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3.12 OJP's Confidential Funds

Accounting and Control Procedures

Special accounting and control procedures should direct the use and handling of confidential expenditures. We describe these procedures below:

  • It is important that expenditures identified as P/E, P/I, and P/S expenses are in fact allocated and charged to the proper category. This is the only way that these funds may be properly managed at all levels and accurate projections of future needs be made.
  • Each law enforcement entity should apportion its P/E, P/I, or P/S allowance throughout its jurisdiction and delegate authority to approve P/E, P/I, and P/S expenditures to those offices as necessary.
  • Headquarters management should establish guidelines authorizing offices to spend up to a predetermined limit of their total allowance on any one investigation.
  • In exercising their authority to approve these expenditures, the supervisor should consider:
  • The significance of the investigation;
  • The need for this expenditure to further that investigation; and
  • Anticipated expenditures in other investigations.
  • Funds for P/E, P/I, and P/S expenditures should be advanced to the officer for a specific purpose. If they are not expended for that purpose, they should be returned to the cashier. The funds should not be used for another purpose (including another category) without first returning them and repeating the authorization and advance process based on the new purpose.
  • Funds for P/E, P/I, or P/S expenditures should be advanced to the officer on a suitable receipt form. A receipt for P/I or a voucher for P/E should be completed to document funds used in P/E or funds paid or advanced to an informant.
  • For security purposes, there should be a 48-hour limit on the amount of time for which funds advanced for P/E, P/I, or P/S expenditure may be held outstanding.
  • If it becomes apparent at any point within the 48-hour period that the funds will not be used, then the funds should be returned to the advancing cashier as soon as possible. An extension to the 48-hour limit may be granted by the level of management that approved the advance.
  • Factors to consider in granting an extension are the amount of funds involved, safeguarding of funds, length of extension required, and importance of the expenditure.
  • Extensions are generally limited to no more than an additional 48 hours. Recipients should consult with the program office prior to determining the final course of action. Beyond this time period, the funds should be returned and re-advanced, if necessary.
  • Regardless of circumstances, within 48 hours of the advance, the fund cashier should be presented with either the unexpended funds, an executed receipt for P/I or P/E, or written notification by management that an extension has been granted.
  • P/S expenditures, when not endangering the safety of the officer or informant, need to be supported by cancelled tickets, receipts, lease agreements, and any other relevant documentation. If supporting documents are unavailable, the Project Director or his or her immediate subordinate must certify that the expenditures were necessary and justify why supporting materials were not obtained.

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For security purposes, establish a limit of 48 hours on the amount of time for which funds advanced for P/E, P/I, or P/S expenditure may be held outstanding.