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Identifying, Documenting, Tracking, and Accounting for Irregularities
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Disbursing Clerk 1 & C - Military manual for administrative purposes
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Illegal, Incorrect, or Improper Payment
Negotiation of both the original and a recertified U.S. Treasury check Any payment based on forged, fraudulent, or altered  documents  prepared  or  presented  by individuals who do not work in the disbursing office Any payment in violation of a regulation Accounting for Erroneous Payments.— In most cases, an erroneous payment will be charged to a valid appropriation  via  a  disbursement  voucher  and  the payment  will  likely  have  already  been  made.  If  an erroneous payment is recouped or collected from the individual held liable for the payment, the appropriation originally charged is credited for the amount recouped or collected. If no recoupment or collection is made, or if  relief  for  liability  is  granted,  the  appropriation charged remains as if it were valid. Reporting Erroneous Payments.— The DO must report  all  erroneous  payments  to  the  CO.  In  addition, the  DO  must  take  aggressive  action  to  recoup  the amount of an erroneous payment from the recipient. If recoupment  is  not  made  within  90  days  of  continuous aggressive  collection  action,  the  case  file  shall  be submitted to DFAS-CL for further collection action. The DO may also submit a request for relief of liability through the CO and the chain of command. The CO is normally not required to make a separate or special report. Investigation  of  Erroneous  Payments.—  A formal  investigation  of  erroneous  payments  is  not mandatory unless fraud (on the part of the payee or disbursing  office  personnel)  is  suspected  in  connection with the payment. The CO, however, may decide an investigation is necessary. In this case, an investigation will  be  made  by  an  investigating  officer  to  gather additional  information  and  determine  responsibility. If  no  formal  investigation  is  to  be  conducted, investigatory comments similar to those required for minor  physical  losses  over  $25  are  required.  The  report must outline the facts concerning the payment and the reason(s)  no  formal  investigation  is  considered necessary.  It  should  state  whether  relief  of  liability  is recommended for the DO (or any other accountable individual) and whether a request for relief is being submitted. OVERAGES OF PUBLIC FUNDS.— Overages of funds are handled much more easily than shortages. No investigation of an overage is required unless fraud or  another  criminal  act  is  indicated. Accounting for Overages.—  DLsbursing   personnel handling overages should not offset any overage of funds against a physical loss of funds, unless these categories obviously relate and the relationship can be documented. An obvious relationship can usually be determined  if,  for  example,  foreign  currency  on  hand  is short and U.S. currency on hand is over by an equivalent amount (a shortage of $597.32 against an overage of $597.32).  To  be  able  to  offset  in  this  manner,  the shortage and overage must have occurred on the same business  day. Accounts Involved.— Generally, an overage of funds  will  be  collected  in  Deposit  Fund  Account 17X6875,  pending  a  determination  of  where  the overage  belongs.  If  no  proper  location  for  the  overage is determined, the overage will be transferred from 17X6875  to  Treasury  Miscellaneous  Receipt  Account 17R1060. Tracking and Documentation.—Overages are tracked  by  using  a  separate  DD  2667  maintained specifically for overages. A new DD 2667 should be started quarterly. A copy of the DD 2667 should be forwarded  under  a  covering  transmittal  letter  to DFAS-CL  no  later  than  the  fifth  workday  following  the end of the calendar quarter or the fifth workday after the date of relief of the DO. If the report is being submitted because of relief from disbursing duty, the transmittal letter must contain the statement: “Submitted due to the relief of the disbursing officer effective (enter date of relief).” Requesting  Relief  of  Liability When any disbursing official of the government has incurred an irregularity as a result of a physical loss of funds or an illegal, incorrect, or improper payment, that official   may  be  granted  relief  of  liability  for  the irregularity under the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 3527. AUTHORITY  TO  GRANT  RELIEF.—   The Comptroller General of the United States has ruled that the  term  “disbursing  official”  applies  to  all  personnel  in the DOD, whether military or civilian, to whom public funds   are   entrusted   for   the   purpose   of   making disbursements.  While  the  ultimate  authority  to  grant relief rests with the Comptroller General, the decision to grant relief has been delegated to different levels depending  on  the  circumstances.  In  the  following paragraphs, you will read how this process of delegation works  in  various  cases  involving  requests  for  relief  of liability. 1-13

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