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AGO 1954 No. 289 - July 26, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


The department of public institutions may use a position schedule or a public official blanket type fidelity bond for its employees.

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                                                                    July 26, 1954

Honorable H. D. Van Eaton
Director, Department of Public Institutions
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                  Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 289

Attention:  !ttH. E. Pike, Supervisor,Division of Purchasing

Dear Sir:

            In a recently acknowledged letter you ask whether, in our opinion, a "blanket position" type bond might be substituted for the present "scheduled position" fidelity bond, carried by the state upon certain of its employees in your department.

            We believe that you may legally carry a blanket type bond.


            The general requirement that appointive state officers and employees be bonded is contained in RCW 43.17.100:

            "Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office or employment, every appointive state officer and employee of the state shall give a surety bond, payable to the state, in such sum as is provided by law or in such sum as shall be deemed  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] necessary by the administrative board, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office or employment, and accounting for all property of the state that shall come into his possession by virtue of his office or employment, which bond shall be approved as to form by the attorney general and as to sufficiency by the administrative board, and shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state."

            This provision is applicable to all administrative departments of the state government.  The only other provision we find relating to the bonding of employees in the Department of Public Institutions, specifically, is RCW 43.19.030:

            "Before entering upon his office each bank examiner shall take and subscribe an oath faithfully to discharge the duties of his office and shall each execute to the state a bond to be approved by the governor in such sum as may be deemed necessary by the administrative board, with a surety company authorized to do business in this state, as surety, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties.  The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the state.

            "* * *"

            From these sections of the law, it appears that the only statutory requirement is that certain employees be bonded in favor of the state for the faithful performance of their duties.  The statute makes no specifications as to the type or form of bond required, so it is to be presumed that this matter is left to the sound discretion of the administrative board.

            The type of bonds you are dealing with does not clearly appear from your letter. From the description of the bond now carried by your department, it appears to be a name schedule type of fidelity bond rather than a "scheduled position" type, for you state that each person bonded must be named; in the scheduled position type bond, the positions are listed, rather than the names of the employees.  It is our opinion that either a position schedule type or a public official blanket type bond may be substituted for the fidelity bond now carried on your employees.  The particular type of coverage desired is a matter to be determined  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] in the sound exercise of administrative discretion.  It should, however, be remembered that these bonds are written for different purposes; consequently the coverage of each may be different.

            The new bond should, of course, be submitted to this office for approval before execution.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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