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(e) Recovery of debts finally certified by audited settlements to be due the United States.

(f) Countersigning all warrants authorized by law to be signed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

4. Organization

(a) Office of the Comptroller General.

(1) Comptroller General of the United States. He may provide for 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, and prescribes 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, reporting to Congress upon the adequacy and efficiency of such administrative examination. He appoints and removes attorneys and other employees in the General Accounting Office, they performing such duties as may be assigned to them by him; all official acts performed by them, when specially designated therefor by the Comptroller General, having the same force and effect as though performed by the Comptroller General in person. He makes such rules and regulations as may be necessary for carrying on the work of the General Accounting Office, including those for the admission of attorneys to practice before it, and furnishes, under the seal of said office for use as evidence, copies of records from books and proceedings thereof in accordance with sections 882 and 886 of the Revised Statutes.

Upon the application of disbursing officers, the head of any executive department or other independent establishment not under any of the executive departments, the Comptroller General is required to render his advance decision upon any question involving a payment to be made by them or under them, which decision when rendered governs in the settlement of the account involving the payment inquired about. He reviews, on his own motion, any settled account when in the interest of the United States to do so. He superintends the recovery of all debts finally certified by audited settlements to be due the United States exclusive of those arising under the Postal Service, and the preservation of all accounts, with their vouchers, etc., which have been finally adjusted, and countersigns all warrants authorized by law to be signed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

It is also the duty of the Comptroller General to investigate at the seat of government or elsewhere all matters relating to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds and to make recommendations to the President, when requested by him, and to Congress concerning legislation necessary to facilitate the prompt and accurate rendition and settlement of accounts, and concerning such other matters as he may deem advisable in regard to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds and economy or efficiency in public expenditures. He makes investigations for Congress as to revenue, appropriations, and expenditures, furnishing assistants from his office to Congress for that purpose, and specially reports to Congress every expenditure or contract made by any

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department or establishment in any year in violation of law. He also reports to Congress upon the adequacy and effectiveness of departmental inspection of the offices and accounts of fiscal officers, and, in accordance with law, has access to and examines any books, documents, papers, or records, except those pertaining to certain funds for purposes of intercourse or treaty with foreign nations, of all departments and establishments for the purpose of securing from time to time information regarding the powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions, and methods of business of their respective offices. It is also his duty to furnish to the Bureau of the Budget such information relating to expenditures and accounting as it may request from time to time.

(2) Assistant Comptroller General.—(See under Mission, supra.)
(b) Legal.—Division of Law, Solicitor.
(c) Administrative.
(1) Executive Assistant.
(1a) Chief Clerk.
(1b) Appointment Clerk.
(1c) Disbursing Clerk.

(d) Claims Division. This division was organized December 1, 1923, taking over the claims previously settled by the civil and military divisions. The duties involve the examination and settlement of all claims by or against the United States arising under all departments and establishments of the government, except the Post Office Department and claims for transportation service.

(e) Civil Division.—The civil division is charged with the examination and settlement of accounts of collections and disbursements formerly audited by the Auditors for the Treasury, Interior, and State, and other departments. The principal collection accounts are receipts through Internal Revenue, Customs, Land Office, Reclamation Service, court fees, fines and forfeitures, consular receipts, District of Columbia taxes, etc., immigration and naturalization fees, navigation fines, Patent, Indian, Government Printing Office, Center Market, Federal Power, Copyright, Alaskan Railroad, interest on foreign loans, Federal Reserve Board, national banks, etc., receipts from railroads on account of excess earnings, sales of seal and fox skins from Pribiloff Islands, and many others.

Accounts for disbursements include the following: Treasury, Interior, State, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor Departments, the White House, both Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and all federal courts, the municipal government of the District of Columbia, Interstate Commerce Commission, Shipping Board, Tariff Commission, Efficiency Commission, Civil Service Commission, Fine Arts Commission, Smithsonian Institution, Government Printing Office, Library of Congress, Employees' Compensation Commission, Alaskan Government, Alaska Railroad, and all other independent establishments, boards, and commissions.

(f) Military Division.—The work of this division embraces the examination and settlement of all accounts originating in the War and Navy Departments, the Military and Navy establishments at large and the United States Veterans' Bureau.

