A-6147, NOVEMBER 25, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 478

A-6147: Nov 25, 1924

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PAYMENTS - DISCOUNTS VOUCHERS INVOLVING THE PAYMENT OF PUBLIC BILLS ON WHICH DISCOUNTS ARE OFFERED BUT NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED WITH A STATEMENT SHOWING THE REASON FOR FAILURE TO TAKE SUCH ADVANTAGE AND THAT THE FAILURE WAS NOT DUE TO INEXCUSABLE DELAY ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED. THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 6. WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER "THE DISBURSING OFFICER IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE AMOUNT OF THE DISCOUNT ALLOWED IF HE PAYS A PUBLIC BILL WHICH IS PREPARED BY THE SUPPLY OFFICER. THROUGH CAUSES WHICH ARE OR ARE NOT STATED. THE DISCOUNT PERIOD HAS LAPSED AND THE PUBLIC BILL IS DRAWN FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DEALER'S BILL AS RENDERED.'.

A-6147, NOVEMBER 25, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 478

PAYMENTS - DISCOUNTS VOUCHERS INVOLVING THE PAYMENT OF PUBLIC BILLS ON WHICH DISCOUNTS ARE OFFERED BUT NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED WITH A STATEMENT SHOWING THE REASON FOR FAILURE TO TAKE SUCH ADVANTAGE AND THAT THE FAILURE WAS NOT DUE TO INEXCUSABLE DELAY ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED. WHERE THE FACTS DO NOT SHOW THE FAILURE TO BE NOT DUE TO AN INEXCUSABLE DELAY ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED, THE VOUCHER, PROPERLY CERTIFIED, SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO PAYMENT, OR FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO LIEUT. H. A. HOOTON, DISBURSING OFFICER, UNITED STATES NAVY, NOVEMBER 25, 1924:

BY REFERENCE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 4, 1924, THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 6, 1924, TRANSMITTING PUBLIC BILL NO. 763, IN FAVOR OF MINNEAPOLIS GENERAL ELECTRIC CO., MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., IN THE SUM OF $15.90, WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER "THE DISBURSING OFFICER IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE AMOUNT OF THE DISCOUNT ALLOWED IF HE PAYS A PUBLIC BILL WHICH IS PREPARED BY THE SUPPLY OFFICER, AND THROUGH CAUSES WHICH ARE OR ARE NOT STATED, THE DISCOUNT PERIOD HAS LAPSED AND THE PUBLIC BILL IS DRAWN FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DEALER'S BILL AS RENDERED.'

ATTACHED TO THE PUBLIC BILL SUBMITTED BY YOU IS THE COMPANY'S CERTIFIED BILL FOR ELECTRIC CURRENT FURNISHED UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE FORCE, 3009 CALHOUN BOULEVARD, FROM JUNE 10 TO JUNE 30, GROSS AMOUNT OF BILL $15.90, WITH ALLOWANCE OF 5 PERCENT DISCOUNT, MAKING NET AMOUNT $15.10 IF "PAID AT THE OFFICE OF THE COMPANY ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 2, 1924.' THE NUMBER OF DAYS COMPRISING THE DISCOUNT PERIOD IS NOT STATED. SAID BILL BEARS INDORSEMENT OF T. H. JONES, LIEUT. R.F. 2, COMDG., AS RECEIVED, INSPECTED, AND PASSED, AND THAT PRICES ARE CORRECT. THERE IS NO INDICATION OF THE DATE ON WHICH THE BILL WAS RENDERED BY THE COMPANY OR OF THE DATE ON WHICH IT WAS RECEIVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO WHICH IT WAS RENDERED.

THE PUBLIC BILL IS DATED NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT, GREAT LAKES, ILL., SEPTEMBER 2, 1924, IS FOR THE GROSS AMOUNT, $15.90, AND BEARS ON ITS FACE A NOTE BY J. F. KUTZ, COMDR., (SC) U.S.N., AS FOLLOWS:

NOTE: INSPECTION CALL NOT RECEIVED IN SUPPLY OFFICE UNTIL AUG. 28, 1924, TOO LATE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNT.

IT APPEARS ALSO THAT NO FORMAL CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO FOR THE SERVICE RENDERED BY THE COMPANY.

VOUCHERS ON WHICH DISCOUNTS ARE OFFERED AND NOT TAKEN SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED WITH A STATEMENT OF THE FACTS ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH ADVANTAGE OF THE DISCOUNT WAS NOT OBTAINED. SEE 14 COMP. DEC. 1. ACCOUNTABLE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHOULD EXERCISE DUE DILIGENCE IN SECURING TO THE UNITED STATES THE BENEFIT OF CASH DISCOUNTS OFFERED FOR THE PROMPT PAYMENT OF BILLS. FROM THE STATEMENT HEREINBEFORE QUOTED FROM THE PUBLIC BILL IT DOES NOT CLEARLY APPEAR THAT SOME ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED IS NOT CHARGEABLE WITH INEXCUSABLE DELAY IN THE MATTER OF INITIATING PROMPTLY THE REQUIRED PROCEDURE FOR PAYMENT OF THE BILL.

HEREAFTER IN ORDER TO INSURE, IN DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS, THE PASSING OF CREDIT FOR AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT PAID ON VOUCHERS ON WHICH DISCOUNTS ARE OFFERED AND NOT TAKEN, THE ACCOMPANYING STATEMENT OF FACTS RELATIVE TO THE FAILURE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISCOUNT SHOULD SHOW CLEARLY THAT SUCH FAILURE WAS NOT DUE TO INEXCUSABLE DELAY ON THE PART OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED. WHERE THE FACTS DO NOT SHOW THAT FAILURE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO INEXCUSABLE DELAY ON THE PART OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED, THE VOUCHER PROPERLY CERTIFIED (SEE 25 COMP. DEC. 653) SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE WITH REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO PAYMENT, OR BE REFERRED FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.