A-25001, NOVEMBER 8, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 249

A-25001: Nov 8, 1928

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MAY BE USED TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROCEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEY CHECKS DRAWN ON LOCAL DEPOSITORIES WHEN SAID CHECKS HAVE REMAINED OUTSTANDING AND UNPAID FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF IS TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE APPLICANT TO INCUR THE EXPENSES NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN OFFICE IN OBTAINING PAYMENT OF THE PROCEEDS THEREOF. 1928: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31. AS FOLLOWS: DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE ARE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 320 OF THE BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTING REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN OFFICE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEY CHECKS ON LOCAL DEPOSITORIES WHICH HAVE BEEN OUTSTANDING FOR TWO FISCAL YEARS. FOR WHICH DUPLICATE CHECKS HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED.

A-25001, NOVEMBER 8, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 249

ACCOUNTS - SPECIAL FUND - INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS THE SPECIAL FUND ESTABLISHED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY AND OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF NOVEMBER 28, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 355, MAY BE USED TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROCEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEY CHECKS DRAWN ON LOCAL DEPOSITORIES WHEN SAID CHECKS HAVE REMAINED OUTSTANDING AND UNPAID FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF IS TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE APPLICANT TO INCUR THE EXPENSES NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN OFFICE IN OBTAINING PAYMENT OF THE PROCEEDS THEREOF.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, NOVEMBER 8, 1928:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

DISBURSING AGENTS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE ARE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 320 OF THE BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTING REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN OFFICE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEY CHECKS ON LOCAL DEPOSITORIES WHICH HAVE BEEN OUTSTANDING FOR TWO FISCAL YEARS, FOR WHICH DUPLICATE CHECKS HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED, IN A SPECIAL FUND KNOWN AS "INDIVIDUAL MONEYS--- OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES.'

PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE BY THE REGULATIONS FOR MAKING PAYMENT TO THE HOLDER OF THE CHECK OR, IN CASE THE ORIGINAL CHECK HAS BECOME LOST OR DESTROYED, TO THE APPLICANT UPON PRESENTATION OF AN AFFIDAVIT FOR CHECKS NOT IN EXCESS OF $25.00 AND A BOND AND AFFIDAVIT FOR CHECKS ABOVE $25.00.

IT HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE OFFICE THAT PRACTICALLY ALL SCHOOLS AND AGENCIES ARE CARRYING ITEMS IN THIS ACCOUNT WHICH REPRESENT CHECKS ISSUED FOR SMALL AMOUNTS A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO. AS A RULE, THESE AMOUNTS ARE TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE APPLICANT IN GOING TO THE EXPENSE OF EXECUTING AN AFFIDAVIT AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THEY HAVE BEEN AND WILL BE CARRIED INDEFINITELY IN THE DISBURSING AGENTS' ACCOUNTS. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE CLERICAL WORK INVOLVED IN MAINTAINING RECORDS AND RENDERING AN ACCOUNT OF THESE ITEMS EVERY MONTH IS GREATLY OUT OF PROPORTION TO THEIR IMPORTANCE OR VALUE.

BY A DECISION OF YOUR OFFICE, DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1927, A-20508, THE DEPARTMENT WAS AUTHORIZED TO DEPOSIT FUNDS OF FORMER PUPILS WHO HAD LEFT SCHOOL AND WHOSE WHEREABOUTS WERE UNKNOWN, WHERE THE BALANCES WERE LESS THAN $1.00, IN A SPECIAL FUND IN THE TREASURY DESIGNATED AS "UNCLAIMED INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS (SPECIAL FUND).' IN ORDER THAT DISBURSING AGENTS IN THE INDIAN SERVICE MAY BE RELIEVED OF THE NECESSITY OF CARRYING THESE ACCOUNTS INDEFINITELY, A RULING BY YOUR OFFICE IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT THE SAME OR A SIMILAR FUND AND DISPOSITION MAY BE USED FOR OUTSTANDING CHECKS IN SMALL AMOUNTS.

IT APPEARS THAT THE BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTING REGULATIONS OF THE INDIAN OFFICE PROVIDE (PARS. 320-328) WHAT STEPS SHALL BE TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEY CHECKS DRAWN ON LOCAL DEPOSITORIES WHICH HAVE REMAINED OUTSTANDING AND UNPAID FOR A PERIOD OF TWO FISCAL YEARS. STOPPAGE ORDER IS PLACED AGAINST THE ORIGINAL CHECK AND THE BANK ADVISED THAT IF PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT THE HOLDER THEREOF IS TO BE REFERRED TO THE INDIAN AUTHORITIES FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPER EVIDENCE AS TO IDENTIFICATION, ETC., BEFORE PAYMENT IS MADE BY A NEW CHECK, THE ORIGINAL BEING CANCELED AS OUTLAWED, AND THE NEW CHECK BEING PAYABLE FORM THE ACCOUNT INDIVIDUAL MONEYS, OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES, MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER, SUCH ACCOUNT BEING APPARENTLY CARRIED WITH THE SAME BANK. THE REGULATIONS ALSO MAKE PROVISIONS FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE ORIGINAL CHECK BY A DUPLICATE ONE WHEN THE ORIGINAL CHECK HAS BEEN LOST OR DESTROYED.

IN CASES WHERE, AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE CHECKS HAVE BEEN CARRIED IN THE OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES ACCOUNT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND THE AMOUNTS ARE TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE APPLICANT IN GOING TO THE EXPENSE OF EXECUTING THE AFFIDAVIT REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A DUPLICATE CHECK, IT WOULD APPEAR ADVISABLE IN ORDER TO AVOID THE CARRYING OF SUCH SMALL BALANCES IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING AGENTS THAT THE FUNDS BE PLACED IN THE TREASURY, TO BE HELD IN TRUST FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY CLAIM WHICH MAY BE PRESENTED FOR THE PROCEEDS OF THE SAME.

THE SPECIAL FUND ESTABLISHED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY AND OF THIS OFFICE UNDER THE TITLE ,UNCLAIMED INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS" PURSUANT TO DECISION OF NOVEMBER 28, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 355, WAS TO TAKE CARE OF SMALL BALANCES CARRIED BY SUPERINTENDENTS OF INDIAN AGENCIES AND SCHOOLS TO THE CREDIT OF INDIAN PUPILS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN AND WHOSE ACCOUNTS OF PRIVATE MONEYS HAVE BEEN INACTIVE FOR SEVERAL YEARS. NO REASON APPEARS WHY A SIMILAR PROCEDURE SHOULD NOT BE ADOPTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE FUNDS DEALT WITH IN YOUR LETTER AND THE SAME SPECIAL FUND USED FOR THE PURPOSE. THE TITLE OF SUCH FUND APPEARS TO BE BROAD ENOUGH TO INCLUDE FUNDS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, AND NO REASON IS APPARENT WHY A NEW SPECIAL FUND SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO TAKE CARE OF THE PRESENT MATTER.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PROCEDURE OUTLINED IN THE DECISION ABOVE CITED SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IN THE DISPOSITION OF THE FUNDS HERE INVOLVED.