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ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS - RELIEF - ILLEGAL OR ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS - WITHOUT FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE DIGEST: AN ARMY CASHIER AND HER SUPERVISORY DISBURSING OFFICIAL ARE BOTH RELIEVED FROM LIABILITY FOR THE CASHING OF A CHECK DRAWN ON AN ACCOUNT WITH INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. THE CHECK WAS PART OF AN ELABORATE SCHEME OF CHECK FRAUD. THE EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THAT THE SUPERVISOR ESTABLISHED ADEQUATE PROCEDURES TO PROTECT AGAINST IMPROPER PAYMENTS AND THAT THE CASHIER FOLLOWED THOSE PROCEDURES. THE CHECK WAS LATER RETURNED FOR INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. HAVE PREVIOUSLY GRANTED RELIEF TO OTHER CASHIERS AND SUPERVISORY DISBURSING OFFICIALS WHO MADE IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO THIS SAME INDIVIDUAL. CONSEQUENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN NO OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE COLLECTION OF THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS.

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B-223285, AUG 28, 1986, OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL

ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS - RELIEF - ILLEGAL OR ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS - WITHOUT FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE DIGEST: AN ARMY CASHIER AND HER SUPERVISORY DISBURSING OFFICIAL ARE BOTH RELIEVED FROM LIABILITY FOR THE CASHING OF A CHECK DRAWN ON AN ACCOUNT WITH INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. THE CHECK WAS PART OF AN ELABORATE SCHEME OF CHECK FRAUD. THE EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THAT THE SUPERVISOR ESTABLISHED ADEQUATE PROCEDURES TO PROTECT AGAINST IMPROPER PAYMENTS AND THAT THE CASHIER FOLLOWED THOSE PROCEDURES.

MR. CLYDE E. JEFFCOAT:

PRINCIPAL DEPUTY COMMANDER

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

U.S. ARMY FINANCE & ACCOUNTING CENTER

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46299-0001

THIS REPLIES TO YOUR MAY 22, 1986, REQUEST THAT WE GRANT RELIEF TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL (FTC) D. J. BEYER, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING CENTER, EUROPE, SYMBOL NO. 6333, AND MRS. PETRA REIGLE, A CASHIER UNDER LTC BEYER'S SUPERVISION, FOR AN IMPROPER PAYMENT OF $450. WE GRANT RELIEF TO LTC BEYER BECAUSE HE MAINTAINED AND ENFORCED ADEQUATE PROCEDURES AND CONTROLS TO AVOID ERRORS IN CASHING CHECKS. ALSO GRANT RELIEF TO MRS. REIGLE BECAUSE SHE COMPLIED WITH THE ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES IN MAKING THE PAYMENT IN QUESTION.

THE IMPROPER PAYMENT OCCURRED ON NOVEMBER 20, 1984, WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL CARRYING A FORGED MILITARY IDENTIFICATION CARD IN THE NAME OF MICHAEL VAN RIPER CASHED A CHECK AT THE TOMPKINS BARRACKS FINANCE OFFICE. THE CHECK WAS LATER RETURNED FOR INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION SHOWED THIS CHECK TO BE PART OF AN ELABORATE SCHEME OF CHECK FRAUD PERPETRATED BY AN INDIVIDUAL OPERATING UNDER FIVE ASSUMED IDENTITIES. HAVE PREVIOUSLY GRANTED RELIEF TO OTHER CASHIERS AND SUPERVISORY DISBURSING OFFICIALS WHO MADE IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO THIS SAME INDIVIDUAL. B-220737 AND B-220981, DEC. 10, 1985. AS OF THE DATE OF YOUR SUBMISSION THE ARMY HAS BEEN UNABLE TO IDENTIFY OR APPREHEND THE RESPONSIBLE PERSON IN THESE CASES. CONSEQUENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN NO OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE COLLECTION OF THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS.

IN CASES SUCH AS THIS ONE, BOTH THE PERSON WHO MADE THE IMPROPER PAYMENT AND THE PERSON IN WHOSE NAME THE ACCOUNT IS OFFICIALLY HELD ARE LIABLE AS DISBURSING OFFICIALS FOR AMOUNT OF AN IMPROPER PAYMENT. 62 COMP.GEN. 476, 479-80 (1983). UNDER 31 U.S.C. SEC. 3527(C) (1982) THIS OFFICE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE A DISBURSING OFFICIAL FROM LIABILITY FOR AN IMPROPER PAYMENT WHEN THE PAYMENT WAS NOT THE RESULT OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE CARE BY THE OFFICIAL. THE GOOD FAITH AND REASONABLE CARE OF A SUPERVISORY DISBURSING OFFICIAL IS SHOWN BY EVIDENCE THAT THE SUPERVISOR MAINTAINED ADEQUATE PROCEDURES AND CONTROLS TO AVOID ERRORS AND THAT THE SUPERVISOR TOOK STEPS TO IMPLEMENT THOSE CONTROLS. 62 COMP.GEN. AT 480 (1983). THE GOOD FAITH AND REASONABLE CARE OF THE PERSON WHO MADE THE PAYMENT CAN BE SHOWN BY EVIDENCE THAT THE INDIVIDUAL COMPLIED WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES AND THAT NOTHING OCCURRED WHICH SHOULD HAVE MADE THAT PERSON SUSPICIOUS OF FRAUD. B-220737 AND B-220981, SUPRA.

YOUR SUBMISSIONS IN THIS CASE DOES NOT CONTAIN A STATEMENT BY EITHER LTC BEYER OR MRS. REIGLE. HOWEVER THE DOCUMENTATION SUBMITTED DOES INCLUDE A STANDING OPERATING PROCEDURE FOR CHECK CASHING SIGNED BY LTC BEYER WHICH REQUIRES A CASHIER TO VERIFY THE NAME, SIGNATURE, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, AND PHOTOGRAPH ON THE PAYEE'S IDENTIFICATION CARD. THE PROCEDURE ALSO REQUIRES THE CASHIER TO WRITE THE IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER ON THE CHECK AND TO INITIAL THE FACE OF THE CHECK. THE CHECK CASHED BY MRS. REIGLE BEARS THE SAME IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER AS A FORGED CARD IN THE NAME OF MICHAEL VAN RIPER WHICH WAS LATER CONFISCATED BY ANOTHER BANK. MRS. REIGLE'S INITIALS ALSO APPEAR ON THE FACE OF THE CHECK. WE ACCEPT THIS AS ADEQUATE EVIDENCE THAT LTC BEYER ESTABLISHED AND ENFORCED ADEQUATE PROCEDURES AND THAT MRS. REIGLE FOLLOWED THOSE PROCEDURES. WE THEREFORE GRANT THE REQUESTED RELIEF TO BOTH LTC BEYER AND MRS. REIGLE.

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