B-229808, Jan 4, 1988, Office of General Counsel

B-229808: Jan 4, 1988

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APPROPRIATIONS/FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT - Accountable Officers - Disbursing Officers - Relief - Illegal/Improper Payments - Substitute Checks DIGEST: Relief is granted Army disbursing official under 31 U.S.C. Proper procedures were followed in the issuance of the recertified check. There was no indication of bad faith on the part of the disbursing official and adequate collection actions were taken. For the reasons stated below relief is granted. Both checks were in the same amount. The recertified check was issued on the basis of the Company's written allegation that it had not receive the original check and its promise to return the original check if both checks were received. Both checks were issue.

B-229808, Jan 4, 1988, Office of General Counsel

APPROPRIATIONS/FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT - Accountable Officers - Disbursing Officers - Relief - Illegal/Improper Payments - Substitute Checks DIGEST: Relief is granted Army disbursing official under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527 (c) from liability for improper payment resulting from payee's negotiation of both original and recertified checks. Proper procedures were followed in the issuance of the recertified check, there was no indication of bad faith on the part of the disbursing official and adequate collection actions were taken.

General Hall:

This responds to your request of December 7, 1987, that we relieve Lt Col. T. F. Conrad, Finance Corps, DSSN 5062, Finance and Accounting Officer, Fort George Meade, Fort George Meade, Maryland under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527 (c), for an improper payment of a $54,985.95 check payable to Shalimar Maintenance Company, Incorporated. For the reasons stated below relief is granted.

The loss resulted when the payee negotiated both the original and a recertified check. Both checks were in the same amount. The recertified check was issued on the basis of the Company's written allegation that it had not receive the original check and its promise to return the original check if both checks were received. Both checks were issue, by the Army under authority delegated by the Department of Treasury. 31 C.F.R. Sec. 245.8 and Treasury Fiscal Requirements Manual for Guidance of Departments and Agencies, Bulletin No. 83-28.

It appears that the issuance of a recertified check in this case was within the bounds of due care. See, B-223503, August 18, 1986. There was no indication of bad faith on the part of the disbursing officer and adequate collection actions were taken by the finance office prior to the filing of bankruptcy by the Shalimar Maintenance Company, Incorporated. Accordingly, we grant relief.