A-52713, JANUARY 5, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 185

A-52713: Jan 5, 1934

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BONDS - PREMIUMS - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PREMIUMS ON BONDS OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES. 1934: THERE WAS RETURNED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATIONS UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 6. THE VOUCHER HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT AND HAD BEEN RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT FOR THE STATED REASON THAT PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED OF SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES. STATES: RETURNED HEREWITH IS VOUCHER OF C. RYAN AND LEECH RECEIVED NO COMPENSATION FOR ACTING AS SPECIAL DEPUTY MARSHALS BUT WERE PAID THE USUAL SALARY AND EXPENSES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES IN THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATIONS.

A-52713, JANUARY 5, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 185

BONDS - PREMIUMS - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PREMIUMS ON BONDS OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JANUARY 5, 1934:

THERE WAS RETURNED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATIONS UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 6, 1933, A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF C. A. COX AND COMPANY FOR $15 COVERING PROPOSED PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS OF TWO SPECIAL DEPUTY UNITED STATES MARSHALS, EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS. THE VOUCHER HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT AND HAD BEEN RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT FOR THE STATED REASON THAT PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED OF SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES.

IN RETURNING THE VOUCHER FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION, THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IN HIS LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1933, STATES:

RETURNED HEREWITH IS VOUCHER OF C. A. COX AND COMPANY, TYLER, TEXAS, FOR $15.00 PREMIUM AT $7.50 EACH ON BONDS OF ARCHIE D. RYAN, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, AND JOE HARDIN LEECH, SPECIAL AGENT, TO QUALIFY THEM AS SPECIAL DEPUTY MARSHALS ON A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT OUTSIDE OF THEIR USUAL DUTIES AND INCIDENT TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE FEDERAL OIL REGULATIONS. MESSRS. RYAN AND LEECH RECEIVED NO COMPENSATION FOR ACTING AS SPECIAL DEPUTY MARSHALS BUT WERE PAID THE USUAL SALARY AND EXPENSES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES IN THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FOR WHICH POSITIONS THEY HAD ALREADY QUALIFIED. AS THE FURNISHING OF THESE BONDS WAS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT OR DETAIL, AND NOT INCIDENT TO QUALIFYING FOR THE EMPLOYMENT UNDER WHICH THEY ARE PAID, THE EXPENSE SURELY SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE GOVERNMENT AS INCIDENT TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF OIL REGULATIONS.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, 36 STAT. 125, PROVIDES:

* * * THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT PAY ANY PART OF THE PREMIUM OR OTHER COST OF FURNISHING A BOND REQUIRED BY LAW OR OTHERWISE OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES.

THIS STATUTE, IN EXPRESS TERMS, PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS ONBONDS OF OFFICERS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES FROM PUBLIC FUNDS AND IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PROVISION APPLIES TO ALL SUCH BONDS WHETHER REQUIRED BY LAW OR OTHERWISE.

EVEN BEFORE THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, WAS ENACTED, IN THE ABSENCE OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH AN EXPENDITURE, IT WAS A WELL SETTLED RULE OF LAW THAT THE EXPENSE OF EXECUTING PERSONAL BONDS WAS NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES. UNITED STATES V. VAN DUZEE, 140 U.S. 169; 2 COMP. DEC. 262; 12 ID. 678.

IN 2 COMP. DEC. 262, IT WAS SAID:

THE FACT THAT A DISBURSING OFFICER RECEIVES NO COMPENSATION CANNOT AFFECT THE QUESTION, FOR IF HE DOES NOT DESIRE THE OFFICE HE NEED NOT ACCEPT IT.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE FACT THAT GIVING THESE EMPLOYEES AN APPOINTMENT AS SPECIAL DEPUTY MARSHAL DID NOT INCREASE THEIR COMPENSATION AND MAY HAVE INVOLVED ADDITIONAL DUTIES WHICH THEY DID NOT DESIRE CANNOT OPERATE TO MAKE THE COSTS OF THEIR BONDS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN VIEW OF THE PLAIN PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE HEREINBEFORE QUOTED.