B-115761, JULY 10, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 20

B-115761: Jul 10, 1953

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1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 7. PAUL KORNFELD WAS PAID $13.50 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON A TRAVEL VOUCHER. BELIEVING THAT THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT WAS CORRECT. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT. THE PROPER PROCEDURE AFTER REFUND OF THE $9 TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR DR. KORNFELD TO HAVE SUBMITTED HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT DIRECT TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION. REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU OF THE FUNDS SO ADVANCED IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.

B-115761, JULY 10, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 20

VOLUNTARY PAYMENTS - GOVERNMENT REIMBURSEMENT LIABILITY A CERTIFYING OFFICER WHO, OUT OF HIS PERSONAL FUNDS, REIMBURSED A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AN AMOUNT DISALLOWED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON A TRAVEL VOUCHER MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED THE FUNDS ADVANCED TO THE EMPLOYEE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO CRAIG MOORE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, JULY 10, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 7, 1953, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENT TO YOURSELF IN THE SUM OF $9. IT APPEARS FROM ATTACHED PAPERS THAT DR. PAUL KORNFELD WAS PAID $13.50 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON A TRAVEL VOUCHER, TO $9 OF WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TOOK EXCEPTION. HE MADE REFUND OF THE $9 UPON DEMAND. BELIEVING THAT THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT WAS CORRECT, YOU REIMBURSED DR. KORNFELD THE $9 OUT OF YOUR PERSONAL FUNDS AND NOW SEEK PAYMENT THEREFOR.

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT, EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN PERSONAL SERVICES SUCH AS DULY AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES, PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLIC CREDITOR BY AN AUTHORIZED DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES OUT OF PUBLIC FUNDS AND THAT NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT CAN CREATE A VALID CLAIM IN HIS FAVOR BY PAYING OBLIGATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM HIS OWN FUNDS. SEE 24 COMP. DEC. 155, 2 COMP. GEN. 581, 7 ID. 104, 18 ID. 424, 425. EXCEPTION TO THE RULE HAS NOT BEEN RECOGNIZED EXCEPT IN CASES INVOLVING THE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST UNDER URGENT AND UNFORESEEN EMERGENCIES. THE PROPER PROCEDURE AFTER REFUND OF THE $9 TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR DR. KORNFELD TO HAVE SUBMITTED HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT DIRECT TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU OF THE FUNDS SO ADVANCED IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.