B-128632, AUG. 2, 1956

B-128632: Aug 2, 1956

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TO THE ALBUQUERQUE STATIONERY CO.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26. B. DICK MIMEOGRAPH MACHINE PARTS WHICH YOU ALLEGE WERE ORDERED BY THE KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE. THE STATEMENT IN THE SETTLEMENT THAT YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $159 WAS FOR STATIONERY ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ORDERED BY THE KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE WAS MADE INADVERTENTLY. CONTAINS YOUR INVOICE WHICH ITEMIZED THE SUPPLIES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PICKED UP BY PERSONNEL OF THE BASE. WHEN THE PARTS WERE READY FOR DELIVERY THEY WOULD BE PICKED UP ALONG WITH YOUR BILLING AND A PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED LATER. CARLSON SAYS HE IS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE PARTS CAME INTO THE REPAIR SHOP. THAT A THOROUGH SEARCH OF THE SHOP'S RECORDS WAS INITIATED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER MERCHANDISE WAS RECEIVED AGAINST PURCHASE REQUEST NO. 25A-53-1015.

B-128632, AUG. 2, 1956

TO THE ALBUQUERQUE STATIONERY CO.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1956, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 13, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $159 FOR A. B. DICK MIMEOGRAPH MACHINE PARTS WHICH YOU ALLEGE WERE ORDERED BY THE KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO, AND PICKED UP BY PERSONNEL OF THE BASE AT YOUR STORE ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1952.

THE STATEMENT IN THE SETTLEMENT THAT YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $159 WAS FOR STATIONERY ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ORDERED BY THE KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE WAS MADE INADVERTENTLY. THE FILE, FORWARDED HERE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM AND WHICH APPEARS TO BE COMPLETE, CONTAINS YOUR INVOICE WHICH ITEMIZED THE SUPPLIES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PICKED UP BY PERSONNEL OF THE BASE.

YOU STATE IT HAS BEEN STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT THE BASE TO REQUEST BY TELEPHONE PARTS NEEDED AND AT THE SAME TIME TO GIVE YOU THE REQUISITION NUMBER. WHEN THE PARTS WERE READY FOR DELIVERY THEY WOULD BE PICKED UP ALONG WITH YOUR BILLING AND A PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED LATER. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT MR. MILLIS WHO WORKED IN THE SHOP WITH MR. CARLSON SAYS HE IS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE PARTS CAME INTO THE REPAIR SHOP.

THE FOREMAN OF THE OFFICE MACHINE REPAIR SHOP AT THE BASE, HAS REPORTED UNDER DATE OF APRIL 11, 1956, THAT A THOROUGH SEARCH OF THE SHOP'S RECORDS WAS INITIATED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER MERCHANDISE WAS RECEIVED AGAINST PURCHASE REQUEST NO. 25A-53-1015, BUT NO RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE WHICH INDICATE RECEIPT OF THE MERCHANDISE FROM YOU. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT MASTER SERGEANT CARLSON WAS HOSPITALIZED FROM MAY THROUGH DECEMBER 1952, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, COULD NOT HAVE RECEIPTED FOR OR MADE ACTUAL PICK UP OF THE MERCHANDISE. STAFF SERGEANT MILLIS, NOW IN CIVILIAN STATUS, WAS CONTACTED BUT WOULD NOT COMMIT HIMSELF IN REGARD TO THIS MATTER DUE TO THE LENGTH OF TIME WHICH HAS ELAPSED SINCE THE ALLEGED DELIVERY OF THE SUPPLIES.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UNDER DATE OF APRIL 12, 1956, REPORTED THAT PURCHASE ORDER NO. 25A-53-1015, SHOWN ON YOUR INVOICE NO. G 9324, WAS A PURCHASE REQUEST NUMBER AND NOT A PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER. ALSO,HE STATED THAT IT WAS A NORMAL PROCEDURE IN THE LOCAL PURCHASE OFFICE TO HOLD PURCHASE REQUESTS FOR A PERIOD OF ONE MONTH IN ORDER TO ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR OBLIGATIONS COVERING CURRENT REQUIREMENTS AND THAT THE MENTIONED PURCHASE REQUEST WAS CANCELED BY THE LOCAL PURCHASE OFFICE ON AUGUST 12, 1952, AFTER IT WAS DETERMINED THAT NO OBLIGATION HAD BEEN INCURRED.

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. THE BURDEN IS NOT UPON OUR OFFICE TO REFUTE CLAIMS PRESENTED HERE FOR SETTLEMENT OR TO CONTROVERT THE ALLEGATIONS ON WHICH SUCH CLAIMS ARE BASED. ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON CLAIMANTS TO FURNISH EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING THEIR CLAIMS. THIS YOU HAVE FAILED TO DO.

A CAREFUL REVIEW OF THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS MATTER LEADS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT CONTAINS NOTHING WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY OUR OFFICE IN REVERSING THE ACTION PREVIOUSLY TAKEN. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 13, 1956, IS SUSTAINED.