B-24233, MARCH 5, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 841

B-24233: Mar 5, 1942

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" AFTER IT HAS BEEN CERTIFIED BY A DULY AUTHORIZED OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS UPON WHICH THE VOUCHER IS BASED AND AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT. IS NOT A CERTIFYING OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2. AS FOLLOWS: CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF G. A SPECIFIC INSTANCE IS THAT OF NOTICE OF EXCEPTION DATED DECEMBER 12. THE ABOVE PAYMENT WAS MADE ON PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT OF DEATH BENEFITS. WHO SIGNED THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE: " I CERTIFY THAT THE FACTS AND THE ACCOUNT STATED ABOVE ARE FROM THE RECORDS AND FILES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION. ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.

B-24233, MARCH 5, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 841

BONDS - CERTIFYING OFFICERS - STATUS OF "APPROVING" OFFICER AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO, MERELY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL PURPOSES, APPROVES A VOUCHER AS THE " AUTHORIZED APPROVING OFFICER," AFTER IT HAS BEEN CERTIFIED BY A DULY AUTHORIZED OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS UPON WHICH THE VOUCHER IS BASED AND AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT, IS NOT A CERTIFYING OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, REQUIRING CERTIFYING OFFICERS TO BE BONDED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, MARCH 5, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 894150, WHICH NAME AS CERTIFYING OFFICER RUTH B. ROWE, WHOSE SIGNATURE APPEARS ON THE VOUCHERS ABOVE THE CAPTION " AUTHORIZED APPROVING OFFICER.' A SPECIFIC INSTANCE IS THAT OF NOTICE OF EXCEPTION DATED DECEMBER 12, 1941, IN THE APRIL 1941 ACCOUNT OF G. F. ALLEN, VOUCHER NO. 1782539, PAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $63.15 TO NETTIE LORETTA GLOVER, CASE OF LEO CARSON GLOVER, XC-2,590,215,N-55,205.

THE ABOVE PAYMENT WAS MADE ON PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT OF DEATH BENEFITS, NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1940, INSURANCE FORM 362. THIS VOUCHER BEARS THE SIGNATURE OF G. B. DAY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIFE INSURANCE CLAIMS DIVISION, WHO SIGNED THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE:

" I CERTIFY THAT THE FACTS AND THE ACCOUNT STATED ABOVE ARE FROM THE RECORDS AND FILES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, AND ARE TRUE AND CORRECT; THAT THE PAYEE NAMED IS THE BENEFICIARY WHO IS ENTITLED TO THE SHARE AND THE AMOUNT STATED HEREON, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE DESCRIBED POLICY OF INSURANCE; AND THAT THE SAID POLICY WAS ISSUED AND IS NOW IN FORCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-NAMED ACT.'

THE EMPLOYEE WHO SIGNED THE ABOVE CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN DELEGATED AUTHORITY TO RENDER FINAL DECISIONS ON QUESTIONS OF FACT AND LAW RELATING TO SUCH CLAIMS AND TO DETERMINE THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE PAYEE TO THE BENEFIT CLAIMED.

THE SIGNATURE OF RUTH B. ROWE, AUTHORIZED APPROVING OFFICER, APPEARS ON THE VOUCHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL. THE EMPLOYEE WHO SIGNS IN THIS CAPACITY HAS NO AUTHORITY TO CHANGE THE FINDINGS OF THE CERTIFYING OFFICER OR TO INQUIRE INTO THEM OTHER THAN TO CALL TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CERTIFYING OFFICER OR A SUPERIOR OFFICER ANY DISCREPANCY WHICH MIGHT BE DETECTED AT THE TIME THE VOUCHER IS ADMINISTRATIVELY EXAMINED FOR CONTROL PURPOSES.

THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION USES VARIOUS OTHER VOUCHER FORMS WHICH ARE SIGNED BY TWO OR MORE EMPLOYEES. PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR BURIAL, FUNERAL AND TRANSPORTATION OF BODY OF DECEASED VETERAN, FORM P-93 CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE TO BE SIGNED BY A REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS AUTHORIZER:

" I, THE UNDERSIGNED, AN OFFICER OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION DULY AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 OF PUBLIC ACT, NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS, TO MAKE DECISIONS OF QUESTIONS OF FACT AND LAW AFFECTING ANY CLAIMANT TO THE BENEFITS OF SECTION 17 OF TITLE I OF PUBLIC ACT, NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS, AS AMENDED, DO HEREBY CONSTITUTE IN PURSUANCE OF SUCH AUTHORITY THE FOREGOING STATEMENTS AS MY DECISIONS OF FACT AND LAW.'

