B-124133, SEP. 13, 1955

B-124133: Sep 13, 1955

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SHUMAN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 6. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU MADE NO BID ON LOT NO. 145. WHICH WAS AWARDED TO YOU. WHO WAS THE DISPOSAL OFFICER AT THE DEPOT AT THE TIME OF THE SALE. ADMITTED TO HIM THAT YOU ENGAGED HIM IN CONVERSATION CONCERNING YOUR PURCHASE OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENT AND DRESSING KITS LISTED AS LOT NO. 136 AT THE TIME LOT NO. 145 WAS PUT UP FOR AUCTION. IT WAS OBVIOUSLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO HAVE PLACED A BID ON LOT NO. 145. FINE'S LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT A COMPLETE REPORT BE FURNISHED AS TO THE CONTENTIONS RAISED. SUCH REPORT NOW HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND IS TO THE EFFECT THAT LIEUTENANT PETTINGELL HAS STATED THAT HE SPOKE WITH MANY CONTRACTORS DURING THE ACTUAL SALE BUT THAT IT WAS WHOLLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO RECALL THE EXACT TIME AT WHICH YOU MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED HIM TO DISCUSS YOUR PURCHASE OF LOT NO. 136.

B-124133, SEP. 13, 1955

TO DR. FRANKLIN I. SHUMAN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 6, 1955, AND TO PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED FROM MR. PHIL FINE, IN YOUR BEHALF, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 10, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PARTIAL REFUND OF MONEYS PAID TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT, BAYONNE, NEW JERSEY, IN CONNECTION WITH A QUANTITY OF SUPPLIES PURCHASED UNDER CONTRACT NO. N138S-3802, DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1953.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU MADE NO BID ON LOT NO. 145, WHICH WAS AWARDED TO YOU. MR. FINE ASSERTS IN HIS LETTER THAT SINCE LIEUTENANT G. L. PETTINGELL, WHO WAS THE DISPOSAL OFFICER AT THE DEPOT AT THE TIME OF THE SALE, ADMITTED TO HIM THAT YOU ENGAGED HIM IN CONVERSATION CONCERNING YOUR PURCHASE OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENT AND DRESSING KITS LISTED AS LOT NO. 136 AT THE TIME LOT NO. 145 WAS PUT UP FOR AUCTION, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO HAVE PLACED A BID ON LOT NO. 145.

MR. FINE'S LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT A COMPLETE REPORT BE FURNISHED AS TO THE CONTENTIONS RAISED. SUCH REPORT NOW HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND IS TO THE EFFECT THAT LIEUTENANT PETTINGELL HAS STATED THAT HE SPOKE WITH MANY CONTRACTORS DURING THE ACTUAL SALE BUT THAT IT WAS WHOLLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO RECALL THE EXACT TIME AT WHICH YOU MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED HIM TO DISCUSS YOUR PURCHASE OF LOT NO. 136. FURTHER, IT IS REPORTED THAT THE OFFICER HAS VERY DEFINITELY STATED THAT HE DID NOT ADVISE ANYONE THAT YOU WERE EXPLAINING TO HIM DURING THE SALE OF LOT NO. 145.

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS NO FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS IN THIS MATTER AND NECESSARILY MUST RELY UPON THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY RELATIVE TO THE CLAIM. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH REPORT, IT IS THE INVARIABLE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENT OF FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS. 3 COMP. GEN. 51, 15 ID. 253; 16 ID. 410; AND ID. 1105.

FURTHERMORE, PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE ADDITIONAL GENERAL CONDITIONS AND TERMS OF AUCTION SALES CONTRACT, MADE A PART OF THE PRESENT CONTRACT, ADVISED THE BIDDERS TO COMMUNICATE THE AMOUNT OF THEIR BIDS FOR EACH LOT TO THE AUCTIONEER EITHER ORALLY OR IN AN ACCEPTABLE AUCTION BID METHOD RECOGNIZED BY ALL AUCTIONEERS. ALSO, IT WAS STATED THAT THE CERTIFIED RECORDS OF THE AUCTIONEER AND THE NAVY RECORDER WOULD BE CONCLUSIVE, AND THAT ALL DISPUTES WOULD BE RESOLVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH RECORDS. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT EVERY MEANS OF CHECKING YOUR PURCHASES HAD BEEN EMPLOYED AND THAT THE "PADDLE SYSTEM" OF BIDDING USED HERE PERMITTED FOUR DIFFERENT CHECKS OR OPPORTUNITIES TO VERIFY THE VALIDITY OF THE PURCHASE AND THAT INVESTIGATION OF THE NAVY'S FILES AND DATA KEPT BY THE AUCTIONEER REVEALED THAT INSOFAR AS THE WRITTEN RECORD OF THE SALE IS CONCERNED YOU PURCHASED BY BID THE ROPE IN QUESTION AT AUCTION.