B-135228, MARCH 31, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 649

B-135228: Mar 31, 1958

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - OATHS - AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER - TO EMPLOYEES IN OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES EMPLOYEES WHO ARE DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER OATHS PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 16A MAY ADMINISTER OATHS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 16 TO INDIVIDUALS IN FEDERAL AGENCIES OTHER THAN THEIR OWN. INSTANCES IN WHICH AN AGENCY MIGHT WISH TO REQUEST ANOTHER AGENCY TO HAVE ONE OF ITS EMPLOYEES ADMINISTER AN OATH OF OFFICE OCCUR WHEN THE APPOINTING AGENCY HAS ONLY A FEW EMPLOYEES. AT A LOCALITY WHERE THE APPOINTMENT IS TO BE MADE. YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION IS WHETHER A CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION TO ADMINISTER OATHS UNDER THE 1943 STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 16A) MAY ADMINISTER THE OATH OF OFFICE TO EMPLOYEES OF OTHER AGENCIES SO AS TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION. 5 U.S.C. 16A READS AS FOLLOWS: HEREAFTER ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS.

B-135228, MARCH 31, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 649

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - OATHS - AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER - TO EMPLOYEES IN OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES EMPLOYEES WHO ARE DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER OATHS PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 16A MAY ADMINISTER OATHS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 16 TO INDIVIDUALS IN FEDERAL AGENCIES OTHER THAN THEIR OWN.

TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, MARCH 31, 1958:

ON FEBRUARY 11, 1958, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE HEAD OF HIS AGENCY UNDER SECTION 206 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943 (5 U.S.C. 16A), TO ADMINISTER CERTAIN OATHS, MAY ON OCCASION ADMINISTER THE OATH OF OFFICE TO EMPLOYEES OF OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES.

INSTANCES IN WHICH AN AGENCY MIGHT WISH TO REQUEST ANOTHER AGENCY TO HAVE ONE OF ITS EMPLOYEES ADMINISTER AN OATH OF OFFICE OCCUR WHEN THE APPOINTING AGENCY HAS ONLY A FEW EMPLOYEES, NONE OF THEM DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER OATHS, AT A LOCALITY WHERE THE APPOINTMENT IS TO BE MADE. YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION IS WHETHER A CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION TO ADMINISTER OATHS UNDER THE 1943 STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 16A) MAY ADMINISTER THE OATH OF OFFICE TO EMPLOYEES OF OTHER AGENCIES SO AS TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION.

5 U.S.C. 16A READS AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, INCLUDING ANY AGENCY THE MAJORITY OF THE STOCK OF WHICH IS OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DESIGNATED IN WRITING BY THE HEAD THEREOF FOR SUCH PURPOSE, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ADMINISTER THE OATH REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED (5 U.S.C. 16), INCIDENT TO ENTRANCE INTO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, OR ANY OTHER OATH REQUIRED BY LAW IN CONNECTION WITH EMPLOYMENT THEREIN, SUCH OATH TO BE ADMINISTERED WITHOUT CHARGE OR FEE AND TO HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS OATHS ADMINISTERED BY OFFICERS HAVING SEALS.

SECTION 1758, REVISED STATUTES, AS IT APPEARS IN 5 U.S.C. 18, READS AS FOLLOWS:

THE OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRED BY SECTION 16 OF THIS TITLE MAY BE TAKEN BEFORE ANY OFFICER WHO IS AUTHORIZED EITHER BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OR BY THE LOCAL MUNICIPAL LAW, TO ADMINISTER OATHS, IN THE STATE TERRITORY, OR DISTRICT WHERE SUCH OATH MAY BE ADMINISTERED.

THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 16A AUTHORIZE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SO DESIGNATED BY THEIR AGENCY HEADS TO ADMINISTER CERTAIN OATHS. UNDER 5 U.S.C. 18 THE OATH OF OFFICE MAY BE TAKEN BEFORE ANY OFFICER AUTHOR BY LAW TO TAKE OATHS. EMPLOYEES DESIGNATED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 16A ARE OFFICERS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO ADMINISTER OATHS. THEREFORE, SUCH DESIGNATED EMPLOYEES MAY PROPERLY ADMINISTER THE OATH OF OFFICE IN ALL INSTANCES WHEN IT IS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 16 INCLUDING THOSE INSTANCES WHEN THE MAKER IS EMPLOYED BY ANOTHER FEDERAL AGENCY, AND THE OATH OF OFFICE TAKEN UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS IS ACCEPTABLE FOR PURPOSES OF COMPENSATION ENTITLEMENT.