A-10423, JULY 24, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 54

A-10423: Jul 24, 1925

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NEED NOT BE RENEWED SO LONG AS THEY ARE NOT RECALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 8. IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT CERTAIN OFFICERS WERE RECOMMISSIONED JULY 1. NEW BONDS WERE GIVEN BY SAID OFFICERS AND THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY RETIRED UNDER SECTION 18 OF THE ACT. YOU REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR THESE RETIRED OFFICERS TO RENEW THEIR BONDS BY THE PAYMENT OF FURTHER ANNUAL PREMIUMS. THAT SECTIONS 1697 AND 1698 OF THE REVISED STATUTES ARE HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: "EVERY SECRETARY. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT OF THE BOND IS. - AS IS CLEARLY MANIFESTED BY SECTION 9 SUPRA. AS TO THE OFFICERS IN THE INSTANT CASE YOU STATE: THE RETIRED OFFICERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO DRAW DRAFTS.

A-10423, JULY 24, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 54

BONDS, SURETY - RETIRED FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS THE SURETY BONDS EXECUTED BY FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924, 43 STAT. 142, UPON THEIR BEING RECOMMISSIONED ON JULY 1, 1924, AS FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND IMMEDIATELY RETIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924, NEED NOT BE RENEWED SO LONG AS THEY ARE NOT RECALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JULY 24, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 8, 1925, IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT CERTAIN OFFICERS WERE RECOMMISSIONED JULY 1, 1924, AS FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924, 43 STAT. 140, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 9 OF SAID ACT, NEW BONDS WERE GIVEN BY SAID OFFICERS AND THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY RETIRED UNDER SECTION 18 OF THE ACT.

YOU REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR THESE RETIRED OFFICERS TO RENEW THEIR BONDS BY THE PAYMENT OF FURTHER ANNUAL PREMIUMS.

THE ACT REFERRED TO, SUPRA, PROVIDES IN PART:

SEC. 7. THAT ON THE DATE ON WHICH THIS ACT BECOMES EFFECTIVE THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL CERTIFY TO THE PRESIDENT, WITH HIS RECOMMENDATION IN EACH CASE, THE RECORD OF EFFICIENCY OF THE SEVERAL SECRETARIES IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE, CONSULS GENERAL, CONSULS, VICE CONSULS OF CAREER, CONSULAR ASSISTANTS, INTERPRETERS, AND STUDENT INTERPRETERS THEN IN OFFICE AND SHALL, EXCEPT IN CASES OF PERSONS FOUND TO MERIT REDUCTION IN RANK OR DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE, RECOMMEND TO THE PRESIDENT THE RECOMMISSIONING, WITHOUT FURTHER EXAMINATION, OF THOSE THEN IN OFFICE AS FOLLOWS: * * *.

SEC. 9. THAT SECTIONS 1697 AND 1698 OF THE REVISED STATUTES ARE HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"EVERY SECRETARY, CONSUL GENERAL, CONSUL, VICE CONSUL OF CAREER, OR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, BEFORE HE RECEIVES HIS COMMISSION OR ENTERS UPON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE, SHALL GIVE TO THE UNITED STATES A BOND, IN SUCH FORM AS THE PRESIDENT SHALL PRESCRIBE, WITH SUCH SURETIES, WHO SHALL BE PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL APPROVE, IN A PENAL SUM NOT LESS THAN THE ANNUAL COMPENSATION ALLOWED TO SUCH OFFICER, CONDITIONED FOR THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL ACCOUNTING FOR, PAYING OVER, AND DELIVERING UP OF ALL FEES, MONEYS, GOODS, EFFECTS, BOOKS, RECORDS, PAPERS, AND OTHER PROPERTY WHICH SHALL COME TO HIS HANDS OR TO THE HANDS OF ANY OTHER PERSON TO HIS USE AS SUCH OFFICER UNDER ANY LAW NOW OR HEREAFTER ENACTED, AND FOR THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF ALL OTHER DUTIES NOW OR HEREAFTER LAWFULLY IMPOSED UPON HIM AS SUCH OFFICER: PROVIDED, THAT THE OPERATION OF NO EXISTING BOND SHALL IN ANY WISE BE IMPAIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT SUCH BOND SHALL COVER BY ITS STIPULATIONS ALL OFFICIAL ACTS OF SUCH OFFICERS, WHETHER AS FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER OR AS SECRETARY IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE, CONSUL GENERAL, CONSUL, OR VICE CONSUL OF CAREER. THE BONDS HEREIN MENTIONED SHALL BE DEPOSITED WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.'

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN SECTION 9 REQUIRING THE GIVING OF A BOND BY AN OFFICER "BEFORE HE RECEIVES HIS COMMISSION OR ENTERS UPON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE," THE GIVING OF A BOND BECOMES A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE COMPLETE INVESTITURE OF THE OFFICE. SEE UNITED STATES V. LE BARON, 60 U.S. 73, AND WILLIAMS V. UNITED STATES, 23 CT.CLS. 46. BUT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT OF THE BOND IS--- AS IS CLEARLY MANIFESTED BY SECTION 9 SUPRA--- TO INSURE THAT THE OFFICER MAKE ,TRUE AND FAITHFUL ACCOUNTING FOR * * * ALL FEES, MONEYS, GOODS * * * AND OTHER PROPERTY WHICH SHALL COME TO HIS HANDS * * * AS SUCH OFFICER.'

AS TO THE OFFICERS IN THE INSTANT CASE YOU STATE:

THE RETIRED OFFICERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO DRAW DRAFTS, HAVE NO GOVERNMENT FUNDS TO DISBURSE, AND THE DEPARTMENT PERCEIVES NO NECESSITY FOR HAVING THEM BONDED. IF RECALLED FOR ACTIVE SERVICE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THEY MUST BE RECOMMISSIONED TO THE PARTICULAR CLASS OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IN WHICH THE PRESIDENT MAY DECIDE TO PLACE THEM FOR ACTIVE SERVICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 19 OF THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924, AND REBONDED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE SAID ACT.

SINCE THESE RETIRED OFFICERS HAVE NO DUTIES TO PERFORM AND NO FUNDS FOR WHICH TO ACCOUNT, SO LONG AS THEY ARE NOT RECALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY, NO REASON FOR REQUIRING A BOND EXISTS AND TO REQUIRE A BOND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BE TO FORCE THE DOING OF A VAIN AND USELESS ACT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO WELL-SETTLED PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW.

ACCORDINGLY, ANSWERING YOUR REQUEST SPECIFICALLY, IT WILL BE UNNECESSARY FOR THE RETIRED OFFICERS TO RENEW THEIR BONDS.

THE OBLIGATION OF THE SURETY UNDER THE BONDS GIVEN PRIOR TO RETIREMENT WILL CONTINUE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT AS TO ALL TRANSACTIONS OCCURRING DURING THE PERIODS COVERED THEREBY.