A-33990, NOVEMBER 22, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 231

A-33990: Nov 22, 1930

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CONTRACTS - ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS WHERE A CONTRACTOR CERTIFIES AS CORRECT AND JUST A VOUCHER FOR MATERIAL DELIVERED AND ACCEPTS PAYMENT WITHOUT ANY SUGGESTION THAT HE BELIEVES HE IS ENTITLED TO A GREATER PAYMENT. FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PAYMENT OF $5.42 STATED ON APPROVED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF I. THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO HAVE ARISEN BECAUSE THE VOUCHER ON WHICH THE LUMBER WAS PAID FOR NOVEMBER 2. WAS ORIGINALLY CERTIFIED AS CORRECT AND JUST BY THE PAYEE AND PAYMENT ACCEPTED WITHOUT PROTEST. THE LUMBER WAS DELIVERED UNDER A GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE CONTRACT. THE ITEM IS DESCRIBED IN THE SCHEDULE AS "PINE. " AND THIS CONTRACTOR'S PRICE AS STATED IN THE SCHEDULE IS $3.39 PER 100 FEET.

A-33990, NOVEMBER 22, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 231

CONTRACTS - ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS WHERE A CONTRACTOR CERTIFIES AS CORRECT AND JUST A VOUCHER FOR MATERIAL DELIVERED AND ACCEPTS PAYMENT WITHOUT ANY SUGGESTION THAT HE BELIEVES HE IS ENTITLED TO A GREATER PAYMENT, HE MAY NOT, AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS, SECURE AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT ON THE GROUND THAT HE MISCONCEIVED THE CONTRACT TERMS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO J. R. LUSBY, DISBURSING OFFICER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NOVEMBER 22, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST DATED OCTOBER 28, 1930, FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PAYMENT OF $5.42 STATED ON APPROVED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF I. S. TUROVER, AS 10 PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT PAID ON YOUR VOUCHER, AUDIT 514218, DATED NOVEMBER 2, 1928, FOR 1,600 FEET OF LUMBER DELIVERED IN OCTOBER, 1928. THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO HAVE ARISEN BECAUSE THE VOUCHER ON WHICH THE LUMBER WAS PAID FOR NOVEMBER 2, 1928, WAS ORIGINALLY CERTIFIED AS CORRECT AND JUST BY THE PAYEE AND PAYMENT ACCEPTED WITHOUT PROTEST.

THE LUMBER WAS DELIVERED UNDER A GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE CONTRACT, ITEM 7260 (N) (3), PAGE 322, OF THE GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929. THE ITEM IS DESCRIBED IN THE SCHEDULE AS "PINE, NORTH CAROLINA--- DIMENSION AND HEAVY JOISTS; NO. 1 COMMON; 2 BY 10 TO 2 BY 12 INCHES BY 8 TO 16 FEET AVERAGING AT LEAST 12 FEET," AND THIS CONTRACTOR'S PRICE AS STATED IN THE SCHEDULE IS $3.39 PER 100 FEET. APPARENTLY, THE 1,600 FEET OF LUMBER FURNISHED IN THIS INSTANCE CONSISTED OF 50 PIECES, 2 BY 12 INCHES BY 16 FEET. THE CONTRACTOR MADE DELIVERY IN OCTOBER, 1928, AND SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR $3.39 PER 100 FEET, OR FOR A TOTAL OF $54.24, CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER AS CORRECT AND JUST AND ACCEPTING PAYMENT OF $54.24 WITHOUT ANY SUGGESTION THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO ANYTHING MORE FOR THE LUMBER.

THE PRESENT VOUCHER, FOR AN ITEM OF $5.42 AS 10 PERCENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE LUMBER, HAS BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE CONTRACTOR WITH THE ALLEGATION THAT THROUGH OVERSIGHT THERE WAS NO CLAIM FOR THE 10 PERCENT ADDITION FOR SELECTION WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED IN OCTOBER, 1928, FOR THE LUMBER.

NOTE 7 ON PAGE 313 OF THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 PROVIDES THAT:

WHERE LUMBER THAT IS ALL OF THE SAME DIMENSIONS IS ORDERED UNDER AN ITEM, WHERE ONLY RANDOM WIDTHS AND LENGTHS ARE SPECIFIED, THE CONTRACTOR MAY ADD 10 PERCENT TO THE UNIT PRICE QUOTED TO COVER THE COST OF SELECTION.

ITEM 7260 (N) (3) UNDER WHICH THE LUMBER IN QUESTION WAS DELIVERED DOES NOT SPECIFY "RANDOM WIDTHS" AS DO MANY OTHER ITEMS UNDER THE SCHEDULE. PARTICULARLY, ITEM 7010 PROVIDES FOR 4 TO 12-INCH "RANDOM WIDTHS; "ITEM 7020 PROVIDES FOR 8 TO 15-INCH "RANDOM WIDTHS" AND 4 TO 12-INCH "RANDOM WIDTHS; " ALSO, ITEMS 7030, 7050, 7060, 7080, AND 7084 SIMILARLY SO PROVIDED SPECIFICALLY FOR "RANDOM WIDTHS.' THE SPECIFICATION OF LUMBER 2 BY 10-INCH TO 2 BY 12-INCH IS NOT THE SPECIFICATION OF LUMBER OF "RANDOM WIDTHS.' THIS WAS APPARENTLY THE VIEW TAKEN OF THE MATTER BY THE CONTRACTOR IN OCTOBER, 1928, WHEN HE SUBMITTED A VOUCHER, CERTIFIED AS CORRECT AND JUST FOR THE LUMBER WITHOUT INCLUSION OF ANY ALLOWANCE FOR SELECTION AS PROVIDED FOR WITH REFERENCE TO ,RANDOM WIDTHS.' THE VOUCHER WAS PAID BY THE DISBURSING CLERK AS SUBMITTED, AND ALL OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SEEM TO JUSTIFY THE CONCLUSION THAT THE MATTER HAS BEEN DEFINITELY SETTLED IN SO FAR AS THE RIGHT OF THE CONTRACTOR IS CONCERNED TO OBTAIN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT THEREOF. SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 558; LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE RAILROAD V. UNITED STATES, 267 U.S. 395; SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 268 U.S. 263; EARLY AND DANIEL COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 271 U.S. 140.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED.