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and above the amount which may be found due to them on the settlement of their accounts.(1)
389. The treasurer of the United States shall give receipts for all moneys received by him to the credit of the appropriation for the service of the post office department; which receipts shall be endorsed upon warrants drawn by the postmaster-general, and without such warrant, no acknowledgment for money received as aforesaid shall be valid.(2)
390. The appropriations for the service of the post office department shall be disbursed by the treasurer out of the moneys paid into the treasury for the service of the post office department, upon the warrants of the postmastergeneral, registered and countersigned as herein provided, and expressing on their faces the appropriation to which they should be charged.(3)
391. The treasurer shall render his accounts of the moneys received and paid by him on account of the post office department, quarterly to the auditor for the post office department, hereinafter provided for, and shall transmit copies of the same, when adjusted by him, to the two houses of congress.(4)
392. The accounts of the post office department shall be kept in such manner as to exhibit the amounts of its revenues, derived respectively from "letter postages," "newspapers and pamphlets," and "fines;" and the amount of its expenditures for each of the following objects, namely: "compensation of post masters," "transportation of the mails," "ship, steamboat, and way letters," "wrapping paper," "office furniture," "advertising," "mail bags," "blanks, mail locks, keys, and stamps," "mail depredations and special agents," "clerks for offices," and "miscellaneous."(5)
393. The bonds and contracts of postmasters, mail contractors, and other agents of the post office department, shall hereafter be made to and with the United States of America; and all suits to be commenced for the recovery of debts or balances due by postmasters and others, or upon bonds or contracts made to or with the present or any former postmaster-general, or for any fines, penalties, or forfeitures, imposed by the laws respecting the post office department, or by the postmaster-general, pursuant thereto, shall be instituted in the name of the United States of America; and the demands in such suits shall have all the privileges and priorities in adjudication and payment secured to other claims of the United States, by the existing laws: Provided, That actions and suits which may have been instituted in the name of the postmaster-general, previous to the passage of this act, shall not be affected by the provisions of this section.(6)
394. The attorneys of the United States, in the prosecution of suits for moneys due on account of the post office department, shall obey the direc tions which may, from time to time, be given to them by the auditor for the post office department; and it shall be the duty of each of the said attorneys, immediately after the end of every term of any court in which any of the suits aforesaid shall have been pending, to forward to the said auditor a statement of all the judgments, orders, and steps which have been made or taken in the same, during the said term, accompanied by a certificate of the clerk, showing the parties to, and amount of, each judgment, with such other information as may be required by the said auditor. The said attorneys shall direct speedy and effectual process of execution upon the said judgments; and it shall be the duty of the marshals of the United States to whom the
(1) Act 2d July, 1836, sec. 4.
(2) Ibid. sec. 5.
(3) Ibid. sec. 6.
(4) Ibid. sec. 7.
same shall be directed, to make to the said auditor, at such times as he may direct returns of the proceedings which have taken place upon the said process of execution.(1)
395. In all cases where any sum or sums of money have been paid out of the funds of the post office department to any individual or individuals, under pretence that service has been performed therefor, when in fact such service has not been performed, or by way of additional allowance for increased service actually rendered, when the additional allowance exceeds the sum which, by the provisions of law, might rightfully have been allowed therefor, and in all other cases where the moneys of the department have been paid over to any person in consequence of fraudulent representations, or by the mistake, collusion or misconduct of any officer or clerk of the department, it shall be the duty of the postmaster-general to cause suit to be brought in the name of the United States of America, to recover back the same, or the excess, as the case may be, with interest thereon.(2)
396. No postmaster, assistant postmaster, or clerk employed in any post office, shall be a contractor or concerned in a contract for carrying the mail.(3)
If any person employed in the post office department or postmaster shall become interested in any mail contract or act as agent, with or without compensation, in any matter or thing relating to business in said department, for any contractor, he shall be forthwith dismissed from office and shall be liable to pay so much money as would have been realized from said contract, to be recovered in an action of debt in any court having jurisdiction thereof, in the name of the United States, for the use of the post office department; and it shall be the duty of the postmaster-general to cause prosecution to be instituted.(4.)
