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respective duties, and to the fulfilment of the public engagements; and the president may direct such advances as he may deem necessary and proper, to persons in the military and naval service, employed on distant stations, where the discharge of the pay and emoluments to which they may be entitled cannot be regularly effected.(1)
The secretaries of state, of the treasury, of the war and navy departments, the postmaster-general, and the secretary of senate and clerk of the house of representatives, shall lay before congress, in lieu of the statement now required by law, during the first week in each annual session of congress, a statement of the expenditures made by them respectively from the contingent funds of their respective departments and offices; that of the secretary of state to include all the contingent expenses of foreign intercourse, and of all missions abroad, except such expenditures as are settled upon the certificate of the president; said statements to be abstracts of the accounts, with the names of all persons to whom payments have been made, and the amount paid to each.(2)
Of the place and manner of keeping and settling Public Accounts.
ART. 272. All claims and demands, whatever, by the United States, or against them, and all accounts whatever, in which the United States are concerned, either as debtors or as creditors, shall be settled, and adjusted in the treasury department.(3) All accounts in the public offices shall be kept in dollars, dimes, cents and mills.(4)
273. Every officer or agent of the United States, who shall receive public money which he is not authorized to retain, as salary, pay, or emolument, shall render his accounts quarter yearly to the proper accounting officers of the treasury, with the vouchers necessary to the correct and prompt settlement thereof, within three months, at least, after the expiration of each successive quarter, if resident within the United States; and within six months if resident in a foreign country: nothing herein contained shall be construed to restrain the secretaries of any of the departments from requiring such returns from any officer or agent, subject to the control of such secretaries, as the public interest may require.(5)
274. Every such officer or agent who shall offend against the provisions of articles 271-273,] shall, by the officer charged with the direction of the department to which he is responsible, be promptly reported to the president, and dismissed from the public service, unless he shall account satisfactorily to the president for his default.(6)
275. No security given to, or obligation entered into with the government, shall be in any wise impaired, by the dismissing any officer, or from failure
(1) Act January 31st, 1823.
(4) Act April 2d, 1792, sec. 20.
of the president to dismiss any officer coming under the provisions of this act.(1)
276. The paymaster of the army, the military agents, the pursers of the navy, and the agents appointed by virtue of article 269, shall, whenever practicable, keep the public moneys in their hands, in some incorporated bank, to be designated by the president of the United States, and shall make monthly returns, in such form as may be prescribed by the treasury department, of the moneys received and expended during the preceding month, and of the unexpended balance in their hands.(2)
277. In the settlement of accounts of persons remaining charged on the books of the third auditor of the treasury, with public moneys advanced prior to the first day of July, 1815, the proper accounting officers may admit to the credit of such persons, respectively, the amount of any expenditures made by them which were at the time authorized by law or regulations, notwithstanding regular vouchers for the same may not be produced, if the impracticability of producing such vouchers shall be proved to the satisfaction of the accounting officers; and the evidence exhibited in lieu thereof, shall be the best the nature of the several cases will admit of, and such as will be received in courts of justice: But the credits to be allowed shall in no case exceed in amount the sums with which such persons respectively shall be charged on the books of the third auditor.(3)
Whenever in the settlement of the accounts, a difference of opinion shall arise between the accounting officers, as to the extent of the credits to be allowed by virtue of the foregoing article, such case shall be referred to the secretary of war, whose decision shall be conclusive.(4)
278. That no money appropriated by the appropriation acts, shall be paid to any person for his compensation, who is in arrears to the United States, until such person shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be liable: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to balances arising solely from the depreciation of treasury notes received by such person to be expended in the public service; but, in all cases where the pay or salary of any person is withheld, in pursuance of this act, it shall be the duty of the accounting officer, if demanded by the party, his agent, or attorney, to report forthwith to the agent of the treasury department, the balance due; and it shall be the duty of the said agent, within sixty days thereafter, to order suit to be commenced against such delinquent and his sureties.(5)
But the foregoing provision shall not be construed to authorize the pension of any pensioner to be withheld.(6)
Marshal to execute warrant of dis-
Amount due by officer, lien on
Lands, &c. of officer and surety may
Persons aggrieved by such warrant
If aggrieved by decision of such judge, may apply to judge of supreme court
No credits admitted which have not been presented to accounting officers exception
Clerks of courts, after each term, to
Other remedy reserved to U. S.
