A-77884, JULY 27, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 76

A-77884: Jul 27, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

NOTARIES PUBLIC - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES - EXPENSES OF QUALIFICATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE QUALIFICATION OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AS A NOTARY PUBLIC ARE NOT PAYABLE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. THE SAME WAS RETURNED WITH A PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT. "PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR BONDS OF NOTARIES IS NOT ALLOWABLE. THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION IS DESIROUS OF HAVING A NOTARY IN ITS OFFICES AND I WRITE TO INQUIRE WHETHER THE RULING MENTIONED ABOVE HAS BEEN CHANGED SO THAT THE EXPENSES OF THE NOTARY CAN BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IF WE WERE ALLOWED A NOTARY. THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION WAS ESTABLISHED BY JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS.

A-77884, JULY 27, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 76

NOTARIES PUBLIC - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES - EXPENSES OF QUALIFICATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE QUALIFICATION OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AS A NOTARY PUBLIC ARE NOT PAYABLE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, JULY 27, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

RECENTLY I SENT A VOUCHER THROUGH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR AUDIT, AND THE SAME WAS RETURNED WITH A PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"VOUCHER RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION.

"PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR BONDS OF NOTARIES IS NOT ALLOWABLE. SEE 12 COMP. DEC. 484.'

12 COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY DECISIONS 484 (1906) STATES THAT COMMISSIONS AND NOTARIAL SEALS CANNOT BE OBTAINED FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION IS DESIROUS OF HAVING A NOTARY IN ITS OFFICES AND I WRITE TO INQUIRE WHETHER THE RULING MENTIONED ABOVE HAS BEEN CHANGED SO THAT THE EXPENSES OF THE NOTARY CAN BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IF WE WERE ALLOWED A NOTARY, SUCH SERVICES WOULD BE USED FOR THE BUSINESS OF THE COMMISSION.

PRESUMABLY YOUR LETTER REFERS TO VOUCHER, ADMINISTRATIVE NO. 31, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT ON SCHEDULE NO. 12, DATED JUNE 1, 1936, THE VOUCHER COVERING A PROPOSED PAYMENT TO HORACE F. CLARK AND SON, IN THE SUM OF $8, AS PREMIUM ON A "$2,000 BOND OF LOUISE DREISONTOK, AS D.C. NOTARY PUBLIC," RUNNING FOR 5 YEARS FROM MAY 1, 1936.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION WAS ESTABLISHED BY JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS, APPROVED AUGUST 23, 1935, 49 STAT. 735. SECTION 7 OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION PROVIDES---

THAT THE COMMISSION MAY RECEIVE FROM ANY SOURCE CONTRIBUTIONS TO AID IN CARRYING OUT THE GENERAL PURPOSE OF THIS RESOLUTION, BUT THE SAME SHALL BE EXPENDED AND ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE SAME MANNER AS ANY APPROPRIATION WHICH MAY BE MADE UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT.

UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1936, 49 STAT. 1599, THE SUM OF $200,000 WAS APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION.

IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE QUALIFICATION OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AS A NOTARY PUBLIC ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE UNITED STATES, THE OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH CHARGES GOING, NOT TO THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH EMPLOYMENT, BUT TO THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD ACQUIRE NO RIGHT OR PROPERTY BY MAKING SUCH PAYMENT, THE APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATION BEING PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE, AND FOR WHICH HE MAY DERIVE PERSONAL BENEFIT. SEE 12 COMP. DEC. 484; 19 ID. 242; 22 ID. 354, AND 2 COMP. GEN. 382. COMPARE, ALSO, 13 COMP. GEN. 185.

ACCORDINGLY, THE AUDIT ACTION IN RETURNING THE VOUCHER WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT WAS CORRECT AND SUCH ACTION IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.