Appropriations Accounting for Imprest Fund Advances Issued to Cashiers

B-240238: May 8, 1991

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requested a decision regarding whether it: (1) incurred obligations in fiscal year 1985 when it first advanced funds to establish cashiers' balances for VA imprest funds; and (2) complied with applicable statutory requirements when it restored expired budget authority from a merged surplus account to an M account in 1989. VA advised that it failed to record the required obligations and that recording the obligations for 1985 would have over-obligated its 1985 medical care appropriation. GAO held that VA: (1) was not required to record imprest fund advances made in 1985 as obligations, since obligations only occurred as cashiers used the funds and obtained reimbursements from available appropriations; and (2) improperly recorded its cashier advances as a charge against the M account. Accordingly, VA: (1) was not required to record advances made in 1985 as obligations; (2) should reverse the charge against its M account to reflect the imprest funds advanced to cashiers; and (3) should resume its past practice of recording reservations against its current appropriations for advances made to cashiers each year.

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