ART. 279. The comptroller of the treasury may issue a notification to any person who has received moneys for which he is accountable to the United States, or to the executor or administrator of such person, if he be deceased, requiring him to render to the auditor of the treasury at such time as he shall think reasonable, according to the circumstances of the case, within twelve months from the date of such notification, all his accounts and vouchers for the expenditure of such moneys; and in default thereof, suits shall, at the discretion of the comptroller of the treasury, be commenced for the same without further notice. And the party so sued shall be subject to the costs and charges of such suits, whether the ultimate decision shall be in his favour or against him.(1)
280. The marshals of the respective districts are authorized and directed to serve such notifications on the parties therein named, by leaving copies thereof at their respective dwellings, or usual places of abode, at least four months, before the time fixed in such notification, for rendering their accounts, and the return of such notification to the comptroller's office, with the marshal's certificate thereon, that such service had been made, shall be legal evidence in the district or circuit courts, of the proceedings, and for the recovery of costs and charges.(2)
281. In cases where accounts shall be rendered to the auditor of the treasury, within the time limited in such notifications, he shall immediately proceed to liquidate the credits to be passed for such accounts, and report the same to the comptroller, with a particular list of any claims which shall have been disallowed by him. And the comptroller of the treasury shall immediately proceed to the examination of the credits allowed by the auditor, and if the same be approved by him, shall cause credit therefor to be passed on the public books. And the comptroller shall also appoint a day for hear ing the claimant on the claims so disallowed by the auditor.(3)
282. A list of all such credits, as shall have been claimed, and not admitted by the comptroller, shall be made out and transmitted to the marshal
(1) Act March 3d, 1795, sec. 1. (2) Ibid. sec. 2, cl. 1.
(3) Ibid. Vide Act 3d March, 1809, sec. 2.
of the district where the claimant resides; and a copy thereof be served on the claimant, or left at his dwelling or last usual place of abode, with notice of the time assigned by the comptroller, for the final hearing, at least four months before such hearing; of which proceedings, the marshal shall transmit an official return to the comptroller. And in case of an omission or neglect, on the part of the claimant, to assign, in writing or otherwise, his reasons to the comptroller, within the time limited, why the suspended credits should be omitted, all future claims therefor shall be for ever debarred. But in case the claimant shall, within such time, assign in writing, or otherwise, his reasons why the suspended credits should be admitted, the comptroller shall immediately consider the same, and decide thereon, according to the principles of equity, and the usages of the treasury department.(1)
283. In all cases where the final decision of the comptroller shall be against the claimant, such determination shall be final and conclusive to all concerned.(2)
284. If any collector of the revenue, receiver of public money, or other officer, who shall have received the public money before it is paid into the treasury of the United States, shall fail to render his account, or pay over the same in the manner, or within the time, required by law, it shall be the duty of the first comptroller of the treasury to cause to be stated the account of such collector, receiver of public money, or other officer, exhibiting truly the amount due to the United States, and certify the same to the agent of the treasury, who shall issue a warrant of distress against such delinquent officer and his sureties, directed to the marshal of the district in which such delinquent officer and his surety or sureties shall reside; and where such officer and his surety or sureties shall reside in different districts, or where they, or either of them, shall reside in a district other than that in which the estate of either may be situate, which may be intended to be taken and sold, then such warrant shall be directed to the marshals of such districts, and to their deputies, respectively; therein specifying the amount with which such delinquent is chargeable, and the sums, if any, which have been paid.(3)
285. And the marshal authorized to execute such warrant, shall, by himself or by his deputy, proceed to levy and collect the sum remaining due, by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of such delinquent officer; having given ten days' previous notice of such intended sale, by affixing an advertisement of the articles to be sold at two or more public places in the town or county where the said goods or chattels were taken, or in the town or county where the owner of such goods or chattels may reside; and if the goods and chattels be not sufficient to satisfy the warrant, the same may be levied upon the person of such officer, who may be committed to prison, there to remain until discharged by due course of law.(3)
286. Notwithstanding the commitment of such officer, or if he abscond, or if goods and chattels cannot be found sufficient to satisfy the warrant, the marshal or his deputy may and shall proceed to levy and collect the sum which remains due by such delinquent officer, by the distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the surety or sureties of such officer; having given ten days' previous notice of such intended sale, by affixing an advertisement of the articles to be sold, at two or more public places in the town or county where the goods or chattels were taken, or in the town or county where the owner of such goods or chattels resides.(4)
287. And the amount due by any such officer shall be a lien upon the lands, tenements, and hereditaments, of such officer and his sureties, from
(1) Act 3d March, 1795, sec. 3. (2) Ibid. sec. 4.
