B-132018, JUN. 4, 1957

B-132018: Jun 4, 1957

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REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN INVOICE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO US BY SECOND INDORSEMENT OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE DATED MAY 24. A CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO WHEREBY THE RE NU COMPANY UNDERTOOK TO RECONDITION AND REFINISH CERTAIN OFFICE FURNITURE FOR A CONSIDERATION OF $1. UNDER THE CONTRACT WERE ASSIGNED TO THE AMERICAN TRUST COMPANY ON DECEMBER 10. RECEIPTED NOTICE WAS ACKNOWLEDGED ON THE FOLLOWING DAY. THE CONTRACTOR APPEARS TO HAVE SATISFACTORILY ACCOMPLISHED A PORTION OF THE WORK VALUED UNDER THE CONTRACT TERMS AT $661. IT IS STATED. PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE PURCHASE ORDER REQUIRES THE SUBMISSION OF INVOICES CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION SIGNED BY THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE: "I CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE BILL IS CORRECT AND JUST AND THAT PAYMENT HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED.'.

B-132018, JUN. 4, 1957

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL L. C. MULVANEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1957, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN INVOICE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO US BY SECOND INDORSEMENT OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE DATED MAY 24, 1957.

YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT BY PURCHASE ORDER 04-142-01-5626-56,DATED JUNE 27, 1956, A CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO WHEREBY THE RE NU COMPANY UNDERTOOK TO RECONDITION AND REFINISH CERTAIN OFFICE FURNITURE FOR A CONSIDERATION OF $1,337.70. PAYMENTS DUE, OR TO BECOME DUE, UNDER THE CONTRACT WERE ASSIGNED TO THE AMERICAN TRUST COMPANY ON DECEMBER 10, 1956, AND RECEIPTED NOTICE WAS ACKNOWLEDGED ON THE FOLLOWING DAY. THE CONTRACTOR APPEARS TO HAVE SATISFACTORILY ACCOMPLISHED A PORTION OF THE WORK VALUED UNDER THE CONTRACT TERMS AT $661. THE CONTRACT, HOWEVER, HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED AND THE CONTRACTOR, IT IS STATED, HAS LEFT THE STATE AND CANNOT BE LOCATED. PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE PURCHASE ORDER REQUIRES THE SUBMISSION OF INVOICES CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION SIGNED BY THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE:

"I CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE BILL IS CORRECT AND JUST AND THAT PAYMENT HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED.'

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE CONTRACTOR, AN INVOICE DATED APRIL 5, 1957, HAS BEEN PRESENTED BY THE ASSIGNEE BANK IN THE AMOUNT OF $661 WITH THE CERTIFICATION SIGNED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BANK.

THE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT WAS PROBABLY INSERTED IN THE CONTRACT BECAUSE OF THE LONG-STANDING POSITION OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT CERTIFICATION MUST BE FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTOR PRIOR TO PAYMENT. AS YOU NOTED IN YOUR LETTER, OUR DECISION, B-13700, DECEMBER 2, 1950, PUBLISHED AT 20 COMP. GEN. 295, HELD THAT WHEN SUCH CERTIFICATION WAS REQUIRED, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE BY THE CONTRACTOR AND NOT THE ASSIGNEE NOTWITHSTANDING AN ASSIGNMENT UNDER THE ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS ACT OF 1940, 31 U.S.C. 203. BY OUR GENERAL REGULATION NO. 134, MARCH 11, 1957, THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE SIGNED CERTIFICATION WAS ELIMINATED WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT PERTINENT HERE. SINCE THE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT WAS PROBABLY INCLUDED IN THE CONTRACT BECAUSE OF THE POSITION OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND SINCE THAT CERTIFICATION IS NO LONGER REQUIRED BY OUR OFFICE, WE WOULD NOT TAKE EXCEPTION TO PAYMENT OF THE INVOICE WITHOUT CERTIFICATION BY THE CONTRACTOR IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

WE NOTE THAT THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN BREACHED IN SUBSTANTIAL PART. IF THE PORTION OF THE WORK NOT COMPLETED HAS BEEN OR IS TO BE RELET, SETOFF FOR ANY EXCESS COSTS INCURRED BY VIRTUE OF THE REPROCUREMENT SHOULD BE MADE AGAINST THE $661 OTHERWISE PAYABLE.