B-125257, OCT. 12, 1955

B-125257: Oct 12, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17. YOU STATE THAT THE PLACING OF THE DEBTOR'S NAME ON THE CONSOLIDATED LIST OF CONTRACTORS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES WOULD CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE TO THE DEBTOR WHOSE LIABILITY AS A CONTRACTOR TO THE GOVERNMENT IS WHOLLY CONTINGENT DUE NOT ONLY TO THE FACT THAT THE WORK COVERED BY THE CONTRACT HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED BUT TO THE FACT THAT A DECISION HAS NOT BEEN RENDERED ON ITS APPEAL FROM THE DETERMINATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ALL REASONABLE STEPS TO COLLECT DEBTS ARISING IN THAT AGENCY BEFORE REPORTING THEM HERE AS BEING UNCOLLECTIBLE.

B-125257, OCT. 12, 1955

TO ROBERT SHERIFFS MOSS, ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1955, ENCLOSING A COPY OF A LETTER OF THE SAME DATE TO THE COMPTROLLER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY RELATIVE TO THE INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES OF THE NATIONAL ELECTRONICS LABORATORIES, INC., BY REASON OF A REDETERMINATION OF PRICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF CONTRACT NO. DA-36-039-SC-31136 WITH THAT CONCERN.

YOU STATE THAT THE PLACING OF THE DEBTOR'S NAME ON THE CONSOLIDATED LIST OF CONTRACTORS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES WOULD CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE TO THE DEBTOR WHOSE LIABILITY AS A CONTRACTOR TO THE GOVERNMENT IS WHOLLY CONTINGENT DUE NOT ONLY TO THE FACT THAT THE WORK COVERED BY THE CONTRACT HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED BUT TO THE FACT THAT A DECISION HAS NOT BEEN RENDERED ON ITS APPEAL FROM THE DETERMINATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES. YOU REQUEST THAT WE REVIEW THE MATTER AND THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED AS TO THE PRESENT LIABILITY OF THE DEBTOR TO THE GOVERNMENT.

IN A CASE SUCH AS THIS, THE PROPRIETY OF PLACING THE CONTRACTOR'S NAME ON THE CONSOLIDATED LIST OF CONTRACTORS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES INVOLVES PRIMARILY QUESTIONS OF FACT TO BE RESOLVED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. UNDER THE ESTABLISHED DEBT-COLLECTION PROCEDURES, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ALL REASONABLE STEPS TO COLLECT DEBTS ARISING IN THAT AGENCY BEFORE REPORTING THEM HERE AS BEING UNCOLLECTIBLE. SEE 33 COMP. GEN. 667. THIS BEING TRUE AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACTOR IS PURSUING ITS ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES UNDER THE TERMS OF ITS CONTRACT, WE CANNOT COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUESTS; NOR ARE WE AUTHORIZED TO RENDER ADVANCE DECISIONS EXCEPT UPON THE REQUEST OF A HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT OR OF AN ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER HAVING A VOUCHER BEFORE HIM FOR CERTIFICATION OR PAYMENT.

IF COLLECTIONS ARE EFFECTED FROM THE CONTRACTOR WHICH ARE BELIEVED TO BE IMPROPER, A CLAIM MAY BE FILED FOR THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED WITH OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, AND, OF COURSE, SHOULD THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FORWARD THE MATTER HERE FOR A DECISION, IT WILL BE GIVEN PROMPT ATTENTION AND THE CONTRACTOR WILL BE ADVISED OF OUR CONCLUSION.