B-21260, OCTOBER 25, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 364

B-21260: Oct 25, 1941

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THE ORIGINAL OF A TELEGRAPH MESSAGE WHICH SHOULD BE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR SUCH SERVICE IS THE "TRANSMISSION COPY. " THAT IS. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21. SUBMITTED FOR THE REASON THAT THE COPIES OF THE TELEGRAMS FILED IN SUPPORT OF THE VOUCHER ARE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE ORIGINALS. IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED ACCOUNTING PRACTICE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO REQUIRE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR TELEGRAPH SERVICE THE ORIGINALS OF THE MESSAGES TRANSMITTED. 22 COMP. THE BASIC REASON FOR THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE ORIGINAL BE FILED IS TO INSURE THAT THE CHARGES FOR TRANSMISSION WERE CORRECTLY COMPUTED FOR THE SERVICES ACTUALLY RENDERED AND TO PREVENT DUPLICATING PAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES.

B-21260, OCTOBER 25, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 364

TELEGRAMS - EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR PAYMENTS THE ORIGINALS OF TELEGRAPH MESSAGES TRANSMITTED SHOULD BE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR SUCH SERVICE. THE ORIGINAL OF A TELEGRAPH MESSAGE WHICH SHOULD BE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR SUCH SERVICE IS THE "TRANSMISSION COPY," THAT IS, THE COPY SHOWING THE COMPANY'S NOTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME FILED, THE NUMBER OF WORDS PAID FOR, ETC., WHETHER SUCH COPY BE TYPEWRITTEN CARBON COPY, A "RIBBON" COPY, OR WHETHER IT BE WRITTEN IN LONG HAND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO LT. COL. H. M. DENNING, U.S. ARMY, OCTOBER 25, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1941, FORWARDING FOR "DIRECT SETTLEMENT," VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO., FOR $82.80, SUBMITTED FOR THE REASON THAT THE COPIES OF THE TELEGRAMS FILED IN SUPPORT OF THE VOUCHER ARE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE ORIGINALS. THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, IN FORWARDING YOUR LETTER, REQUESTED THAT IT BE CONSIDERED A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION.

IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED ACCOUNTING PRACTICE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO REQUIRE IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR TELEGRAPH SERVICE THE ORIGINALS OF THE MESSAGES TRANSMITTED. 22 COMP. DEC. 26; 4 COMP. GEN. 860; 14 ID. 825; A-71677, AUGUST 12, 1937. HOWEVER, CONFUSION FREQUENTLY ARISES AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ORIGINAL WITHIN THIS RULE. THE BASIC REASON FOR THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE ORIGINAL BE FILED IS TO INSURE THAT THE CHARGES FOR TRANSMISSION WERE CORRECTLY COMPUTED FOR THE SERVICES ACTUALLY RENDERED AND TO PREVENT DUPLICATING PAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES. THIS IS BEST ACCOMPLISHED BY ACCOMPANYING THE VOUCHER WITH THE COPIES OF THE TELEGRAMS USED FOR TRANSMISSION, SHOWING THEREON THE COMPANY NOTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME FILED, THE NUMBER OF WORDS PAID FOR, ETC., SUCH COPIES BEING COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS TRANSMISSION OR WIRE COPY. IT IS IMMATERIAL FOR AUDIT PURPOSES WHETHER THE TRANSMISSION OR WIRE COPIES BE WRITTEN IN LONG HAND OR CONSIST OF CARBON COPIES; ON THE OTHER HAND, A RIBBON COPY NOT SHOWING THE TRANSMISSION DATA WOULD BE OF LITTLE, IF ANY, USE IN AUDITING THE CHARGES.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRESENT MATTER AS THE COPIES OF THE MESSAGES ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER OF THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO., DATED AUGUST 21, 1941, IN THE AMOUNT OF $82.80, APPEAR TO BE THE TRANSMISSION OR WIRE COPIES, PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED WITH RELATED PAPERS, IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SOME OF THE COPIES ARE CARBON COPIES.