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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 subsequent collection attempts are being pursued. Relief is granted. Both checks were in the same amount. The recertified check was issued on the basis of the payee's allegation that the original check had not been received and a request for stop payment had been made. Both checks were issued by the Army under authority delegated by the Department of the Treasury. 31 C.F.R.

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B-229114, Oct 5, 1987, 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 subsequent collection attempts are being pursued.

General Hall:

This responds to your request of September 11, 1987, that we relieve Major (Maj) R. D. Turner, Finance Corps, DSSN 6396, Finance and Accounting Officer, 7th Infantry Division and Fort Ord, Fort Ord, California, under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527(c), for an improper payment of $562.96 payable to Ms. Ora M. Kanatzar. For the reasons stated below, relief is granted. This 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 payee's allegation that the original check had not been received and a request for stop payment had been made. Both checks were issued by the Army under authority delegated by the Department of the 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 62 Comp.Gen. 476 (1983). There was no indication of bad faith on the part of the disbursing officer and adequate collection efforts are being made. Accordingly, we grant relief.

Finally, we note that this is the first case we have received where the notice of loss was received after June 1, 1986. We are pleased to see that the matter was promptly referred to your Collection Division.

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