VOUCHER FOR PER DIEM AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL, STANDARD FORM NO. 1012 CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE TO BE SIGNED BY THE HEADS OF SERVICES OR OTHER OFFICIALS HAVING SUPERVISION OVER THE TRAVELERS:

" I CERTIFY THAT THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, DOMICILE, OR RESIDENCE OF THE CLAIMANT IS AS STATED ABOVE; THAT THE TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED FROM AND TO THE POINTS STATED IN THE ACCOUNT, AND FOR THE PERIOD AND AT THE SUBSISTENCE RATE OR RATES CLAIMED, AS SHOWN BY THE AUTHORITY ON FILE, OR (IF SUCH AUTHORITY WAS NOT ISSUED IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL) AS SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED AND APPROVED HEREON AS REQUIRED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; THAT THE WITHIN ITEMIZED STATEMENT INCLUDING CLAIMANT'S STATEMENT OF TRAVEL PERFORMED UPON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS HAS BEEN EXAMINED AND IS CERTIFIED CORRECT, EXCEPT AS NOTED; AND THAT THE AMOUNTS THEREIN CLAIMED ARE JUST AND REASONABLE, EXCEPT AS NOTED.'

PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR PURCHASES AND SERVICES OTHER THAN PERSONAL, STANDARD FORM NO. 1034 CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE TO BE SIGNED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN THE UNIT OF ORGANIZATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRANSACTION:

"PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME, I CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE ARTICLES WERE RECEIVED IN GOOD CONDITION, AFTER DUE INSPECTION, ACCEPTANCE, AND DELIVERY PRIOR TO PAYMENT AS REQUIRED BY LAW, OR THE SERVICES WERE PERFORMED AS STATED; THAT THEY WERE PROCURED UNDER THE CONTRACT NUMBERED ABOVE OR THE UNNUMBERED CONTRACT ATTACHED HERETO, OR THAT THEY WERE PROCURED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONTRACT, IN OPEN MARKET, AND WITH OR WITHOUT ADVERTISING, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED IN NO. -- OF " METHOD OF OR ABSENCE OF ADVERTISING" SHOWN ON REVERSE HEREOF, AND WERE NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE; AND THAT THE PRICES CHARGED ARE JUST AND REASONABLE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REEMENT.'

ON THESE VOUCHERS THE CERTIFICATES QUOTED ARE SIGNED BY EMPLOYEES WHO, BY REASON OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, ARE IN POSSESSION OF ALL THE FACTS FROM WHICH THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT MAY BE DETERMINED. THE SIGNATURE OF THE EMPLOYEE WHO SIGNS AS AUTHORIZED APPROVING OFFICER OR WHO SIGNS OVER HIS TYPEWRITTEN TITLE IS PLACED ON THE VOUCHER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL PURPOSES ONLY.

PUBLIC LAW NUMBERED 389, 77TH CONGRESS, APPROVED DECEMBER 29, 1941, REQUIRES THE BONDING OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHO CERTIFY VOUCHERS TO THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT FOR PAYMENT. THE PURPOSE OF HAVING CERTAIN TYPES OF VOUCHERS APPROVED AFTER THE CERTIFICATION WAS EXECUTED WAS NOT WITH ANY OBJECT OF HAVING THE EMPLOYEE SO SIGNING REVIEW THE FINDINGS OF THE CERTIFYING OFFICIAL BUT RATHER TO INSURE THAT THE VOUCHER, ACCORDING TO GOVERNING ACCOUNTING REGULATIONS, WAS IN PROPER FORM AND THAT THE NECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE ACCOUNTING RECORD HAD BEEN MADE. IN ORDER TO ENABLE THIS ADMINISTRATION TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU ADVISE WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE EMPLOYEES WHOSE SIGNATURES APPEAR ON THE TYPES OF VOUCHERS DESCRIBED ABOVE AS APPROVING EMPLOYEES ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS CERTIFYING OFFICERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS ACT, RATHER THAN THOSE VESTED WITH THE FINAL AUTHORITY TO MAKE THE FINDING OF FACT.

SINCE CERTIFYING OFFICERS MUST BE BONDED EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1942, AND SINCE RECORDS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT NOT LATER THAN MARCH 15, 1942, PURSUANT TO TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 680, DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1942, IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER WILL BE APPRECIATED.

UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 389, 55 STAT. 875, DISBURSEMENTS ARE TO BE MADE UPON VOUCHERS CERTIFIED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR BY DULY AUTHORIZED OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES THEREOF. THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO CERTIFIES SUCH A VOUCHER IS REQUIRED TO GIVE BOND AND TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXISTENCE AND CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS RECITED IN THE CERTIFICATE OR OTHERWISE STATED ON THE VOUCHER OR ITS SUPPORTING PAPERS AND FOR THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT UNDER THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND INVOLVED. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM WHAT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, THAT THE " AUTHORIZED APPROVING OFFICER," OR EMPLOYEE WHO APPROVES VOUCHERS IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED, AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN DULY CERTIFIED BY ANOTHER AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE, DOES SO FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL PURPOSES, ONLY, AND THAT SUCH APPROVAL DOES NOT RELATE TO THE LEGALITY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT, THE EXISTENCE AND CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS RECITED IN THE CERTIFICATE, ETC. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH APPROVING OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS CERTIFYING OFFICERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, SUPRA, OR REQUIRED TO BE BONDED PURSUANT THERETO.