Discharge of Accountability for Collections

_________________________________ David E. Sundstrom, Auditor-Controller
The Auditor-Controller may, at his discretion, discharge from further accountability any County department, officer, or employee charged by law with the collection of money which is due and payable if:
  • The amounts are too small to justify the cost of collection.
  • The likelihood of collection does not warrant the expense involved.
  • The amount has been otherwise lawfully compromised or adjusted.
Such discharge of accountability shall only be made upon consideration and approval of a verified application filed by the department, agency, or district head with the Auditor-Controller. Such discharge of accountability does not constitute a release of any persons from liability for payment of any amount due the County.
1.1 Purpose
To establish uniform procedures for preparation of requests by departments/ agencies/districts and approval by the Auditor-Controller of discharges of accountability for collection of money due the County.
1.2 Authority
1.2.1 State of California Government Code Sections 25257 to 25259.5
These sections govern the discharge of accountability of debts due and payable to the County and allow the Board of Supervisors, by resolution, to authorize the County Auditor-Controller to discharge any department, officer, or employee from accountability for collection.
1.2.2 State of California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 335 to 339.3
These sections prescribe the various statutes of limitations for commencing action on amounts payable to the County.
1.2.3 Board of Supervisors' Resolution No. 79-675
This resolution, dated May 8, 1979, authorizes the Auditor-Controller to discharge any department, officer, or employee from accountability for collection.
1.3 Definitions
1.3.1 Officer
"Officer of the County," includes any elective or appointed officer of the County, and any person in charge of any office, department, service, or institution of the County, or a division or branch thereof, and as enumerated in Section 24000 of the Government Code.
1.3.2 Money
Includes any County or district tax assessment, penalty, cost, license fee or any fine, assessment or penalty, or any money which is due and payable to the County or district for any reason.
2.1 Application for Discharge of Accountability
Departments, agencies, or districts desiring discharge of accountability of amounts considered uncollectible shall file with the Auditor-Controller Accounts Receivable Unit an "Application for Discharge of Accountability," (Exhibit I attached). The application for a discharge of accountability shall include:
  1. The amount owing.
  2. Except where disclosure of such information is prohibited by state or federal law, the names of the debtors or persons liable and the amounts owed by each, which may be by reference to specific documents incorporated thereby in the application.
  3. The estimated cost of collection, or a statement that the likelihood of collection does not warrant the expense involved, or a specific reference to the official records establishing that the amount owed has been compromised or adjusted. The applicant shall furnish such additional information, as the Auditor-Controller deems necessary, to determine that the request for discharge is justified.
  4. Any other fact warranting the discharge.
  5. A verification by the applicant that the facts stated in the application are true and correct.
  6. For accounts $1,000 or greater, the applicant is required to provide documentation such as a death certificate, bankruptcy notice or explanation as to why the account is uncollectible.
Attach a separate listing of names and amounts owed if all the accounts cannot be listed on the application form. The application must be signed by the department, agency, or district head applying for the discharge of accountability.
2.2 Auditor-Controller Review
The Auditor-Controller or his designee shall review the application and determine those amounts that will be discharged. One copy of the application signed by the Auditor-Controller or his designee indicating those amounts discharged, shall be returned to the applicant. The original shall be filed with the Auditor-Controller Accounts Receivable Unit.
2.3 Referral to Board of Supervisors
Any amounts not discharged by the Auditor-Controller shall be submitted by the Officer or employee to the Board of Supervisors for disposition.
2.4 Annual Report
On or before August 3lst of each year, the Auditor-Controller Accounts Receivable Unit shall submit a report to the Auditor-Controller listing those applicants whose requests for relief of accountability have been approved and the amounts for which accountability was discharged during the preceding fiscal year.
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