A-28764, SEPTEMBER 23, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 139

A-28764: Sep 23, 1929

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POSTMASTERS - OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS UNLESS HE IS ALSO A NOTARY PUBLIC. A POSTMASTER IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3745 OF THE REVISED STATUTES. WHERE HE ADMINISTERS SUCH OATHS AS A NOTARY PUBLIC HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT THEREFOR FROM FUNDS OF THE UNITED STATES. REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY A BILL SUBMITTED BY THE POSTMASTER AT DIXON. IF THE POSTMASTER TOOK YOUR ACKNOWLEDGMENT AS A NOTARY PUBLIC SUCH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ARE SUFFICIENT TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 3745. OR EMPLOYEE IN THE EXECUTIVE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO IS ALSO A NOTARY PUBLIC OF ANY COMPENSATION WHATEVER FOR PERFORMANCE OF ANY NOTARIAL ACT FOR ANOTHER OFFICER.

A-28764, SEPTEMBER 23, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 139

POSTMASTERS - OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS UNLESS HE IS ALSO A NOTARY PUBLIC, A POSTMASTER IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3745 OF THE REVISED STATUTES. WHERE HE ADMINISTERS SUCH OATHS AS A NOTARY PUBLIC HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT THEREFOR FROM FUNDS OF THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO CHARLES E. COE, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE FLATHEAD INDIAN AGENCY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1929, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY A BILL SUBMITTED BY THE POSTMASTER AT DIXON, MONT., COVERING FEES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3745, REVISED STATUTES, IN CONNECTION WITH LEASES AND CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY YOU AS SUPERINTENDENT OF THE FLATHEAD INDIAN AGENCY.

SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, AUTHORIZES POSTMASTERS AND CERTAIN OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO ADMINISTER OATHS IN SUPPORT OF TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES. SAID SECTION, HOWEVER, DOES NOT APPLY TO OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS. SEE 19 COMP. DEC. 217; ID. 246; DECISION OF OCTOBER 31, 1925, A-11143, 10907.

IF THE POSTMASTER TOOK YOUR ACKNOWLEDGMENT AS A NOTARY PUBLIC SUCH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ARE SUFFICIENT TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 3745, REVISED STATUTES, BUT SECTION 35 OF POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1924, FORBIDS THE CHARGING OR RECEIVING BY AN OFFICER, CLERK, OR EMPLOYEE IN THE EXECUTIVE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO IS ALSO A NOTARY PUBLIC OF ANY COMPENSATION WHATEVER FOR PERFORMANCE OF ANY NOTARIAL ACT FOR ANOTHER OFFICER, CLERK, OR EMPLOYEE IN HIS OFFICIAL RELATION WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS OF CONTRACTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IS A NOTARIAL ACT IN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S RELATION TO THE GOVERNMENT AND, ACCORDINGLY, A POSTMASTER WHO IS ALSO A NOTARY PUBLIC IS FORBIDDEN BY THE POSTAL REGULATIONS TO CHARGE OR RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION WHATEVER FOR ADMINISTERING OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS IN CONNECTION WITH LEASES OR CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY THE OFFICERS SUBSCRIBING TO SUCH OATHS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT TO THE POSTMASTER AT DIXON, MONT., OF FEES FOR ADMINISTERING OATHS OF DISINTERESTEDNESS TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE LEASES AND CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY YOU IS NOT AUTHORIZED.