What Does Federal Law Say About Certifying Officers?
- Marvin Harvey
A Certifying Officer is designated by the head of a federal entity in compliance with the requirements outlined in the Treasury Financial Manual (TFM). Certifying Officers are necessary to the payment process in that they must certify all payments prior to their being sent to the Treasury to be disbursed.
What is true about a certifying officer?
Approving Official (AO) and Certifying Official What is an Approving Official? Specific to the purchase programs, the Approving Official is an individual (typically a supervisor) responsible for ensuring that the purchase account is used properly by the agency.
- The Approving Official also authorizes account holder purchases (for official use only) and ensures that the statements are reconciled and submitted to the Designated Billing Office (DBO) in a timely manner.
- What is a Certifying Official? A Certifying Official is an individual who has been charged with the responsibility of authorizing certified vouchers for payment and ensuring that funds are available for obligation before payment.
The Certifying Official is held accountable for public funds in civilian agencies. Note: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B and the GSA SmartPay Master Contract language utilize the terms Approving Official and Certifying Official synonymously. In the case of many agencies/organizations, the individual that holds the title of Approving Official also holds the title of Certifying Official.
The Approving Official is responsible for ensuring that all purchases made by the account holder(s) within his/her span of control are appropriate and the charges are accurate. Purchases should not only be legal and proper, but also should be considered “mission essential”. In order to ensure proper purchases, the Approving Official must review and approve account holder statements belonging to all account holders within their purview. The Approving Official’s review should include looking at all required receipts and account holder logs. The Approving Official is responsible for counseling account holders within his/her span of control regarding regulations, misuse, and delinquency. The Approving Official is responsible for resolving all questionable purchases with the account holder. Upon review of receipts and account holder logs, if the Approving Official finds a questionable purchase, the Approving Official must work with the account holder to receive more information regarding the purchase in order to determine the legitimacy of the purchase. The Approving Official is responsible for elevating unresolved questionable purchases to the Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC). In the event an unauthorized purchase is detected or there is a purchase that is still in question after review of supporting account holder documentation, the Approving Official must notify the A/OPC as well as any other appropriate personnel in accordance with agency policy. This may include notifying the agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for further investigation relating to potential misuse. The Approving Official is responsible for ensuring monthly billing account accuracy. The Approving Official signs the account statement and maintains documentation regarding the account in accordance with agency procedures. The Approving Official is responsible for conducting informal compliance reviews for all account holders under their span of control. These reviews should be completed in accordance with the agency’s specific policies (i.e. frequency, format). The Approving Official is responsible for ensuring that account holders follow the mandatory source requirements established in Part 8 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), otherwise known as the Required Sources of Supplies and Services. Assist A/OPCs and account holders with their responsibility to obtain, maintain and retain complete documentation of all purchases, particularly when pre-approval is required. This can be done by ensuring the proper documentation is sent and received through the approval chain.
Note: Approving Officials may be held financially responsible for payments made on accounts because of failure to ensure billing account accuracy. Remember, it is important to review your agency’s specific policy regarding reimbursement and disciplinary actions. OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B provides multiple recommendations with regard to the Approving Official function. OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B recommends:
Compliance reviews, or agency audits of account holder files, should be conducted at a minimum on an annual basis. The span of control, or number of account holders assigned to each Approving Official, is no greater than between 1:5 or 1:10 (i.e. each Approving Official is responsible for between 5 and 10 account holders). An Approving Official is able to act independently. For example, an employee should not be the Approving Official for a supervisor. This type of arrangement may put the employee in a compromising position and jeopardize their role as an Approving Official.
In addition to the above recommendations provided in OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, many agencies may provide additional responsibilities for the Approving Official within their agency’s policies. It is important that the Approving Official reviews the agency’s specific policies before beginning their official duties.
Certifying a voucher is responsible for the information contained in that voucher and the supporting records. The Certifying Official is responsible for the computation of the certified voucher.
The Certifying Official must ensure that all line items contained in the voucher and the total amount for payment has been computed correctly and that there are no mathematical errors in the voucher.
The Certifying Official is responsible for the legality of the proposed payment under the appropriation or fund involved in the payment. In other words, the Certifying Official must make sure that the line of accounting that is utilized to pay the voucher aligns with the type of items purchased.
In the case of the purchase program, the Certifying Official will most often rely on other members of the Government Purchase Team to review the supporting records (i.e. the account holder and the Approving Official). However, the Certifying Official still has a responsibility to assess the accuracy of the data while performing the certification process and to report suspect transactions to the A/OPC and appropriate investigative office.
The Certifying Official is financially responsible for repaying a payment if the payment was certified and was illegal, improper, or incorrect due to negligence on the part of the Certifying Official or was not paid out of the correct appropriation due to negligence on the part of the Certifying Official.
See United States Code 31, Section 3528 for a full explanation of the financial responsibilities of a Certifying Official. In addition to the roles and responsibilities stated above, many agencies may provide additional responsibilities for the Certifying Official within their agency’s policies.
What is the responsibility of a certifying officer?
Certifying Officers are responsible for verifying that a payment is legal, proper, and correct prior to certifying it.
What is true about a certifying officers pecuniary liability when an improper payment occurs?
Certifying Officers are accountable for and required to reimburse personally the government the amount of any illegal or otherwise improper payment. This is called pecuniary liability. Pecuniary liability is imposed by law under 31 U.S.C. § 3528 and is automatic.
Which of the following would not be an expectation for a certifying officer?
Which of the following would NOT be an expectation for a Certifying Officer? Knowledge of military processes and procedures is not an expectation for a Certifying Officer for Purchase Card.
What does federal law say about departmental accountable officers?
Decision Matter of: Department of Defense Accountable Officials—Local Nationals Abroad File: B-305919 Date: March 27, 2006 The Department of Defense may use appropriated funds to employ foreign local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials under 10 U.S.C.
Sect.2773a even though foreign local nationals may not be subject to pecuniary liability under United States law. The Department of Defense should formulate a written policy addressing the consideration and circumstances under which local nationals may serve as Departmental Accountable Officials. DECISION A certifying officer at the headquarters of U.S.
Army Materiel Command Europe has requested an advance decision under 31 U.S.C. sect.3529 regarding the propriety of using appropriated funds to employ foreign local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials under 10 U.S.C. sect.2773a. E-mail from Jerome J.
Markiewicz to U.S. Government Accountability Office Redbook Queries, June 6, 2005 (Markiewicz e-mail). The certifying officer’s inquiry stems from the fact that under treaties and other agreements between the United States and foreign governments, foreign local nationals employed by the United States abroad may not be subject to United States law that might otherwise pertain to their employment.
One such law is 10 U.S.C. sect.2773a, which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to designate civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DOD) as Departmental Accountable Officials. Employees so designated are liable for fiscal irregularities in the same manner as certifying and disbursing officers.10 U.S.C.
Sect.2773a(c)(2). In light of the possibility that foreign local nationals’ employment abroad might not be subject to section 2773a and the accountability it imposes, the certifying officer asks whether DOD may use appropriated funds to employ foreign local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials.
We conclude that even though foreign local nationals serving as Departmental Accountable Officials may not be subject to the accountability normally coupled with such positions, DOD may use appropriated funds to employ foreign local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials abroad.
We caution, however, that DOD should craft a written policy detailing the circumstances, if any, under which local nationals should be placed in positions of accountability. BACKGROUND An accountable officer is any government officer or employee who by reason of his or her employment is responsible for government funds.
B-304233, Aug.8, 2005. Accountable officers are strictly liable for fiscal irregularities associated with the funds for which they are responsible.62 Comp. Gen.476, 479-80 (1983). The ranks of accountable officers include certifying officers, disbursing officers, collecting officers, and other employees having custody of government funds.
- In 2002, Congress authorized the Secretary of Defense to create another accountable position by adding section 2773a to title 10 of the United States Code.
- Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, Pub.L.
- No.107-314, div.
- A, title X, sect.1005(a), 116 Stat.2458, 2631 (Dec.2, 2002).
Under section 2773a, the Secretary of Defense may designate those civilian employees of DOD as Departmental Accountable Officials who provide to DOD certifying officers information, data, or services that are directly relied upon by the certifying official in the certification of vouchers for payment. 10 U.S.C.
sect.2773a(b)(1). DOD’s Financial Management Regulation (FMR) lists functions that are to be performed by Departmental Accountable Officials. Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R, vol.5, ch.33, Departmental Accountable Officials, Certifying Officers and Review Officials (April 2005).
These include execution of purchase card programs, authorization of travel orders, and preparation of contract modifications. Id. The FMR notes that the list of functions is not exhaustive. Id. The Secretary of Defense may not designate as Departmental Accountable Officials individuals who are otherwise accountable, such as certifying or disbursing officers.10 U.S.C.
- Departmental Accountable Officials are pecuniarily liable for illegal, improper, or incorrect payments resulting from their fault or negligence.10 U.S.C.
- The FMR directs that individuals designated as Departmental Accountable Officials sign DOD Form 577, which acknowledges their personal pecuniary liability to the United States.
DOD-FMR 7000.14-R. Such liability is joint and several with the certifying or disbursing officer who makes a payment based on the Departmental Accountable Official’s erroneous information, 10 U.S.C. sect.2773a(c)(3), and is the same as that incurred by certifying and disbursing officers government-wide under subtitle III of title 31 of the United States Code.
Thus, even though Departmental Accountable Officials under section 2773a do not handle government funds or certify their payment, they share personal liability with certifying or disbursing officers of DOD for improper payments if their negligence or fault is a contributing factor. Agencies of the federal government are generally authorized to hire nationals of foreign countries to staff their operations in those countries.22 U.S.C.
sect.3968(b). DOD entrusts local national labor at its facilities overseas with various duties, including budgetary and accounting functions. Markiewicz e-mail. Many of these duties are of such a nature that the Secretary of Defense could properly designate those who fulfill them as Departmental Accountable Officials under section 2773a and the FMR.
- Id. See DOD-FMR 7000.14-R.
- As discussed above, Departmental Accountable Officials are personally liable under section 2773a for improper payments resulting from their fault or negligence.
- ANALYSIS The policy underlying the concept of pecuniary liability for accountable officers is almost as old as our republic.
As the Supreme Court stated in 1845, those responsible for the public purse must be strictly liable for losses occurring on their watch, and ny relaxation of this condition would open a door to frauds, which might be practised with impunity. hat losses might not be anticipated by the public? United States v.
Prescott, 44 U.S. (3 How.) 578, 588-89 (1845) (a depositary of public money is pecuniarily liable for funds stolen from his possession through no fault or negligence of his own). DOD imposes pecuniary liability on Departmental Accountable Officials so that they share responsibility for erroneous payments with certifying officers, who may make such payments based on the Departmental Accountable Officials’ negligent furnishing of information.
DOD-FMR 7000.14-R. Employing local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials under section 2773a involves these policy matters. While United States citizens’ employment overseas is subject to United States law, local nationals’ employment often is not.
- See Department of Defense Manual 1400.25-M, para.
- SC118.104.22.168 (December 1996).
- The law that applies to United States employment of local nationals abroad is determined by agreements negotiated between the Department of State and the government of the nation hosting the United States operation.
- See Manual 1400.25-M, para.
SC1231.3.1. Such agreements often provide that the employment of local nationals is subject to the law of the host country, rather than United States law. For example, by international agreement with Germany, United States employment of German nationals is governed by German law, as opposed to United States law.
Supplementary Agreement to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement with Respect to Forces Stationed in the FederalRepublic of Germany, art.56, July 1, 1963, 14 U.S.T.531. See United States Army Europe, Reg.690-60, Employment of Local National Personnel in Germany, para.8 (Sept.29, 1987) ( employment in is governed by labor law.
,). Thus, whether a German national employed by the United States as a Departmental Accountable Official is subject to the accountability imposed by section 2773a is itself a matter to be determined by German law. A United States citizen designated a Departmental Accountable Official could act in such a manner as to incur pecuniary liability under section 2773a, yet because of the Status of Forces Agreement and German law, a German local national in the same position acting in an identical manner may not be held accountable.
- For instance, section 2773a permits the Secretary of Defense to impose pecuniary liability for acts of simple negligence, while German law, in fact, may impose a higher standard of culpability.
- Memorandum from Michael J.
- Litak, Military and Civil Law division, to Ralf Schoenstein, Civil Personnel Directorate, G1, HQ, USAREUR and 7 th Army 5, para.10a (Aug.27, 2005) (Schoenstein Memo).
Thus, while a local national Departmental Accountable Official might act in a manner that would subject a United States citizen in the same position to pecuniary liability, the local national might be legally unaccountable. Id. The possibility that DOD may not be able to enforce accountability against a local national employed by the United States as a Departmental Accountable Official although a United States citizen in identical circumstances would be pecuniarily liable is troubling.
- However, we are unaware of any legal authority prohibiting DOD from hiring local nationals to serve as Departmental Accountable Officials under section 2773a.
- Whether or not to hire local nationals for such positions is a policy matter to be decided by DOD.
- According to section 2773a, the Secretary of Defense may designate any civilian employee of the Department of Defense a Departmental Accountable Official.
The FMR defines employee as a current or retired civilian paid from appropriated funds. DOD-FMR 7000.14-R, Definition 58 (May 2005). Local national employees are not members of the United States military; they are civilians. In addition, most, if not all, local nationals working in positions that could be designated Departmental Accountable Officials are paid with appropriated funds.
See Mike Litak, U.S. and Them: Citizenship Issues in Department of Defense Civilian Employment Overseas, Army Law., June 2005, at 1, 5-8 (2005). As stated above, we are aware of no specific authority barring such employment. Thus DOD, consistent with section 2773a and DOD policy, may properly employ local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials.
Nevertheless, we suggest that DOD consider the wisdom of hiring local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials in countries where by agreement local law applies to the employment, and local law may not subject the local national to the same accountability as other DOD employees.
- B-188715, Jan.31, 1978 (concluding that when local national employees in accountable positions, not subject to United States law, cannot be held liable under law of host nation, United States should reconsider its policy of appointing to accountable officer positions,
- Citizens of the host nation).
Section 2773a is available only to DOD and was meant to give DOD power to subject to fiscal accountability those employees whose exercise of discretion and judgment in the performance of their duties DOD certifying officers rely on when certifying payment vouchers.
- See H.R. Rep.
- No.107-436, at 340.
- It is somewhat anomalous that DOD would choose to hire potentially unaccountable individuals as Departmental Accountable Officials.
- To clarify these responsibilities, DOD should draft a policy addressing the practice of employing local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials.
Such a policy should offer clear guidance regarding the advisability of hiring local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials. The policy should include consideration of the law of the host nation before appointing a local national as a Departmental Accountable Official.
In making these suggestions, we remain cognizant that local national employees are important to DOD installations overseas and that they have occupied accountable positions for many years. Schoenstein Memo at 5, para.11. We are also aware of the possibility that under section 2773a, individuals, including local nationals, could perform functions that the FMR identifies as functions of Departmental Accountable Officials, yet not be designated as Departmental Accountable Officials.
We are confident that any policy put forth by DOD would adequately address these circumstances while minimizing the number of Departmental Accountable Officials who may not be held accountable. CONCLUSION While employing local nationals as Departmental Accountable Officials under section 2773a may undermine the policies behind placing pecuniary liability on Departmental Accountable Officials, we are aware of no legal authority prohibiting the practice.
What are the 4 basic qualifications to be appointed a certifying officer?
To promote professionalism and strengthen internal controls, a certifying officer should be a supervisor and have the following minimum qualifications: (1) knowledge of the subject matter, (2) background or experience in the preparation of a voucher for payment, (3) knowledge of appropriations and other funds and
What are the powers of certifying office?
(1) ] Every Certifying Officer and appellate authority shall have all the powers of a Civil Court for the purposes of receiving evidence, administering oaths, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, and compelling the discovery and production of documents, and shall be deemed to be a civil court within the meaning of 22
Which of the following is true about negligence as it applies to a certifying officer?
Which of the following statements is TRUE about negligence as it applies to a Certifying Officer? A Certifying Officer is presumed negligent when there is a fiscal irregularity.
Who appoints certifying officers?
This memorandum delegates to commanders, activity directors and other personnel of equivalent position, the authority to appoint certifying officers. Certifying officers are accountable to ensure payments are legal, proper and correct by their certification on vouchers prior to payment by a disbursing official.
Who is responsible for the performance of their duties providing certifying officers?
DAOs are responsible in the performance of their duties to provide certifying officers with information, data, or services to support the payment certification process.
Are accountable officers pecuniary liable?
Accountable Officers are trustees of the taxpayer and are pecuniarily liable for the physical loss or improper disbursement of the funds for which they are accountable.
What must the certifying officer verify on a voucher?
4 FAM 430 VOUCHER CERTIFICATION AND PAYMENT (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) (Office of Origin: CGFS/FPRA/FP) 4 FAM 431 SCOPE (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) Once vouchers are approved for payment, they must be certified individually or at the schedule level in accordance with the CGFS management approved financial workflow configuration.
- This section contains the Department’s policies for the certification and payment of vouchers and voucher schedules.
- Statutory requirements state that an authorized certifying officer (7 GAO 19-1) must certify all voucher schedules in accordance with 31 U.S.C.
- Sections 3325 and 3528.
- Responsible officers are authorized certifying officers for the Department of State as designated in 4 FAM 060,4 FAM 432 CERTIFYING OFFICER accountability 4 FAM 432.1 Certifying Officers’ Personal Liability and Relief (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
The responsibilities and accountability of a certifying officer are provided in 31 U.S.C. sections 3325 and 3528. A certifying officer assumes personal financial liability for the correctness and legality of all payments certified (31 U.S.C.3528). When certifying a voucher, a certifying officer is held responsible for: (1) Information stated in the certified voucher and supporting records; (2) Computation of the certified voucher; (3) Legality of the proposed payment from the appropriation or fund involved; and (4) Certifying vouchers of other U.S.
agencies as authorized to certify (see 4 FAM 060 ).b. In accordance with 31 U.S.C.3528, the Comptroller General may relieve a certifying official from a liability in the following cases: (1) When the Comptroller General decides that the certification was based on official records and the official did not know, and by reasonable diligence and inquiry, could not have discovered, the correct information; or (2) When the obligation was made in good faith and no law specifically prohibited the payment and the U.S.
Government received value for payments.c. A certifying official may be relieved from liability from an overpayment in the following cases: (1) When such payment is made to a common carrier under 31 U.S.C.3726 and the Comptroller General decides that overpayment occurred because the administrative audit before payment did not verify transportation rates, freight classifications, or land-grant deductions; or (2) When such payment is provided under a U.S.
- Government bill-of-lading or transportation request and the overpayment was the result of using improper transportation rates or classifications, or the failure to deduct the proper amount under a land-grant law or agreement.d.
- The Department of State has implemented the pay and chase payment model for U.S.
Government-issued purchase cards under the authority in I TFM 4500, which waives the certifying officer financial liability if payment is made in accordance with the charge card contract provisions. The designated billing office (DBO) is responsible for reconciling all bureau or post cardholder statements under his or her purview with the monthly invoice.
