A-7600, JULY 28, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 63

A-7600: Jul 28, 1925

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LIABILITY - TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTS A DISBURSING OFFICER MAKING UP TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY FAILURE TO STATE ON THE ACCOUNT ANY AND ALL FACTS AND FOR THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS STATED. WHILE THE DISBURSING OFFICER TAKING UP AND MAKING PAYMENT ON SUCH TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEGAL SUFFICIENCY OF THE FACTS STATED. A DISBURSING OFFICER WHO SHOWS ON A TRANSFER ACCOUNT THAT CREDIT IS ALLOWED FOR RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER OF A NAVAL OFFICER. IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CREDIT WHEN THE NAVAL OFFICER FAILS TO ESTABLISH DEPENDENCY. SUCH RESPONSIBILITY IS THAT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER TAKING UP AND MAKING PAYMENTS IN THE TRANSFER OFFICER RECEIVING SUCH PAYMENTS.

A-7600, JULY 28, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 63

DISBURSING OFFICERS, LIABILITY - TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTS A DISBURSING OFFICER MAKING UP TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY FAILURE TO STATE ON THE ACCOUNT ANY AND ALL FACTS AND FOR THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS STATED, WHILE THE DISBURSING OFFICER TAKING UP AND MAKING PAYMENT ON SUCH TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEGAL SUFFICIENCY OF THE FACTS STATED. A DISBURSING OFFICER WHO SHOWS ON A TRANSFER ACCOUNT THAT CREDIT IS ALLOWED FOR RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF A DEPENDENT MOTHER OF A NAVAL OFFICER, IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CREDIT WHEN THE NAVAL OFFICER FAILS TO ESTABLISH DEPENDENCY. SUCH RESPONSIBILITY IS THAT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER TAKING UP AND MAKING PAYMENTS IN THE TRANSFER OFFICER RECEIVING SUCH PAYMENTS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 28, 1925:

GEORGE F. YORAN, LIEUTENANT, SUPPLY CORPS, UNITED STATES NAVY, REQUESTED DECEMBER 19, 1924, REVISION OF SETTLEMENT NO. M-10321-N, DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1924, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR $87.55 CREDITED ON TRANSFER ACCOUNT TO EDWARD E. HAZLETT, LIEUTENANT, UNITED STATES NAVY, UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 16, 1918, 40 STAT. 530, EXTENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 602, AS COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO APRIL 12, 1922, FOR AN ALLEGED DEPENDENT MOTHER AND $40 CREDITED IN TRANSFER ACCOUNT TO THOMAS A. PARFITT, ENSIGN, UNITED STATES NAVY, UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 627, AS RENTAL ALLOWANCE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 16 TO FEBRUARY 15, 1923, FOR AN ALLEGED DEPENDENT MOTHER. NEITHER OF THESE PAYMENTS WAS MADE BY CLAIMANT AND HE CONTENDS THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH THEM.

THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS OF EACH OF THESE OFFICERS WERE MADE UP BY CLAIMANT; UNDER "REMARKS," IN THE CASE OF PARFITT, IS APPENDED THE STATEMENT: "RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES CREDIT TO DATE. DEPENDENTS--- MOTHER," AND UNDER "REMARKS," IN THE CASE OF HAZLETT, WAS ALSO APPENDED A STATEMENT THAT "QTRS., HEAT, AND LIGHT CREDITED TO DATE.' THE LATTER OFFICER WAS TRANSFERRED FROM SUBMARINE R-8 TO SUBMARINE S-32 AND IT IS NOT ONLY A MATTER OF LAW BUT IS WELL KNOWN IN THE NAVY THAT OFFICERS WERE NOT ENTITLED TO COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT IN THEIR OWN RIGHT WHEN ON SEA DUTY. THE TWO CASES ARE THUS SIMILAR IN THAT THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS SHOWED ON THEIR FACE THE FACT THAT THE COMMUTATION IN THE ONE CASE AND THE RENTAL ALLOWANCE IN THE OTHER CASE WERE CREDITED ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS AND THE QUESTION FOR DECISION IS WHETHER THE DISBURSING OFFICER MAKING UP THE TRANSFER ACCOUNT IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE CREDITS WHEN THE OFFICERS RECEIVING THE CREDITS FAIL TO ESTABLISH THEIR RIGHT TO THEM.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT DISBURSING OFFICERS MAKING UP TRANSFER ACCOUNTS ARE CHARGEABLE WITH ANY ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER TAKING UP SUCH TRANSFER ACCOUNTS WHEN THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS RESULT FROM LACK OF INFORMATION ON THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS; THAT IS, WHERE THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS FAIL TO SHOW ALLOTMENTS WHICH THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN HAD MADE OR WHERE THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS STATE CREDIT INSTEAD OF DEBIT BALANCES. AS BETWEEN THE TWO DISBURSING OFFICERS, THE ONE TAKING UP THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECT APPLICATION OF THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO THE STATEMENT AND SUFFICIENCY OF THE FACTS CONTAINED ON THE TRANSFER VOUCHERS WHILE THE ONE PREPARING THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF THE FACTS STATED IN SUCH ACCOUNTS. SEE 25 COMP. DEC. 437; 3 COMP. GEN. 441.

THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS SHOW ON THEIR FACE A CREDIT FOR ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS. THE STATING THE CREDITS IS NOT CONCLUSIVE UPON THE OFFICER TAKING UP THE ACCOUNTS AND DOES NOT RELIEVE HIM FROM DETERMINING THEIR LEGALITY OR THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE FACTS FROM WHICH THE LEGALITY MAY BE DETERMINED, AND IN CASE OF DOUBT MAKING SUBMISSION TO THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION IN ADVANCE OF PAYMENT. THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IS UPON THE OFFICER HAVING THE MATTER BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT AND NO FACTS APPEARING TO PLACE RESPONSIBILITY UPON THE OFFICER MAKING UP THE TRANSFER ACCOUNTS, THE DEBITING THE PAYMENTS AGAINST SUCH OFFICER IS NOT REQUIRED AND HIS ACCOUNTS WILL BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.