Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 8. Department of Accounts
10/17/2021

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 2.2-800. Department of Accounts created; appointment of Comptroller; oath.

A. There is created a Department of Accounts (the "Department"). The Director of the Department shall be known as the Comptroller. He shall be appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure.

B. The Comptroller shall, under the direction and control of the Governor, exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon him by law and perform such other duties as may be required by the Governor.

C. The Comptroller, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take an oath that he will faithfully and honestly execute the duties of his office.

Code 1950, §§ 2-160, 2-161; 1958, c. 124; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-192, 2.1-194; 1976, c. 728; 1984, c. 720; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-801. Comptroller to appoint administrative assistants, etc.

A. The Comptroller shall appoint the administrative assistants, deputies and clerks allowed by law.

B. The Comptroller shall appoint administrative assistants, who shall have authority to act for and perform the duties of the Comptroller under his direction, supervision and control, and in the absence of the Comptroller to perform all the duties of the office. Of such absence, the others shall be informed. When the absence of the Comptroller is to be for more than five days at a time, notice thereof shall be given to the Governor.

C. In the event the administrative assistant is incapacitated from performing his duties during the absence of the Comptroller, the Governor shall designate some other person in the office to act during the absence of the Comptroller, and in the event of the removal, resignation or death of the Comptroller, the administrative assistant shall perform all the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled in the manner prescribed by law.

D. Such officers and their sureties shall be liable for any default or breach of duty of their administrative assistants respectively during their absence.

1950, §§ 2-145, 2-146, 2-147, 2-148; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-173, 2.1-174, 2.1-175, 2.1-176; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-802. General accounting and clearance through Comptroller.

In the Department the Comptroller shall maintain a complete system of general accounting to comprehend the financial transactions of every state department, division, officer, board, commission, institution or other agency owned or controlled by the Commonwealth, whether at the seat of government or not. All transactions in public funds shall clear through the Comptroller's office.

Code 1950, § 2-162; 1958, c. 124; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-195; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-803. Financial accounting and control.

A. Unified financial accounting and control shall be established through the departments and agencies of the Commonwealth, in the manner prescribed in this chapter.

The Comptroller shall prescribe what accounts shall be kept by each state agency in addition to the system of general accounting maintained in the Comptroller's office. In prescribing what accounts shall be kept by each state agency, the Comptroller shall take care that there shall be no unnecessary duplication.

B. The Comptroller shall direct the development of a modern, effective and uniform system of bookkeeping and accounting, to include (i) an efficient system of checks and balances between the officers at the seat of the government entrusted with the collection and receipt, custody and disbursement of the revenues of the Commonwealth; and (ii) a system of accounting, applicable to all state officers, departments, boards, commissions, agencies, and penal, educational and eleemosynary institutions maintained in whole or in part by the Commonwealth, which shall be suitable to their respective needs, considering their relation to each other and their relation to subordinate officers and officials. All systems so developed shall require the approval and certification of the Auditor of Public Accounts that they are adequate for purposes of audit and financial control.

As to the collection of debts owed, the system of bookkeeping and accounting shall permit any state agency to refrain from collecting any amount owed to it if the administrative cost of collection likely would exceed the amount owed. The Comptroller shall develop other policies and procedures to reduce the costs of collecting debts owed to state agencies.

As to the operation of merchandising activities, or other centralized support services provided by one state agency to other state agencies for which charges are made, the system of accounting shall be designed to reflect all charges properly allocable so that the net profit or loss therefrom shall be reflected. In the furtherance of this objective the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission may direct the Comptroller to establish under such terms and conditions as they may determine internal service fund accounts on his books and record therein the receipts and expenditures of these several functions. The Comptroller shall provide the agencies responsible for the operations of these functions with working capital advances with which to finance the operations pursuant to appropriations made by law. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission may direct the Comptroller to transfer excess fund balances to the general fund or to remove from his books internal service fund accounts that are no longer considered appropriate and record the necessary transfer of funds.

Unit prices of services rendered by internal service funds shall be fixed so that all costs properly allocable to providing the service shall be fully recoverable.

C. The Comptroller shall maintain a full explanation of all systems of accounting devised and adopted in furtherance of this section, but no copyright system shall be adopted that shall entail additional cost upon the Commonwealth by reason of such copyright. The systems of accounting shall be communicated by the Comptroller to the officials affected thereby, and he shall as soon as possible instruct the officials as to the systems of accounting.

D. Should any of the state offices, departments, boards, commissions, agencies, or institutions refuse or neglect to adopt the systems of accounting developed by the Comptroller, then upon suit of the Attorney General a writ of mandamus will lie to the Supreme Court to compel the adoption. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to promptly institute such suit in any such case.

1975, c. 323, § 2.1-196.1; 1976, c. 533; 1984, c. 612; 2001, c. 844; 2006, c. 340.

