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When he was serving as Disbursing Officer. Cashed two checks which were subsequently dishonored and are uncollectible. Is not liable for the improper payments. 5 months after the checks were cashed. Was the disbursing officer who cashed the checks in July 1988. Your request should include the disbursing officer's statement that the payments were not the result of bad faith or lack of reasonable care. 31 U.S.C. There is a 3-year period within this Office is authorized to relieve accountable officials. 31 U.S.C. The account is settled by operation of law. 31 U.S.C. It appears that the 3-year period for settlement of this matter will expire in December 1991 with regard to one of the two checks and January 1992 with regard to the other.

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B-239140 July 12, 1991

Captain J.J. Greer, Jr. Assistant Judge Advocate General (General Law) Office of the Judge Advocate General Department of the Navy 200 Stovall Street Alexandria, Virginia 22332-2400

Dear Captain Greer:

This responds to your March 26, 1990 letter which endorses the request of Lt. A.L. St. Pierre, Supply Corps, for relief from liability for improper payments of $1,800.00. According to your submission, Lt. St. Pierre, on July 2 and 28, 1988, when he was serving as Disbursing Officer, Administrative Support Unit (ASU), Bahrain, cashed two checks which were subsequently dishonored and are uncollectible. It appears, however, that Lt. St. Pierre did not cash the checks, and, hence, is not liable for the improper payments.

According to documentary evidence provided by Lt. St. Pierre at our request, Lt. St. Pierre did not report for duty at ASU, Bahrain, until December 14, 1988, 5 months after the checks were cashed. Lt. St. Pierre told this Office that his predecessor, Wolfgang Buck, was the disbursing officer who cashed the checks in July 1988. Consequently, we find no reason to consider further Lt. St. Pierre's request for relief.

Should you decide to submit a request for the relief of the disbursing officer who actually cashed the dishonored checks, your request should include the disbursing officer's statement that the payments were not the result of bad faith or lack of reasonable care. 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3527 (c)(1988); GAO, Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, tit. 7, Sec. 8.11A. (Feb. 1990).

There is a 3-year period within this Office is authorized to relieve accountable officials. 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3526(c)(1). After this period, the account is settled by operation of law. 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3526(c)(2). It appears that the 3-year period for settlement of this matter will expire in December 1991 with regard to one of the two checks and January 1992 with regard to the other. We therefore are suspending, under authority of 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3526(g), the running of that period as of the date of this letter to permit you to identify the culpable disbursing officer and to determine whether a request for relief is appropriate.

If you have any questions with regard to this matter, please call Ms. Amy Shimamura or me at (202) 275-5644.

Sincerely yours,

Gary L. Kepplinger Associate General Counsel

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