If there are any disputes, the DBO is responsible for working closely with the cardholder to file disputes for any billing discrepancies within the timeframe specified in the charge card contract provisions and tracking the dispute on future invoices.4 FAM 432.2 Requests for Decisions by the U.S. Comptroller General (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
A disbursing official, certifying official, or the Secretary of State may request a decision from the U.S. Comptroller General on a question involving a voucher presented to a certifying official for certification (see 4 FAM 433.7 ).b. All requests for decisions must be submitted to the CGFS Office of Financial Policy (CGFS/FPRA/FP).
- If CGFS/FPRA/FP is unable to resolve the issue in a satisfactory manner, it will forward the request to the U.S.
- Comptroller General.c.
- The Comptroller General will issue a decision requested under 31 U.S.C.3529.4 FAM 433 CERTIFICATION PROCESS (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) This section contains the Department’s policies related to the verifying of obligation legality and information accuracy; computing of voucher schedules, advance notification for large payments, certifying for other locations, signing and dating of the certifying officer, and the procedures when a question of law or fact exists.4 FAM 433.1 Steps in Certification Process (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
When the CGFS management-approved financial workflow configuration permits the automatic scheduling of approved voucher payments, the certification of the vouchered payments occurs when the payment schedule is certified. A certifying officer is not required to sign each individual voucher on a schedule but will be held accountable for all payments he/she certifies on the certified schedule of payments.b.
When the CGFS management-approved financial workflow configuration requires a voucher to be individually certified, the certifying officer reviews and certifies the voucher.c. Certifying officers should return payment vouchers whose origin and payment controls cannot be verified or where the vouchered payment has not been adequately documented to the appropriate administrative official for proper verification, approvals, and supporting documents.d.
The schedule of certified vouchers is transmitted to the U.S. disbursing officer (USDO) or the Department of the Treasury for payment according to procedures.e. Payment is the actual disbursement of funds to discharge the obligation. The USDO, cashier, or Treasury effects payment to the payee.4 FAM 433.2 Verifying Obligation Legality (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) The certifying officer will verify the legality of the obligation under the appropriation and accounting data for which payment is requested.
Refer to 2 FAM if a false claim is suspected.4 FAM 433.3 Verifying Information Accuracy (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) The certifying officer will verify the accuracy and correctness of information contained in the vouchers and supporting documents to ensure that there are no discrepancies.4 FAM 433.4 Computing Voucher Schedules (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) The examining official enters the vouchers that are examined on the appropriate Form SF-1166 OCR (magnetic tape and/or hard copy), Voucher and Schedule of Payments during the voucher processing stage.
Voucher schedules must be certified and transmitted for payment, after the certifying officer computes the totals on manual voucher schedules or verifies the totals on system-generated payment schedules.4 FAM 433.5 Advance Notification for Large Payments (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
Domestic certifying officers should notify the U.S. Treasury of individual vouchers exceeding Treasury published thresholds identified in Treasury Financial Manual Vol.1, Part 6, Section 8530, before forwarding the voucher schedule to the Treasury.b. Overseas certifying officers should notify the USDO of individual vouchers in excess of $1,000,000 before forwarding the voucher schedule to the USDO or the Treasury, unless the servicing USDO has established a lower amount requiring notification.c.
Overseas certifying officers should notify the USDO of individual vouchers in excess of $100,000 equivalent in local currency before forwarding the voucher schedule to the USDO to ensure sufficient local currency is available for the payment.4 FAM 433.6 Signature and Date (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
The certifying officer is not required to sign each individual voucher. Signing Form SF-1166 OCR, Voucher and Schedule of Payments, constitutes certification of all vouchers listed on the voucher schedule.b. Type, stamp, or print the name of the certifying officer and the date certified on all voucher schedule copies under the manual signature.
When a principal officer certifies a voucher schedule in the absence of the financial management officer (FMO) at a post, and the principal officer’s name does not appear on the Official List of Authorized Certifying Officers, show the title, “Principal Officer,” on the voucher schedule.4 FAM 433.7 Law and Fact Questions (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
If the certifying officer believes that a particular voucher involves a question of law, or there are missing or incomplete supporting documents, or there are facts which are known but not evidenced, the certifying officer should promptly transmit such vouchers to CGFS/FPRA/FP.b. All vouchers must be supported by the originals of pertinent documents or their authorized electronic equivalent (see 4 FAM 427.2, Imaging Supporting Documents).
An approving official’s memorandum transmitting the voucher should include: (1) Reason the claim is believed to contain a question of law or fact; (2) Administrative recommendation as to proper disposition; and (3) Statement as to whether or not an obligation in the amount or estimated amount of the claim has been established and that liquidation will not be made until properly instructed to do so.c.
CGFS/FPRA/FP will make every effort to expedite the processing of the questionable voucher. If a determination cannot be made by CGFS/FPRA/FP as to the propriety of payment, it will submit the voucher to GAO for a ruling. The post or bureau/office will be advised accordingly.4 FAM 433.8 Official List of Authorized Certifying Officers (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) Only a certifying officer who is listed on the current Official List of Authorized Certifying Officers may certify vouchers submitted for payment.4 FAM 434 PAYING VOUCHERS 4 FAM 434.1 Disbursement Authority (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
Upon completion of the certification process, the certifying officer must promptly forward the schedule of certified vouchers to the designated disbursing office for action.b. Only the USDO (or assistant USDO) and the Department of the Treasury are authorized to make direct disbursements of U.S.
Government funds (see 4 FAM 330 ). Principal cashiers and subcashiers overseas are authorized to make payments from an operating cash advance received from the USDO. Domestic cashiers are authorized to make payments from an operating cash advance received from CGFS.4 FAM 434.2 Electronic Certification of Payment Schedules (CT:FIN-464; 04-19-2021) a.
All domestic disbursements through the Treasury, must use the Secure Payment System (SPS) to generate payment schedules. This system allows designated Federal agency personnel to generate, certify, and submit payment schedules to Fiscal Service over a browser/web interface in a secure fashion with a strictly enforced separation of duties.
Federal agencies are required to use SPS to generate payment schedules. All domestic payments (manual or automated) must be certified daily through SPS using the system generated SF-1166, Voucher and Schedule of Payments for Summary Schedule. Two different user types are required and responsible for a Federal agency to submit schedules to SPS (see 4 FAM 061.6, 4 FAM 061.7 on designation of Treasury certifying officers (CO) and others involved in the Treasury Payment Process).
First, a data entry operator with an active FMS-210DEO designation form on file at Fiscal Service creates a schedule and submits the schedule for certification. Subsequently, a CO with an active FMS-210CO designation form on file at Fiscal Service examines the schedule and, upon verification, certifies the schedule, which results in the schedule being submitted electronically to Fiscal Service.b.
- A scheduled routine transmits overseas certified vouchers in SF-1166 voucher payment schedules to the USDOs at the CGFS finance centers.
- The USDOs process disbursements to overseas locations through the International Treasury Services system and disbursements to domestic locations through the Federal Reserve Board.c.
Non-State agencies operating overseas that do not have direct access to RFMS may submit agency certified SF-1166 files to the appropriate USDO for disbursements.4 FAM 435 THROUGH 439 UNASSIGNED
Who are the certifying officers?
Certifying Officer means the official who is authorized to execute the Request for Release of Funds and Certification and has the legal capacity to carry out the responsibilities of §58.13.
What must the certifying officer do to rebut the presumption?
Presentation on theme: “Certifying Officer Legislation Training”— Presentation transcript: – 1 Certifying Officer Legislation Training 2 The requirements for financial management is based in law The requirements for financial management is based in law.
- The Constitution, public laws, and several authorizations and appropriation acts require not only that financial management be performed, but also specify how it should be performed.
- The Constitution forbids the disbursement of funds from the Treasury unless funds are specifically appropriated by law.
The anti-deficiency Act prohibits the illegal use of funds and has punitive provisions for violations. The Chief Financial Officers Act focuses the financial management efforts of all federal departments and agencies on how well tax payer dollars are spent.
Finance Officers, Disbursing Officers, agents, and other financial personnel entrusted with public funds are accountable for those funds at all times. They may be pecuniarily (financially) liable for any financial losses.3 Prior to a 1996 legislative change, within DoD only Disbursing Officers were pecuniarily liable for fiscal irregularities.
Certifying Officers did exist; however, they were just administrative appointees. Public Law, national Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 96, changed that forever. This legislation established accountability for an individual’s actions in the form of pecuniary liability.
The law requires the appointment of an individual who is independent and organizationally separate from Disbursing Officers to certify vouchers. DoD policy is contained in DoD FMR R, Volume 5 Chapter 33. The Certifying Officer Legislation requires that an individual, other than the Disbursing Officer, be assigned responsibility for certifying vouchers for payment.
In making a certification, Certifying Officers are responsible for the existence, accuracy, and legality of information on a voucher. Certifying Officers are pecuniarily liable for illegal, improper or incorrect payments resulting from improper certification.
Lets learn some of the ways to find critical reference material concerning the Certifying Officer.4 DoD FMR 7000.14R Volume 5 Chapter 33 Twelve Points of COL DoD FMR R Volume 5 Chapter 33 1. The payment is permitted by law and complies with the terms of the applicable agreement.2. The required administrative authorizations and approvals for payment are obtained.3.
The payment is supported by basic payment documents or other acceptable forms of support.4. The amount of the payment and the name of the payee are correct.5. The goods received or the services performed comply with the agreement.6. The quantities, prices, and calculations are accurate.7.
All cash trade, quantity, or other discounts are taken and, if not, that the reason therefore is shown on the appropriate document.8. All applicable deductions are made and credited to the proper account in the correct amount.9. Prompt payment requirements are followed.10. The appropriation of fund is available at the time, for the purpose intended, and in the amount of the proposed payment.11.
Special certifications, if required, are furnished.12. Duplicate payments are prevented.5 The following regulations, laws, and directives pertain to COL: • Sections 3321, 3325, 3527, 3528, and 3529 of Title 31, Money and Finance, of the United States Code • Public Law Section 913 • DoD Directives R, DoD Financial Management Regulation (DoD FMR), and R, DoD Accountable Officials and Certifying Officers A Certifying Officer’s certification attests to the legality, propriety, and correctness of a voucher for payment as defined in 31 U.S.C.