§ 2.2-803.1. Processing of payroll and other transactions by certain institutions of higher education.

A. The College of William and Mary in Virginia; George Mason University; James Madison University; Old Dominion University; the University of Virginia, including the College at Wise; Virginia Commonwealth University; Virginia Military Institute; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University shall each process the payroll of its respective employees as provided in the memoranda of understanding between the Department of Accounts and each such institution implementing a pilot program granting relief from rules, regulations, and reporting requirements pursuant to subdivision E 1 of Item 330 of Chapter 966 of the Acts of Assembly of 1994 as continued in effect by subsection B of Item 271 of Chapter 899 of the Acts of Assembly of 2002.

B. The College of William and Mary in Virginia; George Mason University; James Madison University; Old Dominion University; Radford University; the University of Virginia, including the College at Wise; Virginia Commonwealth University; Virginia Military Institute; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University shall each process its respective nonpayroll disbursements, receipts, and expenditures as provided in the memoranda of understanding between the Department of Accounts and each such institution implementing a pilot program granting relief from rules, regulations, and reporting requirements pursuant to subdivision E 1 of Item 330 of Chapter 966 of the Acts of Assembly of 1994 as continued in effect by subsection B of Item 271 of Chapter 899 of the Acts of Assembly of 2002. "Nonpayroll disbursements, receipts, and expenditures" shall include all disbursements, receipts, and expenditures, other than payroll as described in subsection A. Such disbursements, receipts, and expenditures shall include, but are not limited to, travel reimbursements, revenue refunds, cash receipts, disbursements for vendor payments, petty cash, and interagency payments.

2003, c. 457.

§ 2.2-804. Recovery of certain improper payments to state officers and employees.

A. Any officer or employee of the Commonwealth who obtains any compensation or payment to which the officer or employee is not entitled shall be liable for repayment to the employer. Such recipient officer or employee shall not be liable for repayment if the recipient officer or employee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the improper payment occurred through no fault of the recipient officer or employee and such officer or employee had no actual knowledge of the error and could not have reasonably detected the error.

B. Any officer or employee of the Commonwealth who authorizes any other officer or employee to obtain any compensation or payment to which the recipient officer or employee is not entitled, where such authorization is made with actual or constructive knowledge that the recipient officer or employee was not entitled to such compensation or payment, shall be liable for repayment to the employer.

C. When a change or error in records results in any officer or employee receiving any compensation or payment to which he is not entitled, upon discovery of the improper payment the employer shall take appropriate action to correct the error as soon as practicable and adjust future payments to the correct compensation or payment amount.

D. If the officer or employee leaves state service, liability is disputed, or recovery cannot otherwise be accomplished, the employer shall request the Attorney General to bring an action for restitution pursuant to this section in accordance with the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.). Claims under this section may be compromised pursuant to and consistent with § 2.2-514.

E. If the officer or employee (i) does not dispute liability under subsection A or B, (ii) receives overpayments stemming from erroneous good faith under-withholdings for retirement, health insurance, or other benefit program enrollments, (iii) receives overpayments of less than $500 from erroneous good faith wage, salary, or expense reimbursements, or (iv) is determined to be liable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the employer shall be authorized to use payroll deductions to recover the erroneous payments made to the officer or employee. Payroll deductions made pursuant to this section shall be limited to 25 percent of disposable earnings as defined in subsection (d) of § 34-29.

F. The provisions of this section shall apply to all officers and employees of the Commonwealth whether or not exempt from the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.).

G. The provisions of this section shall not apply to good faith disbursements made to beneficiaries of the Virginia Retirement System.

1998, c. 876, § 2.1-196.2; 2001, c. 844; 2012, c. 307.

§ 2.2-805. Fiscal year.

The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June.

Code 1950, § 2-165; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-197; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-806. Reports and payments by city and county treasurers, and clerks of court; deposits of state income tax payments.

A. All county and city treasurers receiving state income tax payments, whether from taxpayers or from the commissioner of the revenue, shall deposit the payments, within one banking day of receipt, into an account of the state treasury. The treasurers shall maintain a record of the date on which the payments are received and the date on which the payments are deposited into the state treasury. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall either prescribe or approve the treasurer's record-keeping system and shall audit such records as provided for in Chapter 14 (§ 30-130 et seq.) of Title 30. Reporting of the deposits shall be in accordance with subsection B.

B. All county and city treasurers and clerks of courts receiving state moneys shall deposit promptly all state moneys and, in the manner directed by the State Treasurer, shall transfer state moneys into an account of the state treasury twice each week and submit a report of state moneys being transferred. However, except for state income tax payments that shall be controlled by subsection A, state moneys received amounting to less than $5,000 may be transferred into an account of the state treasury once each week.

Code 1950, § 2-166; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-198; 1982, c. 292; 1987, c. 511; 1991, c. 485; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-807. Monthly reports of state departments, divisions, etc., receiving public funds.

