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AUTHORIZATION OF EXPENDITURES. 2. Travel; Advance Authority to be Secured.Authority in writing must be secured in advance for all official travel, except in emergency cases where the delay incident to the procurement of such authority would be detrimental to the best interests of the Government. No account shall be paid in such emergency cases until approved by the Secretary.
3. Travel Authorizations by Secretary.—The Secretary will issue specific individual letters of authorization in all cases involving (a) general travel, other than routine, within the continental United States; (b) travel to or from points outside of the continental United States; (c) travel and other expenses, except for the purchase of supplies, to be paid from the contingent fund of the department; (d) such travel for the purpose of attending meetings or delivering lectures as is not otherwise provided for in the administrative regulations; (e) travel by persons not connected with the department incidental to consultations with the Secretary or his designated representatives; and (f) the employment of stenographic and typewriting service in the field other than as provided for in paragraph 86, section (n).
4. General Letters of Authorization by Secretary.—The Secretary, on or before the beginning of each fiscal year, will issue a general letter of authorization to each Chief of Bureau, authorizing him, during that year, within the terms of the appropriations specified in the letter, (a) to direct in writing employees of his bureau to perform routine travel within the continental United States, in conformity with law, the decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury, and the Fiscal Regulations, and to allow per diems in lieu of subsistence, when desirable, at rates fixed by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 82; (6) to issue purchase orders for supplies in amounts not exceeding $500 in the Weather
Bureau, $500 in the Forest Service, $500 in the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering; but in case of the Forest Service and Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, purchase orders in amounts less than $2,500 may also be issued for supplies, materials, or equipment required exclusively for the construction and maintenance of roads or trails under the provisions of the 10 per cent forest road and trail provisions, section 8 of the Federal aid road act, general improvement funds, and, with the prior approval of the Secretary, specific cooperative funds deposited for road improvement work; and $100 in each other bureau, for a single order; (c) to incur other miscellaneous expenses, except in connection with advertising, the purchase of medicines for personal use, the purchase of cameras and lenses, the purchase of motor-driven vehicles or boats, and the employment of stenographic or typewriting service in the field other than as provided in paragraph 86, section (n), as may be necessary properly to carry on the work of the bureau; and (d) to empower his subordinates to direct routine travel and incur necessary expenses within the limits of the authority conferred on him by his letter of authorization from the Secretary. The total liabilities to be incurred under a letter of authorization will be limited to the quarterly allotments annually approved by the Secretary in accordance with law.
5. Travel Authorizations must be Specific.—Each letter authorizing travel will specify the points between which, or the area within which, travel is to be performed, the object of the travel, the expenses authorized, the appropriation from which payable, the per diem rates if allowed, to be fixed in all cases in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 82, the maximum amount which may be expended, and the permanent or temporary headquarters of the employee.
EXAMINATION AND PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS.
6. Administrative Examination and Payment.-In order to secure a proper administrative examination of public accounts, before their transmission to the accounting officers of the Treasury for audit, the following procedure will obtain:
(a) All accounts, whether in the form of pay rolls, vouchers, or otherwise, shall be paid by the disbursing clerk, except freight accounts (see paragraph 69) and those authorized by sections (S) and (g) of this paragraph to be paid by fiscal agents outside of Washington.
(6) The administrative head of each bureau shall make a full and complete administrative examination of all accounts of his bureau; shall exercise every precaution to safeguard the expenditure of funds in conformity to law and to the necessities of the work of the department; shall see that there is no waste or misapplication of funds or improper vouchering; and shall cause all members of his staff whose duties lie in this field to exercise the same precautions. Except as the Secretary shall otherwise direct from time to time, for the purposes of this section, the chief clerk of the department shall be the administrative head of the Office of the Secretary (exclusive of the Office of the Solicitor), and accounts therein, prior to approval by the chief clerk, shall be examined by the Office of Inspection.
(c) In making the administrative examination the administrative head of the bureau shall:
(1) In case of compensation of an employee, verify rate of compensation, check the number of days of service and leave of absence with or without pay, and, if the person concerned is about to retire from the service, ascertain his accountability for property.
(2) In case of travel expenditures, see that each item in the voucher is authorized by the letter of authorization or otherwise.
(3) In case of purchases of supplies, see that each item in the voucher complies with the requisition or contract of purchase, that each article has been delivered, and that the price is in accordance with the requisition or contract, or, if the purchase was in open market, that it was made in accordance with law.
(4) In case of all other accounts, see that each item in the voucher complies with the requisition or contract, fiscal regulations, and law applicable to such item.
(5) In all cases, see that unusual items or expenditures are sufficiently explained; suspend or disallow each item or portion thereof not covered by the requisition, contract, or letter of authorization, or not allowed by the fiscal regulations, or forbidden by law or by any decision of the Comptroller of the Treasury; prepare waivers, when necessary, for the approval of the Secretary; see that computations and extensions are correct; see that applicable appropriations are available, and that unexpended balances thereof are sufficient to pay all approved accounts; ascertain in each account the correct amount of such items as are proper claims against the United States, and approve only such items.
(d) After deducting amounts suspended or disallowed the administrative head of the bureau shall approve the account and transmit the same to the disbursing clerk for payment.
(e) After ascertaining that the approval by the administrative head of the bureau is genuine, that the extensions and additions are correct, that there is an appropriation out of which the account is legally payable, and that there is an unexpended balance of such appropriation sufficient for the payment, the disbursing clerk shall pay each account so approved and transmitted to him, subject to his right to obtain an advance decision of the comptroller.
(f) In each district of the Forest Service having headquarters outside of Washington, the Forester shall make a
full and complete administrative examination, in the manner prescribed by section (c), by and through the district forester, of all the accounts of that district. Each such district forester shall ascertain the total of and approve the accounts for his district, as prescribed in section (d), and transmit the same to the bonded fiscal agent of his district for payment. After ascertaining the facts in respect thereto, as prescribed in section (e), the fiscal agent having headquarters outside of Washington shall pay each account for his district, so approved and transmitted to him, and send the same to the Forester.
(g) Accounts payable by special fiscal agents outside of Washington, pursuant to special authority from the Secretary, shall, after payment, be examined and approved by the administrative heads of the bureaus to which they, respectively, relate, in compliance with sections (c)
(h) Accounts paid by fiscal agents outside of Washington, pursuant to sections (f) and (9), shall be transmitted to the disbursing clerk of the department, who shall take off the totals to be carried to the appropriation ledger and shall forward such accounts, without audit, to the accounting officers of the Treasury.
7. Detail of Employees as Special Deputy Fiscal Agents.—Clerks, officers, or other employees of the Forest Service may be temporarily detailed to the office of the district fiscal agent, as special deputy fiscal agents, under the direction of and subject to supervision of the district fiscal agent, for the purpose of making cash payments to fire-fighting and other crews; and, when necessary, these employees and employees of the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering may also be designated to act as special deputy fiscal agents under the district fiscal agents of the Forest Service for the purpose of making cash payments to laborers, and for the purchase of materials in case of emergency in connection with the construction and maintenance of roads and trails under the provisions of the 10 per cent forest road and trail provision, section 8 of the