The following procedures will be observed in the presentation, processing and passing of claims against Government presented to Pay and Accounts Offices for payment.
2.1.1 Subject to the provisions contained in the Central Government Account (Receipts & Payments) Rules, 1983 (in particular Rules 29 to 36) about general procedures relating to presentation of claims for withdrawal from Government account being observed, bills which should only be claims and not acknowledgements will be presented by the claimant at the bill counter of the Pay and Accounts Office, either in person or through a messenger, or through a bank or other authorised agent, or by post. Subject to the instructions contained in paras 1.5.1 to 1.5.5 of Chapter I, every bill should bear an endorsement showing:-
- the party, the person, bank or authorised agent in whose favour the cheque or demand draft is to be drawn;
- whether the cheque/demand draft is be open or a crossed one.
Note: Open cheques are not to be sent by post.
2.1.2 Note 1 (a) under Rule 64 of C.G.A.(R & P) Rules,1983, provides that monthly salary bills should reach Pay and Accounts Offices by the 20th of the month to which they relate. Except in unavoidable and urgent cases, bills other than monthly salary bills should not be submitted to Pay and Accounts Offices during the last week of a month.
2.2.1 Except in the case of bills received by post, one metal token bearing a number is given against each bill to the person who presents it by the clerk termed as 'counter clerk' authorised to receive the bill in the Pay and Accounts Office. This token number is noted by him on the bill before it is transmitted to the concerned pre-check payment section through a Bill Diary (CAM 4). The token number thus recorded on each bill should be noted on the cheque prepared for payment after the bill is passed. The 'Counter clerk' will hand over the cheque to the person who presents the metal token as well as gives details of the amount and of the payee of the bill. (If a bill is returned unpassed, the token will be taken back from the messenger simultaneously while handing over the bill). The receipt and issue of tokens is recorded in a Register of Tokens (CAM 5). The 'counter clerk' should verify daily, the stock of tokens in-hand after taking into account the un-redeemed tokens. This verification is intended as a purely numerical check to see that for the number of tokens that are NOT in-hand, an equal number of bills exist in the office. A certificate of this verification should be recorded in the Register of Tokens and should be put up to the Assistant/Jr. Accounts Officer/Asstt. Accounts Officer.
2.2.2 The Assistant /Junior Accounts Officer should daily see that for the bills paid during the day by cheques and bills returned unpassed, corresponding tokens are received back. A certificate to this effect should be recorded by him in Form CAM 6 and submitted to the Pay and Accounts Officer in-charge.
2.2.3 On the 20th of each month, a detailed census of all tokens in hand should be taken by the Assistant/Junior Accounts Officer in Form CAM 7 after making necessary enquiries from the Payment Section in Form CAM 8 and the result reported to the Pay and Accounts Officer.
2.2.4 The procedure to be followed for issue of cheques in cases where the metal token issued to the presenter of a bill is lost will be as follows:-
(a) A note of the loss of token(s) should be kept in the Token Register showing the token number which has been lost. This should be done under the attestation of the Pay and Accounts Officer.
(b) The number of tokens lost should be subtracted from the total number of tokens in stock. The cost of token recoverable may be decided upon by the Ministry/Department concerned.
(c) The following precautions should be taken while handing over cheques in cases where the token is not produced:-
(i) Where the payment is due to a DDO by 'Not Transferable" cheques or "Creditable to Government Account only" cheques, the request for issue of the cheque(s) should come from the DDO concerned in writing and his signature should inter-alia be verified before delivering the cheque(s) to the DDO or his messenger.
(ii) Where 'Negotiable' cheques have to be issued on account of personal claims or claims of contractors/ suppliers, the same should be crossed and marked 'Account Payee' and no open cheque under this category should be issued where a token has been lost. The written request from the DDO for the issue of cheque(s) in all cases of lost tokens should clearly indicate the fact of loss of token(s) and the cheque(s) should be delivered only after verification inter-alia of the signature of the DDO or his messenger.
Note: In the case of small Accounts Offices dealing with a limited number of drawing officers, the Financial Adviser of the Ministry/Department concerned at his discretion may prescribe a simpler procedure in lieu of the token system.