Of the Postmaster-general-his powers and duties.
ART. 397. He shall establish post offices, and appoint postmasters, at such places as shall appear to him expedient, on the post roads that are, or may be established by law. He shall give his assistants, the postmasters, and all other persons whom he shall employ, or who may be employed, in any of the departments of the general post office, instructions relative to their duty. He shall provide for the carriage of the mail, on all post roads that are, or may be, established by law, and as often as he, having regard to the productiveness thereof, and other circumstances, shall think proper. He may direct the route or road, where there are more than one, between places designated by law for a post road, which route shall be considered the post road. He shall obtain from the postmasters, their accounts and vouchers for their receipts and expenditures, once in three months, or oftener, with the balances thereon arising, in favour of the general post office. He shall prosecute offences against the post office establishment. He shall, once in three months, render to the secretary of the treasury, a quarterly account of all the receipts and expenditures in his department, to be adjusted and settled as other public accounts. He shall, also, superintend the business of the department, in all the duties that are, or may be, assigned to it.(1)
398. The postmaster-general, upon the appointment of any postmaster, shall require, and take, of such postmaster, bond, with good and approved security, in such penalty, as he may judge sufficient, conditioned for the faithful discharge of all the duties of such postmaster, required by law, or which may be required by any instruction, or general rule, for the government of the department. But if default shall be made by such postmaster at any time, and the postmaster-general shall fail to institute suit against him and such sureties, for two years from and after such default shall be made, the said sureties shall not be held liable to the United States, nor shall suit be instituted against them.(2)
399. The postmaster-general shall report annually, to congress, every post road which shall not, after the second year from its establishment, have produced one-third of the expense of carrying the mail thereon.(3)
400. It shall be the duty of the postmaster-general to decide on the official forms of all papers to be used by postmasters, and other officers or agents of the post office department, concerned in its receipts and payments, and the manner and form of keeping and stating its accounts; to enforce the prompt rendition of the returns of postmasters, and of all certificates, acknowledgments, receipts, and other papers, by postmasters and contractors, relative to the accounts of the department; to control, according to law, and subject to the settlement of the auditor, the allowances to postmasters, the expenses of post offices, and all other expenses incident to the service of the department; to regulate and direct the payment of the said allowances and expenses for
(1) Act 3d March, 1825, sec. 1, cl. 2. (2) Ibid. sec. 3.
(3) Ibid. sec. 39.
which appropriations have been made; to superintend the disposition of the proceeds of post offices and other moneys of the department; to prescribe the manner in which postmasters shall pay over their balances; to grant warrants for money to be paid into the treasury, and out of the same, in pursuance of appropriations by law, to persons to whom the same shall be certified to be due by the said auditor: Provided, That advances of necessary sums to defray expenses may be made by the postmaster-general to agents of the department employed to investigate mail depredations, examine post routes, and post offices, and perform other like services, to be charged by the auditor for the post office department, and be accounted for in the settlement of their account.(1)
401. The postmaster-general shall, within sixty days after the making of any contract, cause a duplicate thereof to be lodged in the office of the auditor of the post office department. Upon the death, resignation, or removal of any postmaster, he shall cause his bond of office to be delivered to the said auditor; and shall also cause to be promptly certified to him all establishments and discontinuances of post offices, and all appointments, deaths, resignations, and removals of postmasters, together with all orders and regulations which may originate a claim, or in any manner affect the accounts of the department.(2)
402. It shall be the duty of the postmaster-general to make to congress, at each annual session thereof, the following several reports:
First, A report of all contracts made for the transportation of the mail within the preceding year, stating in each case of contract its date and duration, the name of the contractor, the route or routes embraced in the contract, with the length of each, with the times of arrival and departure at the ends of each route, the mode of transportation contracted for, and the price stipulated to be paid by the department; also a statement of all such land and water mails as may have been established or ordered by the department within the year preceding, other than those let to contract at the annual lettings of mail contracts, specifying, in each case, the route or water course on which the mail is established, the name of the person employed to transport it, the mode of transportation, the amount paid or to be paid, and the proposed duration of the order or contract.