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(g) Post Office Department Division.-Handles accounts in claims in reference to the Post Office Department.

(h) Check Accounting Division.—The creation of a Check Accounting Division has permitted the formulation of a uniform procedure in all check matters, which in turn, has simplified the work and has led to a better understanding of the government check work throughout the service.

Proofs of depository balances are now being made regularly each month and the results are communicated to the disbursing officers and they are advised immediately of any items requiring adjustment or of any errors or overpayments needing correction. Previous to the adoption of this system a considerable time usually elapsed before the disbursing officer would be advised of errors or discrepancies; frequently this caused embarrassment to the disbursing officer, to the auditing offices, and to the service in general.

The division receives from the Treasurer of the United States monthly statements of the accounts of approximately 3,000 fiscal agents of the government. It is estimated that 1,250,000 paid checks are involved in these accounts monthly. Pension checks, Veterans' Bureau checks, and checks for paying interest to holders of government securities are sent daily to the division from the Treasury Department. It is estimated that checks are being received in the division at the rate of 36,000,000 a year.

In the Forgery and Photostat Section all cases involving forgery or other irregularities in connection with government checks are examined and investigated with a view to reclamation of the amounts of the checks if determined to be improperly paid and assisting in the prosecution of the wrongdoer by furnishing transcripts of evidence to the courts and bureaus, as well as for other purposes. The work in that connection is expedited in every manner possible, the successful adjustment of the cases being largely dependent upon the dispatch with which they are handled. Promptly upon receipt of notice of any irregularity the necessary evidence in the form of affidavits and reports is procured, and if payment is found to be erroneous reclamation proceedings are promptly instituted. In the meantime the case is reported to the Secret Service.

(i) Transportation Division.—This unit was established as the Transportation Division July 1, 1922, by General Regulations No. 8, being the old Transportation Rate Board, in existence for many years, reorganized. Its work is to examine and certify for payment all transportation claims received for settlement and to audit all transportation payments made by disbursing officers.

(j) Bookkeeping Section.
(k) Emergency Fleet Audit Section.
(1) Investigations.—Chief of Investigations.
The organization is further shown in the chart.


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5. Publications

"Annual Report of the Comptroller General,” printed, as an H. R. document, by the Government Printing Office. 6. Inquiries

Inquiries regarding matters pertaining to the General Accounting Office should be addressed to "The Comptroller General" of the United States, Washington, D. C. 7. Recognition of Attorneys and Agents and Other Persons Representing

Claimants before the General Accounting Office The Act of May 13, 1884,23 provides that the oath required of any person prosecuting a claim shall be that prescribed by section 1757, Revised Statutes, which is as follows:

"I, -, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

"Whoever, being an officer of the United States, or a person holding any place of trust or profit, or discharging any official function under, or in connection with, any executive department of the government of the United States, or under the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States, shall act as an agent or attorney for prosecuting any claim against the United States, or in any manner, or by any means, otherwise than in discharge of his proper official duties, shall aid or assist in the prosecution or support of any such claim, or receive any gratuity, or any share of or interest in any claim from any claimant against the United States, with intent to aid or assist, or in consideration of having aided or assisted, in the prosecution of such claim, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.24

"It shall not be lawful for any person appointed after the first day of June, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, as an officer, clerk or employee in any of the departments, to act as counsel, attorney, or agent for prosecuting any claim against the United States, which was pending in either of said departments while he was such officer, clerk, or employee, nor in any manner, nor by any means, to aid in the prosecution of any such claim, within two years next after he shall have ceased to be such officer, clerk, or employee.” 25

That it shall be unlawful for any person who, as a commissioned officer of the Army, or officer or employee of the United States, has at any time since April 6, 1917, been employed in any bureau of the government and in such employment been engaged on behalf of the United States in procuring or assisting to procure supplies for the Military Establishment, or who has been engaged in the settlement or adjustment of contracts or agreements for the

23 23 Stat. 22. 24 Act March 4, 1909, $ 109 (35 Stat, 1107 (Comp. St. § 10278]). 25 R. S. $ 190 (Comp. St. 8 272).

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