Page images

States, directing him to pay to the person named the amount specified, to be charged to the appropriation named in the margin. * * * This is examined by one of the Assistant Secretaries * * * and is signed either by the Secretary, or, in certain cases by special appointment of the Secretary, by one of the assistants. * * * It then goes to the First Comptroller, who countersigns the same; it being his duty "to countersign all warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury which shall be warranted by law." * * * It is next sent to the Register, who, after recording and certifying to the same, transmits it to the Treasurer.

The Treasurer thereupon draws a draft, payable to the Treasurer in Washington, or elsewhere by an assistant treasurer or designated depositary, to the order of the person named in the warrant, signs the same, transmits it to the Register for record and certification by him, and on its return delivers it to the party to whom it is made payable, or his attorneys, or to whomever he may order, unless the Secretary of the Treasury, by a memorandum on the warrant, otherwise directs. The Treasurer relies wholly upon the warrant as it reaches him under the signature of the Secretary or an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and he strictly follows its directions as his authority and justification.

Then, and not until then, is the settlement consummated and payment authorized. * * *

Accounts of the Navy Department are settled in the same manner, except that they go to the Fourth Auditor * * * and the requisition is drawn by the Secretary of the Navy. So are the accounts relating to Indian affairs and to agents of lead and other mines, except that they go to the Second Auditor, and accounts relating to pensions of the Army, which go to the Third Auditor, and those relating to pensions of the Navy, which go to the Fourth Auditor, * * * and all require requisitions from the Secretary of the Interior instead of other heads of departments; * * * but they are passed upon by the Second Comptroller, and in all other respects are subject to the same departmental processes as stated with reference to claims on the War Department.

As to the settlement of the accounts of other departments, there is some variation in the course of business from that which we have stated.

The First Auditor receives and examines all accounts accruing in the Treasury Department; accounts of salaries in the Patent Office; of judges, marshals, clerks, and other officers of courts; of the officer in charge of the public buildings and grounds in the District of Columbia; of the Congressional Printer; of expenditures for the Department of Agriculture; for public buildings and for prisoners convicted by United States courts, and certifies the balances and transmits the same with the vouchers, those relating to the customs to the Commissioner of Customs, and all others to the First Comptroller. * * * The Fifth Auditor receives and examines all accounts relative to the State Department, all accounts of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and those relating to the contingent expenses of the Patent Office and the Post Office Department, and accounts of the census, and certifies the balances to the First Comptroller. * * *

The Commissioner of the General Land Office also certifies the balances found by him, as an auditor, to the First Comptroller. * * *

The Commissioner of Customs examines the accounts thus transmitted to him, and certifies the balances arising thereon to the Register, and there his duty ends.

The First Comptroller in like manner certifies the balances arising on the accounts thus transmitted to him directly to the Register, * * * by whom the accounts, vouchers, and certificates are filed and preserved * * * and a copy of the certificate in each case sent to the Secretary of the department in which the expenditure has been incurred (except when it is the Treasury Department), who indorses thereon a request to the Secretary of the Treasury to "please cause a warrant to be issued in accordance with the certified copy of settlement," and forwards the same



Order of chairman of committee........

Report on auditing offices .......

Outline of system.............

Constitutional provision...
Laws pertaining to auditing offices...
Index to laws.......



Washington, D. C., February 21, 1910. Mr. FABER STEVENSON,

Law Clerk's Office, Auditor Post Office Department. SIR: You are requested to prepare, for the committee appointed to investigate the Auditors' Offices, a report showing the jurisdiction of the Auditors and Comptrollers of the Treasury Department. In the report trace the duties of the Auditors and Comptrollers from 1789 to date. In connection with the report prepare a compilation of the laws pertaining to the duties of the officers named. Respectfully,

M. O. CHANCE, Chairman,

« PreviousContinue »