A-57412, OCTOBER 4, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 279

A-57412: Oct 4, 1934

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MUST BE FURNISHED BY ALL OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE WHOSE APPOINTMENTS ARE VESTED BY LAW IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE SO APPOINTED AND IT HAS BEEN FOUND ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPRACTICABLE TO REQUIRE THEM TO EXECUTE THE CUSTOMARY OATH OF OFFICE. EVIDENCE OF THE TAKING OF SUCH OATH WILL NOT BE REQUIRED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. AS FOLLOWS: NOTICES OF EXCEPTIONS TO PAY ROLLS ARE BEING RECEIVED FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE REQUIRING INFORMATION AS TO DATES OF OATHS OF OFFICE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE FOLLOWING CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES: (A) EMPLOYEES OF NONEDUCATIONAL GRADE SERVING IN CLASSIFIED STATUS.

A-57412, OCTOBER 4, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 279

APPOINTMENTS - OATHS THE OATH OF OFFICE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, MUST BE FURNISHED BY ALL OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE WHOSE APPOINTMENTS ARE VESTED BY LAW IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THE COURTS OF LAW OR THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS. WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE SO APPOINTED AND IT HAS BEEN FOUND ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPRACTICABLE TO REQUIRE THEM TO EXECUTE THE CUSTOMARY OATH OF OFFICE, EVIDENCE OF THE TAKING OF SUCH OATH WILL NOT BE REQUIRED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, OCTOBER 4, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

NOTICES OF EXCEPTIONS TO PAY ROLLS ARE BEING RECEIVED FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE REQUIRING INFORMATION AS TO DATES OF OATHS OF OFFICE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE FOLLOWING CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES:

(A) EMPLOYEES OF NONEDUCATIONAL GRADE SERVING IN CLASSIFIED STATUS.

(B) EMPLOYEES SERVING IN TEMPORARY STATUS UNDER CIVIL-SERVICE RULES IN CLASSIFIED POSITIONS.

(C) EMPLOYEES APPOINTED AS COOKS AND COOKS' HELPERS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 13, SUBDIVISION I, SCHEDULE A, CIVIL-SERVICE RULES.

THE REGULATIONS OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT CONTEMPLATE THAT OATH OF OFFICE WILL BE REQUIRED IN THE PROBATIONAL APPOINTMENT, OR APPOINTMENT WITH PERMANENT CIVIL-SERVICE STATUS, OF ALL EMPLOYEES OF EDUCATIONAL GRADE. OATHS OF OFFICE ARE NOT REQUIRED UNDER THESE REGULATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENTS IN POSITIONS OF NONEDUCATIONAL GRADE NOR IN TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS TO POSITIONS OF EITHER EDUCATIONAL OR NONEDUCATIONAL GRADE. OATHS OF OFFICE HAVE NOT BEEN REQUIRED IN SUCH APPOINTMENTS BECAUSE OF THE IMPRACTICABILITY OF ARRANGING FOR THE ADMINISTERING OF THE OATH IN MANY CASES. MANY LOCATIONS AT WHICH APPOINTMENTS ARE MADE ON FIELD PARTIES ARE ISOLATED, AND NO OFFICIALS AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS ARE LOCATED WITHIN COMMUTING DISTANCE OF THE WORKS. MOREOVER, THE TURN-OVER AMONG THESE CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES IS LARGE AND ANY ATTEMPT TO REQUIRE OATH OF OFFICE IN APPOINTMENTS IN THESE GRADES WOULD RESULT IN GREATLY INCREASED OVERHEAD EXPENSE.

THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL (A-54519) OF APRIL 11, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 273, CITED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS THE BASIS FOR THE EXCEPTION ABOVE MENTIONED APPLIES PRIMARILY TO EMPLOYMENTS IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AND REFERS SPECIFICALLY TO THE FACT THAT THE REGULATIONS OF THAT SERVICE PROVIDE THAT EVERY OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO EXECUTE AN OATH OF OFFICE IN DUPLICATE BEFORE ASSUMING HIS DUTIES. IN THAT DECISION, REFERENCE IS MADE TO AN EARLIER DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF DECEMBER 23, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 261, WHICH APPARENTLY RELATED TO APPOINTMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE TO POSITIONS SUBJECT TO CLASSIFICATION BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. IN THAT DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT AS TO EMPLOYEES IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE APPOINTED TO NEW OR ADDITIONAL POSITIONS THE PAY ROLLS SHOULD SHOW DATE OF APPOINTMENT, DATE OF ENTRANCE ON DUTY, AND DATE OF OATH. THE CONDITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE OR IN A FIELD SERVICE WHERE EMPLOYMENT IS STABILIZED DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM CONDITIONS IN THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE. IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE THE NUMBER OF POSITIONS ON THE PAY ROLL VARIES ONLY SLIGHTLY, WHEREAS IN THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES VARIES FROM MONTH TO MONTH ACCORDING TO THE SEASON AND THE NEEDS OF THE WORK. THERE IS INCLOSED A TABULATED STATEMENT COVERING EMPLOYMENTS IN THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934, WHICH GIVES SOME IDEA AS TO THE FLUCTUATION IN THE FORCE. ATTENTION IS INVITED PARTICULARLY TO A NUMBER OF ADDITIONS AND SEPARATIONS, INDICATING THE RATE OF TURN-OVER.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE MET IF INFORMATION BE FURNISHED ON THE PAY ROLLS IN THE CASE OF EACH EMPLOYMENT AS TO THE DATE OF ENTRANCE ON DUTY.

SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, AND SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MAY 13, 1884, 23 STAT. 22, REQUIRE AN OATH OF OFFICE TO BE EXECUTED BY "ANY PERSON ELECTED OR APPOINTED TO ANY OFFICE OF HONOR OR PROFIT.' THIS REQUIREMENT APPLIES ONLY TO OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE. THAT IS, OFFICERS WHOSE APPOINTMENTS ARE VESTED BY LAW IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THE COURTS OF LAW OR THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS. SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 112 AND THE CASES THEREIN CITED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE REQUIRED TO EXECUTE AN OATH OF OFFICE AND SOME SERVICES HAVE INCORPORATED SUCH A REQUIREMENT IN THEIR PERSONNEL REGULATIONS. IT IS TO SUCH PRACTICE AND REGULATIONS THAT THE DECISIONS IN 9 COMP. GEN. 261, AND IN 13 COMP. GEN. 273 HAVE REFERENCE. HOWEVER, WHERE THE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE APPOINTED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT AND IT HAS BEEN FOUND ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPRACTICABLE TO REQUIRE THE OATH OF OFFICE, AS IN THE THREE CLASSES REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION, EVIDENCE OF THE TAKING OF THE OATH WILL NOT BE REQUIRED BY THIS OFFICE. IT WILL BE SUFFICIENT IN SUCH CASES IF INFORMATION IS FURNISHED ON THE PAY ROLL OF THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT OR EMPLOYMENT AND OF ENTRANCE UPON DUTY.