B-134837, FEB. 7, 1958

B-134837: Feb 7, 1958

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JEAN LASSABE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 11. 000 FRENCH FRANCS FOR SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BY YOU IN COLLECTING RUBBISH AND ASHES FROM THE SAME DEPOT UNDER AN ORAL AGREEMENT DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 12. YOU WERE OBLIGATED TO COLLECT GARBAGE AT THE CAPTIEUX ORDNANCE DEPOT AND PAY FOR IT AT THE RATE OF 7.80 FRENCH FRANCS PER POUND. IT WAS PROVIDED THAT THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER SHOULD RENDER A STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT ON OR ABOUT THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH AND YOU WERE TO MAKE PAYMENT WITHIN SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE STATEMENT WAS RENDERED. YOUR BID DEPOSITS ON OTHER BIDS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN APPLIED AGAINST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS WITH YOUR CONSENT. IT IS NOTED THAT THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER RECEIVED YOUR PERSONAL CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF 210.

B-134837, FEB. 7, 1958

TO MR. JEAN LASSABE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 11, 1957, ACKNOWLEDGED JANUARY 2, 1958, RELATIVE TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF 509,137.40 FRENCH FRANCS ARISING UNDER CONTRACT NO. DA-/S/-91-606-EUC-58, DATED MARCH 1, 1954, FOR THE PURCHASE AND REMOVAL OF GARBAGE AT THE CAPTIEUX ORDNANCE DEPOT, CAPTIEUX (GIRONDE) FRANCE, AND ALSO TO YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF 10,380,000 FRENCH FRANCS FOR SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BY YOU IN COLLECTING RUBBISH AND ASHES FROM THE SAME DEPOT UNDER AN ORAL AGREEMENT DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 12, 1951, TO JANUARY 30, 1953. BY A LETTER DATED JULY 22, 1957, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REASONS SET OUT THEREIN AND YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER.

BY THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT OF MARCH 1, 1954, YOU WERE OBLIGATED TO COLLECT GARBAGE AT THE CAPTIEUX ORDNANCE DEPOT AND PAY FOR IT AT THE RATE OF 7.80 FRENCH FRANCS PER POUND. IT WAS PROVIDED THAT THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER SHOULD RENDER A STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT ON OR ABOUT THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH AND YOU WERE TO MAKE PAYMENT WITHIN SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE STATEMENT WAS RENDERED. THE FILE SHOWS THAT YOU DID NOT MAKE PAYMENTS AS PROVIDED AND THAT YOU OWE A TOTAL OF 509,137.40 FRENCH FRANCS FOR THE PERIOD ENDING MARCH 13, 1955, WHEN THE CONTRACT TERMINATED. IN YOUR VARIOUS LETTERS RELATIVE TO THE MATTER, YOU DO NOT DENY THE FACT OR THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. IN FACT, YOU MADE ONE PAYMENT UNDER THE CONTRACT WITHOUT OBJECTION AND WITHOUT MENTIONING YOUR PRESENT CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FOR ALLEGED SERVICES IN COLLECTING RUBBISH AND ASHES, AND YOUR BID DEPOSITS ON OTHER BIDS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN APPLIED AGAINST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS WITH YOUR CONSENT. IT IS NOTED THAT THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER RECEIVED YOUR PERSONAL CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF 210,754 FRENCH FRANCS ON FEBRUARY 18, 1955, AND RETURNED IT TO YOU TO BE CERTIFIED. IN YOUR REPLY DATED MARCH 16, 1955, YOU STATED:

"I AM VERY WORRIED AS I AM UNABLE TO MAKE PAYMENTS AT THE PRESENT TIME. I HAVE BEEN OBLIGED TO PAY TAXES AT THE TIME YOU SENT ME MY CHECK BACK TO HAVE IT CERTIFIED, AND I HAVE USE THAT MONEY IN THIS PURPOSE. NOW I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE SUCH AMOUNT BEFORE FIFTEEN DAYS, UNLESS I BORROW IT FROM SOMEONE ELSE.

"I WOULD LIKE YOU TO BE SO KIND AS TO BE PATIENT AND GRANT ME SAID DELAY. I PLEDGE MYSELF TO MAKE MY PAYMENTS IN DUE TIME IN THE FUTURE.'

SUCH STATEMENTS AND ACTION BY YOU IN 1955 APPEAR INCONSISTENT WITH YOUR PRESENT CLAIM THAT THE UNITED STATES OWED YOU FOR SERVICES RENDERED FROM MARCH 12, 1951, TO MARCH 30, 1953, WHICH DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ASSERTED UNTIL 1955.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REPORTS THAT IT HAS NO RECORD OR EVIDENCE OF ANY CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT WHEREBY YOU WERE TO COLLECT RUBBISH AND ASHES AT THE CAPTIEUX ORDNANCE DEPOT AND BE COMPENSATED FOR SUCH SERVICES. YOU STATE THAT THERE WAS ONLY AN ORAL AGREEMENT. IF SUCH AN AGREEMENT EXISTED, IT COULD NOT BIND THE UNITED STATES, SINCE APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS DO NOT AUTHORIZE SUCH AGREEMENTS. OBVIOUSLY, THE BUSINESS OF THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT BE CONDUCTED WITH ANY DEGREE OF ORDER, EFFICIENCY, OR ECONOMY, IF THE GOVERNMENT COULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR ORAL STATEMENTS OR AGREEMENTS WHICH MIGHT BE MADE BY UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS, PARTICULARLY IN CASES WHERE NO RECORD OF SUCH STATEMENTS OR AGREEMENTS CAN BE FOUND. IF YOU FURNISHED SERVICES UNDER SUCH AN ORAL AGREEMENT, SUCH SERVICES WOULD BE REGARDED AS VOLUNTARY AND THEREFORE NOT A VALID BASIS FOR PAYMENT BY THE UNITED STATES. IT MAY ALSO BE NOTED THAT THERE IS INFORMATION OF RECORD TO THE EFFECT THAT FROM THE COLLECTIONS FOR WHICH YOU ARE CLAIMING PAYMENT YOU SOLD SUBSTANTIAL QUANTITIES OF WASTE PAPER, BOTTLES, AND SCRAP METAL FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT.

FOR THE REASONS ABOVE SET OUT THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM ISHEREBY SUSTAINED, AND YOU ARE REQUESTED TO MAKE PAYMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF 509,137.40 FRENCH FRANCS, PAYMENT TO BE MADE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :