U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 16, 2024
§ 3526.
Settlement of accounts
(a)
The Comptroller General shall settle all accounts of the United States Government and supervise the recovery of all debts finally certified by the Comptroller General as due the Government.
(b)
A decision of the Comptroller General under section 3529 of this title is conclusive on the Comptroller General when settling the account containing the payment.
(c)
(1)
The Comptroller General shall settle an account of an accountable official within 3 years after the date the Comptroller General receives the account. A copy of the certificate of settlement shall be provided the official.
(2)
The settlement of an account is conclusive on the Comptroller General after 3 years after the account is received by the Comptroller General. However, an amount may be charged against the account after the 3-year period when the Government has or may have lost money because the official acted fraudulently or criminally.
(3)
A 3-year period under this subsection is suspended during a war.
(4)
This subsection does not prohibit—
(A)
recovery of public money illegally or erroneously paid;
(B)
recovery from an official of a balance due the Government under a settlement within the 3-year period; or
(C)
an official from clearing an account of questioned items as prescribed by law.
(d)
On settling an account of the Government, the balance certified by the Comptroller General is conclusive on the executive branch of the Government. On the initiative of the Comptroller General or on request of an individual whose accounts are settled or the head of the agency to which the account relates, the Comptroller General may change the account within a year after settlement. The decision of the Comptroller General to change the account is conclusive on the executive branch.
(e)
When an amount of money is expended under law for a treaty or relations with a foreign country, the President may—
(1)
authorize the amount to be accounted for each year specifically by settlement of the Comptroller General when the President decides the amount expended may be made public; or
(2)
make, or have the Secretary of State make, a certificate of the amount expended if the President decides the amount is not to be accounted for specifically. The certificate is a sufficient voucher for the amount stated in the certificate.
(f)
The Comptroller General shall keep all settled accounts, vouchers, certificates, and related papers until they are disposed of as prescribed by law.
(g)
This subchapter does not prohibit the Comptroller General from suspending an item in an account to get additional evidence or explanations needed to settle an account.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 964.)
cite as: 31 USC 3526