COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 2009 - 31

September 18, 2009

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

ATTENTION: Chief Administrative Officers, Fiscal Officers, and Business Managers
SUBJECT: Proper Procedures for the Issuance and Handling of Checks Returned to an Agency

I. AUTHORITY

Sections 3-112 "Powers and duties" and 3-117 "Claims against the state" of the Connecticut General Statutes prescribe that upon the settlement of any claim against the state, under procedures adopted by the comptroller, the comptroller will draw an order on the treasurer for its payment.

II. PURPOSE

To communicate a change in procedures regarding the checks to be returned to an agency.  This memorandum supersedes OSC Memorandum 2008-25 and all other correspondence referencing this subject.  Effective immediately, the Return to Agency (RA) Check Log is no longer required.  It does not need to be maintained, nor should it be emailed to OSC.  Also effective immediately, the new procedure outlined below must be implemented at the agency.

III. AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Processing Procedures:

Proper internal accounting controls require the immediate mailing of checks. Payment schedules containing Payment Handling Code of RA are restricted to checks returned to agencies requiring special handling.  The special handling that is required must be specified in the Payment Notes field - not the Payment Messages field, on the Payment tab during voucher entry.
 
It is understood that certain payments need to be returned, but every such instance must be documented in the Payments Notes for each schedule that requires a payment to be returned to the agency. 

Whenever a payment handling code of RA is used to indicate that a check must be returned to the agency, the voucher processor must enter a reason for the RA in the Payment Notes. Voucher Approvers should ensure that the reason is entered and that it is applicable to this payment. 

In the Payment Notes, enter RA - and explain why the check must be returned to the agency.  There are no exceptions; a legitimate reason for returning the check to the agency must be documented in the State's financial system - Core-CT.  There are certain ACH Payments that have been set to RA; these do not require an explanation as no check is actually produced to be returned to the agency.

B. Mailing of Checks Returned To An Agency:

It is the agency's responsibility in all instances to mail checks immediately to vendors.  No check is to be held by an agency pending completion of the vendor's contractual obligation.

IV. CONCLUSION

Improper use of the Payment Handling Code of RA is a reportable audit finding.  The Accounts Payable Division will follow-up on all conditions found.  Non-compliance by State agencies will result in OSC citing agencies for lack of internal accounting controls.  The Accounts Payable Division may also contact the agency to enter the reason in the Core-CT system after the payment has been returned to the agency.  In such cases, the agency will still be cited for not having completed the information in a timely and routine fashion. 

The Office of the State Comptroller is committed to safeguarding funds and expediting vendor payments.

V. QUESTIONS

Questions should be addressed to the Accounts Payable Division via email to osc.apdpa@po.state.ct.us.

 


NANCY WYMAN
State Comptroller

NW/MKA

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