Section 3528(a). Types of Certifications Voucher Certification Certification of a single original voucher attests to the propriety and legality of the information contained on the voucher and is authorization for the Disbursing Officer to make payment as identified on the voucher. Certifying Officers are accountable for the information contained on the voucher.6 Voucher Awaiting Payment (VAP) Certification Voucher Awaiting Payment (VAP) Certification occurs when payment information for multiple payment vouchers has been combined in an electronic file for payment.
When the vouchers have been previously certified, certification of the VAP attests to the total dollar amount and number of payments contained in the file, not to the propriety and legality of individual vouchers contained in the payment file. Certifying Officers may rely on original certification of vouchers contained in the VAP and are only accountable for the totals certified should they differ from the number of vouchers making up the file.
However, if the dollar amount or number of payments on the incoming file are changed after receipt and prior to VAP certification, the certification on the VAP will also attest to the change and the Certifying Officer certifying the VAP may be accountable for improper or illegal payments caused by the change.
In some cases the VAP certification is the first certification of payment vouchers contained on the VAP. In these cases, the Certifying Officer is, in fact, certifying all vouchers contained on the VAP and may be held liable for any erroneous payment contained within that VAP.
Subsequent Certification Certifying Officers are accountable for all information contained on vouchers they certify for payment. If any information on the voucher is changed after the initial certification, the voucher must be re-certified by a properly appointed Certifying Officer. This re-certification is called a “subsequent certification”.
The Certifying Officer performing the subsequent certification becomes accountable for illegal, incorrect or improper payments caused only by the changed information she/he certified.7 Certification may be manual or electronic Certification may be manual or electronic.
- Certifying Officers can manually certify directly on the voucher or summary voucher.
- The certification includes the Certifying Officer’s signature, typed or printed name, title, date, and dollar amount.
- Once a Certifying Officer manually certifies a voucher, it can be delivered to the disbursing office.
Let’s take a look at the electronic certification method. The Certifying Officer may certify electronically if the following criteria are met: • adequate safeguards exist to prevent unauthorized use • electronic certification is unique to the Certifying Officer • access capability (e.g.
CAC) remains under his/her sole control • electronic certification is verifiable by the Disbursing Officer • electronic certification is invalidated by the system if the data it is linked to is changed or altered in any fashion Centralized disbursing, automated systems, increased transaction volume, and more complex business processes have reduced the individual’s ability to personally ensure the accuracy, legality, and propriety of each payment.
Voucher certification must rely on information and expertise provided by several key players. Their efforts play significant roles in the certifier’s ability to properly certify. Some are in managerial roles and others are in direct support roles. Let’s find out who these key players are and what their roles and contributions to the certification process are.8 Responsibilities in the Payment Voucher Certification Process Under Secretary of Defense Heads of DOD Components Disbursing Officers Supervisors Certifying Officers Departmental Accountable Official Take a moment to read the list above (left side of graphic) of the key individuals involved in the certification process.
- Each individual has distinct responsibilities in the payment voucher certification process.
- Let’s look closely at each of those responsibilities starting at the top of the list with the USD(C).
- Then we’ll work our way down the list.9 At the DoD level, the overall responsibility for the integrity of the payment voucher certification process rests with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) USD(C).
The USD(C) administers and manages DoD FMR R. The heads of the DoD components implement the specific requirements of DoD FMR R. These managers are responsible for day-to-day business operations, including guidance, oversight, design, modification, and maintenance of their respective components’ business processes and systems.
- The heads of DoD components play a critical role in the assignment of certification responsibility.
- The heads of DoD components, or their designees, appoint Certifying Officers and Departmental Accountable Officials.
- We’ll discuss the Departmental Accountable Official later in this lesson.) The heads of DoD components are also responsible for overseeing the appointed Certifying Officers and Departmental Accountable Officials You should note that the Head of Component in this context is as described in DoD FMR R.
The Head of Component may delegate the appointment authority down the chain of command as appropriate for the needs of the component. For example, the Head of Component for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, is the Director, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).10 The Director, DFAS specifically delegates the authority to appoint certifying officers and review officials to the several subordinate directors along with authority to re-delegate to certain levels within the business lines.
- The service secretaries may delegate their authority to subordinate organizations either through general or specific delegations.
- The last responsibility of the Heads of the DoD Components that we’ll talk about involves their decision making and investigations.
- For instance, they will convene or order an investigation when an illegal, improper or incorrect payment is discovered.
Disbursing Officers Disbursing Officers are responsible for disbursing money according to properly certified vouchers. To accomplish this, they examine the voucher to determine proper form, certification, and approval by an authorized Certifying Officer.
- They also ensure that the voucher was computed correctly for the facts certified.
- Disbursing Officers return vouchers that are not in the proper form, incomplete, or not properly certified to the Certifying Officer 11 There are specific appointment rules that require a separation of duties for Disbursing Officers.
A Disbursing Officer may not normally be appointed as a Certifying Officer. A Disbursing Officer also may not appoint a Certifying Officer. This is an example of separation of duties. Disbursing Officers are pecuniarily liable for erroneous payments made without or contrary to a certified voucher.
Supervisors Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that both initial and refresher training is provided to new and existing Certifying Officers and Departmental Accountable Officials. Supervisors must also periodically review or inspect the actions taken by Certifying Officers and Departmental Accountable Officials under their control to ensure policies and procedures compliance.
Certifying Officers The Heads of DoD components appoint Certifying Officers with a DD Form 577, Appointment/Termination Record – Authorized Signature. Responsible for information in vouchers, supporting documents and records. Determine Legality of payment.12 On the flip side, when a Certifying Officer is no longer in that position, their appointment as a Certifying Officer must be terminated using the DD Form 577 showing the date and reason for the termination of duties as a Certifying Officer.
- The original DD Form 577 must be provided to the servicing Disbursing Officer.
- A copy should be maintained in the Certifying Officer’s personnel file.
- Note: The retention period for the appointment and termination DD Form 577 is 6 years, 3 months after termination of appointment as a Certifying Officer Certifying Officers are responsible for the information found on vouchers, supporting documents, and records.
They determine the legality of a proposed payment using the cited appropriation or fund and are responsible for the computations on a certified voucher. Certifying Officers are pecuniarily liable for illegal, improper or incorrect payments resulting from improper certification.
Departmental Accountable officials are responsible for providing to a Certifying Officer information, data, or services that are directly relied upon by the Certifying Officer in the certification of vouchers for payment. Two examples of individuals who could be appointed as Departmental Accountable Officials are: Receiving Officials and Contracting Officers.13 Departmental Accountable Officials may also be pecuniarily liable for illegal, improper, or incorrect payments made as a result of their fault or negligence.
Further, the Certifying Officer relied on that information from the Departmental Accountable Official to certify the voucher supporting that payment. Pecuniary liability may apply to the Departmental Accountable Official in the same manner and to the same extent as it applies to the Certifying Officer.
- Disbursing Officers and Certifying Officers play highly visible roles.
- They are pecuniarily liable for their actions when an improper payment voucher certification results in an erroneous payment.
- The role of the Supervisor, while not as visible as the Disbursing and Certifying Officers, is important as well.
In addition to their responsibility for providing the initial and refresher training, it is critical for Supervisors to provide effective supervision of Certifying Officers to minimize the number of erroneous payments 14 Public Law created the requirement that DoD use Certifying Officers in the payment certification process.
Sound financial management and internal control practices require that whenever practical, Certifying Officers be independent and organizationally separate from Disbursing Officers. Let’s take a look at the specific qualifications that a DoD Certifying Officer should have. A Certifying Officer should: • be knowledgeable of the area in which he or she performs certifications • have background or experience in preparing vouchers for payment • have knowledge of the payment process (e.g.
availability of funds and location of designated paying and accounting offices) • have knowledge of appropriations and other funds and accounting classifications. Certifying officers must be U.S. citizens if their duty stations are within the continental United States (subject to certain exceptions).
There are no comparable requirements applicable to employees outside the continental United States.15 Normally, Disbursing Officers are not eligible for Certifying Officer appointment. Also, individuals under a Disbursing Officer’s supervision may not be appointed as Certifying Officers except under unusual circumstances.
This separation of duties provides independence and strength to the internal control process. Personnel eligible for Certifying Officer appointment include commanders, deputy commanders, resource managers/fund holders, travel authorizing officials, purchase card approving officials, and other personnel in equivalent positions.
The above qualifications are not intended to be all-inclusive.) Appoint and terminate the appointments of certifying officers and DAOs on DD Form 577 (Appointment/Termination Record/Authorized Signature). Identify the specific types of payments, e.g., vendor pay, purchase card, CBAs, travel, transportation, military, and civilian pay involved.
For miscellaneous vendor payments, the appointing authority should identify the types of payments (e.g., medical reimbursement, damage claims, or tuition assistance) affected, but need only be as specific as he or she considers necessary, and may include the reviewing official’s organization on the appointment.
For pecuniary liability determination purposes, include the appointee’s full Social Security number (or employee number if not a U.S. citizen), name, organization, and position.16 There are some interesting facets to the Certifying Officer appointment. When a computation function is performed at an activity that is independent from the disbursing function, a Certifying Officer may be appointed to the first-line supervisor level, or higher within the computation function area.
Where computations for payment are performed under the direction of the disbursing officer during tactical operations (including afloat units, military training exercises, noncombatant evacuations, and contingency operations), certifying officers may be appointed from among personnel within the disbursing office.
- These appointments must be accomplished either by direct written notification from the respective Head of the DoD Component to the designated appointee or by delegation through command channels excluding the disbursing officer.
