A-95591, JUNE 18, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1088

A-95591: Jun 18, 1938

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE ADMINISTERING OF AN OATH OVER THE TELEPHONE IS UNAUTHORIZED. ASKS: IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO TAKE AN ATTEST ON VOUCHER FORM 1012 OVER THE TELEPHONE WHEN THE VOICE OF THE AFFIANT IS RECOGNIZED? " IS AS FOLLOWS: I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT THE ABOVE ACCOUNT AND SCHEDULE ANNEXED ARE JUST AND TRUE IN ALL RESPECTS. THIS CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED TO BE SWORN TO OR AFFIRMED BEFORE AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS. THE FORM OF THE JURAT OF THE OFFICER ADMINISTERING THE OATH AND TAKING THE AFFIDAVIT IS AS OLLOWS: SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO (OR AFFIRMED) BEFORE ME AT. IN THE SENSE IN WHICH IT IS USED IN THIS JURAT. IS DEFINED IN WEBSTER'S NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY AS MEANING "IN THE PRESENCE OR SIGHT OF.

A-95591, JUNE 18, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1088

OATHS - TRAVELING EXPENSE VOUCHERS - ADMINISTERING OVER TELEPHONE THE JURAT WORDING OF THE OFFICER ADMINISTERING THE OATH REQUIRED BY THE STANDARD FORM OF GOVERNMENT TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER BEING INDICATIVE OF THE PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF THE AFFIANT BEFORE THE ADMINISTERING OFFICER, AND FALSITY OF OATH BEING A MATTER FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, THE ADMINISTERING OF AN OATH OVER THE TELEPHONE IS UNAUTHORIZED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE POSTMASTER, UTICA, NEW YORK JUNE 18, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1938, ASKS:

IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO TAKE AN ATTEST ON VOUCHER FORM 1012 OVER THE TELEPHONE WHEN THE VOICE OF THE AFFIANT IS RECOGNIZED?

THE CERTIFICATE, OR OATH APPEARING ON STANDARD FORM NO. 1012, REVISED,"VOUCHER FOR PER DIEM AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL," IS AS FOLLOWS:

I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT THE ABOVE ACCOUNT AND SCHEDULE ANNEXED ARE JUST AND TRUE IN ALL RESPECTS; THAT PAYMENT THEREFOR HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED; AND THAT MY STATEMENT OF TRAVEL PERFORMED UPON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND/OR BY MOTOR VEHICLE CORRECTLY REFLECTS TRAVEL PERFORMED BY ME ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

PAYEE----------------------

TITLE----------------------

THIS CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED TO BE SWORN TO OR AFFIRMED BEFORE AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS, POSTMASTERS AND ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS BEING REQUIRED, AUTHORIZED, AND EMPOWERED TO ADMINISTER OATHS TO SUCH TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487. THE FORM OF THE JURAT OF THE OFFICER ADMINISTERING THE OATH AND TAKING THE AFFIDAVIT IS AS OLLOWS:

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO (OR AFFIRMED) BEFORE ME AT----------------- THIS DAY OF--------, 19----, ---------.

TITLE----------------------

THE WORD BEFORE, IN THE SENSE IN WHICH IT IS USED IN THIS JURAT, IS DEFINED IN WEBSTER'S NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY AS MEANING "IN THE PRESENCE OR SIGHT OF; FACE TO FACE WITH; FACING.' ACCEPTING THIS DEFINITION AND ASIDE FROM THE INCONSISTENT SITUATION PRESENTED BY THE FACT THAT WHERE AN OATH IS TAKEN BY TELEPHONE THE AFFIANT MAY NOT BE AT THE PLACE WHERE THE DOCUMENT IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN SWORN TO, IT APPEARS ESSENTIAL THAT THE AFFIANT BE IN THE PRESENCE OR SIGHT OF, OR FACE TO FACE, WITH THE POSTMASTER OR OTHER CERTIFYING OFFICER AT THE TIME THE OATH IS ADMINISTERED AND THE JURAT IS EXECUTED, AND THAT AN UNDERTAKING TO ADMINISTER THE OATH AND ACCEPT A CERTIFICATE OVER THE TELEPHONE WOULD NOT BE COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW--- CONSIDERING ALSO THE FACT THAT VOUCHERS INVOLVE THE PAYMENT OUT OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS AND ANY FALSITY THEREIN IS SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, WHICH MAKES IT IMPERATIVE THAT THERE BE PERSONAL APPEARANCE IN MAKING OATH TO THE VOUCHER. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1094, WHICH PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT---

WHOEVER, BEING AN OFFICER AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER OATHS OR TO TAKE AND CERTIFY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, SHALL KNOWINGLY MAKE ANY FALSE ACKNOWLEDGMENT, CERTIFICATE, OR STATEMENT CONCERNING THE APPEARANCE BEFORE HIM OR THE TAKING OF AN OATH OR AFFIRMATION BY ANY PERSON WITH RESPECT TO ANY PROPOSAL, CONTRACT, BOND, UNDERTAKING, OR OTHER MATTER, SUBMITTED TO, MADE WITH, OR TAKEN ON BEHALF OF, THE UNITED STATES, AND CONCERNING WHICH AN OATH OR AFFIRMATION IS REQUIRED BY LAW OR REGULATION MADE IN PURSUANCE OF LAW * * * SHALL BE FINED NOT MORE THAN $2,000, OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE THAN TWO YEARS, OR BOTH.