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Chapter 1 Financial Accountability
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Disbursing Clerk 1 & C - Military manual for administrative purposes
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Duties and Responsibilities of the Disbursing Officer
b. c. d. retail or ship’s store officers, assistants   to   officers   in   charge   of commissary  stores,  or property disposal officers on accountable duty 4. Individuals appointed by commanding officers (COs) or officers in charge (OICs) as a. imprest fund cashiers, b. collection agents, or c.  authorized  custodians  in  connection  with functions   that   are   not   the   direct responsibility of a DO or an officer of the supply  corps 5. Paying agents 6. Officers designated as supply officers or ship’s store  officers  by  COs  on  ships  without  Supply Corps   officers Specific  levels  of  approval  are  required  for  the establishment  of  these  positions.  For  example,  the position  of  deputy  requires  the  approval  of  DFAS-CL. On  the  other  hand,  the  positions  of  agent  cashier, collection  agent,  imprest  fund  cashier,  authorized custodian,  and  paying  agent  are  locally  established  and require no action or approval by, or notice to, DFAS-CL. In the following paragraphs, we will look at many of these positions, their billets, how they are filled, and their  fundamental  responsibilities. NAVY DISBURSING OFFICERS Normally, a Navy disbursing officer (DO) is either an officer of the Supply Corps or a federal civilian employee. A Navy DO may also be a senior enlisted person but only with the approval of DFAS-CL. In all cases, a DO must be a United States citizen. Military DO Billet When a military DO billet is approved, orders to the designated officer will specifically state that the billet to which the person is assigned is that of Navy DO. The order issuing authority must submit copies of the orders assigning  or  detaching  military  DOS  directly  to DFAS-CL. Civilian DO Billet When a Navy civilian DO position is approved, the commanding  officer  (CO)  formally  designates  the appointed  civilian  by  a  letter  of  appointment.  A  copy of this letter is forwarded to DFAS-CL for the purpose of  recording  the  accountable  position. Overall Accountability and Liability All  DOS  are  held  personally  and  pecuniarily accountable for their disbursing acts and for the legal expenditure of funds placed under their control. The term pecunary refers to money or things that have a monetary  value. DOS are charged with all funds received for the government. They must maintain detailed accounts and records of all transactions and are accountable for all erroneous payments and all errors in their accounts and records. Even though they may have relied on agents or assistants who caused the errors, the DOS are still accountable. That is why all disbursing personnel must make  certain  they  maintain  accurate  records  and perform every financial transaction according to current laws  and  regulations.  The  Navy  Department  and  the General  Accounting  Office  (GAO)  will  examine  these records. In the case of irregular, erroneous, or unsupported entries  in  the  DO’s  account  with  the  government,  the GAO will withhold credit. If the DO fails to account for the receipt of any public funds, the GAO will raise a charge against the account. The GAO will remove the charge  only  if  the  Comptroller  General  of  the  United States,  via  the  Secretary  of  Defense,  grants  relief. Authorized  Actions  by  Disbursing  Officers The authority of DOS to make disbursements is limited  to  certain  authorized  actions.  Basically,  Navy DOS are restricted to the payment of properly approved funds  for  the  following  categories: Civilian payrolls Earned   pay   and   allowances   for   military personnel Travel  expenses  for  military  and  civilian personnel  on  official  business Approved   bills   for   supplies   and   services purchased by or for the Navy or Marine Corps ON AUTHORITY OF THE CO.— Usually, the DO will receive and disburse official funds when the CO  gives  orders  (or  gives  authority  for)  for  these payment  actions.  The  CO  is  also  responsible  for promptly   informing   the   DO   of   any   applicable 1-2

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