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Under the new régime the duties of the officers named are as follows:
COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY.—The Comptroller of the Treasury, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, prescribes the forms of keeping and rendering all public accounts except those relating to postal revenues and the expenditures therefrom. He is charged with the duty of revising accounts upon appeal from settlements made by the Auditors. Upon the application of disbursing officers, the head of any executive department, or other independent establishment not under any of the executive departments, the Comptroller is required to render his advance decision upon any question involving a payment to be made by them or under them, which decision, when rendered, governs the Auditor and the Comptroller in the settlement of the account involving the payment inquired about. He is required to approve, disapprove, or modify all decisions by Auditors making an original construction or modifying an existing construction of statutes, and certify his action to the Auditor whose duties are affected thereby. Under his direction the several Auditors superintend the recovery of all debts finally certified by them, respectively, to be due the United States, except those arising under the Post Office Department. He superintends the preservation by the Auditors of all accounts which have been finally adjusted by them, together with the vouchers and certifi. cates relating to the same. He is required, on his own motion, when in the interests of the Government, to revise any account settled by any Auditor. In any case where, in his opinion, the interests of the Government require he may direct any of the Auditors forthwith to audit and settle any particular account pending before the said Auditor for settlement. It is his duty to countersign all warrants authorized by law to be signed by the Secretary of the Treasury.
AUDITOR FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT.—The Auditor for the Treasury Department receives and examines all accounts of salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Secretary of the Treasury and all bureaus and offices under his direction; all accounts relating to the customs service, the public debt, internal revenue, Treasurer and assistant treasurers, mints and assay offices, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Revenue-Cutter Service, Life-Saving Service, Public Health and MarineHospital Service, public buildings, secret service, and all other business within the jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury, and certifies the balances arising thereon.
AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT.--The Auditor for the War Department audits and settles all accounts of salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Secretary of War, and all bureaus and offices under his direction; all accounts relating to the military establishment, armories and arsenals, national cemeteries, fortifications, public buildings and grounds under the Chief of Engineers, rivers and harbors, the Military Academy, the Isthmian Canal Commission, and to all other business within the jurisdiction of the Department of War.
AUDITOR FOR THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT.---The Auditor for the Interior Department audits and settles all accounts of salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Secretary of the Interior, and of all bureaus and offices under his direction; all accounts relating to the protection, survey, and sale of public lands and the reclamation of arid public lands, the Geological Survey, Army and Navy pensions, Indian affairs, Howard University, the Government Hospital for the Insane, the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, the Patent Office, the Capitol and Grounds, the Hot Springs Reservation, the reimbursement from accrued pensions of the last sickness and burial of pensioners under the act of March 2, 1895, and all other business within the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior.
AUDITOR FOR THE Navy DEPARTMENT.-The Auditor for the Navy Department examines and settles all accounts of the Navy Department, including the office of the Secretary of the Navy, and all offices and bureaus under his direction, certifying the balances arising thereon to the Secretary of the Treasury and sending a copy of each certificate to the Secretary of the Navy.
AUDITOR FOR THE STATE AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS.--The Auditor for the State and other Departments receives, examines, and certifies the balances arising thereon to the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants; all accounts of salaries and incidental expenses of the offices of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and of all bureaus and offices under their direction; all accounts relating to all other business within the jurisdiction of the Departments of State, Justice, Agriculture, and Commerce and Labor; all accounts relating to the Diplomatic and Consular Service, the judiciary, United States courts, judgments of the nited States courts, and Court of Claims relating to accounts settled in his office, executive office, Civil Service Commission, Interstate Commerce Commission, District of Columbia, Court of Claims, Smithsonian Institution, Territorial governments, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Public Printer, Library of Congress, Botanic Garden, and accounts of all boards, commissions, and establishments of the Government not within the jurisdiction of any of the executive departments.
