A-46398, JANUARY 13, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 489

A-46398: Jan 13, 1933

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IS LIMITED TO MATTERS OF NAVAL JUSTICE AND NAVAL ADMINISTRATION AND. SUCH OFFICERS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT TO EXPENSE ACCOUNTS AS BENEFICIARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THAT COMMISSION. 1933: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION WHETHER VOUCHERS COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY BENEFICIARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION WHO ARE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT MAY BE SWORN TO BEFORE A NAVAL OFFICER. THE AUTHORITY OF NAVAL OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS IS FOUND IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 25. THEY ARE HEREBY. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE AUTHORITY OF NAVAL OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS IS LIMITED TO MATTERS OF NAVAL JUSTICE AND NAVAL ADMINISTRATION.

A-46398, JANUARY 13, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 489

OATHS TO TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS - ADMINISTERING BY NAVAL OFFICERS THE AUTHORITY OF NAVAL OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1917, 39 STAT. 1171, IS LIMITED TO MATTERS OF NAVAL JUSTICE AND NAVAL ADMINISTRATION AND, ACCORDINGLY, SUCH OFFICERS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT TO EXPENSE ACCOUNTS AS BENEFICIARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THAT COMMISSION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 13, 1933:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION WHETHER VOUCHERS COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY BENEFICIARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION WHO ARE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT MAY BE SWORN TO BEFORE A NAVAL OFFICER, SUCH EXPENSES BEING PAYABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

THE AUTHORITY OF NAVAL OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS IS FOUND IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 25, 1895, AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1901, AND MARCH 4, 1917, 39 STAT. 1171, PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

THAT JUDGES ADVOCATE OF NAVAL GENERAL COURTS-MARTIAL AND COURTS OF INQUIRY, AND ALL COMMANDERS IN CHIEF OF NAVAL SQUADRONS, COMMANDANTS OF NAVY YARDS AND STATIONS, OFFICERS COMMANDING VESSELS OF THE NAVY, AND RECRUITING OFFICERS OF THE NAVY, AND THE ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR, ASSISTANTS ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR, COMMANDING OFFICERS, RECRUITING OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS, AND SUCH OTHER OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR NAVY AND MARINE CORPS, OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE, OF THE MARINE CORPS RESERVE, AND OF THE NATIONAL NAVAL VOLUNTEERS AS MAY BE HEREAFTER DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, BE, AND THEY ARE HEREBY, AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF NAVAL JUSTICE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES OF NAVAL ADMINISTRATION.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE AUTHORITY OF NAVAL OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS IS LIMITED TO MATTERS OF NAVAL JUSTICE AND NAVAL ADMINISTRATION. DECISION TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 27, 1909, IT WAS HELD THAT SAID ACT DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE ADMINISTERING OF AN OATH OF OFFICE BY THE NAVAL OFFICER IN COMMAND OF A BUREAU OF FISHERIES VESSEL TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF FISHERIES SERVING ON SUCH VESSEL.

THE 114TH ARTICLE OF WAR AUTHORIZES MILITARY OFFICERS TO ADMINISTER OATHS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF MILITARY JUSTICE AND PURPOSES OF MILITARY ADMINISTRATION, USING LANGUAGE OTHERWISE SIMILAR TO THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1917, SUPRA. IN CONSTRUING THIS ARTICLE IT WAS HELD IN 10 COMP. GEN. 357:

WHEN THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS INVOLVED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT IS INCIDENT TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF MILITARY JUSTICE OR FOR OTHER PURPOSES OF MILITARY ADMINISTRATION, THE OATH TO SUCH EXPENSE ACCOUNT MAY BE ADMINISTERED EITHER BY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ENUMERATED IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, OR BY AN OFFICER OF ANY CLASS ENUMERATED IN THE 114TH ARTICLE OF WAR, AS AMENDED.

WHEN THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS INVOLVED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT IS INCIDENT TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF NONMILITARY ACTIVITIES INVOLVING THE CHARGING OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NONMILITARY ACTIVITIES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, THE OATH MAY NOT BE ADMINISTERED BY AN OFFICER OF ANY OF THE CLASSES ENUMERATED IN THE 114TH ARTICLE OF WAR, AS AMENDED.

THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF BENEFICIARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION ARE PROVIDED FOR IN THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THAT COMMISSION. THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION,"EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND, 1933," ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 457, PROVIDES:

FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY "AN ACT TO PROVIDE COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES SUFFERING INJURIES WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED SEPTEMBER 7, 1916 (U.S.C., TITLE 5, SEC. 785), INCLUDING MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS, TRAVELING AND OTHER EXPENSES, AND LOSS OF WAGES PAYABLE TO EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 21 AND 22; ALL SERVICES, APPLIANCES, AND SUPPLIES PROVIDED BY SECTION 9, AS AMENDED, INCLUDING PAYMENTS TO ARMY AND NAVY HOSPITALS; THE TRANSPORTATION AND BURIAL EXPENSES PROVIDED BY SECTIONS 9 AND 11; AND ADVANCEMENT OF COSTS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF RECOVERIES PROVIDED IN SECTION 26 AND 27 WHERE NECESSARY, ACCRUING DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, OR IN PRIOR FISCAL YEARS, $4,450,000.

THE TRAVELING EXPENSES PAYABLE FROM THE FORGOING APPROPRIATION ARE NOT MATTERS OF NAVAL JUSTICE OR NAVAL ADMINISTRATION. ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT OATHS TO SUCH EXPENSE ACCOUNTS EXECUTED BEFORE NAVAL OFFICERS ARE NOT EXECUTED BEFORE AN OFFICER QUALIFIED TO ADMINISTER OATHS IN SUCH CASES. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 195.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SUCH OATHS HAVE HERETOFORE NOT BEEN QUESTIONED BY THIS OFFICE, CREDIT WILL NOT BE DISALLOWED FOR EXPENSES, OTHERWISE PROPER, PAID UPON SUCH VOUCHERS PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1, 1933, BUT CREDIT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR PAYMENTS MADE ON OR AFTER THAT DATE UPON VOUCHERS SO EXECUTED PAYABLE FROM THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND.