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procurement of supplies for the Military Establishment, within two years next after his discharge or other separation from the service of the government, to solicit employment in the presentation or to aid or assist for compensation in the prosecution of claims against the United States arising out of any contracts or agreements for the procurement of supplies for said bureau, which were pending or entered into while the said officer or employee was associated therewith. A violation of this provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.26
A corporation will not be admitted to practice before the General Accounting Office, but any officer of a corporation, or member of its staff, may enroll individually, provided he possesses the requisite qualifications for enrollment as set forth in General Accounting Office Circular No. 3. All members of a firm are required to join in the execution of an application made in the firm name.
The enrollment of a firm also enrolls all of its members individually, but members of a firm may enroll individually regardless of whether or not the firm itself is enrolled.
The enrollment of a firm does not give members of its staff, or others associated with it but not members, the right to practice before the General Accounting Office. To be admitted to practice such persons should make individual applications for enrollment.
A firm having an alien member will not be admitted to practice as a firm. However, all members of such a firm who are qualified to take the oath of allegiance to the United States and to support and defend the Constitution, and who possess the other requisite qualifications for enrollment, may enroll individually.
Pursuant to statutory authority, 27 the rules and regulations are prescribed in substance as follows:
(1) Committee on Enrollment and Disbarment.-Committee on Enrollment and Disbarment is to meet regularly on the first Monday of each month, if a business day, and meet specially on other days at the call of the chairman or any member. Receives and considers applications to be recognized as attorney, agent, or other representative before the General Accounting Office; receives complaints against those enrolled; conducts hearings, makes inquiries, performs other duties as prescribed; and does all things necessary in the matter of proceedings for enrollment or disbarment of attorneys, agents, or other representatives, and submits recommendations therein to the Comptroller General for approval.
(2) Applications for Enrollment.-Applicants for enrollment must submit to the Comptroller General an application, properly executed, on the form obtainable upon application to the Comptroller General. Applications in any other form will not be considered. The attorneys authorized to be admitted to practice by section 311 (f), Act of June 10, 1921,23 are defined as embracing those who appear in a representative capacity for others before the General Account ing Office. Persons, members of the bar of a court of record, must apply for enrollment as "attorney"; all others apply for enrollment as "agent." Members of a firm may apply for enrollment, either individually or collectively. In the latter case application should be made in the firm name, giving the name of each member and the required information as to each, and the application should be signed in the firm name and by each member of the firm. The Comptroller General may in any case require other and further evidence of qualification. Applicants will be notified of the approval or rejection of their application.
23 23 Stat. 22. 26 Act July 11, 1919 (41 Stat. 131 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 272aa]). 27 Act June 10, 1921, § 311 (f), being 42 Stat. 25 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 4004f).
(3) Restriction of Right to be Heard to Parties and Enrolled Attorney and Agents.—The Committee on Enrollment and Disbarment maintains in the office of the Chief Clerk, General Accounting Office, a roll of attorneys and agents entitled to practice before the General Accounting Office; also lists of those whose applications for enrollment have been rejected, or who have been suspended or disbarred. All divisions of the General Accounting Office are prohibited from recognizing or dealing with any one appearing as attorney or agent, unless the name of such attorney or agent appears upon the list of those entitled to practice before the General Accounting Office, but this does not preclude individual parties or members of firms or officers of corporations from appearing, upon proper identification, as representatives of their own interests or of their respective firms or corporations in any matter before the department in which such person, firm, or corporation is, concerned as a principal; but attorneys, counsel, or solicitors or other agents for such persons, firms, or corporations must be enrolled. The head of a division of the General Accounting
. Office may, in his discretion, temporarily recognize a representative pending application for enrollment, provided his name does not appear on the list of those whose applications for enrollment have been rejected, or on the list of those who have been suspended or disbarred, or where the appearance is limited to a particular case and general admission is not desired. All those appearing on October 31, 1921, on the Treasury Department roll entitled to practice, shall by virtue thereof be recognized and entitled to practice before the General Accounting Office without formal application for enrollment; but in all other respects these regulations shall be fully applicable to them.
(4) Complaints and Disbarment Proceedings.—“If the head of a division has reason to believe, or if the complaint is made to him, that an enrolled attorney or agent has violated any of the provisions of these laws and regulations or otherwise engaged in any improper practice, he shall forth with make written report thereof to the committee on enrollment and disbarment. The committee shall thereupon mail to the usual address of such attorney or agent notice thereof, detailing briefly the charge or charges made, and giving the time and place of hearing, which shall be not less than 30, nor more than, 40 days from the date of mailing the notice. The respondent may file an answer with the committee at or before the time of the hearing, in which case the complainant shall be entitled to reply within 10 days thereafter. If the answer is verified, the reply must also be verified. The committee may, in its discretion, extend the time for answer or reply, or postpone the date of hearing. It may also initiate charges against any enrollment attorney or agent.
“The committee shall conduct the hearing according to such rules of procedure as it shall determine. The respondent may be represented by counsel. The testimony of witnesses may be required to be under oath, and shall in all cases be stenographically transcribed. Depositions for use at the hearing may be taken by either party before any officer duly authorized to administer an oath for general purposes upon 10 days' written notice if the deposition is to be taken within the District of Columbia, and upon 20 days' written notice if it is to be taken elsewhere. Expenses incurred in the taking of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.
“The committee shall, within 30 days from the date of the conclusion of the hearing, or, if the respondent does not appear in person for the hearing, within 30 days from the date set therefor, submit to the Comptroller General a copy of the notice of hearing, the complaint, answer, and reply, if any, the record of the hearing, and the written findings of fact of a majority of the committee, together with a recommendation either that the charges be dismissed, or that the respondent be reprimanded, suspended for a given period of time, or disbarred. The findings and recommendation shall be signed by all members of the committee agreeing thereto. Members of the committee dissenting therefrom shall submit statements of their reasons therefor. If any members of the committee were not present at the hearing the fact shall be stated.
“Upon the suspension or disbarment of an attorney or agent, notice thereof shall be given to the heads of divisions, General Accounting Office, and to the other branches of the government, and thereafter until duly reinstated such person shall not be recognized as an attorney or agent in any claim or other matter before the General Accounting Office or any division thereof. All records of proceedings shall be filed under the direction of the committee, and access thereto for inspection or for the making of copies thereof shall be under its control.
"Upon notification that an attorney or agent enrolled in the General Accounting Office has been disbarred from practice before some other branch of the Government, the committee shall forthwith send to such attorney or agent in the same manner as prescribed for notice of hearing an order signed by the Comptroller General to show cause within thirty days why he should not be disbarred from practice before the General Accounting Office, and thereupon the procedure shall be in the same manner as if a notice of hearing had been sent."
(5) Causes for Disbarment.—“The Comptroller General will, in his discretion, suspend or disbar any enrolled attorney or agent shown to be incompetent, disreputable, or who refuses to comply with these rules and regulations, or who shall with intent to defraud, in any manner willfully and knowingly deceive, mislead, or threaten any claimant or prospective claimant, by word, circular, letter, or by advertisement. It shall be the duty of an attorney or agent to use the utmost diligence in furnishing evidence required by the General Accounting Office, and the withholding of such evidence by such attorney or agent, or the use of any other means whereby the final settlement of a pending claim is unjustifiably delayed, may be sufficient cause for disbarment. If any enrolled attorney or agent shall knowingly employ a correspondent or subagent in any matter pending before the General Accounting Office a person who may at the time be denied enrollment, or suspended or disbarred from practice before the office, such attorney or agent may be himself barred. An enrolled attorney or agent who without authority delivers over to a party other than his principal a' draft, warrant, or check placed in his possession as such attorney or agent upon the pretext of a transfer or assignment of the whole or of an interest therein as collateral security or otherwise may be disbarred from practice before the General Accounting Office. The suspension or disbarment of an attorney or agent may be cause for the suspension or disbarment of any firm with which he is or may thereafter become associated and the member thereof.
"The Comptroller General regards as unethical advertising in any form which represents the fact of enrollment as a solicitation for employment, and particularly any suggestion of acquaintance with officials of, or prior connection with, the government of the United States.
“The above enumeration of causes for disbarment shall not exclude such other causes as the Comptroller General may deem proper.”
(6) Authority to Prosecute Claims.-A power of attorney from the principal in proper form may be required of attorneys or agents in any case. In the prosecution of claims involving payments to be made by the United States, proper powers of attorney shall always be filed before an attorney or agent is recognized. No power of attorney should be recognized which is filed after settlement made by the General Accounting Office, even though the settlement certificate may not yet have issued, unless such power of attorney recites that the principal is fully cognizant of such settlement and of the balance found due.
(7) Substitution of Attorneys and Revocation of Authority.–Substitution of attorneys or agents may be effected only on the written consent of the attorney or agent of record, his principal, and the attorney or agent whom it is desired to substitute and in all cases subject to the approval of the Comptroller General before being effective: Provided that where the power of attorney under which an attorney or agent of record is acting expressly confers the power of substitution, such attorney or agent, if in good standing may, by a duly executed instrument, substitute another in his stead, such other, however, to be recognized as the attorney or agent only on the approval of the Comptroller General.
"If a firm dissolve, or those associated as attorneys or agents by virtue of a power of attorney contest the right of either to act, the principal only shall thereafter be recognized, unless the members or survivors of such firm, or the associates in such power of attorney, file a proper agreement showing which of such members, survivors of such firm, or those associated in such power of attorney file a proper agreement showing which of such members, survivors, or associates may continue to prosecute the matter, and in no case shall a final settlement of the matter be delayed more than 60 days by reason of the nonfiling of such agreement.
“The revocation by a principal or his legal representatives of authority to prosecute a matter will not be effective, so far as the General Accounting Office is concerned, without the approval of the Comptroller General. Where a matter has been suspended pending the furnishing of evidence for which a call has been made on an attorney or agent, failure to take action thereon within three months from the date of suspension may be deemed by the division before which the case is pending cause for revocation of the authority of such attorney or agent without further notice to him."
(8) The Comptroller General may withdraw or amend at any time, or from time to time, all or any of the foregoing rules and regulations, with or without previous notice, and may make special orders as he may deem proper in any case.
(9) These regulations shall be effective on and from the 1st day of November, 1921, and shall apply to all unsettled matters then pending in the General Accounting Office, or which may thereafter be presented or referred to the General Accounting Office.