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be as

629. All United States officers charged with the receipt notanto

Fraudulent or disbursement of public moneys, and all officers of stampede national banks, shall stamp or write in plain letters the sec, 5, June 30,

1876, v. 19 word “counterfeit,” “altered,” or “worthless” upon all fraudulent notes issued in the form of and intended to circulate as money which shall be presented at their places of business; and if such officers shall wrongfully stamp any genuine note of the United States, or of the national banks, they shall, upon presentation, redeem such notes at the face value thereof. Sec. 5, act of June 30, 1876 (19 Stat. L., 64).


630. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury Regulations to issue and publish regulations to enforce the speedy pres

of drafts.

Ibid., s. 31, p.65. entation of all Goyernment drafts, for payment, at the Sec. 3645, R. S. place where payable, and to prescribe the time, according to the different distances of the depositaries from the seat of government, within which all drafts upon them, respectively, shall be presented for payment, and, in default of such presentation, to direct any other mode and place of payment which he may deem proper; but, in all these regulations and directions, it shall be his duty to guard, as far powers are undisputed and have not been revoked, either by the oluntary action of the principal or by his death. Ibid., 142, 431.

The assignment of a quartermaster's voucher, unless made “after the allowance of such a claim" and in conformity with all the other requirements of section 3477 of the Revised Statutes, is “absolutely null and void.” The exigencies of the war and of the Government service immediately after the war, which at one time were relied upon to support the practice of paying the assignees of such vouchers, can not be made available in deciding cases now arising. 3 Dig. 2nd Compt. Dec., 156.

Transfers and assignments of claims.—The restrictions of the Comptroller of the Treasury in regard to the allowance of credits to disbursing officers for payments madde hy them on powers of attorney or other forms of transfer or assignment being so great as to amount practically to a prohibition of such payments, disbursing officers will refuse to pay the assignee of any claim, except as to assignments authorized hy paragraphs 1300 and 1388 of the Army Regulations of 1895.

When claims or vouchers which have been assigned are presented for payment, the holders will be informed that disbursing officers have no authority to make payments to them as assignees, and that payments can only be made to the original persons to whom the money is due. Decision Asst. Sec. War, Nov. 7, 95—27033, A. G. (., 95. Circ. 13, A. G. O., 1895.

Assignments of pay in officers and enlisted men.—The assignment of their pay accounts by any officers, after the same become due, is authorized by paragraph 1300, Army Regulations of 1895, and is legal. III Second Compt. Dec., 45; ibid., 47. Such transfers are accomplished in accordance with paragraphs 1300 and 1388, Army Regulations of 1895. For a full discussion of the subject of assignments see notes to paragraph 196 ante.

Ittachments.-An attachment can not be enforced against public money in the hands of a disbursing officer of the Government, and he is authorized to pay the Government's creditor without regard to such attempted levy. I Compt. Dec., 171; Buchanan 1. Alexander, 4 How., 20.

as may be, against those drafts being used or thrown into circulation as a paper currency or a medium of exchange. (See secs. 5495, 5496, R. S.)


Check lost, stolen, or de

23, p. 306.

631. Whenever any original check is lost, stolen, or stroyed may be destroyed, disbursing officers and agents of the United not for sum ex- States are authorized, after the expiration of six months,

Feb 16, 1885, v. and within three years from the date of such check, to Sec. 3646, R. S. issue a duplicate check; and the Treasurer, assistant treas

urers, and designated depositaries of the United States are directed to pay such duplicate checks, upon notice and proof of the loss of the original checks, under such regulations in regard to their issue and payment, and upon the execution of such bonds, with sureties, to indemnify the United States, as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe. This section shall not apply to any check exceeding in amount the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars.'

Act of February 16, 1895 (23 Stat. L., 306). Duplicate check In case the disbursing officer or agent by whom such when issuing offi

lost, destroyed, or stolen original check was issued is dead, 12,n.2.17, 1:29. or no longer in the service of the United States, it shall 3647, R. S.

be the duty of the proper accounting officer, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, to state an account in favor of the owner of such original check for the amount thereof, and to charge such amount to the account of such officer or agent.'

cer is dead.

Feb. 7, 1872, c.



632: Accounts settled in the Treasury.
633. Formis of accounts.

634. Rules by heads of departments. 635. The fiscal year.

Accounts to be settled in the Treasury.

Sec. 236, R. S.

