B-120441, B-119861, JANUARY 21, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 342

B-119861,B-120441: Jan 21, 1955

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CHECKS - FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES - EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT WHERE PAYMENT IS MADE BY CHECK ON A FOREIGN DEPOSITARY IN A COUNTRY WHICH REQUIRES THE RETENTION OF THE CHECKS AND THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE CANNOT BE OBTAINED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL ACCEPT AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT PERIODIC STATEMENTS FROM THE FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES LISTING THE CHECKS BY NUMBER AND AMOUNT. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 8. RELATIVE TO THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN SUPPORT OF PAYMENTS MADE BY CHECKS DRAWN ON FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES IN CASES WHERE THE DEPOSITARIES ARE REQUIRED BY LOCAL LAW TO RETAIN THE PAID CHECKS. THE MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF DECISION OF DECEMBER 28. IT WAS HELD THAT IN COUNTRIES WHERE PAID CHECKS DRAWN ON FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES MAY NOT BE FORWARDED WITH STATEMENTS OF THE PAYING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS.

B-120441, B-119861, JANUARY 21, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 342

CHECKS - FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES - EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT WHERE PAYMENT IS MADE BY CHECK ON A FOREIGN DEPOSITARY IN A COUNTRY WHICH REQUIRES THE RETENTION OF THE CHECKS AND THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE CANNOT BE OBTAINED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL ACCEPT AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT PERIODIC STATEMENTS FROM THE FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES LISTING THE CHECKS BY NUMBER AND AMOUNT, CERTIFIED BY AN OFFICER OF THE BANK AND BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER. B-79744, DECEMBER 28, 1948, AND B- 79744, SEPTEMBER 27, 1949, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL CAMPBELL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JANUARY 21, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1954, FROM EDWARD T. WAILES, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, RELATIVE TO THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN SUPPORT OF PAYMENTS MADE BY CHECKS DRAWN ON FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES IN CASES WHERE THE DEPOSITARIES ARE REQUIRED BY LOCAL LAW TO RETAIN THE PAID CHECKS.

THE MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF DECISION OF DECEMBER 28, 1948, B-79744, TO THE THEN SECRETARY OF STATE, AND OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 51, SUPPLEMENT NO. 10, DATED APRIL 20, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 735. IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 28, 1948, IT WAS HELD THAT IN COUNTRIES WHERE PAID CHECKS DRAWN ON FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES MAY NOT BE FORWARDED WITH STATEMENTS OF THE PAYING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS, THE VOUCHER SHOULD BEAR THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PAYMENT, IN ADDITION TO THE CHECK NUMBER, DATE OF PAYMENT, AMOUNT AND NAME OF THE DEPOSITARY INVOLVED. GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 51, SUPPLEMENT 10, PRESCRIBED A VOUCHER FORM ( STANDARD FORM NO. 1146) FOR USE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES ONLY AND PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT, IN INSTANCES WHERE PAYMENT IS MADE CHECK ON A DEPOSITARY LOCATED IN A COUNTRY THE LAWS OF WHICH REQUIRE TH RETENTION OF THE CHECKS, THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE SHOULD BE OBTAINED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER OR ON A MEMORANDUM COPY THEREOF. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 28, 1948, AND OF THE GENERAL REGULATIONS WERE MODIFIED BY OFFICE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1949, B-79744, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, SO AS TO PERMIT, IN PARTICULAR INSTANCES, THE ACCEPTANCE OF A STATEMENT FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER TO THE EFFECT THAT, DESPITE EFFORTS TO DO SO, THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE COULD NOT BE OBTAINED.

IT IS SUGGESTED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 8, THAT, IN ORDER TO ASSIST THE DEPARTMENT IN ITS EFFORTS TO CURTAIL THE COSTS OF MAKING PAYMENT, CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO A REVISION OF THE REGULATION SO AS TO PERMIT THE ACCEPTANCE OF A MONTHLY STATEMENT FROM THE LOCAL DEPOSITARY WHICH WOULD LIST THE CHECKS BY NUMBER AND AMOUNT AND WOULD BEAR A CERTIFICATE, OVER THE SIGNATURE OF AN OFFICER OF THE BANK AS FOLLOWS:

I CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT LIST OF ALL CHECKS PAID BY THIS BANK AND CHARGED TO THE ACCOUNT SHOWN IN THE HEADING HEREOF DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THIS STATEMENT AND THAT THE ORIGINALS OF SUCH CHECKS ARE ON FILE IN THIS BANK AND ARE REQUIRED TO BE HELD FOR-- YEARS.

IT IS ALSO SUGGESTED THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICER MIGHT BE REQUIRED TO ADD A CERTIFICATE TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAS RECONCILED THE STATEMENT WITH HIS RECORDS AND HAS FOUND IT TO BE IN AGREEMENT THEREWITH.

THE MATTER HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THIS OFFICE AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND THAT DEPARTMENT HAS STATED THAT IN ANY QUESTIONABLE CASE IT WILL ARRANGE TO OBTAIN FROM THE DRAWEE BANK, IN COUNTRIES WHERE THE ORIGINAL PAID CHECK MAY NOT BE RETURNED, A PHOTOSTATIC OR PHOTOGRAPHIC COPY OF THE CHECK. IN VIEW OF SUCH ASSURANCE AND IN ORDER TO RELIEVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE EXPENSE AND DIFFICULTY INCIDENT TO OBTAINING RECEIPTS FROM THE PAYEES ACKNOWLEDGING PAYMENT, THERE IS APPROVED THE PROPOSAL THAT PERIODIC STATEMENTS LISTING THE PAID CHECKS BY NUMBER AND AMOUNT BE OBTAINED FROM THE FOREIGN DEPOSITARIES, TOGETHER WITH A CERTIFICATE SUCH AS IS SET FORTH ABOVE, AND THAT SUCH STATEMENT BE ACCEPTED AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT IN LIEU OF THE PAYEES' SIGNATURE. ALSO, AS SUGGESTED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER, THE DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD ADD A CERTIFICATE TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAS RECONCILED THE STATEMENT WITH HIS RECORDS AND FOUND IT TO BE IN AGREEMENT THEREWITH.