B-38730, JANUARY 5, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 491

B-38730: Jan 5, 1944

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PROVIDING THAT ANY PERSON RENDERING AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONTAINING REIMBURSEMENT ITEMS MUST CERTIFY THAT THE ACCOUNT IS JUST AND TRUE. THE ONLY "PERSON" WHO LEGALLY MAY CERTIFY TO ITEMS OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS THE EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMED THE TRAVEL. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30. AS FOLLOWS: THERE ARE TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION BUREAU VOUCHERS NOS. 2049 AND 2050 IN FAVOR OF FREDERICK G. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND CERTIFIED. IS NOW SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES. SHALL HAVE THE POWER AND AUTHORITY " TO EXECUTE VOUCHERS IN MY BEHALF FOR ANY AND ALL ALLOWANCES AND REIMBURSEMENTS PROPERLY PAYABLE TO ME BY THE UNITED STATES.'.

B-38730, JANUARY 5, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 491

TRAVELING EXPENSES - VOUCHER CERTIFICATION BY ATTORNEY IN FACT UNDER PARAGRAPH 92 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING THAT ANY PERSON RENDERING AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONTAINING REIMBURSEMENT ITEMS MUST CERTIFY THAT THE ACCOUNT IS JUST AND TRUE, THE ONLY "PERSON" WHO LEGALLY MAY CERTIFY TO ITEMS OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS THE EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMED THE TRAVEL, AND, THEREFORE, THE CERTIFICATION OF SUCH A VOUCHER BY AN ATTORNEY IN FACT WHO HAS NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS RELATIVE TO THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WOULD BE OF NO FORCE AND EFFECT. 22 COMP. GEN. 258, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO C. E. FRYE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, JANUARY 5, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE ARE TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION BUREAU VOUCHERS NOS. 2049 AND 2050 IN FAVOR OF FREDERICK G. KRAFT, JR., FORMERLY EMPLOYED BY THIS SERVICE, COVERING PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1 TO 31, 1942, AND JANUARY 1 TO 31, 1943, IN THE AMOUNTS OF $95.20 AND $88.40, RESPECTIVELY.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND CERTIFIED, AS JUST AND TRUE IN ALL RESPECTS BY THE TRAVELER'S FATHER, FREDERICK G. KRAFT, APPOINTED LAWFUL ATTORNEY OF SAID FREDERICK G. KRAFT, JR. MR. KRAFT, JR. IS NOW SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES, HAVING ENTERED THE ARMY ON FEBRUARY 5, 1943. THE ENCLOSED PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF POWER OF ATTORNEY APPOINTING FREDERICK G. KRAFT, PROVIDES THAT HE AMONG OTHER THINGS, SHALL HAVE THE POWER AND AUTHORITY " TO EXECUTE VOUCHERS IN MY BEHALF FOR ANY AND ALL ALLOWANCES AND REIMBURSEMENTS PROPERLY PAYABLE TO ME BY THE UNITED STATES.'

IN VIEW OF 22 COMPTROLLER GENERAL 258 AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN IT IS REQUESTED THAT I BE ADVISED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHERS MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED AND FORWARDED TO THE CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR PAYMENT.

PARAGRAPH 92 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. 401, DATED OCTOBER 8, 1942, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

92. CERTIFICATION OF ACCOUNTS.--- ANY PERSON RENDERING AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONTAINING REIMBURSEMENT ITEMS MUST CERTIFY THAT THE ACCOUNT IS JUST AND TRUE IN ALL RESPECTS AND THAT THE PENALTIES FOR PRESENTING A FALSE CLAIM ARE KNOWN TO HIM.

IT IS OBVIOUS FROM THE REGULATION JUST QUOTED--- WHICH HAS THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW--- THAT THE ONLY "PERSON" WHO LEGALLY MAY CERTIFY TO ITEMS OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS THE EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMED THE TRAVEL. THE CERTIFICATION (TO A VOUCHER OR TRAVELING EXPENSE ACCOUNT) OF AN ATTORNEY IN FACT WHO HAS NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS RELATIVE TO THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WOULD BE OF NO FORCE AND EFFECT. THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 258, TO WHICH YOU REFER, AND THE UNPUBLISHED DECISION THEREIN CITED, RECOGNIZING A POWER OF ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAKING OF CERTAIN CLASSES OF CLAIMS OF ARMY OFFICERS STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, HAVE NO APPLICATION HERE BECAUSE, ASIDE FROM APPLICABLE MILITARY LAWS, THE FACTS THERE CERTIFIED WERE WITHIN THE PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ATTORNEY IN FACT, WHICH IS NOT THE SITUATION HERE.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE CONSIDERATION, THE VOUCHERS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER, WHICH HAVE BEEN EXECUTED BY THE FATHER AND ATTORNEY IN FACT OF THE CLAIMANT, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS CONSTITUTING A VALID BASIS FOR A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHERS MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.