- This special appointment would typically be for the duration of the deployment.17 Now that we know about the appointment process, let’s examine the payment certification process.
To start, the certification process is more than just the approval of a voucher for payment. It is a statement to the Disbursing Officer that the proposed payment is correct, legal and proper in the use of appropriations(s) or other funds designated on either the voucher or the supporting documents The certification process has three easy-to-remember steps.
The steps are: • review the supporting payment documents • compute the entitlement • certify the voucher The key words to remember are review, compute and certify Certifying Officers are automatically pecuniarily liable for the amount of illegal, improper or incorrect payments resulting from their certifications.
Therefore, it is essential for their defense that they can show evidence of following established certification procedures. The certification process creates an audit trail. When performed correctly, the certification process provides protection for the Certifying Officer.
- In fact, following the correct procedures may provide a basis on which to grant relief of liability.18 A Certifying Officer appointment should not be taken lightly A Certifying Officer appointment should not be taken lightly.
- Certifying Officers are automatically pecuniarily liable for the full dollar amount of illegal, improper or incorrect payments.
Knowing this, let’s move on to learn about the Certifying Officer’s accountability. Certifying Officers ensure that vouchers certified for payment are valid. The Certifying Officer is accountable for: • the amount of any illegal, improper, or incorrect payment resulting from an inaccurate or misleading certification • any payment prohibited by law • any payment that does not represent a legal obligation under the appropriation or fund involved As you know, accountability and responsibility go hand-in-hand.19 The Certifying Officer is responsible for the correctness of the facts stated in the voucher and the existence of supporting documentation, and records.
The Certifying Officer is also responsible for the accuracy of computations on the voucher and the legality of the proposed payment under the appropriation or fund involved. All of the Certifying Officer responsibilities are specified in 31 USC 3528(a) and the DoD FMR, Volume 5, Chapter 33. Let’s look at the supporting documents needed for valid payments.
Valid payments generally have three parts: • documentary evidence of a legal liability to pay against an available appropriation or fund • supporting documentation • a voucher The payment voucher, all supporting documentation and any determinations made by or for the Certifying Officer (e.g.
Advance decisions) need to be accessible and retrievable. This collection of documents will form an audit trail, which may form the basis for relief from liability for the Certifying Officer. We talked about accountability and responsibility. Now let’s see how the operational changes have impacted the role of the Certifying Officer 20 The centralization of disbursing processes and increased use of automated systems, coupled with the volume and complexity of business processes, reduces the ability of DoD officials to exercise direct personal control over all aspects of each business transaction.
Because of these operation changes, it is extremely difficult for any single DoD official to personally ensure the accuracy, propriety, and legality of every payment. A Certifying Officer must depend on other personnel (e.g. Departmental Accountable Officials) involved in the payment authorization process to provide accurate and timely documents and quality service.
A Certifying Officer may rely upon information provided by others in the payment process such as Contracting Officers, Resource Managers and Receiving Officials. In an automated system, evidence that the payments are accurate and legal is dependent on the system and not individual transactions. To ensure accuracy and legality, Certifying Officers need assurance that the automated system was designed properly and is functioning correctly.
One way to ensure system integrity is through annual reviews, with interim checks when there have been major system changes. This will allow Heads of Components (or designee) to certify that the system can be relied on to produce accurate and legal payments.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-123 and A-127, Title 7 of the General Accounting Office (GAO) Policy and Procedures Manual provide guidance for automated system use.21 Pecuniary Liability Whenever an erroneous payment results from a Certifying Officer’s certification of a payment voucher, the Certifying Officer is presumed to be negligent in the performance of her or his duties.
To rebut the presumption of negligence, a Certifying Officer must present sufficient evidence that he or she was not negligent or his or her actions did not contribute to the erroneous payment. Investigators must determine whether or not an erroneous payment occurred and if evidence shows the absence of fault or negligence on the part of the Certifying Officer.
- In all cases, debt collection procedures must be performed to attempt recovery from the payee.
- Pecuniary liability is the personal financial liability of Certifying Officers for erroneous payments.
- This liability acts as an incentive to guard against errors and theft by others.
- It ultimately helps protect the U.S.
Government against Certifying Officer error and dishonesty. Certifying Officers are automatically pecuniarily liable when there is an erroneous payment. Generally, the amount of pecuniary liability is determined during the investigation of the erroneous payment and is equal to the erroneous payment less any amounts recovered from the payee.
- You now know that pecuniary liability is the personal financial liability that automatically attaches to the Certifying Officer whenever an erroneous payment occurs.
- A Certifying Officer may be relieved of liability, but negligence is presumed until proven otherwise.22 Rights of the Certifying Officer There are four rights that Certifying Officers can exercise in order to maintain the integrity of the certification process and minimize their pecuniary liability.
The first three that we’ll discuss can result in postponing the certification of a payment. The fourth one has more to do with the certification process. The first of these rights is the option not to certify a payment voucher if the propriety or correctness of the voucher is questionable.
During the voucher review process, the Certifying Officer has the right not to certify payment if, in his or her judgment, the payment voucher certification package does not properly support a valid and legal payment. Let’s find out about the second right that the Certifying Officer can exercise. Before certifying a questionable payment voucher, the DoD Certifying Officer, by statute and regulation (31 U.S.C and 32 CFR Part 282, Appendix F), has the right to seek an advance decision.
All advance decision requests must go through General Counsel of the Component concerned. What this means for a DFAS certifier is that an advance decision request must go through the chain of command to the DFAS Office of General Counsel.23 There is another right that the Certifying Officer can exercise There is another right that the Certifying Officer can exercise.
- Let’s take a look.
- The Certifying Officer also has the right to seek additional back-up materials to substantiate an otherwise questionable payment.
- In situations of heavy transaction volume, a statistical sampling plan may be applied in lieu of detailed examination of every voucher.
- The sampling plan must be approved by the Agency Head (or designee) based on an analysis showing that the risk of loss is less than the cost of examining every transaction at a given threshold.
Following the identification of an erroneous payment, diligent collection action will be taken. If collection action is unsuccessful, the Certifying Officer will remain pecuniarily liable for the uncollected balance, and may request relief of liability.
There are four possible outcomes to this request: • partial recovery/pecuniary liability relief granted • partial recovery/pecuniary liability relief denied • no recovery/pecuniary liability relief granted • no recovery/pecuniary liability relief denied Ref: DoD FMR R, Volume 5, Chapter 6 24 A successful recovery of payment relieves the Certifying Officer of pecuniary liability.
The Certifying Officer may request relief of liability for any unrecovered amount for which he or she is liable by submitting a statement explaining how the evidence shows a lack of negligence on his or her part. The request is routed through the appropriate chain of command to DFAS Headquarters for consideration.
- Requests for relief may be delayed pending the outcome of collection efforts against the recipient.
- In all cases, the maximum delay is for one year following the attachment of liability against the Certifying Officer.
- If no recovery is made, the same statement explaining that evidence shows a lack of negligence on the part of the Certifying Officer may be submitted.
If relief is not requested, personal funds equal to the amount of the loss must be remitted Relief may be granted if the evidence shows that the erroneous payment was not the result of a Certifying Officer’s negligence. Evidence that the Certifying Officer followed official DoD regulations, policies, and procedures including local standard operating procedures may support a finding that there was no negligence.25 Following orders is not evidence of the absence of negligence or bad faith.
- No relief will be granted if the payment was not for a legal obligation or the payment violated a statute or law prohibiting payment.
- If a request for relief is granted, an individual is not pecuniarily liable.
- Let’s see what happens if the request for relief is denied.
- If a request for relief is denied, the individual must remit personal funds equal to the amount of the liability less any amounts collected.
Alternatively, payment arrangements for settlement of the liability may be made between the individual and DFAS. Several factors are not relevant to granting relief, including workload, lack of training or experience, and personal financial situation.26 PROCESS – Advance Decision PROCESS – Legal Standard for Relief An investigation to determine whether a Certifying Officer acted in a reasonable manner will compare The Certifying Officer’s actions a reasonably prudent person would have acted under the circumstances STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE Follow your SOP PROCESS – Advance Decision If a Certifying Officers questions the legality of a payment prior to certification, the Certifying Officers may request an advance decision from the DFAS Office of General Counsel.
An advance decision finding that a questionable payment is legal shields a Certifying Officer from pecuniary liability.27 PROCESS – Request for Advance Decision Defense Finance & Accounting Service – Enterprise Learning Requesting Decision must include: 1) CO’s Name 2) Reason for RAD 3) Supporting Documents 4) Concurrence/Nonconcurrence Supporting Documents • Voucher • Contract • Invoice • Amount • Payee • Payment Due Date Concurrence/Nonconcurrence • Supervisor’s position/explanation • AP Director’s position/explanation • Accounting Director’s position/explanation 28 – What can you do to avoid liability? SUMMARY – What can you do to avoid liability? You cannot be ordered to Certify an illegal or improper payment.
• If the legality, propriety or correctness of a payment is in question, do not certify it. Instead pursue a RAD through your chain of command. • Follow your SOP.
Who are the accountable officers and their functions?
|Word :||Accountable Officer|
Officer of any government agency whose duties, wholly or partly, permit or require the possession or custody of government funds or property, such as treasurer, collecting officer, disbursing officer, cashier, paymaster, property officer or supply officer and who is required by law to file a bond and t render his accounts.
What is a departmental accountable official?
A departmental accountable official is a DoD military or civilian employee who provides to the DoD certifying officer ‘information, data, or services that are directly relied upon by the certifying official in the certification of vouchers for payment.’ Individuals eligible for appointment within the U.S. must be a
Should every officer who is accountable for government funds be liable for all losses attributable to negligence in the keeping of said funds?
4.5 Accountability for Public Funds – Every officer, agent and employee accountable for public funds shall be liable for all losses resulting from the unlawful deposit, use, or application thereof, and for all losses attributable to negligence in the keeping of such funds.
