A-36166, MAY 19, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 524

A-36166: May 19, 1931

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OATHS OF OFFICE - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMPLOYEES EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPOINTED TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF AN OATH OF OFFICE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION OR OFFICE UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 77. A CHANGE IN GRADE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF THE OATH OF OFFICE. LECOMPTE WAS TRANSFERRED. THAT HE FAILED TO TAKE AN OATH OF OFFICE WHEN ASSUMING THE DUTIES OF THE NEW POSITION AND THAT HE WAS DROPPED FROM THE PAY ROLL FOR CAUSE SEPTEMBER 2. THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE DIFFERENCE IN PAY WAS MADE BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO TAKE AN OATH OF OFFICE AS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 1757.

A-36166, MAY 19, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 524

OATHS OF OFFICE - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMPLOYEES EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPOINTED TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF AN OATH OF OFFICE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION OR OFFICE UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 77, TITLE 20, CODE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. A CHANGE IN GRADE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF THE OATH OF OFFICE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 19, 1931:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS OF J. R. LUSBY, DISBURSING OFFICER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OF CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS AGGREGATING $26.56 MADE BY HIM TO ROBERT S. LECOMPTE, PRINCIPAL GUARD, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REFORMATORY, LORTON, VA., ON VOUCHERS 40276, 40210, 42141, 43516, AND 44892, JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER, 1930, THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED COVERING THE DIFFERENCE IN PAY BETWEEN THAT OF SENIOR GUARD AND PRINCIPAL GUARD FOR THE PERIOD JULY 8, 1930 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1930,INCLUSIVE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ROBERT S. LECOMPTE WAS TRANSFERRED, PROMOTED, AND APPOINTED ON JULY 8, 1930, BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FROM SENIOR GUARD TO PRINCIPAL GUARD, BUT THAT HE FAILED TO TAKE AN OATH OF OFFICE WHEN ASSUMING THE DUTIES OF THE NEW POSITION AND THAT HE WAS DROPPED FROM THE PAY ROLL FOR CAUSE SEPTEMBER 2, 1930. THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE DIFFERENCE IN PAY WAS MADE BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO TAKE AN OATH OF OFFICE AS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES. THE DISBURSING OFFICER, IN REPLY TO THE DISALLOWANCE, HAS STATED THAT SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, APPLIES ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, NOT TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE CONTENTION OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER APPEARS TO BE CORRECT IN SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE APPLICATION OF THAT SECTION OF THE REVISED STATUTES, BUT SECTION 77, TITLE 21, OF THE CODE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PROVIDES THAT---

ALL CIVIL OFFICERS IN THE DISTRICT SHALL, BEFORE THEY ACT AS SUCH, RESPECTIVELY TAKE AND SUBSCRIBE AN OATH OR AFFIRMATION TO SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND FAITHFULLY TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES; * * *.

THE APPOINTMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM SENIOR GUARD TO PRINCIPAL GUARD CONSTITUTED A CHANGE IN GRADE FROM CU-4 TO CU-5 AND IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE, IN DECISION 3 COMP. GEN. 1005, THAT A CHANGE IN GRADE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF AN OATH OF OFFICE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE PAY OF THE HIGHER GRADE UNLESS AND UNTIL HE HAD TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 77, TITLE 20, CODE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND HAVING FAILED TO DO SO CREDIT FOR ANY PAYMENTS MADE TO HIM AT THE HIGHER RATE OF PAY IS FOR DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE PAYING OFFICER. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN DISALLOWING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE INCREASE IN PAY PAID TO THIS EMPLOYEE MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.