Survey Manual

342.1 - Payment to Gage Readers, Samplers, and Observers

This chapter establishes responsibilities and procedures for the payment of contractors for services rendered by gage readers, samplers and observers.


OPR: Admin/Financial Management

1. Purpose. This chapter establishes responsibilities and procedures for the payment of contractors for services rendered by gage readers, samplers and observers.

2. Responsibilities.

A. The Chief, Office of Financial Management (OFM), is responsible for implementing USGS procedures and policies to accomplish timely payment and fiscal accountability for the contractual services described in this chapter.

B. The Division Chiefs and Heads of USGS Offices are responsible for specifying and obtaining the services required by offices within their jurisdiction, see SM 404.8.

3. Payment Procedures. Payments to gage readers may be made either by a Treasury check or a third party draft when supported by a certified Public Voucher for Purchases and Services Other than Personal, SF 1034.

A. Vouchers. A field office initiates the payment process by submitting a voucher, SF 1034, (Figure 1) certified by a USGS employee to whom authority to certify availability of funds has been delegated (SM 200.2.1).

B. Payments by Treasury Check. The certified voucher SF 1034 must be submitted to the Office of Financial Management in a timely manner to ensure monthly or quarterly payment according to the contract between the USGS and the gage reader, sampler, or observer. Payment vouchers must identify Social Security numbers for all gage readers listed on the voucher in order to be processed by OFM.

C. Payments by Third Party Drafts. The Third Party Draft System (TPDS) makes use of commercial contractor's services for replacing cash payments made from imprest funds. Payments to gage readers, samplers, and observers may be made using the TPDS. Payment procedures to gage readers by third party draft are as follows:

(1) The certified voucher 1034 is presented to the cashier for payment.

(2) The first payment to each gage reader must include a copy of the letter shown as Figure 4 and acknowledgement card shown as Figure 5.

(3) Each succeeding payment will include an acknowledgement card. When the acknowledgement cards are received in the originating office, they will be filed with the office records of draft payments. If the originating office has not received the signed acknowledgement card within 15 days of the issue of the draft, the cashier will contact the gage reader by phone and/or in writing to determine if the draft was received or if a stop payment should be placed on the draft.

NOTE: If there are more than two instances of a gage reader receiving a draft but not returning the acknowledgement card, that gage reader will no longer be paid by third party draft.

D. Supplemental Vouchers. A supplemental voucher will be prepared in either of the following cases:

(1) Amount due a deceased contractor. See SM 342.1.4. (Figure 2)

(2) Any interruption in service which results in a payment different from the contract. (Figure 3)

E. Computation of Amounts Due.

(1) If a calendar week begins in one month and ends in the following month, payment for any part of the week will be included on the list for the month or quarter in which the week ends, although the service may have been performed on a day of the preceding period.


(2) Where a contractor is to be paid for less than the period covered by a flat rate of pay, the flat rate will be divided by the number of calendar days in the month or week, whichever applies, and the result adjusted to the nearest cent to derive the daily rate. The daily rate will be multiplied by the number of days for which payment is to be made.

4. Deceased Contractors. Upon receiving notice of a contractor's death, the field office will send to OFM (1) a memorandum stating the name of the contractor, the date of death, and (2) a supplemental voucher (Figure 2) to cover any amount due the deceased.

5. Reporting Requirements.

A. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099 must be filed annually with IRS to report certain vendor payments as required by IRS regulations. OFM is responsible for preparing and filing the appropriate Form 1099 (1099-G or 1099-MISC) with IRS and for issuing statements to payees based on amounts accumulated in the Federal Financial System (FFS) for an entire calendar year.

B. Form 1099 will be issued to each gage reader, sampler, or observer by January 31, and to IRS by February 28, for payments greater than $600 made during the previous calendar year.