A-89206, OCTOBER 1, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 296

A-89206: Oct 1, 1937

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IS NOT APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE IN RECEIPT OF MEMORANDA ISSUED BY FEDERAL AGENCIES INTERPRETING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED. HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757 OF THE REVISED STATUTES. SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO RENEW THE SAID OATH BECAUSE OF ANY CHANGE IN STATUS SO LONG AS THEIR SERVICES ARE CONTINUOUS IN THE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYED. TREASURY DEPARTMENT) IT WILL NO LONGER BE NECESSARY THAT EMPLOYEES TAKE MORE THAN ONE OATH OF OFFICE. SO LONG AS THEIR SERVICES IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ARE CONTINUOUS.'. CASES IN WHICH OATHS ARE REQUIRED.

A-89206, OCTOBER 1, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 296

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - OATHS OF OFFICE - APPLICABILITY OF LEGISLATION RELATING TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1937, 50 STAT. 640, DISPENSING, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, WITH REQUIREMENT FOR RENEWAL OF THE OATH OF OFFICE UPON A CHANGE IN STATUS OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HAS ONCE SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OCTOBER 1, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE IN RECEIPT OF MEMORANDA ISSUED BY FEDERAL AGENCIES INTERPRETING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED,"AN ACT TO DISPENSE WITH UNNECESSARY RENEWALS OF OATHS OF OFFICE BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS," APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1937, WHICH PROVIDES:

"THAT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHO, UPON ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT, HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO RENEW THE SAID OATH BECAUSE OF ANY CHANGE IN STATUS SO LONG AS THEIR SERVICES ARE CONTINUOUS IN THE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYED,UNLESS IN THE OPINION OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT THE PUBLIC INTERESTS REQUIRE SUCH RENEWAL.'

THE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS AND DEPOSITS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BY ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM NO. 57 DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1937, INDICATES THAT "UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ATTACHED MEMORANDUM (ISSUED AUGUST 27, 1937, BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF APPOINTMENTS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT) IT WILL NO LONGER BE NECESSARY THAT EMPLOYEES TAKE MORE THAN ONE OATH OF OFFICE, REGARDLESS OF CHANGES IN STATUS, SO LONG AS THEIR SERVICES IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ARE CONTINUOUS.' IN A CIRCULAR OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1937, CASES IN WHICH OATHS ARE REQUIRED, AS WELL AS THOSE IN WHICH NO OATHS ARE REQUIRED, ARE INDICATED. VARIOUS VIEWS HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED BY OTHER DEPARTMENTS ON THIS SUBJECT.

IN A LETTER TO THE DISBURSING OFFICER, D.C., DATED MAY 19, 1931 (10 COMP. GEN. 524), YOU ADVISED, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPOINTED TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF AN OATH OF OFFICE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION OR OFFICE UNLESS AND UNTIL THEY HAVE TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 77, TITLE 20, CODE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. A CHANGE IN GRADE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OR OFFICE REQUIRING THE TAKING OF THE OATH OF OFFICE.'

LIKEWISE, YOU HELD THAT SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, APPEARS TO APPLY ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, AND NOT TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN THIS DECISION YOU SUSTAINED THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNT OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED AND ASSIGNED TO NEW DUTIES WITHOUT THE FORMALITY OF A NEW OATH OF OFFICE.

IN A LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONERS (A-75447, DATED JULY 9, 1936), INTERPRETING THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1899 (30 STAT. 864), WHICH PROHIBITS THE PURCHASE AND REPAIR OF RECORDING CLOCKS, YOU ADVISED THAT "THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND THEREFORE THE PROHIBITION IN SAID ACT IS NOT APPLICABLE THERETO.'

IN A MEMORANDUM LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE CHIEF OF THE STATE AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS DIVISION, DATED DECEMBER 19, 1922, YOU HELD THAT "THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT AN EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES UNLESS EXPRESSLY MADE SO BY LAW.' 20 STAT. 102; 13 C.D. 533; 20 OP.A.G. 59; 47 MS.C.D. 1049; 1 COMP. GEN. 451.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ACT, SUPRA, RELATES SOLELY TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, THE COMMISSIONERS WOULD APPRECIATE ADVICE FROM YOU AS TO WHETHER THIS BENEFICIAL LEGISLATION INTENDED TO PROMOTE EFFICIENCY BY DISPENSING WITH RENEWALS OF OATHS OF OFFICE IN THE DISCRETION OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, IS APPLICABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1937, PUBLIC, 284, 50 STAT. 640, QUOTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, IS FOR APPLICATION ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757 OF THE REVISED STATUTES. AS THE EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT EMPLOYEES OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND HAVE NOT SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, SAID ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1937, HAS NO APPLICATION THERETO AND THE DECISION OF MAY 19, 1931, REPORTED IN 10 COMP. GEN. 524, STILL GOVERNS THE TAKING OF OATHS OF OFFICE BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEREIN STATED.