A-84798, APRIL 15, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 924

A-84798: Apr 15, 1937

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ACT OF JANUARY 16. WAS RECEIVED MARCH 30. 1937: ATTACHED ARE COPIES OF LETTERS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY BY THE COMMISSION UNDER DATES OF JANUARY 27. THE MATTER IS ACCORDINGLY REFERRED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSION REFERS TO THE CASE OF MRS. BLY STATED THAT SHE WAS BORN MAY 15. BLY WAS REQUESTED TO EXPLAIN THE DISCREPANCY IN HER DATE OF BIRTH. HER EXPLANATION OF THE DISCREPANCY CONCERNING HER DATE OF BIRTH IS ESSENTIALLY AS FOLLOWS: "MY ONLY REPLY CAN BE THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH I EXECUTED THE CIVIL- SERVICE APPLICATION IN QUESTION.

A-84798, APRIL 15, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 924

COMPENSATION - ILLEGAL APPOINTMENTS - ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE OF DISMISSAL - WITHHOLDING OF CREDIT IN DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WHERE, BECAUSE OF A MISSTATEMENT AS TO AGE, AN EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY HAS BEEN FOUND BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO BE INVALIDATED, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ACT OF JANUARY 16, 1883, 22 STAT. 406, AND CIVIL SERVICE RULE XV PROMULGATED THEREUNDER, TO WITHHOLD CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF ANY DISBURSING CLERK FOR PAYMENTS TO THE EMPLOYEE UNDER THE APPOINTMENT IN QUESTION FOR ANY SALARY ACCRUING AFTER THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF NOTICE FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE ILLEGALITY OF THE APPOINTMENT AND FAILURE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AFTER DUE NOTICE TO DISMISS THE EMPLOYEE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 15, 1937:

THE FOLLOWING LETTER, DATED MARCH 26, 1937, FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WAS RECEIVED MARCH 30, 1937:

ATTACHED ARE COPIES OF LETTERS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY BY THE COMMISSION UNDER DATES OF JANUARY 27, 1937, AND MARCH 8, 1937, REQUESTING THE TERMINATION OF THE SERVICES OF MRS. MARY A. (SCHULTZ) BLY, BECAUSE HER ELIGIBILITY HAD BEEN FOUND TO BE INVALIDATED.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS NOT INFORMED THE COMMISSION OF MRS. BLY'S SEPARATION TO DATE, AND THE MATTER IS ACCORDINGLY REFERRED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CIVIL SERVICE RULE XV.

THE LETTER DATED JANUARY 27, 1937, FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION REFERS TO THE CASE OF MRS. MARY S. BLY, APPOINTED JUNIOR CLERK-STENOGRAPHER, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER 5, 1936, BY TRANSFER FROM THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION.

IN HER APPLICATION FOR JUNIOR STENOGRAPHER, MRS. BLY STATED THAT SHE WAS BORN MAY 15, 1915, BUT IN HER DECLARATION OF APPOINTEE AND MEDICAL CERTIFICATE SHE GAVE MAY 15, 1916, AS HER DATE OF BIRTH.

MRS. BLY WAS REQUESTED TO EXPLAIN THE DISCREPANCY IN HER DATE OF BIRTH, AND TO FURNISH THE COMMISSION PROOF OF HER CORRECT DATE OF BIRTH. REPLY, MRS. BLY SUBMITTED A CERTIFIED COPY OF A BIRTH CERTIFICATE SHOWING HER TRUE DATE OF BIRTH TO BE MAY 15, 1916. HER EXPLANATION OF THE DISCREPANCY CONCERNING HER DATE OF BIRTH IS ESSENTIALLY AS FOLLOWS:

"MY ONLY REPLY CAN BE THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH I EXECUTED THE CIVIL- SERVICE APPLICATION IN QUESTION. AFTER WAITING SOME TIME FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN EXAMINATION FOR STENOGRAPHERS AND TYPISTS, I DID NOT LEARN THAT ONE WAS PENDING UNTIL THE DATE ON WHICH RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS CLOSED. IN MY HURRY, I INADVERTENTLY TYPED 1915 INSTEAD OF 1916. I HAVE MADE THIS ERROR REPEATEDLY INASMUCH AS IT SEEMS EASIER TO WRITE MAY 15, 1915, THAN 16. TO THE STATEMENT "AGE ON LAST BIRTHDAY, 18," I AM AFRAID I DID NOT READ THAT CORRECTLY FOR I THOUGHT THE QUESTION WAS ,AGE ON NEAREST BIRTHDAY" AND AS SIX MONTHS HAD PASSED SINCE MY LAST BIRTHDAY IT WAS NATURAL TO ANSWER "18.'

"I HAD BEEN INFORMED BY RELIABLE SOURCES THAT IF I WERE 18 YEARS OLD BY THE TIME I TOOK THE ACTUAL EXAMINATION I WOULD BE ELIGIBLE. I WAS ALSO INFORMED THAT THE EXAMINATION WOULD NOT BE ARRANGED FOR SOME MONTHS.'

IF MRS. BLY WAS BORN MAY 15, 1916, SHE WAS UNDER THE MINIMUM AGE LIMIT OF 18 YEARS ESTABLISHED FOR THIS EXAMINATION AND INELIGIBLE TO COMPETE THEREIN OR TO RECEIVE APPOINTMENT. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MRS. BLY MISSTATED HER DATE OF BIRTH IN HER APPLICATION IN ORDER TO APPEAR ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE IN THE EXAMINATION. HER EXPLANATION OF HER APPARENT FALSE STATEMENT IS NOT CONSIDERED SATISFACTORY.

