A-72216, DECEMBER 23, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 530

A-72216: Dec 23, 1937

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THE INVITATION WAS FOR A TOTAL OF 410 (AFTERWARD INCREASE TO 512) TRUCKS "F.O.B. WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER OF JANUARY 13. WHICH STATED: * * * WE ARE BIDDING F.O.B. WE WILL HAVE PILOT MODEL READY THE WEEK OF JANUARY 20. WE WILL HAVE A TOTAL OF AT LEAST TWENTY (20) UNITS EACH WORKING DAY (FIVE DAYS PER WEEK) READY FOR INSPECTION AND SHIPMENT FROM THE PLANTS SHOWN IN OUR BID. THE BID WAS ACCEPTED FEBRUARY 12. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED TO THIS OFFICE THAT PROVISION HAD BEEN MADE FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO DRIVE THE SAID FOUR TRUCKS FROM YOUR BALTIMORE PLANT TO THE WHARF OF THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT CITED CONTENDS YOU RECEIVED NO NOTICE THAT IT WAS INTENDED FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO DRIVE THE TRUCKS FROM YOUR PLANT TO THE WHARF AND THAT THE ONLY INFORMATION YOU HAD WAS THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED WITH A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING "AND THEREBY INSTRUCTED TO SHIP TO NORFOLK.

A-72216, DECEMBER 23, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 530

CONTRACTS - PAYMENTS - VOLUNTARY DELIVERY SERVICES WHERE CONTRACT FOR PURCHASE OF TRUCKS PROVIDED FOR THEIR INSPECTION, ACCEPTANCE, AND DELIVERY F.O.B. CONTRACTOR'S "ASSEMBLY PLANTS ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ONLY," THE MERE FURNISHING TO THE CONTRACTOR OF A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING SHOWING THE ROUTE AND MEANS OF SHIPMENT OF THE TRUCKS DID NOT CONSTITUTE AUTHORITY TO INCUR ANY EXPENSE ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT NOT INCLUDED IN THE CONTRACT PROVISIONS, AND CONTRACTOR MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSE INCURRED IN VOLUNTARILY DELIVERING THE TRUCKS TO THE STEAMSHIP DOCKS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE GENERAL MOTORS SALES CO., DECEMBER 23, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1937, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 22, 1936, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM NO. 053197 (86) FOR $6 IN REIMBURSEMENT OF COST INCURRED BY THE CHEVROLET MOTOR CO. FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FOUR TRUCKS FROM YOUR BALTIMORE, MD., PLANT TO THE DOCK OF THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO., IN CONNECTION WITH CONTRACT NO. W-398-QM-5133, FEBRUARY 12, 1936.

THE INVITATION WAS FOR A TOTAL OF 410 (AFTERWARD INCREASE TO 512) TRUCKS "F.O.B. MANUFACTURER'S PLANT FOR SHIPMENT ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING" WITH ALTERNATE BIDS FOR DESTINATION DELIVERY OF A NUMBER OF SMALLER NUMBERS OF TRUCKS TO SPECIFIED POINTS, INCLUDING FOUR UNITS FOR NORFOLK, VA. THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE CHEVROLET MOTOR CO. WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER OF JANUARY 13, 1936, SIGNED BY N. K. HAIG, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT SALES, WHICH STATED:

* * * WE ARE BIDDING F.O.B. OUR VARIOUS ASSEMBLY PLANTS ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ONLY.

WE WILL HAVE PILOT MODEL READY THE WEEK OF JANUARY 20, 1936. WE WILL HAVE A TOTAL OF AT LEAST TWENTY (20) UNITS EACH WORKING DAY (FIVE DAYS PER WEEK) READY FOR INSPECTION AND SHIPMENT FROM THE PLANTS SHOWN IN OUR BID, STARTING WITHIN THIRTY (30) CALENDAR DAYS FROM RECEIPT OF PURCHASE ORDER IN DETROIT.

THE BID NAMED BALTIMORE, MD., AS ONE OF THE FACTORIES FROM WHICH SHIPMENT WOULD BE MADE.

