Regulations for the government of the United States Navy (1865)

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Approval of Requisitions, Accounts, and Muster Books, Purchases and Articles Delivered.

1124 The approval of a requisition for money, or other articles, is to be considered as a certificate, on the part of the approving officer, that, in his opinion, the articles named in the requisition are necessary for the public service, and are conformable to such allowances as may be established ; and the approval of such requisition by the officer whose approval will authorize the procurement or delivery of such articles, according to these regulations, or instructions from the Navy Department, is to have the force and responsibility of an order. In the procurement and expenditure of stores, Commanding and all other officers concerned are peremptorily enjoined to be governed by the allowances established by the Navy Department, and by the exercise of the most scrupulous economy, to make them last for the full time they are intended, and as much longer as practicable. Unless in a case of absolute necessity, arising from some unavoidable accident, or from a formal condemnation by survey — to be plainly set forth on the face of the requisition — or the article be of a character the quantity of which for a given time cannot possibly be well regulated — that is, tar of any kind, oil for burning, oil or other grease for lubricating, waste for wiping, emery, rivets, files, boiler-iron for patching, material for making or repairing joints about steam works, slacked lime, a disinfectant, a medicinal, or stationery for the Commander-in-Chief — no departure from said allowances will be tolerated, either by the procurement, at the public expense, of anything which they do not embrace, or of anything which they do, in advance of the expiration of the time for which it is furnished to last. Commanding Officers will be held to a strict account for any requisitions they may approve in violation of these instructions y and for any want of proper care or interest on their part to secure the utmost practicable economy in the use of the public property with which they are intrusted, or over which they are required and expected to exercise control, they will be held to a rigid responsibility ; and to this end they will forward copies of all bills of purchases to the proper bureau of the Navy Department, accompanying them with a statement of the quantity of the respective articles put on board when the vessel was fitted out, and the date of their final expenditure.

1125 The approval or signature of a Commanding Officer of a vessel to a muster-book or muster-roll is to be considered as his certificate of the correctness of all the entries made therein in relation to the date of enlistment, ratings, terms, and expiration of service ; and he will be particularly careful to examine all such books or rolls, that full confidence may be placed in such as are thus signed or approved.

1126 The approval of a Commanding Officer to a quarterly muster and pay-roll, or to a transfer-roll, or account, given to or sent with men transferred, is to be considered as his certificate of the correctness of those parts which are a transcript from the general muster-book, relating to the dates of enlistment, ratings, terms, and expiration of service, but not to the correctness of those parts relating to their accounts, which are upon the responsibility of the Paymaster, and to be certified by his signature to the said transfer-rolls or accounts.

1127 The approval of an officer to a bill for articles purchased, or services rendered, is to be received as a certificate that the purchase or service was duly authorized ; that the articles have been received by a responsible officer of the government, or that the service has been performed ; that they conform to the contract, or are otherwise satisfactory as regards the performance of the duty, and the quality and price of the articles, but not for the correctness of the calculations determining the amounts charged. The person receipting such bills of articles is to examine and report any errors, but the person paying them is to be finally responsible for their correctness.

1128 The approval of an officer, whose approval, by the instructions of the Treasury or Navy Department, will authorize the payment of money, is to have the force and to be given under the responsibility of an order for such payment, and is always to be accompanied by the rank of the officer and the date of the approval.

1129 All accounts must bear the date of approval, and the sum for which the account is approved must be written in words at length.

1130 On a change of command on a foreign station, the officer who relinquishes the command will take care that all bills for articles, the requisitions for which have been approved by him, are settled before he relinquishes the command ; but if from any circumstances this cannot be done, the officer who approved the requisitions will be responsible for the correctness of the purchases, though the bills may be authorized to be paid by his successor.

1131 The Commander of a fleet or a single ship, when acting alone, shall, before leaving a port at which he may have received supplies, notify the persons who may have furnished the same to attend at some specified time and place with their accounts, so that none may be left without receiving his inspection and approval, should they be correct.

1132 Purchases made for the Navy by any agent of the Navy Department, upon requisitions or orders addressed to him, are to be made, after due inquiry and comparison, by such agent on the most favorable terms for the government, and upon prices agreed upon before the purchase is made, and he shall certify the same upon the bills rendered for the articles.

1133 Where articles are delivered by or under the direction of an agent who purchased the same, the officer who is to take charge of and receipt for them shall examine the bills rendered, and if, in his opinion, any of the articles are charged above the fair market price, he shall report the same to the officer under whose approval they were required before receipting for them, that such approving officer may institute inquiries and take such other measures as the case may require.

1134 Where inspections are required to determine the quality of articles, or their conformity with contracts or agreements, no receipts are to be given for them until the inspecting officers shall have certified their satisfaction with the articles delivered.

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