Veterans Affairs--Liability of Alexander Tripp
B-304233: Aug 8, 2005
The position of designated certifying officer carries with it personal financial liability for improperly certified payments. GAO has statutory authority to relieve a certifying officer from liability. 31 U.S.C. 3528(b)(1). A Department of Veterans Affairs director, who acted as an approving official, is not a designated certifying officer and is therefore not personally financially liable for the improper certification of appropriated funds. The Department of Veterans Affairs should recover the improper payment from the payee, if possible, or from the certifying officer who actually certified the payment.