What office or officer has the authority to designate a certifying officer at an overseas post?
4 FAM 060 FINANCIAL ROLES DESIGNATION AND AUTHORIZATION (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) (Office of Origin: CGFS/FPRA/FP) 4 FAM 061 SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) This subchapter addresses the various methods of designating, delegating, appointing, and assigning individuals for purposes of financial services.
- The Department assignment of an employee to certain positions designates the employee to serve in roles with the authorities and duties under the position description.
- These positions at overseas posts include the management officer, financial management officer (FMO), general services officer, procurement agent, and budget and accounting technician and at domestic bureaus/offices include the executive director, if applicable, and budget officer.
Specific authorization requirements for financial roles are contained in the subchapter sections.4 FAM 061.1 Grants/Federal Assistance Approving Official (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The grants officer (GO) of an overseas post or domestic bureau/office is appointed in writing by the Procurement Executive pursuant to the Federal Assistance Directive (FAD) and serves as grants/Federal assistance approving official.
Posts and bureaus may have more than one authorized grants officer. Grant warrants are specific to the individual and may not be reassigned to an “acting” official. They are also specific to post or bureau, contain an upper dollar threshold, and must be renewed every two years after meeting training requirements.
Federal assistance approving official designation requirements are contained in FAD. Warrant and FAD questions should be referred to A/OPE/AP/FA.4 FAM 061.2 Grants Officer Representative (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) Grants officers (GO) may designate, in writing, a grants officer representative (GOR) to monitor and evaluate the performance of a Federal assistance recipient.
GORs must complete mandatory training and receive certification as a GOR as specified in the FAD. A GOR does not have the authority to authorize payments, make commitments on behalf of the U.S. Government, or modify the terms, conditions, scope or budget of an award, although they may make recommendations to the GO to do so.
GOR certification and FAD questions should be referred to A/OPE/AP/FA.4 FAM 061.3 Procurement Approving Official (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The contracting officer of an overseas post or domestic bureau/office is appointed in writing by the procurement executive pursuant to DOSAR 601.603 and serves as procurement approving official.
Generally, the general services officer or management officer is the procurement approving official of an overseas post. The procurement approving official designation requirements are contained in 14 FAM 214,4 FAM 061.4 Receiving Official (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a. For overseas posts, the contracting officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S.
Government employee to serve as receiving official for goods and services delivered under a contract as required under 14 FAH-2 H-140 procedures. The management officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S. Government employee to serve as receiving official for goods and services when a contracting officer’s designation is not required, except for purchases made by Government-wide commercial purchase card (48 CFR 13.301).b.
For domestic bureaus/offices, the contracting officer designates, in writing or by financial systems access profile approval, a U.S. Government employee to serve as receiving official for goods and services delivered under a contract as required under 14 FAH-2 H-140 procedures. The executive director, if applicable, or budget officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S.
Government employee to serve as receiving official for goods and services when a contracting officer’s designation is not required, except for purchases made by Government-wide commercial purchase card (48 CFR 13.301).4 FAM 061.5 Invoice Approver (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
For overseas posts, the contracting officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S. Government employee to serve as invoice approver for goods and services delivered under a contract as required under 14 FAH-2 H-140 procedures. The management officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S.
Government employee to serve as invoice approver for goods and services when a contracting officer’s designation is not required.b. For domestic bureaus/offices, the contracting officer designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S. Government employee to serve as invoice approver for goods and services delivered under a contract as required under 14 FAH-2 H-140 procedures.
The executive director designates, in writing or by systems access approval, a U.S. Government employee to serve as invoice approver for goods and services when a contracting officer’s designation is not required.4 FAM 061.6 Voucher Examiner (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a. The financial management officer of an overseas post authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher examiner at post.b.
The Director, CGFS Office of Claims (CGFS/F/C) authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher examiner at CGFS/F/C.c. The Director, CGFS Post Support Unit (CGFS/S/PSU) authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher examiner at Post Support Unit locations.
This role is not an inherently governmental function.4 FAM 061.7 Voucher Precertifier (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a. In those situations requiring voucher pre-certification, the management officer of an overseas post authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher precertifier at post.b.
The Director, CGFS/F/C, authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher precertifier at CGFS/F/C.c. The Director, CGFS/S/PSU, authorizes, in writing or by systems access approval, an individual to serve as voucher precertifier at Post Support Unit locations.4 FAM 061.8 Certifying Officer 4 FAM 061.8-1 Policy (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- Pursuant to 31 U.S.C.3325, the Secretary of State is authorized to certify payments and may delegate this authority by written authorization to subordinate officers and employees.
- Such delegations, in writing, may be made to U.S.
- Citizen employees and locally employed staff (LE staff) meeting the criteria prescribed in 4 FAM 061.8-3,
In addition, by virtue of position, principal officers abroad are authorized to certify vouchers. Delegation of authority to designate certifying officers is not delegated to posts. Authorization to certify does not transfer with an individual from one post to another.b.
Certifying officer functions are inherently governmental functions for which the Department requires direct-hire employees. As a result, personal services agreement (PSA) or personal services contract (PSC) employees may not be designated as a certifying officer.c. Each certifying officer must be professionally qualified or have a proven record of integrity and consistent superior performance.
Professionally qualified means the individual has complied with the training requirements identified in 4 FAM 061.8-3,4 FAM 061.8-2 Designation of Certifying Officer (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The CGFS Office of Oversight and Management Analysis (CGFS/OMA) is responsible for processing the requests for designations of certifying officers.
- The Comptroller or designee will approve the designation.
- Certifying officer designations are made for U.S.
- Citizen and qualified non-U.S.
- Citizen direct-hire employees at posts and domestic bureaus/offices.
- Some domestic certifying officers are also designated as Treasury certifying officers as outlined in 4 FAM 061.9,4 FAM 061.8-3 Designations (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
CGFS/OMA will notify the post or bureau of designation action by cable for an overseas certifying officer or memo for a domestic certifying officer or Treasury certifying officer after the post or bureau has completed the requirements as specified below: (1) Overseas certifying officer : The financial management or management officer must submit a request by cable to CGFS/OMA (cable address: USOffice Global Financial Services, TAGS: AFIN, pass line: GFS FOR CERTIFYING, caption: GFS FIN CHANNEL) to designate a U.S.
- Citizen or a qualified non-U.S.
- Citizen direct-hire employee as an overseas certifying officer at least 15 days before the effective date.
- The request (Subject: Certifying Officer Designation) must include the following: (a) The name, current position, and grade of the nominated employee, whether the employee will be an alternate or principal certifying officer, and the effective (date) of the designation; (b) Information as to whether the employee has or will have a contracting warrant.
If so, the financial management or management officer must request approval for dual authority (see 4 FAM 042 ); (c) Confirmation of completion of required Foreign Service Institute (FSI) courses or dates of enrollment. Required courses include PA215, Principles of Appropriations Law, and either PA216, Accounting, Vouchering and Certification or PA291, How to be a Certifying Officer.
CGFS/OMA may grant a temporary 120-day designation to U.S. citizen direct-hire employees while they meet the minimum training requirements. No extensions or waivers will be granted; (d) Confirmation that Form DS-1088-A, Signature Card for Certifying Officers has been sent or will be forwarded immediately to CGFS/OMA.
Form DS-1088-A may be downloaded from the Department of State Intranet and completed, scanned, and sent to CGFS/OMA by email; (e) Confirmation that the employee does not have “write” access to the accounting system for recording or adjusting obligations to the accounting records.
No waiver of this limitation will be granted; (f) An explanation of any requests for exceptions to 4 FAM 042, Separation of Duties; and (g) A request for locally employed staff designation as certifying officer must also include: (i) Confirmation that the employee meets the criteria in the local employee’s position classification handbook for LE staff-certifying positions; (ii) Confirmation that the employee has proven records of integrity and consistent superior performance; (iii) Confirmation that the employee has a minimum of 5 years of service in U.S.
Government financial management or other relevant financial management experience; (iv) Confirmation that the regional bureau supports the designation, including the name and position of the individual providing the bureau concurrence; (v) Educational background: If college/university degree, provide major and name of the educational institution; (vi) Confirmation that post has contacted the Office of Overseas Employment (GTM/OE) regarding position classification; (vii) The monetary ceiling (U.S.
- Dollar or local currency equivalent by fiscal line item) of disbursements to be certified.
- Post must also include in the request the list of categories of vouchers the employee may certify; and (viii) Confirmation that post has assessed its voucher program and certifies that the internal control process will not be compromised by the appointment of an LE staff certifying officer; (2) Domestic certifying officer : The bureau’s executive director must send a written request to CGFS/OMA to designate a U.S.
citizen direct-hire employee as a domestic certifying officer. The request must include the following: (a) The name, current position, and grade of the nominated employee, and the effective (date) of the designation; (b) Information as to whether the employee has or will have a contracting warrant.
If so, the executive director must request approval for dual authority (see 4 FAM 042 ); (c) Confirmation of completion of required Foreign Service Institute (FSI) courses or dates of enrollment. Required courses include PA215, Principles of Appropriations Law, and either PA216, Accounting, Vouchering and Certification or PA291, How to be a Certifying Officer; (d) Confirmation that the employee does not have “write” access to the accounting system for recording or adjusting obligations to the accounting records.
No waiver of this limitation will be granted; (e) An explanation of any requests for exceptions to 4 FAM 042, Separation of Duties; and (f) A request for designation as Treasury certifying officer with Secure Payment System (SPS) or other Treasury system access must also include: (i) Confirmation that the employee completed the required Treasury certifying officer training; and (ii) Completed Treasury Form FMS-210CO, Designation for Certifying Officer.b.