(3) Ibid. sec. 2.
(4) Act May 15th, 1820, sec. 2.
the date of a levy in pursuance of the warrant of distress issued against him or them, and a record thereof made in the office of the clerk of the district court of the proper district, until the same shall be discharged according to law.(1)
288. And for want of goods and chattels of such officer, or his surety or sureties, sufficient to satisfy any such warrant of distress, the lands, tenements, and hereditaments of such officer, and his surety or sureties, or so much thereof as may be necessary for that purpose, after being advertised for at least three weeks in not less than three public places in the county or district where such real estate is situate, prior to the time of sale, shall be sold by the marshal of such district or his deputy; and for all lands, tene ments, or hereditaments so sold, the conveyance of the marshals or their deputies, executed in due form of law, shall give a valid title against all persons claiming under such delinquent officer, or his surety or sureties.(1)
289. And all moneys which may remain of the proceeds of such sales, after satisfying the warrant of distress, and paying the reasonable costs and charges of the sale, shall be returned to such delinquent officer or surety, as the case may be: the summary process above directed shall not affect any surety of any officer of the United States, who became bound to the United States before the fifteenth of May, 1820; but each and every such officer shall, on or before the thirtieth day of September, 1820, give new and suffi cient sureties for the performance of the duties required of him.(1)
290. If any officer employed, or who has heretofore been employed, in the civil, military, or naval departments of the government, to disburse the public money appropriated for the service of those departments, respectively, shall fail to render his account, or to pay over, in the manner, and in the times, required by law, or the regulations of the department to which he is accountable, any sum of money remaining in the hands of such officer, the first or second comptroller of the treasury, as the case may be, who shall be charged with the revision of the accounts of such officer, shall cause to be stated, and certify, the account of such delinquent officer to the agent (solicitor) of the treasury, who shall immediately proceed against such delinquent officer, in the manner directed in the preceding articles, all the provisions of which are hereby declared to be applicable to every officer of the government charged with the disbursement of the public money, and to their sureties, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if they had been described and enumerated therein; the agent (solicitor) of the treasury, with the approbation of the secretary of the treasury, in cases arising under second and third sections, act fifteenth of May, 1820, may postpone, for a reasonable time, the institution of the proceedings required by such act, where, in his opinion, the public interest will sustain no injury by such postponement.(2)
291. If any person should consider himself aggrieved by any warrant issued under articles 284, 290, he may prefer a bill of complaint to any district judge of the United States, setting forth therein the nature and extent of the injury of which he complains; and thereupon the judge may, if in his opinion the case requires it, grant an injunction to stay proceedings on such warrant altogether, or for so much thereof as the nature of the case requires; but no injunction shall issue till the party applying therefor shall give bond, and sufficient security, conditioned for the performance of such judgment as shall be awarded against the complainant, in such amount as the judge granting the injunction shall prescribe; nor shall the issuing of such injunction in any manner impair the lien produced by the issuing of such warrant. And the same proceedings shall be had on such injunction as in other cases, (2) Ibid. sec. 3.
(1) Act May 15th, 1820, sec. 2.