Second, A report of all allowances made to contractors within the year preceding, beyond the sums originally stipulated in their respective contracts, and the reasons for the same; and of all orders made by the department, whereby additional expense is, or will be incurred, beyond the original contract price on any land or water route, specifying, in each case, the route to which the order relates, the name of the contractor, the original service provided by the contract, the original price, the date of the order for additional service, the additional service required, and the additional allowance therefor; also, a report of all curtailments of expenses effected by the department within the preceding year, specifying, in each case, the same particulars as required in cases of additional allowances.
Third, A report of all incidental expenses of the department for the year ending on the thirtieth day of June preceding, arranged according to the several objects, as for "wrapping paper," "office furniture," "advertising," "mail bags," "blanks," "mail locks, keys, and stamps," "mail depredations, and special agents," "clerks for offices," "miscellaneous," showing the sum paid under each head of expenditures, and the names of the persons to whom paid, except only that the names of persons employed in detect
(1) Act July 2, 1836, sec. 9.
(2) Ibid. sec. 11.
ing depredations on the mail, and other confidential agents, need not be disclosed in said report.
Fourth, A report of the finances of the post office department for the year ending on the thirtieth day of June preceding, showing the whole amount of balances due to the department at the beginning of the year, from postmasters and all others, the whole amount of postage that accrued within the year, the whole amount of the engagements and liabilities of the department for mail transportation during the year, the amount actually paid during the year, for and on account of mail transportation, and otherwise, stating separately so much of the said amount as may have been paid on account of the transportation of the mail, and for other debts for the same object, in preceding years.
Fifth, A report of all fines imposed, and deductions from the pay of contractors, made during the preceding year, for failures to deliver the mail, or for any other cause, stating the names of the delinquent contractors, the nature of the delinquency, the route on which it occurred, the time when it occurred, the time when the fine was imposed, and whether the fine has been remitted, or order for deduction rescinded, and for what reason.(1)
403. The postmaster-general, before advertising for proposals for the transportation of the mail, shall form the best judgment practicable as to the mode, time, and frequency of transportation on each route, and advertise accordingly. No consolidated or combination bid shall be received, and no additional compensation shall be made to any mail contractor, so as that the compensation for additional regular service shall exceed the exact proportion which the original compensation bears to the original services stipulated to be performed and no extra allowance shall be made to any contractor, by the postmaster-general, for an increase of expedition in the transportation of the mail, unless thereby the employment of additional stock or carriers, by the contractor, shall be rendered necessary; and in such case, the additional compensation shall never bear a greater proportion to the additional stock or carriers rendered necessary, than the sum stipulated in the original contract bears to the stock and carriers necessarily employed in its execution, and when any extra service shall be ordered, the amount of the allowance therefor, in dollars and cents, shall be signified in the order for such service, and be forthwith entered upon the books of the post office department, and no additional compensation shall be paid for any extra regular service rendered before the issuing of such order, and the making of such entry, and every order, entry, or memorandum whatever, on which any action of the department is to be had, allowance made, or money paid, and every contract, paper or obligation drawn up in said office, by any officer thereof, shall have affixed to it its true date; and every paper relating to contracts or allowances filed in said office shall have the date of its filing endorsed thereon. And whenever it shall become necessary to change the terms of any existing contract in any other manner than that designated in this act, or to enter into a contract for the transportation of the mail at any other time than at the annual letting, the postmaster-general shall give notice in one newspaper published at Washington City, and in one newspaper published as near as may be to the route on which the services are to be performed for at least four weeks before changing or making such contract, inviting proposals therefor; which proposals shall be received and opened, and such proceedings thereon had, in all things, as at the annual lettings: Provided, however, That the postmaster-general may make temporary contracts until a regular letting can take place.(2)
(1) Act July 2, 1836, sec. 22.
(2) Ibid. sec. 23.