632. All claims and demands whatever by the United States or against them, and all accounts whatever in which

1 The following paragraph of the Army Regulations of 1901 prescribes a method of procedure in the case of a check which has been lost or destroyed:

“When an original check of a disbursing officer, not exceeding $2,500 in amount, has been lost or destroyed, a duplicate check may be issued by him, after six months and within three years of the date of the original, upon the owner filing with him the notice and proof of loss and the indemnity bond required by sections 3646 and 3647, Revised Statutes, and act of February 16, 1885. In case the disbursing officer who issued the original check is no longer in the service, the notice and proof of loss and the indemnity bond will be sent to the Secretary of the Treasury prior to the issue of a duplicate check. The proper accounting officer of the Treasury will state an account in favor of the owner of said check and charge the amount thereof to the account of such officer. Instructions for the execution and use of the affidavit and hond, and the issue of the duplicate check, accompany the blank form furnished by the Treasury Department.” Par. 681.

the United States are concerned, either as debtors or as creditors, shall be settled and adjusted in the Department of the Treasury.



Oct. 1, 1890, 8.

633. The Comptroller of the Treasury shall, under the Comptroller to direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, prescribe the etc.

July 31, 1894, s. forms of keeping and rendering all public accounts, 5, v. 28, p. 2006. except those relating to the postal revenues and expenditures therefrom. Sec. 5, act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat. L., 206).

634. It shall also be the duty of the heads of the several Rules, etc... by Executive Departments, and of the proper officers of other mentsets

July 31, 1894, S. Government establishments not within the jurisdiction of 22, v. 28, p. 200. any Executive Department, to make appropriate rules and regulations to secure a proper administrative examination of all accounts sent to them, as required by section twelve of this act, before the transmission to the Auditors, and for the execution of other requirements of this act in so far as the same relate to the several Departments or establishments. Sec. 22, act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat. L., 206).

635. The fiscal year of the Treasury of the United States commence in all matters of accounts, receipts, expenditures, esti-year. mates, and appropriations, except accounts of the Secre- 9, v. 26,9-610

Sec. 237, R. S. tary of the Senate for compensation and traveling expenses of Senators, and accounts of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives for compensation and mileage of Members and Delegates, shall commence on the first day of July in each year; and all accounts of receipts and

For other statutory provisions in respect to accounts, see the titles “ The Comptroller of the Treasuryand “ The Auditors of the Treasury,in the chapter entitled THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY.

Public accounts, within the meaning of section 5 of the act of July 31, 1894, which provides that the Comptroller of the Treasury shall “prescribe the form of keeping and rendering all public accounts,” are accounts in which the United States is concerned either as debtor or creditor. VI Compt. Dec., 35.

Our scheme or government includes an accounting system, with proper officers thereof, and it seems reasonable to conclude that when the law provides for an accounting, and makes no special provision therefor, it was the legislative intent that the accounting should be done in the usual manner—that is, by the accounting officers of the Treasury Department. Ibid., 283, 284.

The act of July 31, 1894, specifically devolves upon the accounting officers of the Treasury the particular duties of examining the public accounts and certiíying balances arising thereon; and their exercise of those duties, including the weighing of evidence, the construction of statutes, and the application of general principles of law in connection therewith, is exclusive. V Ibid., 410.

All accounts for the expenditure of public moneys should be itemized so far as practicable, and a discretion given to the officer having control of an appropriation does not dispense with this requirement. IV Ibid., 159.

* For regulations respecting the administrative examination of money accounts in the War Department, see paragraphs 737, 738, Army Regulations of 1901.

H. Doc. 545-16

expenditures required by law to be published annually shall be prepared and published for the fiscal year, as thus established. The fiscal year for the adjustment of the accounts of Secretary of the Senate for compensation and traveling expenses of Senators, and of the Sergeant-atArms of the House of Representatives for compensation and mileage of Members and Delegates, shall extend to and include the third day of July. Sec. 9, act of October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. L., 646).



636. Monthly accounts required.
637. Distinct accounts under separate

heads of appropriation.

638-640. Transmission of accounts; rules;

| 641. Report of delinquents.

July 17, 1862, c.

636. Every officer or agent of the United States who 199: SI, V; 12. p. receives public money which he is not authorized to retain res: 48, Y; 14, p. as salary, pay, or emolument shall render his accounts c. 295,8 15,5 16 monthly.' Such accounts, with the vouchers necessary to 1877, c. 69, 8: 19. the correct and prompt settlement thereof, shall be sent 1894, v. 25, p. 200 by mail, or otherwise, to the bureau to which they per

tain within ten days after the expiration of each successive month, and, after examination there, shall be passed to the proper accounting officer of the Treasury for settlement.

Sec. 3622, R.S.