THE BID WAS ACCEPTED FEBRUARY 12, 1936,"F.O.B. VARIOUS ASSEMBLY PLANTS, SUBJECT TO INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE AT POINT OF ORIGIN.' A BILL OF LADING RECEIVED AT YOUR BALTIMORE PLANT COVERED THE SHIPMENT OF FOUR TRUCKS TO NORFOLK, VA., VIA THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO. THE CHEVROLET MOTOR CO. HAD THE FOUR VEHICLES TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK FROM THE PLANT OF THE COMPANY TO THE DOCK OF THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO. AT A STATED COST OF $1.50 EACH, OR $6, FOR WHICH YOU SEEK REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED TO THIS OFFICE THAT PROVISION HAD BEEN MADE FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO DRIVE THE SAID FOUR TRUCKS FROM YOUR BALTIMORE PLANT TO THE WHARF OF THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO., BUT THAT BEFORE THE PERSONNEL ARRIVED AT THE PLANT THE CHEVROLET CORPORATION, WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OR THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR IN CHARGE AT THE PLANT, MOVED THE VEHICLES FROM THE PLANT OF THE COMPANY TO THE WHARF. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT CITED CONTENDS YOU RECEIVED NO NOTICE THAT IT WAS INTENDED FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO DRIVE THE TRUCKS FROM YOUR PLANT TO THE WHARF AND THAT THE ONLY INFORMATION YOU HAD WAS THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED WITH A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING "AND THEREBY INSTRUCTED TO SHIP TO NORFOLK, VA., VIA BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO.' IT IS UNDERSTOOD YOU TAKE THE POSITION THAT RECEIPT OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING SHOWING UPON ITS FACE THE ROUTE AND MEANS OF SHIPMENT WAS, PER SE, INSTRUCTION AND AUTHORITY FOR YOU TO MOVE THE VEHICLES FROM YOUR FACTORY TO THE WHARF, BUT NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE THAT YOU WERE GIVEN "INSTRUCTIONS" TO THAT EFFECT BY ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GOVERNMENT AT ANY TIME, AND IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY EXPRESSLY NEGATIVED THAT EITHER THE CONTRACTING OFFICE OR THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR AT THE PLANT AUTHORIZED THE OFFICIALS, OR ANYONE CONNECTED WITH THE CHEVROLET MOTOR CO., TO TRANSPORT THE TRUCKS FROM THE PLANT TO THE WHARF.

IT IS MANIFEST THAT, BY THE SPECIFIC QUALIFICATION OF YOUR BID WHICH BECAME THE CONTRACT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONTRACT YOUR OBLIGATION WAS DELIVERY OF THE VEHICLES TO THE GOVERNMENT AT YOUR PLANT ONLY. THE GOVERNMENT WAS TO INSPECT AND ACCEPT THE TRUCKS "AT POINT OF ORIGIN" WHICH IN THIS CASE WAS YOUR ASSEMBLY PLANT IN BALTIMORE. YOU WERE NOT REQUIRED TO DELIVER THE TRUCKS AT ANY POINT OTHER THAN YOUR PLANT FOR ANY PURPOSE, NOR AUTHORIZED TO INCUR EXPENSE TO THAT END. WHEN THE VEHICLES WERE INSPECTED AND ACCEPTED AT YOUR PLANT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR DELIVERY WAS ENDED. THE METHOD OF DELIVERY WAS NOT YOUR DUTY OR OBLIGATION, NOR WAS THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRED TO INFORM YOU AS TO THE MEANS OF MOVING THE VEHICLES. THE MERE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS FORWARDED TO THE CHEVROLET MOTOR CO. AND THAT IT SHOWED UPON ITS FACE THAT THE FOUR TRUCKS WERE FOR SHIPMENT TO NORFOLK VIA BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO. WOULD NOT ENLARGE YOUR OBLIGATION OR RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE CONTRACT, SO AS TO CONFER AUTHORITY UPON YOU TO INCUR ANY EXPENSE ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT NOT INCLUDED IN CONTRACT PROVISIONS. YOUR DOING SO IS PROPERLY CLASSED AS A VOLUNTARY ACT UNAUTHORIZED AND UNWANTED, ARRANGEMENTS HAVING BEEN MADE TO HANDLE THE TRUCKS BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL.

UPON THE FACTS PRESENTED BY THE RECORD IT MUST BE HELD THAT YOUR ACTION IN HAVING THE TRUCKS DELIVERED AT THE WHARF OF THE BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET CO. WAS VOLUNTARY AND THAT THERE IS NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED OBLIGATION UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO REIMBURSE YOUR COMPANY FOR ANY EXPENSE INCURRED THEREBY. UTICA, ITHACA AND ELMIRA RAILWAY CO. V. UNITED STATES, 22 CT.CLS. 265; A-72597, AUGUST 21, 1937. IT IS WELL NIGH AXIOMATIC THAT NO PERSON, BY HIS VOLUNTARY ACT, MAY CONSTITUTE THE GOVERNMENT HIS DEBTOR.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF DECEMBER 22, 1936, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.