2.3 SCRUTINY AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES
2.3.1 Bills should be passed for payment and cheques issued within seven working days of their receipt. Efforts should be made for passing the bills within a shorter interval and bills indicated as 'Immediate' by a D.D.O. should be attended to urgently and cheques issued on the same or the next day. The checks which are to be exercised on the bills by the payment section have been indicated in Chapter 4 dealing exclusively with this aspect.
2.3.2 Specimen signatures of officers drawing pay, contingent, grants-in-aid etc. bills should be obtained and pasted on the pages of the payment register set apart for the purpose and attested by the Pay and Accounts Officer in ink. The signature on each bill should be verified by the Senior Accountant/Accountant concerned with reference to the relevant specimen signature.
2.3.3 After duly examining the bills from various angles and recording precheck enfacement and amount passed for payment (in words and figures) on each bill, the Senior Accountant/Accountant should submit them to the Pay and Accounts Officer through his Assistant/Junior Accounts Officer along with the concerned 'DDO wise Bill Passing-cum-Expenditure Control Register' in Form CAM 9. The Pay and Accounts Officer will examine the bills, compare the signature of the drawing officer with his specimen signature and after satisfying himself of the correctness of the charges, tick off relevant entry and affix initials in the register and approve the enfacement of pass orders on the bill for payment, over his full dated signature. The bills so passed will immediately thereafter be made over to the cheque section by the payment section.
2.3.4 Payments in respect of outstation establishments will be made by bank drafts. The provisions of para 1.6.1 to 1.6..3 of Chapter 1 are relevant for the purpose. The bank drafts required should accordingly be obtained from the relevant branch of the bank with which the Pay and Accounts Office is in account, by sending a requisition in Form SY 288 (to be had from the bank) along with a statement in duplicate showing the particulars (designation of the drawing and disbursing officer in whose favour the bank draft is required, and the amount of each bank draft required and also the total number of bank drafts required)Any correction in the statement should be properly attested by the PAO /Cheque drawing DDO. If any special superscription is required to be made in the draft such as 'Account Payee', 'A/c Govt. only', 'Not transferable' etc. it should be specifically mentioned in the statement. Requisition for cancellation of the bank drafts already obtained and issue of fresh drafts in lieu of the cancelled one should be sent separately to the banks and not to be included in the Statement requiring fresh demand drafts. All such requisitions sent to the bank should be entered in the Register of Bank drafts (Form CAM 12) and their receipt from the bank and despatch to the payees concerned should be watched through this Register by PAO/Cheque drawing DDO. The bank while issuing bank drafts will return one copy of the Statement to the PAO /Cheque drawing DDO. The bank draft should be sent to the party concerned by Registered Post with a forwarding letter in Form CAM 13 and receipt of acknowledgement should be watched. Cancellation of Demand Draft or corrections thereof, are also to be noted in CAM 12 against the original entry.
2.3.5 The cheque writer will prepare a cheque for the net amount. When two or more bills are payable to the same person, it will be convenient to issue a single cheque for the total amount, though the particulars of each bill should be entered at the appropriate stage, separately in the register of cheques delivered. The cheque writer will note the number of the cheque conspicuously on the bill, enter its details in the Register of the Cheques Drawn (Form CAM 10) and submit the cheque and the bill along with it to the Pay and Accounts Officer and also to the second officer authorised to sign the cheques, wherever required, through the Assistant/Junior Accounts Officer. The Pay and Accounts Officer signing the cheque will tick the cheque number, see that the amount of cheque agrees with the amount passed for payment and then sign the cheque after defacing the pay order given earlier. The passed bill together with the cheque will be returned to the Cheque Section which will affix the date on the cheque at the time of its delivery. Immediately after the delivery/despatch of the cheque, the Cheque Section will attach the payee's acknowledgement, if received by then, to the bill, stamp it as paid, write the voucher No. on the upper right hand corner of the bill and enter details of payments for each day on a separate page in the Register of Cheques Delivered (form CAM 11). The register may be prepared with second and third perforated copies for each page, to be utilised for making two carbon copies thereof meant to serve as "Daily Memorandum of Pre-check Payments by the PAO". The form of the acknowledgement should be "Received by cheque Rs.........from the ................in payment of Bill No..........dated..........on account of .............." and its receipt should be watched in all cases.
If the crossed cheque/demand draft is sent by post, the Cheque Section will despatch the valuable by Registered Post and watch receipt of the printed acknowledgement which will be sent along with the covering memo (Form CAM 13) with which the valuable is despatched.
2.4 PROCEDURE FOR ISSUE OF A FRESH CHEQUE IN LIEU OF A LOST ONE
2.4.1 If the Pay and Accounts Officer of a departmentalised accounts office is approached with the request that a fresh cheque, in lieu of the one issued by him earlier but since lost, may be issued, the Pay and Accounts Officer shall proceed with such a request in the manner stated below:
(i) The Pay and Accounts Office should send an intimation by registered post, A,D, to the bank drawn on, regarding the alleged loss of the cheque and advice it to stop payment if the cheque alleged to have been lost is presented for payment thereafter. If the currency of such a cheque has not expired in terms of Rule 45 of the C.G.A.(R &P)Rules,1983, at the time of sending such an intimation, the bank shall acknowledge in writing in the following form, that it has kept a note of the 'Stop Payment Order'.
"We acknowledge receipt of your letter No....................dated.......and advise having noted to stop payment of cheque No........ dated....... for Rs.......(Rupees......) favouring........... In this connection, it is certified that cheque No....... dated........for Rs.......reported by the drawing officer to have been drawn by him on this bank in favour of ..........will not be paid, if presented thereafter".
In case, however, the currency of the cheque alleged to have been lost has expired when the intimation regarding loss of cheque is sent to the bank, no acknowledgement of the 'Stop Payment Order' may be insisted upon from the bank. The postal acknowledgement may be treated as sufficient for the record of the Pay & Accounts Office.
(ii) The Pay and Accounts Officer should satisfy himself with reference to the records maintained in his office viz. the payment/error scrolls received from the paying bank register of cheques delivered, etc. that the payment of the cheque in question has not been made. If the currency of the lost cheque expires on Saturday, the pay and accounts officer shall also verify the payment scroll for the subsequent working day of the bank.
(iii) The party requesting for the issuance of a fresh cheque in lieu of the lost one should execute an indemnity bond in the form as per 'GAR 12'. However, in the case of a Government department/Public Undertaking wholly owned by Government or the bank, the execution of such an indemnity bond is not necessary but a fresh cheque should, in these cases, be issued only on receipt of a certificate that the cheque alleged to have been lost was not received by them or having received the same, it was lost and further that it will be returned to the Pay and Accounts Office if found afterwards.
(iv) On completion of the requirements in clauses (i) to (iii) above, the Pay and Accounts Officer may issue a fresh cheque in lieu of the lost one under intimation to the DDO and /or payee. He should also keep a suitable note on the spare leaf provided in M.I.C.R. cheque book/counterfoil (where MICR cheques have not so far been introduced), as the case may be of the lost cheque and against the relevant entries in the register of cheques delivered and paid voucher(s) regarding the issue of a fresh cheque in lieu of the lost one.
2.4.2 If the original cheque is found to have been paid afterwards, the P.A.O. will take up the matter with the paying branch telegraphically and place the amount paid under the head "Suspense Account(Civil)- Cheques cancelled but paid" till the matter is investigated and the amount recovered or written off. The paid cheque will also be removed from the payment scroll and kept in personal custody of the P.A.O. till then. In case the fact of such payment is noticed by the D.D.O., he will report the matter immediately to the paying branch and inform the P.A.O. accordingly by a telegram for further action. In regard to similar provisions for cheque drawing D.D.Os Para 3.5.1(xii) of Chapter 3 may be referred to.
2.5 PROCEDURE FOR RETURNING BILLS UNPASSED
2.5.1 If for any reason it becomes necessary to return a bill unpassed, it should be returned to the bill counter with a Half Margin Memorandum (Form CAM 14) giving the reasons for returning the bill. A separate communication will be sent to the drawer of the bill asking him to collect the bill from the Bill Counter after surrendering the token. In the case of bills received through post, the bill with the half margin memorandum will be sent by registered post.
2.5.2 In the case of minor omissions/inaccuracies noticed, the amounts considered inadmissible may be disallowed and the bill passed for the admissible amount. Simultaneously an intimation may also be sent to the drawer of the bill intimating the amount disallowed and the reason for the disallowance.
