=The Chief Clerk in the United States=
The Chief Clerk, between 1789 and 1853, was the second-ranking official within the
United States Department of State, known as the Department of Foreign Affairs before September 5, 1789. Section 2 of the Act of Congressof July 27, 1789(1 Stat. 28) establishing a Department of Foreign Affairs, authorized the Secretary to appoint a Chief Clerk, who would have custody of the Department's records whenever the office of the Secretary should be vacant. From 1789 to 1853, when Congress created the position of Assistant Secretary of State, the Chief Clerk was the second-ranking officer of the Department of State, and was responsible for supervision of Department personnel, distribution of correspondence, and day-to-day operations.
All Chief Clerks were designated, not commissioned. After 1853, the Chief Clerk's duties included at various times custody of archives, distribution of correspondence, and supervision of Department personnel and property. The office was abolished on
January 26, 1939, re-established August 6, 1942, as the Office of the Chief Clerk and Administrative Assistant, and abolished in the reorganization of January 15, 1944. Although the Chief Clerk was the second-ranking officer until 1853, the holder of the office of Chief Clerk did not always become Acting Secretary of State in the Secretary's absence, and sometimes that position was delegated to other Cabinet members.
Chief Clerk as a Legislative Officer
Chief Clerk is also the title of a non-member officer in most legislative bodies in the
United States. In most states, the lower house employs an elected Chief Clerk to oversee the management of the records of the house; and the upper house usually employs an elected Secretary of the Senateto oversee its legislative operations. The Chief Clerk is usually a nonpartisanofficer, although there have been instances in some states and in Congress, where political patronage has occurred in the past.
In most states, the Chief Clerk also serves as the house
parliamentarian. Generally, the Chief Clerk is responsible for managing the legislative records, advising legislators on procedures and assisting the presiding officer with parliamentary rulings. The American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretariesis the official professional organization for such legislative officers in the United States.
Other References to Chief Clerk
Chief Clerk is also a traditional title of the British Civil Service and also widely used to describe more senior clerical staff in pre 1992 British Universities.
* A list of Chief Clerks in California, 1849 to present.
* [http://www.assembly.ca.gov/clerk California Assembly Chief Clerk]
* [http://www.ncsl.org National Conference of State Legislatures]
* [http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/officers/cclerk.html The Department of State's list of former Secretaries and description of the history of the position] .
* [http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/officers/secadinterim.html The Department of State's list of Acting Secretaries of State] .
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