A-98354, OCTOBER 14, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 346

A-98354: Oct 14, 1938

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DETERMINATIONS IT IS PRIMARILY. THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED TO DETERMINE THAT ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINING CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTION PROVISIONS ARE SATISFACTORILY QUALIFIED IN THIS REGARD. WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY. IF THERE IS ADMINISTRATIVE DOUBT AS TO THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE CITIZENSHIP. WHOSE FATHER WAS BORN IN THIS COUNTRY AND WHO AS A CHILD ACCOMPANIED HER PARENTS HERE. IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. SALARY PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF THE CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTION PROVISIONS OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH PAYMENT IS MADE.

A-98354, OCTOBER 14, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 346

EMPLOYEE CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS - CITIZENSHIP, ETC., DETERMINATIONS IT IS PRIMARILY, AND IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED TO DETERMINE THAT ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINING CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTION PROVISIONS ARE SATISFACTORILY QUALIFIED IN THIS REGARD, AND PAY ROLL CERTIFICATIONS OF SUCH QUALIFICATION MADE IN THE PRESCRIBED FORM, WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY, BUT IF THERE IS ADMINISTRATIVE DOUBT AS TO THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE CITIZENSHIP, ETC., PROOF SUBMITTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, THE MATTER SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DETERMINATION. A FOREIGN-BORN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES, WHOSE FATHER WAS BORN IN THIS COUNTRY AND WHO AS A CHILD ACCOMPANIED HER PARENTS HERE, WHO HAS CONTINUED HER RESIDENCE AND BECOME A REGISTERED VOTER, IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, AND SALARY PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF THE CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTION PROVISIONS OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH PAYMENT IS MADE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, OCTOBER 14, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERRING TO SECTION 5 OF THE ACT APPROVED MARCH 28, 1938, PROHIBITING THE PAYMENT FROM ANY APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THAT ACT TO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES LACKING IN CITIZENSHIP QUALIFICATIONS, I HAVE THE HONOR TO REQUEST THAT YOU ADVISE ME AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE WHETHER THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CONTEMPLATES PASSING UPON THE CITIZENSHIP OF EMPLOYEES IN CASES WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE MATTERS OF FACT AND OF LAW, OR WHETHER CASES INVOLVING ANY POSSIBLE DOUBT ARE TO BE PASSED UPON BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH THE PERSON IS EMPLOYED.

THE PAPERS IN A CONCRETE CASE OF THIS CHARACTER, ANNA W. BOSWELL, TELEPHONE OPERATOR IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE AT OMAHA, NEBRASKA, ARE SUBMITTED HEREWITH, TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF AN OPINION BY THE ACTING SOLICITOR OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL IN THE CASE. INASMUCH AS THIS EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN UNDER SUSPENSION SINCE JULY 1, 1938, AN EARLY REPLY IS REQUIRED.

IT IS PRIMARILY, AND IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED TO DETERMINE THAT ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINING THE CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTION PROVISION ARE CITIZENS, OR OWE ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, OR HAD DECLARED THEIR INTENTION TO BECOME CITIZENS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT CONTAINING SUCH RESTRICTION ON THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS. IF AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SO FINDS IN THIS CONNECTION AS TO PARTICULAR EMPLOYEES AND SO CERTIFIED ON THE PAY ROLLS OR PAY VOUCHERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH OFFICE CIRCULAR DATED JUNE 27, 1938, A-94386, A-95291, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO RAISE OBJECTION IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS TO OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENT OF SALARY TO THE PERSONS BORNE ON SUCH PAY ROLLS OR PAY VOUCHERS. HOWEVER, IF FACTS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE TO INDICATE THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT A CITIZEN, DOES NOT OWE ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, OR HAD NOT DECLARED HIS INTENTION TO BECOME A CITIZEN PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT, AS THE CASE MAY BE, IT IS THE CLEAR DUTY OF THIS OFFICE TO WITHHOLD CREDIT FOR SALARY PAYMENTS TO SUCH EMPLOYEE PENDING SUBMISSION OF SATISFACTORY PROOF THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS A CITIZEN OR OWES ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, OR HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION TO BECOME A CITIZEN PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT.

IF IN ANY CASE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED HAS DOUBT AS TO THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE PROOF SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THE CITIZENSHIP, ETC., QUALIFICATIONS OF AN EMPLOYEE, THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT OF SALARY TO SUCH EMPLOYEE IS AUTHORIZED, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE PERTINENT FACTS AND RECORD ADDUCED, SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DETERMINATION.

IN THE CASE OF ANNA W. BOSWELL, REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE QUOTED LETTER, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT SHE IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES IF HER FATHER WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, THE RECORD DISCLOSING THAT SHE WAS BORN IN ENGLAND, CAME TO THE UNITED STATES WITH HER PARENTS AT THE AGE OF ABOUT FOUR YEARS, AND HAS SINCE THEN--- FOR A PERIOD OF OVER 50 YEARS--- RESIDED IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA WHERE SHE HAS BEEN A REGISTERED VOTER FOR THE PAST EIGHTEEN YEARS AS THE FOREIGN-BORN DAUGHTER OF A FATHER BORN IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE RECORD SUBMITTED TO THE EFFECT THAT HER FATHER WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES CONSISTS OF HER AFFIDAVIT, THE STATEMENT OF HER MOTHER (SINCE DECEASED) WHEN SHE REGISTERED IN 1920 TO VOTE IN OMAHA, NEB., AS THE FOREIGN-BORN WIDOW OF A "HUSBAND BORN IN N.Y.' AND A NOTATION "BIRTHPLACE .' ON THE DEATH CERTIFICATE OF HER FATHER WHO DIED IN OMAHA AUGUST 7, 1887. NOTHING HAS BEEN DISCLOSED TO INDICATE THAT THE FATHER WAS NOT BORN IN THE UNITED STATES.

THIS OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS OF SALARY TO THE SAID ANNA W. BOSWELL BECAUSE OF HER CITIZENSHIP STATUS.