AUDITOR FOR THE Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT.-The Auditor for the Post Office Department audits and settles all accounts of salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Postmaster General and of all bureaus and offices under his direction, all postal and money order accounts of postmasters, all accounts relating to the transportation of the mails, and to all other business within the jurisdiction of the Post Office Department, and certifies the balance arising thereon to the Postmaster General for accounts of postal revenue and expenditures therefrom, and to the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants for other accounts, and sends forthwith copies of the certificates in the latter cases to the Postmaster General.
“The further duties of this Auditor shall continue as now defined by law, except as the same are modified by the provisions of this act.” (28 Stat., 207.)
The chief “further duties” are:
To close the accounts of the Post Office Department quarterly and submit reports to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the Postmaster General, quarterly and annual reports.
To register, charge, and countersign Post Office Department warrants.
To perform such other duties in relation to the financial concerns of the Post Office Department as may be assigned to him by the Secretary of the Treasury.
To superintend the collection of all debts due the Post Office Department and penalties and forfeitures imposed for violation of postal laws and to forward certified papers to Department of Justice.
To receive from postmasters money-order accounts and to keep said accounts separately.
To compromise judgments for debts due the Post Office Department and accounts for fines, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities incurred.
To administer oaths in the settlement of accounts.
To receive notices of Postmaster General's orders originating claims; notices of appointments, deaths, or removals of postmasters; notices of readjustments of postmasters' salaries; establishment and discontinuance of post offices, and official bonds of former postmasters.
To receive from United States marshals returns of proceedings on execution in postal cases. . To certify quarterly returns of postmasters and any papers pertaining to the accounts in his office, transcripts of money-order accounts, statements of accounts of postmasters and contractors, and statements of postmasters showing demand upon a delinquent postmaster for balance due.
To receive vouchers for deductions by postmasters out of the receipts of their offices.
To keep the accounts of the Post Office Department in the manner prescribed by law and to charge certain sums to certain appropriations.
To receive notices from Post Office Department of the filing of subcontracts for carrying the mails.
To report deficiencies in postmasters' accounts.
The said act of 1894, known as the “Dockery Act,” abolished the offices of Commissioner of Customs and Second Comptroller and directed that the First Comptroller should thereafter be known as the Comptroller of the Treasury, with the same duties, powers, and responsibilities as those appertaining to and performed by the Second Comptroller of the Treasury and the Commissioner of Customs, except as therein modified.
Section 456 of the Revised Statutes, which required all returns relative to public lands to be made to the Commissioner of the Land Office, and gave that officer power to settle and audit all accounts relative to the same and to certify balances to the First Comptroller, was amended so as to read, “all returns relative to the public lands shall be made to the Commissioner of the General Land Office.”
The act recognized and established the division of bookkeeping and warrants and requires that upon the books of that division shall be kept the accounts of all receipts and expenditures except those relating to the postal service, thereby relieving the Register of part of his duties.
The Auditor for the Post Office Department continues to audit the receipts and expenditures of the postal service and in addition audits the accounts for salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Postmaster General.
The laws pertaining to the auditing offices are attached.
OUTLINE OF THE SYSTEM, 1789 TO 1910.
1789. Accounting system organized with one Comptroller and one
Auditor. 1792. Accountant of War Department authorized.
1817. Office abolished. 1798. Accountant of Navy Department authorized.
1817. Office abolished. 1812. Commissioner of General Land Office empowered to audit
returns relative to public lands.
that Department. 1816. A Commissioner to pass upon claims for property lost, cap
tured, or destroyed in the military service of the United States was created.
1818. Duties transferred to Third Auditor. 1816. Additional accountant in War Department authorized.
1817. Office abolished. 1817. Two Comptrollers and five Auditors provided for, viz: First
Comptroller, Second Comptroller, First Auditor, Second
Auditor, Third Auditor, Fourth Auditor, Fifth Auditor. 1836. Sixth Auditor, or Auditor for the Post Office Department,
created. 1849. Commissioner of Customs, sometimes referred to as “Third
1894. Office of Commissioner of Customs abolished. 1862. Administrative examination of accounts introduced by law. 1894. Accounting system reorganized with one Comptroller and six
Auditors, viz: Comptroller of the Treasury, Auditor for the
Auditor for the Post Office Department.