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In case of the nonreceipt at the Treasury or proper bureau of any accounts within a reasonable and proper time thereafter, the officer whose accounts are in default

1 The forms for the rendition of accounts are prescribed by the Comptroller of the Treasury. See, also, section 4 of the act of August 30, 1890 ( 26 Stat. L., 413), which required such accounts to be rendered quarterly. The requirement of section 4, act of August 30, 1890 (26 Stat. L., 413), that accounts opened thereafter be rendered quarterly, was repealed by section 6 of the act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat. L., 206).

2 An account is something which may be adjusted and liquidated by an arithmetical computation. One set of Treasury officers examine and audit the accounts; another set is intrusted with the power of reviewing that examination and with the further power of determining whether the laws authorize the payment of the account when liquidated. But no law authorizes Treasury officials to allow and pass in accounts a number not the result of arithmetical computation upon a subject within the operation of the mutual part of a contract. Power r. U.S., 18 Ct. Cs., 26:3, 275. A voucher given by an officer of the Government, in the regular and ordinary course of his business, for services rendered or articles purchased for the public service, within the scope of his authority and the line of his duty unimpeached, is prima facie evidence of indebtedness on the part of the United States, as therein stated. Parish '. U. S., 2 Ct. Cls., 341; Solomon 1. U. S., 19 Wall., 17, and 9 Ct. C'Is., 54. In this respect the executive officers who are authorized to make contracts, employ services, or purchase property for the public service, and whose duty it is to see to it that the money certified by them to be due has been actually and fairly earned, within their own knowledge, while acting in their oflicial capacity, differ from the certified balances of the accounting officers.

heads of appro

Mar. 3, 1809, c. 28, s. 1, v. 2, P. 535. Sec. 3623, R. S.

Sec. 12, July 31,

shall be required to furnish satisfactory evidence of having complied with the provisions of this section. Nothing herein contained shall, however, be construed to restrain the heads of any of the Departments from requiring such other returns or reports from the officer or agent, subject to the control of such heads of Departments, as the public interest may require.

637. All officers, agents, or other persons receiving pub- Distinct nc lic moneys shall render distinct accounts of the application under separate thereof, according to the appropriation under which the priution. same may have been advanced to them. 638. All monthly accounts shall be mailed or otherwise Transmission

of monthly, ete., sent to the proper officer at Washington within ten days accounts. after the end of the month to which they relate, and quar- 1894, v. 2*3 209 terly and other accounts within twenty days after the 31, p. 910. period to which they relate, and shall be transmitted to and received by the Auditors within sixty days of their actual receipt at the proper office in Washington in the case of monthly, and sixty days in the case of quarterly and other accounts. Should there be any delinquency in this regard di Auditor. at the time of the receipt by the Auditor of a requisition isitience you de for an advance of money, he shall disapprove the requisition, which he may also do for other reasons arising out of the condition of the officer's accounts for whom the advance is requested; but the Secretary of the Treasury may overrule the Auditor's decision as to the sufficiency of these latter reasons. Sec. 12, act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat. L., 209); act of March 2, 1901 (31 ibid., 910).

2, 1901, v.


In the examination of claims in the Treasury Department these accounting officers act wholly upon the evidence presented to them by others, and have themselves no personal knowedge of the facts upon which the claims are founded. It is one of the fundamental principles upon which that Department is established and a useful and nice one it is-that the executive officers who pass upon public accounts shall be different from those who are authorized to make contracts and incur liabilities in the expenditure of public money. McCann v. U. S., 18 Ct. Cls. 445, 447. The accounts under a contract remain open so long as anything remains to be adjusted or paid. Parker ?. U. S., 26 Ct. Cls. 344.

The first clause of section 3622 of the Revised Statutes, which requires the rendition of accounts monthly, is applicable to every officer who receives advances of public money to be disbursed, and also to every officer who collects and receives fees and revenues which it is his duty to account for. XIX Opin. Att. Gen., 557.

The requirement that officers render their accounts monthly is not subject to the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, excepting in extraordinary cases, where he shall be of opinion that the statutory period ought to be enlarged to ineet the special circumstances of such cases. XIX Opin. Att. Gen., 557.

For other statutory regulations in respect to the disbursement of and accounting for the public moneys, see sections 3643, 3648, 3678, and 3679 of the Revised Statutes, paragraphs 617, 619, 620, and 621 ante; see, also, the acts of July 5, 1884 (23 Stat. L., 113), and May 28, 1896 ( 29 ibid., 148), paragraphs 622, and 623 ante. For a definition of the term “account” as used in connection with the receipt and disbursement of the public money, see note 3, supra.

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