BECAUSE OF MRS. BLY'S APPARENT FALSE STATEMENT IN HER APPLICATION CONCERNING HER DATE OF BIRTH AND THE FACT THAT SHE WAS INELIGIBLE TO COMPETE IN THE EXAMINATION OR TO RECEIVE APPOINTMENT, YOUR DEPARTMENT IS REQUESTED TO REMOVE HER FROM THE SERVICE. PLEASE ADVISE THE COMMISSION WHEN SUCH ACTION IS TAKEN.

THE REFERRED-TO LETTER OF MARCH 8, 1937, READS:

UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 27, 1937, THE COMMISSION INVITED THE DEPARTMENT'S ATTENTION TO THE CASE OF MRS. MARY A. (SCHULTZ) BLY, THEN A CLERK- STENOGRAPHER, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., WHOSE ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT HAD BEEN FOUND TO BE INVALIDATED BY REASON OF FALSE STATEMENTS IN HER APPLICATION RELATIVE TO HER DATE OF BIRTH, AND REQUESTED THAT SHE BE REMOVED FROM THE SERVICE. ALTHOUGH MORE THAN A MONTH HAS ELAPSED, NO REPORT HAS BEEN RECEIVED TO DATE, AND THE COMMISSION HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT SHE IS STILL ON DUTY.

THE DEPARTMENT'S ATTENTION IS ACCORDINGLY INVITED TO CIVIL SERVICE RULE XV, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IF THE COMMISSION SHALL FIND THAT ANY PERSON IS HOLDING A POSITION IN VIOLATION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ACT OR OF THE RULES PROMULGATED IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, IT SHALL, AFTER NOTICE TO THE PERSON AFFECTED AND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPLANATION, CERTIFY THE FACTS TO THE PROPER APPOINTING OFFICER. IF SUCH PERSON BE NOT DISMISSED WITHIN 10 DAYS THEREAFTER, IT SHALL CERTIFY THE FACTS TO THE PROPER DISBURSING AND AUDITING OFFICERS, AND SUCH OFFICERS SHALL NOT PAY OR AUDIT THE SALARY OR WAGES OF SUCH PERSONS THEREAFTER ACCRUING. * * *"

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE-QUOTED AUTHORITY, THEREFORE, THE DEPARTMENT IS NOTIFIED THAT UNLESS MRS. BLY IS SEPARATED WITHIN 10 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, AND THE COMMISSION NOTIFIED TO THAT EFFECT, REPORT WILL BE MADE TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. MRS. BLY IS BEING FURNISHED WITH A COPY OF THIS LETTER.

WHILE THE DATE OF THE EXAMINATION IS NOT SPECIFICALLY STATED, IT IS UNDERSTOOD MRS. BLY WAS NOT YET 18 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE TOOK THE EXAMINATION, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH SHE WAS APPOINTED TO A COMPETITIVE CLASSIFIED CIVIL-SERVICE POSITION UNDER THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION AND SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFERRED TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.

SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ACT OF JANUARY 16, 1883, 22 STAT. 406, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF SIX MONTHS FROM THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT NO OFFICER OR CLERK SHALL BE APPOINTED, AND NO PERSON SHALL BE EMPLOYED TO ENTER OR BE PROMOTED IN EITHER OF THE SAID CLASSES NOW EXISTING, OR THAT MAY BE ARRANGED HEREUNDER PURSUANT TO SAID RULES, UNTIL HE HAS PASSED AN EXAMINATION, OR IS SHOWN TO BE SPECIALLY EXEMPTED FROM SUCH EXAMINATION IN CONFORMITY HEREWITH. * * *

PURSUANT TO THE SAID ACT OF 1883 THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS PROMULGATED RULE XV ENTITLED ,WITHHOLDING SALARY" AS FOLLOWS:

LEGAL APPOINTMENT NECESSARY TO COMPENSATION.--- IF THE COMMISSION SHALL FIND THAT ANY PERSON IS HOLDING A POSITION IN VIOLATION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ACT OR OF THE RULES PROMULGATED IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, IT SHALL, AFTER NOTICE TO THE PERSON AFFECTED AND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPLANATION, CERTIFY THE FACTS TO THE PROPER APPOINTING OFFICER. IF SUCH PERSON BE NOT DISMISSED WITHIN TEN DAYS THEREAFTER, IT SHALL CERTIFY THE FACTS TO THE PROPER DISBURSING AND AUDITING OFFICERS, AND SUCH OFFICERS SHALL NOT PAY OR AUDIT THE SALARY OR WAGES OF SUCH PERSON THEREAFTER ACCRUING: PROVIDED, THAT IF A QUESTION OF LAW RESPECTING THE POWER TO APPOINT OR EMPLOY IS RAISED IN ANY SUCH CASE, THE PRESIDENT, OR THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT, MAY OBTAIN THE OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THEREON.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT PURSUANT TO THE QUOTED STATUTE AND REGULATIONS, AND IN VIEW OF THE FACTS DISCLOSED IN THIS CASE, THIS OFFICE WILL WITHHOLD CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF ANY DISBURSING CLERK FOR PAYMENTS TO MRS. MARY A. (SCHULTZ) BLY, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, UNDER THE APPOINTMENT IN QUESTION, FOR ANY SALARY ACCRUING AFTER MARCH 30, 1937, DATE OF RECEIPT OF NOTICE FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AS TO THE ILLEGALITY IN THE APPOINTMENT OF THIS EMPLOYEE.