Petition - Legality of Imprest Cash Fund

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Callipygian
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Petition - Legality of Imprest Cash Fund

Post by Callipygian »

Full text of the petition for an opinion can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5687

The questions it asks is as follows:
Does the Chancellor's "Imprest Petty Cash Fund" contravene NL5-5 (Treasurer Act)

On Monday, Sept 8, 2014, Chancellor Ceasar Xigalia posted his
"Procedure for the authorization of the use of CDS funds" in Executive Branch Announcements.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5521#p32117

Subsequently, he posted "CDS Imprest Petty Cash fund transactions" viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5523

Our concern is that the Chancellor's procedures impair both the functioning of the Treasurer and her ability to act within the law. We petition the SC to rule on this matter.

Opinion:

NL 5-5 says:
The Treasurer shall oversee and be responsible for the receipt and disbursement of all money received by the City and for the investment of money received by the City.
and
In addition, the Treasurer is responsible for establishing controls which will prevent any expenditure of funds which does not meet the requirement of this policy.
and
that the City present fairly and with full disclosure its financial position and results of operations, the Treasurer is responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective accounting system that will result in the:

Identification and recording of all valid transactions.
However, the Constitution says:
(b) to expend monies held by the Office of the Chancellor of CDS for the administration and management of public facilities (including, but not limited to, roadways, signage, public buildings, public events and similar),
and
(d) to appoint and pay deputies or other staff to hold office in the Office of the Chancellor of CDS to facilitate the discharge of any function of the Office of the Chancellor
and
(f) to make regulations pursuant to the above;

the Code of Laws there is also:
CDSL 13-11 Budget and Accountability Act

1. No payments shall be made by the executive without first having a budget approved by the RA.
Once again we are faced with contradictory language in two laws and the Constitution.

The language used in reference to the Chancellor 'paying', 'expending monies' and making 'regulations' suggest that the request for funds to create the Imprest Cash Fund was legal, as long as it was acceptable to the Treasurer in her role of establishing controls. As the Treasurer issued the funds and accepted the Chancellor's method of recording use of the funds, the Treasurer, in effect, authorized the process and made it legal. The Treasurer would also have been acting within the law had she insisted on some other form of issuing the funds or recording transactions related to them.

I believe the contradictory language of Constitution and Laws here should be addressed as soon as possible, clarifying that the Treasurer can and must establish all fiscal controls on payments and recording transactions and that any payments or expenditures made by the Chancellor are done in a way that complies with those fiscal controls.
People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.

Walter H. Judd
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