When a certifying officer permanently departs from a post or bureau, the certifying officer’s supervisor must immediately notify CGFS/OMA (Subject: Certifying Officer Revocation) of the date the officer ceased certifying and request that the officer’s certifying authority be revoked. CGFS/OMA will notify the post or bureau of the revocation action by cable for an overseas certifying officer or memorandum for a domestic certifying officer.c.
In cases of suspected fraud, malfeasance, or negligence, post or bureau management has the authority to suspend any certifying officer designation. In all cases where fraud or negligence is proven, post or bureau management must notify CGFS/OMA (Subject: Certifying Officer Revocation) immediately requesting that the officer’s authority be revoked.d.
CGFS/OMA maintains an official database of all persons authorized to certify vouchers for the Department of State and provides this list to all U.S. disbursing officers. Supplements to this list are issued, as necessary, to reflect revocations and new delegations. See the CGFS Intranet site under “certifying officers by post” for the current listing.e.
A principal officer at post is authorized to certify payments made in accordance with 31 U.S.C.3325. The principal officer’s name and facsimile signature are not required on the official certifying officer list for this purpose. This authorization is limited to certifying whenever: (1) Emergencies occur because of the absence or illness of all certifying officers at post; or (2) A voucher, other than a payroll voucher, is drawn in favor of a certifying officer and the other certifying officers at post are absent.4 FAM 061.9 Treasury Data Entry Operator (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- CGFS/OMA is responsible for processing the requests for designations of Treasury data entry operators.
- The Comptroller or designee will approve the designation.
- Treasury data entry operator designations are made for U.S.
- Citizen direct-hire employees at the CGFS Office of Claims (CGFS/F/C).b.
- CGFS/OMA will notify CGFS/F/C by memo of designation action for a Treasury data entry operator after CGFS/F/C has completed the requirements as specified herein.
The CGFS/F/C Director must send a written request to CGFS/OMA to designate a U.S. citizen direct-hire employee as a Treasury data entry operator. The request must include the following: (1) The name, current position, and grade of the nominated employee, and the effective (date) of the designation; and (2) Completed Treasury Form FMS-210DEO, Designation of SPS Data Entry Operator.4 FAM 061.10 Authorization to Certify for Other Agencies at Post (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- Most agencies choose to delegate certifying authority to the Department of State certifying officers at posts by subscribing to shared International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) for vouchering services.
- Other agencies may designate their own employees to certify vouchers chargeable to their funds.
Each agency must send its list of certifying officers and copies of their signatures to post’s financial management office.b. When a post receives nonsubscribed agency requests for vouchering services, refer to 6 FAH-5 the ICASS handbook for guidance.4 FAM 061.11 U.S.
- Disbursing Officer 4 FAM 061.11-1 Basic Authority and Delegation (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- In accordance with 31 U.S.C.3321, the chief disbursing officer of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has delegated disbursing authority for operations in foreign countries to the Department of State positions of U.S.
disbursing officer (USDO) and assistant USDO. This disbursing authority is utilized at CGFS’s offices in Bangkok, Thailand and Charleston, South Carolina. A Department of State U.S. citizen employee assigned to CGFS Bangkok or CGFS Charleston is designated as a USDO by the CGFS Comptroller.
The Comptroller designates the USDO in writing. The Office of Global Disbursing Operations (CGFS/DO) coordinates and maintains the records of all USDO designations.b. See 4 FAH-2 H-113, Designations of USDO.c. See 4 FAH-2 H-114, Responsibilities and Limitations of USDO.4 FAM 061.11-2 Notifications (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
CGFS/DO advises other CGFS offices, as required, of the USDO’s name, designation effective date, and place where the USDO will exercise the disbursing authority.b. After arrival of the USDO, he or she informs CGFS/DO of the date he or she actually began performing the USDO functions.c.
Upon transfer of a USDO, the USDO’s former office notifies CGFS/DO of the date the individual ceased performing the USDO function and the number of the last Treasury Department check issued by the USDO.d. CGFS/DO will notify the Comptroller of the date the individual ceased performing the USDO function and request that the USDO’s designation be revoked.e.
Upon the death of a USDO, the Comptroller must be immediately notified in writing and requested to authorize the assistant USDO to act in the capacity of the deceased individual. CGFS/DO has this responsibility for the USDO in Charleston. The senior officer for the Global Financial Service Center Bangkok (CGFS/B) has this responsibility for the Bangkok USDO.4 FAM 061.12 Cashier (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.U.S.
- Disbursing officers (USDOs) are responsible for designating cashiers, including alternate cashiers, for all agencies with cashiers operating abroad based on cashier qualifications as defined in 4 FAM 061.12-1,b.
- The Associate Comptroller (CGFS/S) designates, in writing, domestic cashiers.
- To establish a new imprest fund or request a cashier designation in the United States, the bureau executive director must submit a request to CGFS/S.
All requests must comply with requirements in 4 FAM 391.4, paragraph e.4 FAM 061.12-1 Required Qualifications to be Designated a Cashier (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a. Only persons with the integrity and ability to perform fiscal services in a responsible manner should be considered for a cashier designation.b.
Only a direct-hire, permanent employee of the Department of State of any nationality or employees hired under personal services agreement (PSA) or personal services contract (PSC) authorities (e.g., 22 U.S.C.2669, 22 U.S.C.2396(a)(3), etc.) that are exempt from Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Policy Letter No.11-01 “Performance of Inherently Governmental and Critical Functions” may be designated by the servicing USDO to be a Department of State cashier.
All designated cashiers must read, write, and speak English with sufficient fluency to understand and carry out the duties and responsibilities of the cashier function. Standards of accountability are the same for PSA, PSC, and direct-hire cashiers. The designation request must state that employee’s PSA or PSC employment documentation is properly prepared and duly authorizes the individual to perform cashiering functions.
Only PSA and PSC employees of the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, and other agencies with specific Department of the Treasury authorization may be designated as cashiers. (See 4 FAH-2 H-813.1 for USDO designation requirements for USAID and other agency cashiers.) c.
An employee is granted a permanent designation as an overseas cashier after completing the CGFS-sponsored basic cashier course and passing the examination. The USDO may make a temporary designation (not to exceed 180 days) to allow a candidate the opportunity to complete the course.
However, the USDO must revoke the temporary designation if the candidate is unable to complete the course and pass the examination within the 180-day period. The candidate must achieve a passing grade in the course and may not fail the exam more than twice. If three or more attempts are needed to pass the exam, the USDO must concur with any proposals to allow an additional attempt to pass the exam.
(See 4 FAH-2 H-814 for additional details.) d. Before an employee is designated a domestic cashier by CGFS/DO, the employee should complete appropriate training consistent with assigned duties. A domestic cashier is not required to take the CGFS course required for an overseas cashier (see 4 FAM 061.12-1, paragraph c).
Training courses available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, General Services Administration, and other training facilities are appropriate. In addition, all domestic cashiers must be given operational instructions for their duties and information on personal liability for U.S. Government funds in the possession or control of cashiers, alternates, and their supervisors.
Minimum training must also include instruction on cashier controls, the appropriate forms or systems that must be used, and any required procedures to document cashier activities performed at the assigned duty station. Any domestic cashier or bureau supervisor with questions regarding the minimum training requirement for domestic cashiers, the systems, required procedures that must be followed, or forms that must be used to maintain good internal control should contact CGFS/DO.
- In addition, all domestic cashiers and domestic bureau supervisors should visit and review the information at the U.S.
- Treasury Financial Management website.4 FAM 061.12-2 Overseas Designation of Cashiers (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- The Department of State has been delegated authority from the chief disbursing officer, the Department of the Treasury, to designate cashiers.
Designated Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS) officials and the USDOs for the Department of State may execute designations of cashiers.b. Designation requests for overseas cashiers are approved by the servicing USDO. All requests must comply with 4 FAM 391.4, paragraph d.
- Requesting officers should be the FMO or post management officer.
- At very small posts where an FMO or management officer is not present, the cashier supervisor may submit the request when this person is the U.S.
- Citizen supervisor for this function.
- The principal officer or management officer, when an FMO or U.S.
citizen supervisor submits a request, must approve all requests.c. When the USDO receives the request for designation of an overseas cashier, he or she will review and approve the request, if appropriate, and send a telegraphic designation to the requesting official, the authorized certifying officer at the fiscal servicing post, and the cashier.
The USDO will seek additional information if the request does not meet all of the requirements for designation and must deny the request for designation if the person does not meet all of the requirements.d. Designations for other agency employees to be Class A or B cashiers must be approved by both CGFS/DO and the servicing USDO.
Agency appeals of decisions to not designate a particular cashier may be made to the CGFS.e. The request to have another agency employee designated as a Class A or B cashier must originate with the employing agency and must be justified. The written request (e.g., signed memo, telegraphic message, etc.) must state that the requested employee is qualified; has met the same training requirements as a Department of State employee; and agrees to follow Department of State policies and procedures, including any instructions from the servicing USDO.
- In addition, the requesting document must state that in the event of a fiscal irregularity, the requesting agency agrees to cover all USDO advances within 90 days and to resolve all fiscal irregularities directly with the employee.f.
- More detailed designation procedures for overseas cashiers are found in 4 FAH-2 H-813 and chapter 2 of the Cashier User Guide (CUG).
The procedure for requesting a subcashier advance is also found in chapter 2 of the CUG. Roles and responsibilities of cashiers, cashier supervisors, and cashier monitors are contained in 4 FAM 393.3 and 4 FAH-2 H-812,4 FAM 061.12-3 Designating Cashiers in the United States (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
- To establish a new imprest fund or request a cashier designation in the United States, the bureau or office executive director must submit a request to CGFS/S.
- All requests must comply with requirements in 4 FAM 391.4, paragraph e.b.
- When CGFS/S receives a request, it will review, approve, and send copies of the designation to the requesting official, the authorized certifying officer, and the cashier.
