A-9119, MAY 26, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 997

A-9119: May 26, 1925

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1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 13. YOU STATE IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO DESIGNATE RECEIVERS OF PUBLIC MONEYS AT THE SEVERAL LAND OFFICES AS SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENTS AND TO REQUIRE THE FILING OF BONDS AS SUCH SEPARATE FROM THE BOND REQUIRED BY LAW AS RECEIVER AND TO HAVE SEPARATE ACCOUNTS STATED. ARE REQUIRED TO KEEP SAFELY. TILL THE SAME IS ORDERED. WHEN SUCH ORDERS FOR TRANSFER OR PAYMENT ARE RECEIVED. THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED. TO REGULATE AND INCREASE THE SUMS FOR WHICH BONDS ARE. THERE IS NO DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3639. PROVIDES: THAT THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO CONSOLIDATE THE OFFICES OF REGISTER AND RECEIVER IN ANY DISTRICT LAND OFFICE.

A-9119, MAY 26, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 997

CONSOLIDATED BONDS - REGISTERS OF LOCAL PUBLIC LAND OFFICES THE DUTIES OF REGISTER AND RECEIVER OF LOCAL PUBLIC LAND OFFICES HAVING BEEN CONSOLIDATED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1145, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1925, UNDER THE TITLE OF REGISTER, THE SURETY BOND REQUIRED OF THAT OFFICIAL MAY BE IN A CONSOLIDATED FORM STATED IN TERMS BROAD ENOUGH TO COVER THE FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF ALL THE DUTIES THAT HEREAFTER MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW OF A REGISTER AND ALSO THE DUTIES OF SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT WHEN REQUIRED TO PERFORM SUCH DUTIES BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AND IN A SUM SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF BOTH SECTION 2236 AND SECTION 3614, REVISED STATUTES. A CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNT MAY ALSO BE RENDERED THEREUNDER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 26, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 13, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1921, 42 STAT. 208, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1145, PROVIDING FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE OFFICES OF REGISTER AND RECEIVER OF LAND OFFICES, IT WOULD BE LAWFUL TO DISCONTINUE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A SEPARATE BOND AS DISBURSING AGENT AND TO REQUIRE AN ACCOUNTING FOR ALL FUNDS RECEIVED, ADVANCED, RETURNED, OR DISBURSED UNDER ONE BOND AS REGISTER OR ACTING REGISTER AS THE CASE MAY BE. YOU STATE IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO DESIGNATE RECEIVERS OF PUBLIC MONEYS AT THE SEVERAL LAND OFFICES AS SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENTS AND TO REQUIRE THE FILING OF BONDS AS SUCH SEPARATE FROM THE BOND REQUIRED BY LAW AS RECEIVER AND TO HAVE SEPARATE ACCOUNTS STATED.

SECTION 2234, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 27, 1898, 30 STAT. 234, PROVIDES FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A REGISTER AND A RECEIVER OF PUBLIC MONEYS FOR EACH LAND DISTRICT ESTABLISHED BY LAW, AND SECTION 2236, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES THAT EACH REGISTER AND RECEIVER SHALL, BEFORE ENTERING ON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE, GIVE BOND IN THE PENAL SUM OF $10,000, WITH APPROVED SECURITY FOR THE FAITHFUL DISCHARGE OF HIS TRUST.

SECTION 3639, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, ALL ASSISTANT TREASURERS, AND THOSE PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF ASSISTANT TREASURER, ALL COLLECTORS OF THE CUSTOMS, ALL SURVEYORS OF THE CUSTOMS, ACTING ALSO AS COLLECTORS, ALL RECEIVERS OF PUBLIC MONEYS AT THE SEVERAL LAND-OFFICES, ALL POSTMASTERS, AND ALL PUBLIC OFFICERS OF WHATSOEVER CHARACTER, ARE REQUIRED TO KEEP SAFELY, WITHOUT LOANING, USING, DEPOSITING IN BANKS, OR EXCHANGING FOR OTHER FUNDS THAN AS SPECIALLY ALLOWED BY LAW, ALL THE PUBLIC MONEY COLLECTED BY THEM, OR OTHERWISE AT ANY TIME PLACED IN THEIR POSSESSION AND CUSTODY, TILL THE SAME IS ORDERED, BY THE PROPER DEPARTMENT OR OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT, TO BE TRANSFERRED OR PAID OUT; AND WHEN SUCH ORDERS FOR TRANSFER OR PAYMENT ARE RECEIVED, FAITHFULLY AND PROMPTLY TO MAKE THE SAME AS DIRECTED, AND TO DO AND PERFORM ALL OTHER DUTIES AS FISCAL AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WHICH MAY BE IMPOSED BY ANY LAW, OR BY ANY REGULATION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT MADE IN CONFORMITY TO LAW. THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED, IF IN HIS OPINION THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRES THE SAME, TO REGULATE AND INCREASE THE SUMS FOR WHICH BONDS ARE, OR MAY BE, REQUIRED BY LAW, OF ALL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS,COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS, NAVAL OFFICERS, AND SURVEYORS OF CUSTOMS, NAVY AGENTS, RECEIVERS AND REGISTERS OF PUBLIC LANDS, PAYMASTERS IN THE ARMY, COMMISSARY-GENERAL, AND BY ALL OTHER OFFICERS EMPLOYED IN THE DISBURSEMENT OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE WAR OR NAVY DEPARTMENTS.

