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FISCAL REGULATIONS

OF THE

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

ADMINISTRATION.

AUTHORIZATION OF EXPENDITURES.

1. For the purposes of these regulations the following terms shall be construed, respectively, to mean:

(a) The department: The United States Department of Agriculture.

(b) The Secretary: The Secretary, or the Acting Secretary, of Agriculture.

(c) Bureau: Any bureau, service, independent division, independent office, or independent committee, or the library of the United States Department of Agriculture, the office of the Solicitor being an independent office and the remaining subdivisions of the office of the Secretary, unless otherwise directed by the Secretary from time to time, together constituting a separate independent office.

(d) Chief of bureau: The administrative head of any bureau, service, independent division, independent office, or independent committee, or of the library of the United States Department of Agriculture.

(e) Contingent fund: The appropriation for “Miscellaneous expenses, Department of Agriculture” of any fiscal year.

(f) Supplies: All articles purchased for official use, including equipment, materials, apparatus, and job work.

2. 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. The Secretary will issue specific individual letters of authorization in all cases involving (a) general travel, other than routine, within the continental United States; (6) 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; (d) such travel for the purpose of attending meetings or delivering lectures as is not otherwise provided for in paragraph 92, Administrative Regulations; and (e) travel by persons not connected with the department incidental to consultations with the Secretary or his designated representatives.

4. 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 ('omptroller of the Treasury, and the fiscal regulations, and to allow per diems in lieu of subsistence, when desirable, at rates fixed by the Secretary; (b) to issue purchase orders for supplies in amounts not exceeding $500 in the Weather Bureau, $500 in the Forest Service, 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 motor-driven vehicles or boats, and the employment of stenographic or typewriting service in the field other than as provided in paragraph 78, 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. 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 rate if allowed, the maximum amount which may be expended, and the permanent or temporary headquarters of the employee.

ADMINISTRATIVE

AND PAYMENT OF

EXAMINATION

ACCOUNTS.

6. 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 61) and those authorized by sections f 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; see that there is no waste or misapplication of funds or improper vouchering; and 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 accord ce 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.

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