Public vouchers (PVs) are used both ashore and
afloat to settle obligations incurred by the Navy. As a
senior Disbursing Clerk (DK), you maybe assigned as
the supervisor of a fiscal or PV/travel unit where you
will deal with PVs daily. Therefore, you must
understand the duties involved in handling them. You
must be able to identify the correct forms and their
associated submission and distribution procedures.
You must know the correct procedures for handling
discounts. You must know how to monitor each
document for accuracy. Above all, you must be able to
train and supervise junior personnel in these tasks.
This chapter is intended to give you an overview of
the nature and requirements of PVs. It describes some
of the responsibilities of the paying and preparing
As a senior DK, you may be assigned
associated responsibilities. Remember, this chapter is
only an overview of these operations. Do not use this
training manual as a procedural instruction manual.
You can find official information for processing PVs in
two sources. For authorized preparation and payment
procedures, you should consult the Department of
Defense Financial Management Regulation
(DODFMR), Volume 5. For the accounting data you
will need to charge payments made on PVs, you should
Navy Comptroller Manual
(NAVCOMPTMAN), Volume 2.
NATURE OF A PUBLIC
The PV is the authoritative document every U.S.
Government agency uses to justify payment for
purchases of equipment, materials, supplies, and
services other than personal. In fact, PVs are the only
forms approved by the Comptroller General of the
United States for the payment of government
obligations. When properly prepared, attested, and
accompanied by the required supporting documents, a
PV constitutes the authority for a Navy disbursing
officer (DO) to make a partial, complete, final, progress,
or an advance payment. Stated simply, PVs are the only
forms the Navy uses to pay its bills.
The use of PVs involves special rules and
regulations. Navy DOs should use only the specific
forms that have been approved by the Comptroller
General of the United States. Although the contents and
the required supporting documents may vary slightly
depending on the type of action or form used, every PV
must contain complete and accurate data. Signatures
and other information on an original PV must be written
in permanent ink. All handwritten information must be
Accuracy and legibility are important for many
reasons. First, a PV is the data source for the accounting
information used to record changes in the status of
appropriations and funds. Second, a PV is legal
evidence that a specific government obligation has been
liquidated. For this reason, a PV must be retained as
proof that the government has made payment and
settled its obligation for that specific purpose.
REQUIREMENTS OF A PUBLIC
Before the government can pay for a specific
obligation, a PV must be properly prepared. If you are
responsible for checking the PV for accuracy and
completion, make sure all the following requirements
The payment discharges a legal liability of the
The written evidence assembled in support of the
payment is complete.
The PV is charged to an appropriation or a fund
that is available for payment.
The control over disposition of the PV (original
and copies) and the maintenance of permanent
records is such that no possibility exists for
duplicate payment or overpayment by the
The accounting data are accurate and complete
so that the proper abstraction and adjustment of
appropriations and funds may be made.