A-29956, JANUARY 4, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 267

A-29956: Jan 4, 1930

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THAT THE CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE IN A DISBURSING OFFICE MAY BE DESIGNATED TO ACT "IN PLACE" OF THE DISBURSING AGENT WHEN SUCH DISBURSING AGENT IS ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT. NECESSARILY IMPLIES THAT ONLY A CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE MAY BE SO DESIGNATED AND THAT THE DEPUTY MAY NOT ACT WHEN THE DISBURSING AGENT IS NOT ABSENT. MAY BE A STANDING ONE SO THAT THE DEPUTY MAY ACT WHENEVER HIS PRINCIPAL IS ABSENT. AS FOLLOWS: IN THE COMMISSION'S DISBURSING OFFICE ARE FOUR EMPLOYEES. - ONE IS IN CAF -8. ONE IS IN CAF-6. ONE IS IN CAF-4. THE FOURTH IS IN CAF 2. IN WHICH SAID DISBURSING CLERK OR AGENT IS EMPLOYED. AUTHORIZING THE DESIGNATION OF THE CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE IN A DISBURSING OFFICE TO ACT IN PLACE OF THE DISBURSING CLERK WHEN SUCH DISBURSING CLERK IS ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT NECESSARILY IMPLIES THAT NO CLERK OTHER THAN A CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE MAY BE SO DESIGNATED AND THAT SUCH CLERK SHALL NOT ACT IN PLACE OF THE DISBURSING CLERK WHEN THE DISBURSING CLERK IS NOT ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT.

A-29956, JANUARY 4, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 267

DESIGNATION OF DEPUTY DISBURSING AGENTS THE AUTHORIZATION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1027, THAT THE CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE IN A DISBURSING OFFICE MAY BE DESIGNATED TO ACT "IN PLACE" OF THE DISBURSING AGENT WHEN SUCH DISBURSING AGENT IS ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT, NECESSARILY IMPLIES THAT ONLY A CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE MAY BE SO DESIGNATED AND THAT THE DEPUTY MAY NOT ACT WHEN THE DISBURSING AGENT IS NOT ABSENT. THE DESIGNATION, HOWEVER, MAY BE A STANDING ONE SO THAT THE DEPUTY MAY ACT WHENEVER HIS PRINCIPAL IS ABSENT, AND IN THAT EVENT THE DEPUTY SHOULD GIVE BOND TO THE UNITED STATES AND THE ACCOUNTS PAID BY HIM SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE PRINCIPAL DISBURSING AGENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, JANUARY 4, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 20, 1929, FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSION, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE COMMISSION'S DISBURSING OFFICE ARE FOUR EMPLOYEES--- ONE IS IN CAF -8, ONE IS IN CAF-6, ONE IS IN CAF-4, AND THE FOURTH IS IN CAF 2.

RECENTLY THE COMMISSION BECAME CONVINCED THAT IT WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO DESIGNATE THE EMPLOYEE IN CAF-4 AS DEPUTY SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, THE DEPUTY TO BE UNDER BOND AND TO PERFORM THE USUAL DUTIES OF SUCH A POSITION. IT FORMALLY APPROVED SUCH ACTION ON NOVEMBER 20, 1929, THE COMMISSION'S SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT CONCURRING.

SUBSEQUENTLY, THE QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO WHETHER THIS ACTION MIGHT BE IN CONFLICT WITH A PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909 (35 STAT. 1027), STATING THAT---

IN CASE OF THE SICKNESS OR UNAVOIDABLE ABSENCE OF ANY DISBURSING CLERK OR DISBURSING AGENT OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT BUREAU, OR OFFICE, IN WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HE MAY, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT BUREAU, OR OFFICE, IN WHICH SAID DISBURSING CLERK OR AGENT IS EMPLOYED, AUTHORIZE THE CLERK OF HIGHEST GRADE EMPLOYED THEREIN TO ACT IN HIS PLACE, AND TO DISCHARGE ALL THE DUTIES BY LAW OR REGULATIONS OF SUCH DISBURSING CLERK OR AGENT. * * *

THE COMMISSION DESIRES THE DECISION OF YOUR OFFICE ON THE LEGALITY OF ITS ACTION.

THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, AUTHORIZING THE DESIGNATION OF THE CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE IN A DISBURSING OFFICE TO ACT IN PLACE OF THE DISBURSING CLERK WHEN SUCH DISBURSING CLERK IS ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT NECESSARILY IMPLIES THAT NO CLERK OTHER THAN A CLERK OF THE HIGHEST GRADE MAY BE SO DESIGNATED AND THAT SUCH CLERK SHALL NOT ACT IN PLACE OF THE DISBURSING CLERK WHEN THE DISBURSING CLERK IS NOT ILL OR UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT. THIS FOLLOWS FROM THE WELL-KNOWN MAXIM EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS. HOWEVER, THE DESIGNATION OF THE CLERK OF HIGHEST GRADE IN THE OFFICE NEED NOT BE POSTPONED UNTIL THE DISBURSING CLERK BECOMES ILL OR IS UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT, BUT THERE MAY BE A STANDING DESIGNATION WITH THE ACTION OF THE DEPUTY SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT "IN PLACE" OF THE DISBURSING AGENT TO BECOME EFFECTIVE WHENEVER THE DISBURSING AGENT IS ILL OR OTHERWISE UNAVOIDABLY ABSENT. THE DEPUTY DISBURSING AGENT SO DESIGNATED SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO GIVE BOND TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES SO AS TO ELIMINATE ANY PROCEDURAL QUESTIONS SHOULD IT BECOME NECESSARY TO PROCEED AGAINST SUCH BOND. SEPARATE ACCOUNTS SHOULD NOT BE RENDERED BY THE DEPUTY. HOWEVER, THE VOUCHERS, PAYROLLS, ETC., PAID BY THE DEPUTY IN THE ABSENCE OF THE DISBURSING AGENT SHOULD SHOW BY STAMP OR OTHERWISE THAT THE DEPUTY DISBURSING AGENT PAID THEM AND THEY SHOULD BE SUBMITTED AS A PART OF THE ACCOUNT OF THE PRINCIPAL DISBURSING AGENT.

THE SPECIFIC QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, THAT IS, THAT UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, THE CLERK IN THE OFFICE OF THE DISBURSING AGENT OF THE COMMISSION IN CLASS CAF-4 MAY NOT BE DESIGNATED AS DEPUTY SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT IF THERE IS A CLERK OF A HIGHER GRADE IN THE OFFICE.