A-18742, JULY 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 1

A-18742: Jul 1, 1927

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UPON ARRIVAL IT WAS FOUND THAT THOSE REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES HAD PERMITTED THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED BY SOME UNAUTHORIZED PERSON. REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN ENDEAVORING TO CARRY OUT ITS CONTRACT IS AUTHORIZED. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED ITS CLAIM FOR $15 AS EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER A CONTRACT FOR THE PACKING. THE FACTS IN THE CASE ARE AS FOLLOWS: CLAIMANT. CLAIMANT'S BID OF $25 BEING THE LOWEST IT WAS AWARDED THE CONTRACT ON DECEMBER 27. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE SERVICES HAD ALREADY BEEN PERFORMED BY ANOTHER TRUCKMAN WHO HAD EVIDENTLY MISTAKEN THE REQUEST FOR BIDS FOR AN ORDER TO PERFORM THE WORK. WHEREUPON CLAIMANT'S TRUCK AND EMPLOYEES RETURNED TO PORT CHESTER AND THEREAFTER THERE WAS PRESENTED A VOUCHER FOR COST OF THE TRIP TO MOUNT VERNON.

A-18742, JULY 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 1

CONTRACTS - PERFORMANCE - PACKING, CRATING, AND HAULING OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHERE THE ACCEPTED BIDDER, UPON BEING AWARDED THE CONTRACT, SENT ITS TRUCK WITH DRIVER, PACKER, AND HELPER A DISTANCE OF 15 MILES TO THE QUARTERS OF A NAVY OFFICER TO PACK, CRATE, AND HAUL HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A RAILROAD STATION, AND UPON ARRIVAL IT WAS FOUND THAT THOSE REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES HAD PERMITTED THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED BY SOME UNAUTHORIZED PERSON, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN ENDEAVORING TO CARRY OUT ITS CONTRACT IS AUTHORIZED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 1, 1927:

PARKER AND GLEASON CO. (INC.) REQUESTS REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0176912, DATED MAY 26, 1927, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED ITS CLAIM FOR $15 AS EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER A CONTRACT FOR THE PACKING, CRATING, AND HAULING TO THE RAILROAD STATION, MOUNT VERNON, N.Y., OF CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD GOODS, THE WORK CONTEMPLATED UNDER SAID CONTRACT NOT HAVING BEEN PERFORMED BY CLAIMANT.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CLAIMANT, AMONG OTHERS, SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL FOR PACKING, CRATING, AND HAULING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF LIEUT. H. L. DODSON, UNITED STATES NAVY, FROM HIS QUARTERS TO THE RAILROAD STATION, MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. CLAIMANT'S BID OF $25 BEING THE LOWEST IT WAS AWARDED THE CONTRACT ON DECEMBER 27, 1926. WITHIN THE STIPULATED TIME CLAIMANT SENT ITS 2 1/2 TON BROCKWAY TRUCK WITH DRIVER, PACKER, AND HELPER FROM PORT CHESTER TO MOUNT VERNON, N.Y., A DISTANCE OF 15 MILES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING THE WORK COVERED BY THE CONTRACT; BUT IT WAS FOUND THAT THE SERVICES HAD ALREADY BEEN PERFORMED BY ANOTHER TRUCKMAN WHO HAD EVIDENTLY MISTAKEN THE REQUEST FOR BIDS FOR AN ORDER TO PERFORM THE WORK, WHEREUPON CLAIMANT'S TRUCK AND EMPLOYEES RETURNED TO PORT CHESTER AND THEREAFTER THERE WAS PRESENTED A VOUCHER FOR COST OF THE TRIP TO MOUNT VERNON, SAID VOUCHER BEING FOR $15, WHICH CLAIMANT AVERS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LOSS OF USE OF THE AFORESAID TRUCK WHILE ON SAID TRIP, BUT COVERS ONLY ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN AN ENDEAVOR TO CARRY OUT THE CONTRACT. PAYMENT WAS REFUSED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER UPON THE GROUND THAT THE SERVICES CONTRACTED FOR HAD NOT BEEN PERFORMED IN FULL.

IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE OF LAW THAT WHERE THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK OR LABOR IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO ENTITLE THE PARTY TO RECOVERY, THE FULFILLMENT MUST BE SHOWN, BUT IT IS LIKEWISE WELL RECOGNIZED THAT WHERE PERFORMANCE IS PREVENTED OR RENDERED IMPOSSIBLE BY THE ONE FOR WHOM THE WORK OR LABOR WAS TO BE DONE, RECOVERY MAY BE HAD FOR THE LABOR OR WORK ACTUALLY DONE. SEE 3 COMP. DEC. 565, CITING POWER V. UNITED STATES, 18 CT.CLS. 263, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD:

V. WHERE UNDER A CONTRACT TO TRANSPORT SUPPLIES, THE CONTRACTOR IS NOTIFIED THAT A GIVEN QUANTITY WILL BE FURNISHED TO HIM AT A STATED TIME AND PLACE, AND HE PUTS HIMSELF IN READINESS TO TRANSPORT THE SAME AND INCURS ALL THE NECESSARY EXPENSES THEREFOR, HE IS ENTITLED TO DAMAGES IF A LESS QUANTITY ONLY IS SUPPLIED. * * *

ACCORDINGLY, IT APPEARING THAT CLAIMANT DID ALL THAT COULD BE EXPECTED OF IT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND ITS INABILITY TO CARRY OUT THE CONTRACT COMPLETELY BEING ENTIRELY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE FACT THAT THOSE REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES HAD PERMITTED SOME UNAUTHORIZED PERSON TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN ITS ENDEAVOR TO CARRY OUT ITS CONTRACT.

UPON REVIEW THE SUM OF $15 IS CERTIFIED DUE CLAIMANT, AND CHECK FOR SAID AMOUNT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE.