEIPTS THEREFOR BEING TAKEN SHOWING SEPARATELY THE AMOUNTS IN DEPOSITORY AND IN CASH. RECEIPTS SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE RECEIVING AND TRANSFERRING OFFICERS OR AGENTS AND CAREFULLY PRESERVED FOR POSSIBLE FUTURE USE IN THE AUDIT AND SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. (B) UPON CHANGE OF BOND, IF CLOSING OF ACCOUNTS CAN NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED AS PRESCRIBED IN PRECEDING PART OF THIS PARAGRAPH THE PROCEDURE SHOULD BE SUBSTANTIALLY AS PRESCRIBED FOR DISBURSING OFFICERS AND AGENTS STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

3. WHEN IT IS NOT PRACTICABLE FOR DISBURSING OFFICERS OR AGENTS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES TO FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED IN 1 OR 2 (A), IN CLOSING ACCOUNTS UNDER CHANGE OF BOND, THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST TWO DISINTERESTED PERSONS DESIGNATED TO VERIFY THE CASH ON HAND AND THE DEPOSITORY ACCOUNT, THE VERIFICATION OF THE FORMER TO BE MADE BY ACTUAL COUNT AND THAT OF THE LATTER BY USING THE LATEST AVAILABLE TREASURY OR BANK STATEMENT AS A BASIS. A CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE PREPARED, DATED AND SIGNED BY SUCH PERSONS SHOWING: (A) THE AMOUNT OF CASH ON HAND IN FOREIGN AND UNITED STATES MONEYS ITEMIZED AS TO (1) CASH, (2) CHECKS, AND (3) OTHER ITEMS, DESCRIBED IN DETAIL, HELD AS CASH. (B) THE VALUE OF FOREIGN CURRENCY IN UNITED STATES MONEY TOGETHER WITH THE EXCHANGE RATE ON THE DAY OF COUNT OR THE AVERAGE RATE FOR THE ACCOUNTING PERIOD INVOLVED. (C) THE AMOUNT OF THE DEPOSITORY BALANCE.

THE CERTIFICATE WILL BE FORWARDED WITH THE ACCOUNT UNDER THE OLD BOND AND THE DATE THEREOF MUST AGREE WITH THE CLOSING DATE OF THE OFFICER'S ACCOUNT UNDER SUCH BOND. THE BALANCE SO CERTIFIED WILL APPEAR IN THE ACCOUNT UNDER THE OLD BOND AS "TRANSFERRED TO ACCOUNT UNDER NEW BOND DATED ------- ----- PER CERTIFICATE HEREWITH" AND TAKEN UP IN THE NEW ACCOUNT AS "TRANSFERRED FROM ACCOUNT UNDER THE OLD BOND DATED ---------. ..END :