Every state department, division, officer, board, commission, institution or other agency owned or controlled by the Commonwealth, whether at the seat of government or not, including county and city treasurers and clerks of courts, collecting or receiving public funds, or moneys from any source whatever, belonging to or for the use of the Commonwealth, or for the use of any state agency, and paying the same to the State Treasurer, or depositing the same to his credit in pursuance of law, shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, or oftener if so directed by the Comptroller, report to the Comptroller in such manner as he may direct, the amount collected or received and paid into the state treasury for the preceding calendar month or other period designated by the Comptroller. The report shall show also the dates of payments to or deposits to the credit of the State Treasurer.

Code 1950, § 2-167; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-199; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-808. Collection of delinquent taxes.

Whenever, by any section of this Code, the Comptroller is required or is authorized to collect any delinquent taxes, he shall refer the matter to the Tax Commissioner, who shall at once proceed to collect the same and may employ such legal process as may be necessary for that purpose. When so collected the Tax Commissioner shall pay the same into the state treasury.

Code 1950, § 2-167.1; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-200; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-809. When accounts on Comptroller's books to be balanced; general ledger of accounts.

All unsettled accounts on the books of the Comptroller shall be balanced on the last day of each fiscal year, and the balances brought forward on the first day of the new fiscal year. For this purpose there shall be a general ledger of accounts, which shall be kept to show the balances due to or from the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 2-169; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-202; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-810. Judges and clerks to certify to Supreme Court lists of all allowances made by courts.

The judge of every court of the Commonwealth making an allowance for the payment of any sum out of the state treasury shall certify to the Supreme Court a list of all allowances at least monthly, the date of the making and the amount of such allowance, and to whom made. A certificate of all allowances made by such court shall be made up by the clerk of the court and forwarded to the Supreme Court. The form of the certificate shall be prescribed by the Supreme Court, and it shall be made on blanks prepared by them and furnished the judges and clerks of the several courts of the Commonwealth. The Comptroller shall not draw any warrant on the State Treasurer in satisfaction of any allowance made by any court of the Commonwealth until the Supreme Court has received notification of the allowance by the court of the claim and approved the allowance for payment.

Code 1950, § 2-172; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-204; 1978, c. 195; 1979, c. 509; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-811. Cancellation of state bonds received in settlement of claims.

All bonds of the Commonwealth that are received by the Comptroller in the settlement of claims of the Commonwealth against the sureties of treasurers, sheriffs, or other officers, or in settlement of any other claim, shall be turned over by him to the Treasury Board, who shall cancel the bonds according to law.

Code 1950, § 2-173; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-205; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-812. What Comptroller may do with old books and papers.

The Comptroller may dispense with all noncurrent books, papers, invoices, financial documents, and similar papers belonging to his office in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.) in coordination with the needs of the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Code 1950, § 2-174; 1960, c. 240; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-206; 1981, c. 514; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-813. Annual report of Comptroller to Governor.

The Comptroller shall make a preliminary annual report to the Governor on or before August 15. The Governor shall submit the preliminary report to the General Assembly within thirty days of its receipt. The Comptroller shall provide a final annual report on or before December 15. The report shall include (i) financial statements that are prepared, insofar as practical as determined by the Comptroller and the Auditor of Public Accounts, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (ii) supplementary statements prepared on the budgetary basis of accounting; (iii) information provided by the State Treasurer on the status of bonded debt in the Commonwealth and the future general fund requirements for such debt; and (iv) other information deemed necessary by the State Treasurer. The Comptroller and the State Treasurer shall also make other reports at such times as the Governor may require.

Code 1950, § 2-175; 1960, c. 84; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-207; 1984, c. 378; 1992, c. 327; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-813.1. Biannual disclosure by Comptroller of revenue sources collected.

The Comptroller shall post on the Internet website for the Department of Accounts the following information according to the following schedule: (i) no later than October 1 of each year, the total amount of each revenue source collected by the Commonwealth for the most recent six-month period ending June 30, and (ii) no later than April 1 of each year, the total amount of each revenue source collected by the Commonwealth for the most recent six-month period ending December 30. The Comptroller shall include in the information posted any Auditor of Public Accounts control findings that any revenue source was used for any purpose other than the purpose originally established in law for such revenue source.

This section may be referred to as the Virginia Truth in Revenue Source Reporting Act.

2003, c. 174.

§ 2.2-813.2. Biannual disclosure by Comptroller of other obligations of the Commonwealth.

To assist in the managing, planning, and budgeting of the state's financial resources, the Comptroller, in conjunction with the Secretary of Finance, shall report biannually to the Governor and the members of the General Assembly each off-balance sheet financial obligation of the Commonwealth, itemized by agency, board, institution, or authority of the Commonwealth, and such other obligations of the Commonwealth that are estimated by the Comptroller to be incurred.

2007, c. 62.