B-131737, MAY 16, 1957

B-131737: May 16, 1957

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SOUTHWESTERN POWER ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 1. IT APPEARS THAT THE PURCHASE WAS MADE IN THE OPEN MARKET ALTHOUGH. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE UNDER FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE. STATES: "THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN UNUSUALLY BUSY FOR THE SPRINGFIELD DISPATCHERS AND THE SPRINGFIELD MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL. CHANGING THE BURNED-OUT LAMPS IN THESE THREE-LAMP CEILING FIXTURES WAS DEFERRED UNTIL ONE OR MORE LAMPS IN EACH OF THE 24 FIXTURES NEEDED REPLACING. SEVEN OF THE F8TS LAMPS AND SIX EACH OF THE 150 WATT AND 60 WATT LAMPS WERE NEEDED TO MAKE THE IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENTS. "THESE LAMPS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FROM OUR STOCK IN SPRINGFIELD. RUSH WAS NOT AWARE OF THE MANDATORY FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES OR THE $25.00 LIMIT ON OPEN MARKET PURCHASES.

B-131737, MAY 16, 1957

TO MR. C. H. SMITH, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, SOUTHWESTERN POWER ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 1, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED ON INVOICE NO. 44511 DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1957, IN THE AMOUNT OF $53.69, PRESENTED BY HARRY COOPER SUPPLY COMPANY.

THE INVOICE COVERS THE PRICE OF 89 LAMPS PURCHASED ON JANUARY 29, 1957, BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOUTHWESTERN POWER ADMINISTRATION FOR THE USE OF THE ADMINISTRATION. IT APPEARS THAT THE PURCHASE WAS MADE IN THE OPEN MARKET ALTHOUGH, BEING IN EXCESS OF $25, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE UNDER FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE, CLASS 17, PART VI, ELECTRIC LAMPS, UNLESS AN EMERGENCY EXISTED REQUIRING SUCH IMMEDIATE DELIVERY AS COULD NOT BE EFFECTED BY PURCHASE THROUGH THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE.

IN HIS MEMORANDUM DATED MARCH 18, 1957, THE SUPERVISOR, BRANCH OF SYSTEMS OPERATIONS, STATES:

"THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN UNUSUALLY BUSY FOR THE SPRINGFIELD DISPATCHERS AND THE SPRINGFIELD MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL. BECAUSE OF MORE PRESSING DUTIES, CHANGING THE BURNED-OUT LAMPS IN THESE THREE-LAMP CEILING FIXTURES WAS DEFERRED UNTIL ONE OR MORE LAMPS IN EACH OF THE 24 FIXTURES NEEDED REPLACING. APPROXIMATELY 40 OF THE T12 LAMPS, SEVEN OF THE F8TS LAMPS AND SIX EACH OF THE 150 WATT AND 60 WATT LAMPS WERE NEEDED TO MAKE THE IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENTS.

"THESE LAMPS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FROM OUR STOCK IN SPRINGFIELD. MR. RUSH WAS NOT AWARE OF THE MANDATORY FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES OR THE $25.00 LIMIT ON OPEN MARKET PURCHASES. HE BOUGHT A FEW MORE LAMPS THAN WERE NEEDED IMMEDIATELY SO AS TO HAVE SOME ON HAND FOR OCCASIONAL REPLACEMENTS.

"WE WILL AVOID THIS SITUATION IN THE FUTURE BY REPLACING LAMPS MORE FREQUENTLY FROM A STOCK THAT WILL BE ADEQUATELY MAINTAINED BY REQUISITIONS PLACED THROUGH THE ADMINISTRATION'S ESTABLISHED PURCHASING CHANNELS.'

THE FACTS AS REPORTED CANNOT BE REGARDED AS ESTABLISHING THE EXISTENCE OF AN EMERGENCY SUCH AS WOULD AUTHORIZE THE OPEN-MARKET PURCHASE. HOWEVER, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE PURCHASE WAS MADE IN GOOD FAITH, THAT THE LAMPS HAVE BEEN RETAINED AND USED, AND THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS TAKING STEPS TO PREVENT UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASES IN THE FUTURE, PAYMENT ON TH INVOICE MAY BE AUTHORIZED IN AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING THE COST IF PURCHASED THROUGH THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 866.