CGFS/DO will seek additional information if the request does not meet all of the requirements for designation. Imprest fund advances for domestic cashiers are processed on Form DS-4013, Request for Change or Establishment of Imprest Funds.4 FAM 061.13 Subcashier 4 FAM 061.13-1 Department of State Subcashier (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
The FMO, U.S. citizen supervisor of the Class B cashier, or management officer of an overseas post designates, in writing, subcashiers at post with advances of USDE 10,000 or less. The servicing USDO designates, in writing, subcashiers at post with advances in excess of USDE 10,000. These authorities include designation of subcashiers of an agency other than the Department of State.b.
The post cashier supervisor is responsible for notifying and requesting USDO designation for a subcashier when the subcashier advance will exceed USDE 10,000. This includes requests for designation of subcashiers of an agency other than the Department of State (see 4 FAM 061.13-2 ).c.
The designation letter addressed to the subcashier states the authorized advance amount and specifies the types and limits of transactions that the subcashier may perform, such as cash payments for general services up to USDE 500 per transaction. Copies of the subcashier designation letter, and other agency request letter if applicable, must be retained by the Class B cashier, the designated subcashier, and in the FMO files at the fiscal-servicing post.4 FAM 061.13-2 Subcashier of Other Agency (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a.
At posts where the cashier transactions of an agency other than the Department of State are few, a representative of the agency may request to have an agency employee designated as a subcashier to the Department of State Class B cashier. A subcashier of an agency other than the Department of State, Agency for International Development, and the Peace Corps must be a direct-hire employee of that agency, unless the agency has provided documentation to the USDO that it has authority to designate a personal services agreement (PSA) employee or personal services contractor as a cashier.
- All subcashiers regardless of their agency are accountable officers.b.
- A request for designation is submitted by the other agency with full justification to the FMO or the Class B cashier’s supervisor at the post.
- The subcashier’s employing agency must approve the requested designation in accordance with that agency’s regulations for designation of subcashiers.
The request must include the name and title of the Department of State Class B cashier who is to issue the advance; the amount of operating cash advance; and type of currency requested. Prior to submitting the request to the FMO, it must have the written approval of: (1) The Department of State Class B cashier who is to issue the advance; (2) The subcashier agency’s administrative, executive, or principal officer at the post; and (3) The Department of State management officer, or, if none, the principal officer of the same post.4 FAM 061.14 Occasional Money Holder (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The financial management officer, management officer, or U.S.
Citizen supervisor of an overseas post designates, in writing, a U.S. Government employee to be an occasional money holder. Locally employed staff may be designated occasional money holders.4 FAM 061.15 Collections Official (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) a. When a Treasury-approved lockbox, electronic point of sale (e.g., U.S.
Government/private credit cards, pay.gov, toll charges from telephone 900 numbers), Class B cashier, subcashier, or consular cashier is not available to accept a collection, a financial management officer (FMO) at an overseas location or a budget officer in a domestic location may designate an accountable officer to make collections for a bureau, organization, or post where the collections must be received.
- Designations may be permanent until revoked or temporary for a limited function or activity (e.g., post property disposal sale that generates proceeds of sale at a location where a class B cashier or subcashier is not available).
- The relevant management officer or executive director may assume the designation responsibility when an FMO or budget officer is not available.b.
Designations are prepared in memo format by the designating official and approved by the supervisory executive director, management officer, or equivalent in the bureau, post, or organization that receives collections. Supervisory approval is not needed when the designation is prepared by the management officer or executive director.
The original of the designation is retained by the designating official. A copy of the designation is provided to the designated individual. For domestic locations, CGFS/OMA is provided a copy of any bureau designation. At overseas locations, the servicing U.S. disbursing officer (USDO) is notified and provided a copy of the designation.
CGFS/OMA and the USDO are not required to affirm the designation but are authorized to request changes to, reject, or terminate bureau- or post-approved designations at any time. Faxed or imaged copies of the designations to the USDO or CGFS/OMA are acceptable documentation, provided that the original is retained with the designating official.c.
- The Director of CGFS/OMA approves CGFS employee designations for collection functions at the Charleston Global Financial Center and other CGFS domestic locations and is authorized to request changes to, reject, or terminate any bureau-approved domestic designation at any time.d.
- Only officers, employees, and personal services agreement (PSA) employees with authorities consistent with PSA cashiers (see 4 FAM 061.12-1, paragraph b) may be designated to make collections.
Contractor employees may not be designated and are not authorized to handle collections unless they are working under an approved lockbox arrangement (see 4 FAM 321.3, paragraphs c and d).e. All designations must be in writing and must be approved in accordance with this section before the designated individual makes any collections.
The documentation must state that the individual does not have access to accounts receivable processes or systems that would compromise internal controls over collections. Formal training for designated individuals is not required, but each designated individual must be informed and must acknowledge in writing before making any collections that he or she is an accountable officer and required to follow the written collection procedures (see 4 FAM 061.15-1 for the required written procedures and 4 FAM 392 for the definition of accountable officer).f.
Consular collection designations must be governed by the CGFS-approved procedures required in 4 FAM 061.15-3,g. When an employee receives an unexpected collection (e.g., check in the mail) and his or her organization does not have a need to establish a collection activity on an on-going basis, the individual should contact the Office of Oversight and Management Analysis (CGFS/OMA) for instructions needed to forward the collection to the lockbox.
A formal designation is not required for this situation.4 FAM 061.15-1 Responsibilities for Written Collections Procedures (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The designating official in 4 FAM 061.15, paragraph a, is responsible for preparing written procedures that will safeguard collections made by the designated accountable officer.
These procedures must state how cash, check and/or electronic collections will be tracked and how collections will ultimately be deposited with a U.S. disbursing officer (USDO), Class B cashier, lockbox, or approved financial institution. The written procedures that must be approved and be in place prior to making any collections (see 4 FAM 061.15-2 ) must also incorporate a receipt procedure for each collection received as well as any required documentation that will be needed to record the collection properly in the Department’s financial management system.4 FAM 061.15-2 Required Approvals for Written Collections Procedures (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) CGFS/OMA must approve all written procedures for domestic accountable officer collections that are not directly paid to a cashier, lockbox, or approved financial institution identified in 4 FAM 061.15, paragraph a.
- The servicing USDO must approve procedures for overseas accountable officer collections.
- The designating official at the post or bureau is responsible for ensuring that the approved written procedures are in place and are followed.4 FAM 061.15-3 Collections at Passport Agencies, Visa Centers, and Consulates (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services has authorized the Bureau of Consular Affairs to establish accountable officer designation procedures and consular collection processes at domestic passport agencies, visa centers, and overseas consulates.
The designation procedures for accountable officers, as well as the collection procedures for designated domestic and overseas consular employees, must be in writing and be approved by CGFS/OMA and CGFS/FPRA/FP.4 FAM 061.16 Cash Verification Officer (CT:FIN-465; 04-22-2021) The following procedures must be followed to assign an LE staff member as a cash verification officer (CVO): (1) The U.S.
citizen FMO, management officer, or other agency U.S. citizen employee at post who normally supervises the cashier operation selects the LE staff member as a candidate for performing the monthly cashier reconciliations. The LE staff member may be called the “cash verification officer” (CVO) and must meet the following qualification criteria in addition to the training requirements listed in subparagraph c(3) of this section: (a) Must have knowledge of cashiering and post financial operations; (b) Cannot be an alternate or subcashier to the principal cashier of the same accountability; (c) Must have exemplary performance reviews and demonstrated good judgment and proven reliability; (d) Cannot supervise the cashier or be supervised by the cashier at posts where the cashier performs other duties that are not related to cashier operations; and (e) May not be a family member of the cashier whose account is being verified; (2) The U.S.
citizen FMO, management officer, or authorized U.S. citizen employee from another agency requests that the employee be approved to perform the monthly cashier verifications by sending a cable request to the servicing USDO. The cable must state that the employee meets the above qualifications; (3) If the USDO determines that the post is in compliance with current Form GFS 365, Cashier’s Reconciliation Statement verification requirements, and the cashier operation has no significant problems, and the regional bureau concurs, the USDO provides initial approval of the employee as a candidate for verification authority.
The USDO approves the LE staff member as a CVO once the LE staff candidate successfully completes the following: (a) CGFS-required training for overseas cashier supervisors as determined by CGFS/DO; and (b) At least one monthly cashier verification Form GFS 365 (FSC-365 package) based on procedures in 4 FAM and the Cashier User Guide (CUG), in the presence of the U.S.
citizen cashier supervisor. The U.S. citizen cashier supervisor should train the CVO employee performing the reconciliation, as needed, to feel confident that the verifications are performed in accordance with proper procedures; (4) It is not required that the CVO authority be renewed when the U.S.
Which is a responsibility of a certifying officer quizlet?
Which is a responsibility of a Certifying Officer? Establishing accuracy of facts stated on a voucher and in the supporting documents and records.
Which is a responsibility of a Certifying Officer quizlet?
Which is a responsibility of a Certifying Officer? Establishing accuracy of facts stated on a voucher and in the supporting documents and records.
What is the meaning of certifying officer?
Certifying Officer means the official who is authorized to execute the Request for Release of Funds and Certification and has the legal capacity to carry out the responsibilities of §58.13.
What is a certifying officer at a bank?
A Certifying Officer is designated by the head of a federal entity in compliance with the requirements outlined in the Treasury Financial Manual (TFM). Certifying Officers are necessary to the payment process in that they must certify all payments prior to their being sent to the Treasury to be disbursed.
What is a certifying officer in Cyprus?
Public notaries in Cyprus – According to Chapter 2 in the Advocates Law, lawyers in Cyprus have the right to carry out notarial duties, as the public notary notion does not exist, All lawyers conducting notarial activities must be part of the Cyprus Bar Association.