(a)(1) Subject to paragraph (3), a disbursing official of the Department of Defense may designate a deputy disbursing official–
(A) to make payments as the agent of the disbursing official;
(B) to sign checks drawn on disbursing accounts of the Secretary of the Treasury; and
(C) to carry out other duties required under law.
(2) The penalties for misconduct that apply to a disbursing official apply to a deputy disbursing official designated under this subsection.
(3) A disbursing official may make a designation under paragraph (1) only with the approval of the Secretary of Defense or, in the case of a disbursing official of a military department, the Secretary of that military department.
(b)(1) If a disbursing official of the Department of Defense dies, becomes disabled, or is separated from office, a deputy disbursing official may continue the accounts and payments in the name of the former disbursing official until the last day of the 2d month after the month in which the death, disability, or separation occurs. The accounts and payments shall be allowed, audited, and settled as provided by law. The Secretary of the Treasury shall honor checks signed in the name of the former disbursing official in the same way as if the former disbursing official had continued in office.
(2) The deputy disbursing official, and not the former disbursing official or the estate of the former disbursing official, is liable for the actions of the deputy disbursing official under this subsection.