B-132072, JUN. 13, 1957

B-132072: Jun 13, 1957

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ARE AS FOLLOWS: "THAT * * * THE AMOUNTS OF * * * CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES * * * WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PAID PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR NEXT FOLLOWING THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE CHECKS WERE ISSUED. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TAKE SUCH ACTION AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO TRANSFER AT APPROPRIATE INTERVALS FROM THE FOREGOING SPECIAL-DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS TO THE APPROPRIATE RECEIPT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY ANY AMOUNTS NOT REQUIRED TO EFFECT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT AND WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY DEEM NECESSARY OR PROPER FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'.

B-132072, JUN. 13, 1957

TO HONORABLE ROBERT E. MCLAUGHLIN, PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 22, 1957, REFERS TO OUR CIRCULAR LETTER DATED MARCH 19, 1957, B-112924, TO THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF UNDELIVERABLE CHECKS BEARING ISSUING DATES ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30, 1955.

YOU DIRECT OUR ATTENTION TO CERTAIN PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 171, 61 STAT. 308, WHICH, IN PERTINENT PART, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT * * * THE AMOUNTS OF * * * CHECKS DRAWN ON THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES * * * WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PAID PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR NEXT FOLLOWING THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE CHECKS WERE ISSUED, SHALL BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE ACCOUNT OF THE DRAWER OR THE ACCOUNT THEN AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF TO A SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES.

"SEC. 3. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TAKE SUCH ACTION AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO TRANSFER AT APPROPRIATE INTERVALS FROM THE FOREGOING SPECIAL-DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS TO THE APPROPRIATE RECEIPT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY ANY AMOUNTS NOT REQUIRED TO EFFECT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT AND WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY DEEM NECESSARY OR PROPER FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 QUOTED ABOVE AUTHORIZE AMOUNTS IN THE SO- CALLED SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WHICH WILL NOT BE REQUIRED FOR PAYMENT OF CHECK CLAIMS TO BE TRANSFERRED AT INTERVALS TO THE APPROPRIATE RECEIPT ACCOUNT ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY. YOU EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT THEREUNDER THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RATHER THAN THE UNITED STATES SHOULD RECEIVE CREDIT FOR UNCASHED CHECKS DRAWN BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS INVOLVING DISTRICT FUNDS. YOU REQUEST THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN SO THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MAY RECEIVE CREDIT AT APPROPRIATE INTERVALS FOR THE AMOUNTS OF CHECKS WHICH ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PAY OUTSTANDING CHECKS OF SUCH DISBURSING OFFICERS. TO ACCOMPLISH THIS YOU SUGGEST THAT A SEPARATE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT BE SET UP FOR CHECKS DRAWN BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, INVOLVING DISTRICT FUNDS AND ALSO THAT A DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT BE ESTABLISHED TO RECEIVE AMOUNTS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CHECKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3 QUOTED ABOVE.

OUR OFFICE RECOGNIZES THAT THE EFFECT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE QUOTED LAW AND PROCEDURES THEREUNDER ULTIMATELY RESULT IN THE CREDIT TO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY OF THE AMOUNT OF CHECKS DRAWN AGAINST DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS WHICH ARE OUTSTANDING AND AGAINST WHICH NO CLAIM WILL BE MADE. HOWEVER, PUBLIC LAW 171 CONCERNS GOVERNMENT CHECKS GENERALLY AND SENATE REPORT NO. 241, 80TH CONGRESS, ON THE BILL WHICH BECAME SUCH LAW SHOWS CLEARLY THAT THE AMOUNTS SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WERE TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY. THUS, ON PAGE 2 OF THAT REPORT, IT IS STATED THAT THE SUMS TRANSFERRED TO THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WERE TO REMAIN PERMANENTLY AVAILABLE "WITH THE PROVISION THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY AT ANY TIME TRANSFER TO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY ANY AMOUNTS WHICH ARE FOUND TO BE SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE FUND.' THE PRACTICE UNDER THE ACT HAS UNIFORMLY BEEN TO COVER SUCH SURPLUS AMOUNTS TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS OF THE TREASURY. IN THE LIGHT OF THE LEGISLATIVE REPORTS THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW ARE EXPLICIT IN THEIR COVERAGE AND MEANING AND NO PROVISION IS INCLUDED THEREIN FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SEPARATE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OR A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT ACCOUNT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS IS RECOMMENDED. ACCORDINGLY, NO ACTION MAY BE TAKEN AS SUGGESTED IN THIS REGARD UNDER THE PRESENT LAW.

HOWEVER, YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO S. 1799, 85TH CONGRESS, WHICH BILL WOULD AMEND THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1947, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY TO THE LANGUAGE PROPOSED TO BE SUBMITTED BY YOU TO THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES SENATE, WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR LETTER OF MAY 16, 1957, B-45879, TO YOU. THE PROVISION SUGGESTED BY YOU IF ADOPTED WOULD PERMIT THE TRANSFER OF AMOUNTS NOT REQUIRED FOR PAYMENT OF OUTSTANDING CHECKS ISSUED BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS DISBURSING DISTRICT FUNDS, TO THE GENERAL REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. OUR LETTER TO YOU, WE INDICATED WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT PROVIDED THAT AS TO UNPAID CHECKS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF S. 1799 THE RECORD CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE AMENDMENT SHALL APPLY ONLY TO UNDELIVERED CHECKS.