Subdivision 1. Method.
No disbursement of city funds, including funds of any municipal
liquor dispensary operated by the city, shall be made except by an order drawn by the mayor and
clerk upon the treasurer. Except when issued for the payment of judgments, salaries and wages
previously fixed by the council or by statute, principal and interest on obligations, rent and other
fixed charges, the exact amount of which has been previously determined by contract authorized
by the council, and except as otherwise provided in subdivisions 4, 5, and 8, no order shall be
issued until the claim to which it relates has been audited and allowed by the council.
Subd. 2. Claims, payment; electronic time recording.
(a) Except for wages paid on an
hourly or daily basis, where a claim for money due on goods or services furnished can be itemized
in the ordinary course of business the person claiming payment, or the claimant's agent, shall
prepare the claim in written items and sign a declaration that the claim is just and correct and that
no part of it has been paid; but the council may in its discretion allow a claim prepared by the
clerk prior to such declaration by the claimant, if the declaration is made by an endorsement on
the order-check by which the claim is paid as provided below.
(b) Whenever work for which wages are to be paid on an hourly or daily basis is done by
employees of the city, the clerk shall keep a payroll giving the name of each employee and
the number of hours or days worked by each and the timekeeper, supervisor, or other officers
or employee having knowledge of the facts shall sign a declaration that the facts recited on the
payroll are correct to the best of the declarant's information and belief; and when any claim for
wages listed on a payroll is paid, the employee shall sign a declaration, which may be a part of
the payroll, to the effect that the employee has received the wages and done the work for which
wages have been paid. The declarations relating to claims or payrolls shall be in substantially the
following form: "I declare under the penalties of perjury (here insert, if claimant: that this claim is
just and correct and no part of it has been paid; if timekeeper, supervisor, officer or employee
having knowledge of the facts; that to the best of my information and belief the items of this
payroll are correct; if employee who has been paid: that I have received the wages stated on this
payroll opposite my name and have done the work for which the wages were paid.)
The effect of this declaration shall be the same as if subscribed and sworn to under oath.
(c) Notwithstanding the procedural requirements of paragraph (b), a city may use electronic
time recording systems if the governing body of the city adopts policies to ensure that the
timekeeping and payroll methods used are accurate and reliable.
Subd. 3. Endorsement on claims.
The clerk shall endorse on each claim required to be
audited by the council the word "disallowed" if such be the fact, or, "allowed in the sum of
$..........," if approved in whole or in part, specifying in the latter case the items rejected. Each
order shall be so drawn that when signed by the treasurer in an appropriate space, it becomes
a check on the city depository. Such order-check may have printed on its reverse side, above
the space for endorsement thereof by the payee, the following statement: "The undersigned
payee, in endorsing this order-check, declares that the same is received in payment of a just and
correct claim against the city of .........., and that no part of such claim has heretofore been paid."
When endorsed by the payee named in the order-check, such statement shall operate and shall be
deemed sufficient as the required declaration of the claim. Any order presented to the treasurer
and not paid for want of funds shall be so marked and paid in the order of its presentation with
interest from the date of presentation at the rate of five percent or such lower rate as is fixed
by the council prior to its issuance.
Subd. 4. Immediate payment of claims.
When payment of a claim based on contract cannot
be deferred until the next council meeting without loss to the city through forfeiture of discount
privileges or otherwise, it may be made immediately if the itemized claim is endorsed for payment
by at least a majority of all the members of the council. The claim shall be acted upon formally at
the next council meeting in the same manner as if it had not been paid, and the earlier payment
shall not affect the right of the city or any taxpayer to challenge the validity of the claim.
Subd. 5. Imprest funds.
The council may establish one or more imprest funds for the
payment in cash of any proper claim against the city which it is impractical to pay in any other
manner, except that no claim for salary or personal expenses of an officer or employee shall be
paid from such funds. The council shall appoint a custodian of each such fund who shall be
responsible for its safekeeping and disbursement according to law. Money for the operation
of such fund shall be secured by a transfer from the general fund. A claim itemizing all the
various demands for which disbursements have been made from the fund shall be presented to
the council at the next council meeting after the disbursements have been made. The council
shall act upon it as in the case of other claims and an order shall be issued to the custodian for
the amount allowed. The custodian shall use the proceeds of the order to replenish the fund; and
if the council fails to approve the claim in full for any sufficient reason, the custodian shall
be personally responsible for the difference.
Subd. 6. Independent boards, powers.
Subdivisions 4 and 5 shall apply to any independent
board or commission of the city having authority to disburse funds without approval of the
council. In such case references in these subdivisions to the council shall be considered to be to
the board or commission and the money for the fund may be secured from any undedicated
fund under its jurisdiction.
Subd. 7. Definition.
For purposes of this section, a "city administrative official" means a city
manager, administrator, treasurer, senior fiscal officer, clerk, or clerk-treasurer.
Subd. 8. Delegation of authority for paying certain claims.
A city council, at its discretion,
may delegate its authority to pay certain claims made against the city to a city administrative
official. City councils opting to delegate their authority to review claims before payment pursuant
to this subdivision shall have internal accounting and administrative control procedures to ensure
the proper disbursement of public funds. The procedures shall include regular and frequent
review of the city administrative officials' actions by the council. A list of all claims paid under
the procedures established by the city council shall be presented to the council for informational
purposes only at the next regularly scheduled meeting after payment of the claim. A city council
that delegates its authority to pay certain claims made against the city must adopt a resolution
authorizing a specified city administrative official to pay the claims that meet the standards and
procedures established by the council. A city council of a city that does not prepare annual audited
financial statements which have been attested to by an independent certified public accountant,
public accountant, or the state auditor, may not delegate its authority for paying certain claims
against the city pursuant to this subdivision.
History: 1949 c 119 s 34; 1951 c 378 s 10; 1953 c 319 s 5; 1955 c 867 s 5; 1973 c 123 art
2 s 1 subd 2; 1986 c 444; 1993 c 315 s 11-13; 2004 c 165 s 1