A-90458, DECEMBER 3, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 470

A-90458: Dec 3, 1937

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PAYMENT WAS MADE WITHIN THE SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF A PROPER INVOICE. REFUND OF THE DISCOUNT DEDUCTED IS UNAUTHORIZED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PAYMENT AS MADE WAS NOT WITHIN THE SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AFTER DATE OF ORIGINAL INVOICE. WHICH WAS ACCEPTED DECEMBER 21. YOU CONTEND THAT A CORRECT INVOICE WAS DATED AND SENT OUT ON JANUARY 2. THAT SINCE PAYMENT WAS NOT MADE WITHIN 15 DAYS FROM THAT DATE THE DISCOUNT WAS NOT EARNED. WHICH WAS RECEIVED IN THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE ON JANUARY 7. WERE TO THE EFFECT THAT SHOULD THERE BE ANY DECLINE IN THE MARKET PRICES OF THE MATERIAL SUCH DECLINE SHOULD APPLY TO SHIPMENTS MADE UNDER THE CONTRACT DURING SUCH PERIOD AS THE DECLINE MIGHT BE IN EFFECT.

A-90458, DECEMBER 3, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 470

CONTRACTS - DISCOUNTS - DELAYS - INCOMPLETE INVOICES WHERE CONTRACT PROVIDED FOR DISCOUNT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN A SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS FROM DATE OF INVOICE, AND PAYMENT WAS MADE WITHIN THE SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF A PROPER INVOICE, REFUND OF THE DISCOUNT DEDUCTED IS UNAUTHORIZED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PAYMENT AS MADE WAS NOT WITHIN THE SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AFTER DATE OF ORIGINAL INVOICE, THE INVOICE HAVING BEEN PROPERLY AND TIMELY RETURNED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR CERTIFICATION BY THE CONTRACTOR IN THE MANNER REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE NORTH AMERICAN CEMENT CORPORATION, DECEMBER 3, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1937, REQUESTS REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1937, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $25, AS DISCOUNT ERRONEOUSLY DEDUCTED FROM VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT FOR 250 BARRELS OF CEMENT DELIVERED TO THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AT DANVILLE, VA., UNDER PROPOSAL DATED DECEMBER 16, 1936, WHICH WAS ACCEPTED DECEMBER 21, 1936.

YOUR LETTER INVITED ATTENTION TO THE TERMS OF YOUR ORIGINAL BID, WHICH PROVIDED FOR A DISCOUNT OF 10 CENTS PER BARREL FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 15 DAYS FROM DATE OF INVOICE, AND TO THE PURCHASE ORDER COVERING THE MATERIAL IN QUESTION. YOU CONTEND THAT A CORRECT INVOICE WAS DATED AND SENT OUT ON JANUARY 2, 1937, AND THAT SINCE PAYMENT WAS NOT MADE WITHIN 15 DAYS FROM THAT DATE THE DISCOUNT WAS NOT EARNED.

THE RECORDS IN THIS CASE INDICATE THAT YOUR INVOICE DATED JANUARY 2, 1937, WHICH WAS RECEIVED IN THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE ON JANUARY 7, 1937, DID NOT BEAR CERTIFICATION SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT. THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT, AS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER TRANSMITTING YOUR BID, WERE TO THE EFFECT THAT SHOULD THERE BE ANY DECLINE IN THE MARKET PRICES OF THE MATERIAL SUCH DECLINE SHOULD APPLY TO SHIPMENTS MADE UNDER THE CONTRACT DURING SUCH PERIOD AS THE DECLINE MIGHT BE IN EFFECT. SINCE YOUR INVOICE STATED A PRICE OF $2.35 PER BARREL, WHEREAS THE ORIGINAL BID PRICE WAS $2.39 PER BARREL, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NECESSARY TO SECURE A CERTIFICATION AS TO THE CURRENT PRICE AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY. ACCORDINGLY, THE INVOICE WAS RETURNED FOR A PROPER CERTIFICATION AS TO THE CURRENT PRICE OF THE MATERIAL. THE INVOICE WAS THEN RESUBMITTED BY YOU BEARING AN UNSIGNED STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT DUE TO ELIMINATION OF EMERGENCY FREIGHT CHARGES,"OUR PRICE F.O.B. CARS, DANVILLE, IS NOW $2.35 PER BARREL.' SUCH A CERTIFICATION WAS CLEARLY INSUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT, FIRST, FOR THE REASON THAT THE STATEMENT WAS NOT SIGNED AND, SECOND, THE PRICE OF $2.35 WAS STATED TO EXIST NOW, THAT IS, ON THE DATE OF THE STATEMENT, WITHOUT INDICATING THE PRICE ON THE DELIVERY DATE. IN VIEW OF THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE CERTIFICATION YOU WERE AGAIN REQUESTED TO FURNISH A PROPER CERTIFICATE SHOWING THE PRICE OF THE MATERIAL ON THE DATE OF DELIVERY OF SAME TO THE CARRIER. A CERTIFICATE CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS WAS FURNISHED BY YOU UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 30, 1937, AND PAYMENT OF THE SAME WAS MADE ON FEBRUARY 5, 1937.

THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING PAYMENT ON THE INVOICE UNTIL THE REQUIRED CERTIFICATE HAD BEEN FURNISHED, AND IT APPEARS FROM THE FACTS HEREIN SUMMARIZED THAT THERE WAS NO UNDUE DELAY BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE IN ADVISING YOU OF THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE INVOICE AND IN ENDEAVORING TO SECURE A CERTIFICATE SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT. SINCE PAYMENT WAS MADE WITHIN THE 15 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF A PROPERLY CERTIFIED INVOICE THE DISCOUNT WAS EARNED AND PROPERLY DEDUCTED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.