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having jurisdiction over revenue or appropriations, furnish the committee such aid and information as it may request. (June 10, 1921, sec. 212, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 20.)
1634. Information for Bureau by departments and establishments; access to books, papers, etc.-Under such regulations as the President may prescribe, (1) every department and establishment shall furnish to the Bureau such information as the Bureau may from time to time require, and (2) the Director and the Assistant Director, or any employee of the Bureau when duly authorized, shall, for the purpose of securing such information, have access to, and the right to examine, any books, documents, papers, or records of any such department or establishment. (June 10, 1921, sec. 213, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 21.)
1635. Budget officers of departments and establishments; designation; duties. (a) The head of each department and establishment shall designate an official thereof as budget officer therefor, who, in each year under his direction and on or before a date fixed by him, shall prepare the departmental estimates.
(b) Such budget officer shall also prepare, under the direction of the head of the department or establishment, such supplemental and deficiency estimates as may be required for its work. (June 10, 1921, sec. 214, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 22.)
1636. Departmental estimates; revision; time for submission to Bureau; failure to submit.-The head of each department and establishment shall revise the departmental estimates and submit them to the Bureau on or before September 15 of each year. In case of his failure so to do, the President shall cause to be prepared such estimates and data as are necessary to enable him to include in the Budget estimates and statements in respect to the work of such department or establishment. (June 10, 1921, sec. 215, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 23.)
1637. Same; form and manner of submission.-The departmental estimates and any supplemental or deficiency estimates submitted to the Bureau by the head of any department or establishment shall be prepared and submitted in such form, manner, and detail as the President may prescribe. (June 10, 1921, sec. 216, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 24.)
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
1638. General Accounting Office created under Comptroller General; offices of Comptroller of Treasury and Assistant Comptroller of Treasury abolished. There is created an establishment of the Government to be known as the General Accounting Office, which shall be independent of the executive departments and under the control and direction of the Comptroller General of the United States. The offices of Comptroller of the Treasury and Assistant Comptroller of the Treasury are abolished, to take effect July 1, 1921. All other officers and employees of the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury shall become officers and employees in the General Accounting Office at their grades and salaries on July 1, 1921, and all books, records, documents, papers, furniture, office equipment and other property of the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury shall become the property of the General Accounting Office. The Comp
troller General is authorized to adopt a seal for the General Accounting Office. (June 10, 1921, sec. 301, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 41.) 1639. Comptroller General and Assistant Comptroller General.-There shall be in the General Accounting Office a Comptroller General of the United States and an Assistant Comptroller General of the United States, who shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall receive salaries of $10,000 and $7,500 a year, respectively. The Assistant Comptroller General shall perform such duties as may be assigned to him by the Comptroller General, and during the absence or incapacity of the Comptroller General, or during a vacancy in that office, shall act as Comptroller General. (June 10, 1921, sec. 302, 42 Stat. 23; 31 U. S. C., sec. 42.)
1640. Certain powers and duties transferred to General Accounting Office; conclusiveness of balances certified by Comptroller General.—All powers and duties now conferred or imposed by law upon the Comptroller of the Treasury or the six auditors of the Treasury Department, and the duties of the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants of the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury relating to keeping the personal ledger accounts of disbursing and collecting officers shall, so far as not inconsistent with this Act, be vested in and imposed upon the General Accounting Office and be exercised without direction from any other officer. The balances certified by the Comptroller General shall be final and conclusive upon the executive branch of the Government. The revision by the Comptroller General of settlements made by the six auditors shall be discontinued, except as to settlements made before July 1, 1921. (June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 44.)
1641. Offices of Auditors abolished.-The offices of the six auditors shall be abolished, to take effect July 1, 1921. All other officers and employees of these offices except as otherwise provided herein shall become officers and employees of the General Accounting Office at their grades and salaries on July 1, 1921. All books, records, documents, papers, furniture, office equipment, and other property of these offices, and of the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants, so far as they relate to the work of such division transferred by section 304 [31 U. S. C., sec. 44], shall become the property of the General Accounting Office. (June 10, 1921, sec. 310, 42 Stat. 25.)
1642. Payment of adjusted accounts or claims.-The Comptroller General may provide for the payment of accounts or claims adjusted and settled in the General Accounting Office, through disbursing officers of the several departments and establishments, instead of by warrant. (June 10, 1921, sec. 307, 42 Stat. 25; 31 U. S. C., sec. 47.)
1643. Forms, systems, and procedure prescribed by Comptroller General. The Comptroller General shall prescribe the forms, systems, and procedure for administrative appropriation and fund accounting in the several departments and establishments, and for the administrative examination of fiscal officers' accounts and claims against the United States. (June 10, 1921, sec. 309, 42 Stat. 25; 31 U. S. C., sec. 49.)
1644. Investigation and reports by Comptroller General.-(a) The Comptroller General shall investigate, at the seat of government or elsewhere, all matters relating to the receipt, disbursement, and ap
plication of public funds, and shall make to the President when requested by him, and to Congress at the beginning of each regular session, a report in writing of the work of the General Accounting Office, containing recommendations concerning the legislation he may deem necessary to facilitate the prompt and accurate rendition and settlement of accounts and concerning such other matters relating to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds as he may think advisable. In such regular report, or in special reports at any time when Congress is in session, he shall make recommendations looking to greater economy or efficiency in public expenditures.
(b) He shall make such investigations and reports as shall be ordered by either House of Congress or by any committee of either House having jurisdiction over revenue, appropriations, or expenditures. The Comptroller General shall also, at the request of any such committee, direct assistants from his office to furnish the committee such aid and information as it may request.
(c) The Comptroller General shall specially report to Congress every expenditure or contract made by any department or establishment in any year in violation of law.
(d) He shall submit to Congress reports upon the adequacy and effectiveness of the administrative examination of accounts and claims in the respective departments and establishments and upon the adequacy and effectiveness of departmental inspection of the offices and accounts of fiscal officers.
(e) He shall furnish such information relating to expenditures and accounting to the Bureau of the Budget as it may request from time to time. (June 10, 1921, sec. 312, 42 Stat. 25; 31 U. S. C., sec. 53.)
1645. Information furnished to Comptroller General by departments and establishments.-All departments and establishments shall furnish to the Comptroller General such information regarding the powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions, and methods of business of their respective offices as he may from time to time require of them; and the Comptroller General, or any of his assistants or employees, when duly authorized by him, shall, for the purpose of securing such information, have access to and the right to examine any books, documents, papers, or records of any such department or establishment. (June 10, 1921, sec. 313, 42 Stat. 26; 31 U. S. C., sec. 54.)
AUDIT AND SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS
1646. Public accounts to be settled in the General Accounting Office.All claims and demands whatever by the Government of the United States or against it, and all accounts whatever in which the Government of the United States is concerned, either as debtor or creditor, shall be settled and adjusted in the General Accounting Office. (R. S., sec. 236; June 10, 1921, sec. 305, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 71.) 1647. Certified balances of public account; suspension of items; preservation of vouchers; decision of questions involving payment.-The balances which may from time to time be certified by the General Accounting Office upon the settlements of public accounts shall be final and conclusive upon the Executive Branch of the Government, except that any person whose accounts may have been settled, the head of the Executive Department, or of the board, commission, or estab
lishment not under the jurisdiction of an Executive Department, to which the account pertains, or the Comptroller General of the United States, may, within a year, obtain a revision of the said account by the Comptroller General of the United States, whose decision upon such revision shall be final and conclusive upon the Executive Branch of the Government: Provided, That the Comptroller General of the United States may, when in his judgment the interests of the Government require it, suspend payment and direct the reexamination of any account. * * but nothing in this Act shall prevent the General Accounting Office from suspending items in an account in order to obtain further evidence or explanations necessary to their settlement. When suspended items are finally settled a revision may be had as in the case of the original settlement.
The General Accounting Office shall preserve, with their vouchers and certificates, all accounts which have been finally adjusted.
Disbursing officers, or the head of any Executive Department, or other establishment not under any of the Executive Departments, may apply for and the Comptroller General of the United States shall render his decision upon any question involving a payment to be made by them or under them, which decision, when rendered, shall govern the General Accounting Office in passing upon the account containing said disbursement. (July 31, 1894, sec. 8, 28 Stat. 207; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 74.)
1648. Regulations for carrying out provisions of Act.-It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to make appropriate rules and regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act [31 U. S. C., secs. 74, 76, 78, 87, and 496], and for transferring or preserving books, papers, or other property appertaining to any office or branch of business affected by it.
It shall also be the duty of the heads of the several Executive Departments and of the proper officers of other Government establishments not within the jurisdiction of 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 [31 U. S. C., sec. 78], before their transmission to the General Accounting Office, and for the execution of other requirements of this Act insofar as the same relate to the several Departments or establishments. (July 31, 1894, sec. 22, 28 Stat. 210; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 75.)
1649. Rendition of current accounts.-All monthly accounts shall be mailed or otherwise sent to the proper officer at Washington within ten days after the end of the month to which they relate, and quarterly and other accounts within twenty days after the period to which they relate, and shall be transmitted to and received by the General Acounting Office within twenty 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 at the time of the receipt by the General Accounting Office of a requisition for an advance of money, said office shall disapprove the requisition, which said office 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 General Accounting Office decision as to the
sufficiency of these latter reasons: Provided, That the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe suitable rules and regulations, and may make orders in particular cases, relaxing the requirement of mailing or otherwise sending accounts, as aforesaid, within ten or twenty days, or waiving delinquency, in such cases only in which there is, or is likely to be, a manifest physical difficulty in complying with the same, it being the purpose of this provision to require the prompt rendition of accounts without regard to the mere convenience of the officers, and to forbid the advance of money to those delinquent in rendering them: Provided further, That should there be a delay by the administrative Departments beyond the aforesaid twenty or sixty days in transmitting accounts, an order of the President, or, in the event of the absence from the seat of Government or sickness of the President, an order of the Secretary of the Treasury, in the particular case, shall be necessary to authorize the advance of money requested. (July 31, 1894, sec. 12, 28 Stat. 209; Mar. 29, 1895, sec. 4, 28 Stat. 807; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 78.)
1650. Administrative examination of accounts.-Hereafter the administrative examination of all public accounts, preliminary to their audit by the General Accounting Office, shall be made as contemplated by the so-called Dockery Act, approved July thirty-first, eighteen hundred and ninety-four [31 U. S. C., sec. 78], and all vouchers and pay rolls shall be prepared and examined by and through the administrative heads of divisions and bureaus in the executive departments and not by the disbursing clerks of said departments, except those vouchers heretofore prepared outside of Washington may continue to be so prepared and the disbursing officers shall make only such examination of vouchers as may be necessary to ascertain whether they represent legal claims against the United States. (Aug. 23, 1912, sec. 1, 37 Stat. 375; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 82.)
1651. Accounts presented without administrative examination.-In the case of claims presented to the General Accounting Office which have not had an administrative examination, the Comptroller General shall cause them to be examined by two of his subordinates independently of each other. (July 31, 1894, sec. 14, 28 Stat. 210; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 86.)
1652. Property returns by officers.-That instead of forwarding to the General Accounting Office returns of public property entrusted to the possession of officers or agents, the Quartermaster General, the Surgeon General, the Chief of Engineers, the Chief of Ordnance, the Chief Signal Officer, the Paymaster General of the Navy, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or other like chief officers in any Department, by, through, or under whom stores, supplies, and other public property are received for distribution, or whose duty it is to receive or examine returns of such property, shall certify to the General Accounting Office, for debiting on the proper account, any charge against any officer or agent intrusted with public property, arising from any loss, accruing by his fault, to the Government as to the property so entrusted to him. (Mar. 29, 1894, sec. 1, 28 Stat. 47; Aug. 24, 1912, sec. 3, 37 Stat. 591; June 10, 1921, sec. 304, 42 Stat. 24; 31 U. S. C., sec. 89.)
1653. Certificate as to lost property.-That said certificate shall set forth the condition of such officer's or agent's property returns, that