Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 65.djvu/159

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65 STAT.]

PUBLIC LAW 84—JULY 30, 1951


ing any other provision of law, order, or regulation, the Disbursing Officer of the District of Columbia shall (1) disburse moneys only upon, and in strict accordance with, vouchers duly certified by the Auditor of the District of Columbia or by one or more employees in the office of such Auditor duly authorized in writing by such Auditor to certify such vouchers; (2) make such examination of vouchers as may be necessary to ascertain whether they are in proper form and duly certified; and (3) be held accountable accordingly. SEC, 2. The Auditor of the District of Columbia or any employee in his office duly authorized in writing by such Auditor who certifies a voucher shall (1) be held responsible for the existence and correctness of the facts recorded in the certificate or otherwise stated in the voucher or its supporting papers, including the correctness of computations on such voucher, and for the legality of the proposed payment under the appropriation or fund involved; (2) be required to give bond to the United States and to the District of Columbia, with good and sufficient surety, approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, in such amount as may be determined by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia; and (3) be held responsible for and required to make good to the United States or to the District of Columbia the amount of any illegal, improper, or incorrect payment resulting from any false, erroneous, or misleading certification made by him as well as for any payment prohibited by law or which did not represent a legal obligation under the appropriation or fund involved: Provided, by^c"mp°roiier*Gen^ That the Comptroller General may, in his discretion, relieve such erai. certifying officer or employee of liability for any payment otherwise proper whenever he finds (1) that the certification was based on official records and that such certifying officer or employee did not know, and by reasonable diligence and inquiry could not have ascertained, the actual facts, or (2) that the obligation was incurred in good faith, that the payment was not contrary to any statutory provision specifically prohibiting payments of the character involved, and that the United States or the District of Columbia has received value for such payment: Provided further, That the bond required by this section to be given by the Auditor of the District of Columbia shall be conditioned for the faithful discharge of all of the duties of his office and shall be in lieu of any other bond now required by law. SEC. 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of this or any other Act to Nonliability for the contrary, neither the Disbursing Officer of the District of Colum- transportation. ^ bia nor the Auditor of the District of Columbia or any employee in his office authorized by him to certify vouchers, pursuant to the provisions of this Act, shall be held liable for overpayments made for transportation furnished on Government bills of lading or transportation requests when said overpayments are due to the use of improper transportation rates, classifications, or the failure to deduct the proper amount under land-grant laws or equalization and other agreements. SEC. 4. The liability of any person who certifies any voucher pur- nabiut*"^"^™®"' °^ suant to the provisions of this Act shall be enforced in the same manner ^' ^ and to the same extent as now provided by law with respect to enforcement of the liability of disbursing and other accountable officers; and they shall have the right to apply for and obtain a decision by the Comptroller General on any question of law involved in a payment on any vouchers presented to them for verification. SEC. 5. This Act shall become effective on the first day of the third ECective date. month following the date of its enactment. Approved July 30, 1951.