2.6 CLOSING OF THE DAY'S TRANSACTIONS
2.6.1 At the end of the day, the Pay and Accounts Officer should take up the register of cheques drawn alongwith the cheque book, see that the number of the cheques are serially entered in the register and verify that no more cheques have been removed than those accounted for in the register. He should initial the spare leaf of the cheque book/counterfoil of the first unused cheque, as the case may be.(the first to be used on the next day) and by turning back to the last initial, will be able to ascertain how many cheque forms have been actually used during the day. However, at the end of the financial year he should also intimate his Pr.A.O., the total number of cheques issued on the last day, total amount thereof and the number and amount of the last cheque, under each category. This intimation should reach (telegraphically from outstation Pay & Accounts Officers) the Principal Accounts Officer not later than the 1st working day of the next financial year.
2.6.2 The entries in the register of cheques delivered should be totalled up at the end of each day. The vouchers will be transmitted alongwith the second and third perforated carbon copies of the relevant day's page of the register to the Accounts Section for detailed compilation.
2.6.3 On receipt of details of cheques encashed as per payment scrolls received from the Bank, the corresponding cheque numbers should be ticked of in the Register of Cheques Delivered. From unticked entries in the register of cheques delivered a list of outstanding cheques should be prepared every month in the Pay and Accounts Office. The total amount of such outstanding cheques at the end of the month should be reconciled with the balance outstanding under the suspense head "PAO Cheques".
Note:- If any cheque appears to be outstanding for an unduly long period, necessary enquiries should be made for non-encashment thereof and if it cannot be traced, payment should be stopped and the charge which it represents cancelled and adjusted.
2.6.4 A register known as "Accounts Officer's Check Register" (Form CAM 15) will be maintained personally by the Pay and Accounts Officer showing the total daily issues and encashments of cheques and the balance of unpaid cheques at the end of each month which should be compared with the total of the cheques outstanding as per the list of outstanding cheques. The balance at the end of each month should also be independently tallied with the amount outstanding under the suspense head "PAO-Cheques".
2.6.5 Any cheque remaining unencashed for 3 months should be pursued at once. The particulars of such cheques remaining outstanding for more than 3 months shall be noted in a separate register with the following particulars viz.
- Cheque no. and date
- Voucher no. and date
- Drawee's name
- To whom delivered / despatched
- Date of delivery / no. of date of forwarding letter
- Particulars of payment (HBA,GPF, Contingency, salary etc.)
- Remarks, if any.
The cheques pending shall be referred to the concerned authority/ person etc. for finding out as to whether the cheque has been got encashed and if so, to give the date of encashment with requisite particulars. (i) In cases, where the party / person concerned intimates non-receipt / loss of cheque the PAO shall issue duplicate cheque after following the procedure laid down in para 2.4.
(ii) In case efforts of the PAO to trace the cheque after one year, it shall be reported to CCA /CA with full facts and the amount shall be written back in the accounts.
(iii) In case, where the cheque was issued to another Accounts Officer in inter-departmental settlement for clearance of the balance under 'PAO Suspense' etc. the matter shall be investigated to find whether it would result in the missing credit/ debits of GPF, HBA etc. In such cases, the matter shall be pursued with the concerned Accounts Officer at a higher level to find out the whereabouts of the cheque. In case, the efforts taken in this regard do not work out, the amount shall be written off to the MH-8680-Misc. Govt. Accounts after following the procedure laid down in Rule 38 of Govt. Accounting Rules, 1990, with the approval of the competent authority.
(Authority- No.1(2)/94/TA/110 dated 10-4-95.)
2.7 Procedure for issue of fresh cheque in lieu of cancelled/ time barred cheque
2.7.1 Revalidation of the time-barred cheque by PAO/ cheque drawing DDO is not permissible irrespective of the date of its drawal. Fresh cheques will be issued in all such cases.
The time barred cheque received back by the PAO should not be destroyed but it should be cancelled under his signature. The cancelled cheque should be treated as a voucher/ sub-voucher for issuing fresh cheque in lieu thereof and the fact of issuing fresh cheque should be noted on it. The amount of the time barred cheque (i.e. voucher) should be classified as (-) credit below the head "8670-Cheques & Bills-PAO Cheques" in terms of para 5.11 of C.A.M. Entries regarding cancellation of old cheque with voucher number of the fresh cheque, etc. should be noted on the counterfoil/ record slip of the old cheque book.