THERE IS NO DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3639, REVISED STATUTES, TO REQUIRE THE RECEIVER OF A LAND OFFICE TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT IN ADDITION TO HIS REGULAR DUTIES AS RECEIVER.

SECTION 3614, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

WHENEVER IT BECOMES NECESSARY FOR THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE TO EMPLOY SPECIAL AGENTS, OTHER THAN OFFICERS OF THE ARMY OR NAVY, WHO MAY BE CHARGED WITH THE DISBURSEMENT OF PUBLIC MONEYS, SUCH AGENTS SHALL, BEFORE ENTERING UPON DUTY, GIVE BOND IN SUCH FORM AND WITH SUCH SECURITY AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE EMPLOYING THEM MAY APPROVE.

THE ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1921, 42 STAT. 208, PROVIDES:

THAT THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO CONSOLIDATE THE OFFICES OF REGISTER AND RECEIVER IN ANY DISTRICT LAND OFFICE, AND TO APPOINT, BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, A REGISTER FOR SUCH LAND OFFICE AND TO ABOLISH THE OFFICE OF RECEIVER OF SUCH LAND OFFICE UPON SIXTY DAYS' NOTICE OF SUCH ABOLITION MAILED TO SUCH REGISTER AND RECEIVER WHENEVER THE TOTAL COMPENSATION FOR BOTH REGISTER AND RECEIVER OF SUCH LAND OFFICE SHALL FALL BELOW THE SUM OF $4,000 PER ANNUM, AND IN HIS OPINION THE INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE WARRANT SUCH ABOLITION.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1145, PROVIDES:

REGISTERS: FOR SALARIES AND COMMISSIONS OF REGISTERS OF DISTRICT LAND OFFICES, AT NOT EXCEEDING $3,000 PER ANNUM EACH, $175,000; PROVIDED, THAT THE OFFICES OF REGISTER AND RECEIVER OF SUCH LAND OFFICES AS MAY NOW HAVE TWO OFFICIALS SHALL BE CONSOLIDATED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1925, AND THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT APPROVED OCTOBER 28, 1921, SHALL BE FOLLOWED IN EFFECTING SUCH CONSOLIDATIONS.

THE PURPOSE AND EFFECT OF THE TWO LAST-QUOTED PROVISIONS IS TO DISCONTINUE THE OFFICE OF RECEIVER OF LAND OFFICES AND TO CONFER AND IMPOSE UPON THE REGISTER ALL POWERS AND DUTIES FORMERLY VESTED IN AND EXERCISED BY THE RECEIVER; AND THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO ASSIGN TO THE REGISTER THE ADDITIONAL DUTY OF SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT.

WHILE SECTION 2236, REVISED STATUTES, REQUIRES A BOND COVERING THE DUTIES OF REGISTER AND SECTION 3614, REVISED STATUTES, REQUIRES A BOND COVERING THE DUTIES OF SPECIAL AGENT, THERE IS NO STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT SAID BONDS BE SEPARATE INSTRUMENTS. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT A CONSOLIDATED FORM OF BOND STATED IN TERMS BROAD ENOUGH TO COVER THE FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE OF ALL THE DUTIES THAT HEREAFTER MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW OF A REGISTER AND THE DUTIES OF SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, AND IN A SUM SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF BOTH SECTION 2236 AND SECTION 3614, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE RENDERING OF A CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNT THEREUNDER, IS AUTHORIZED.