B-175642, MAY 10, 1972

B-175642: May 10, 1972

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DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE LIMITED TO QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN SPECIFIC VOUCHERS SUBMITTED TO THE COMP. NO FURTHER ACTION WILL BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO THIS SUBMISSION. SMITH: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22. IT APPEARS THAT THE VOUCHER WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY MR. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PAID. YOU STATE THAT THE PROPRIETY OF THIS PAYMENT IS NOW BEING CHALLENGED IN AN AUDIT BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. OUR PRACTICE OF RENDERING DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS NORMALLY LIMITED TO QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN SPECIFIC VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION AND WHICH ARE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE IN ADVANCE OF CERTIFICATION.

B-175642, MAY 10, 1972

GENERAL GOVERNMENT - CERTIFICATION - PROPRIETY OF GAO CONSIDERATION CONCERNING WHETHER A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HEDRICK'S 4-U MOTEL FOR FURNISHING MEALS TO A STUDENT PROGRAM SPONSORED BY THE FOREST SERVICE MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. IN GENERAL, DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE LIMITED TO QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN SPECIFIC VOUCHERS SUBMITTED TO THE COMP. GEN. IN ADVANCE OF CERTIFICATION. 26 COMP. GEN. 797 (1947). ACCORDINGLY, NO FURTHER ACTION WILL BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO THIS SUBMISSION.

TO MR. CURTIS L. SMITH:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22, 1972, WITH WHICH YOU ENCLOSED COPIES OF A VOUCHER AND DISBURSEMENT AUTHORIZATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $169.50 IN FAVOR OF HEDRICK'S 4-U MOTEL, MOUTH OF SENECA, WEST VIRGINIA, FOR FURNISHING MEALS TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN A "TEACH-IN" SPONSORED BY THE FOREST SERVICE IN APRIL OF 1970. IT APPEARS THAT THE VOUCHER WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY MR. R. J. HUMPHREYS, A UNIT CERTIFYING OFFICER, ON MAY 5, 1970, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PAID. YOU STATE THAT THE PROPRIETY OF THIS PAYMENT IS NOW BEING CHALLENGED IN AN AUDIT BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; AND REQUEST OUR APPROVAL OF THE PAYMENT.

OUR PRACTICE OF RENDERING DECISIONS TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS IS NORMALLY LIMITED TO QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN SPECIFIC VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION AND WHICH ARE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE IN ADVANCE OF CERTIFICATION. SEE 31 U.S.C. 82D; 26 COMP. GEN. 797 (1947). SINCE NEITHER OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IS PRESENT WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SUBMISSION, AND SINCE THE MATTER IS CURRENTLY UNDER INTERNAL REVIEW, IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR US TO RENDER A DECISION AT THIS TIME. IN THE PRESENT CASE, OUR DECISION COULD PROPERLY BE OBTAINED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF A SUBMISSION BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE PURSUANT TO 31 U.S.C. 74, OR BY THE ORIGINAL CERTIFYING OFFICER IN THE EVENT THAT AN EXCEPTION IS TAKEN TO HIS ACCOUNTS, SEE 1 GAO 11.1. OF COURSE, WHEN AND IF A VOUCHER FOR A SIMILAR PAYMENT IS BEFORE YOU FOR CERTIFICATION, YOU COULD REQUEST A DECISION ON SUCH PROPOSED PAYMENT.

FOR THE REASONS STATED HEREIN, NO FURTHER ACTION WILL BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SUBMISSION OF MARCH 22.