B-146239, JUL. 10, 1961

B-146239: Jul 10, 1961

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GENERAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 23. IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT PAYMENT BE MADE ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $28. WITH THE RETURN OF THE ENCLOSURES OUR VIEWS WERE REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT. 000 AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE INFORMAL CONTRACTS WHENEVER THE SERVICES OF THE LOW BIDDER WERE REQUIRED. IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE SOCIAL SECURITY BUILDING IS IN A REMOTE AREA OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE WHERE THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT PUBLIC PARKING PLACES AND WHERE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS INADEQUATE TO ACCOMMODATE THE BUILDING OCCUPANTS. IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED WAS BASED UPON THE AMOUNT OF SNOW WHICH FELL THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

B-146239, JUL. 10, 1961

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 23, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, TRANSMITTING THREE INVOICES SUBMITTING BY E. AND J. KIBLER IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $28,825.75, REPRESENTING AN AMOUNT CLAIMED TO BE DUE FOR EMERGENCY SNOW REMOVAL FROM THE DRIVEWAYS AND PARKING AREAS AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY BUILDING, WOODLAWN, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 19 THROUGH FEBRUARY 5, 1961. AFTER SETTING FORTH THE FACTS RELATING TO THE CLAIM, IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT PAYMENT BE MADE ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $28,087.75, CONSIDERED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATION TO BE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AS EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT. WITH THE RETURN OF THE ENCLOSURES OUR VIEWS WERE REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 14, 1960, THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER, WEST MARYLAND GROUP, BALTIMORE AREA, SOLICITED INFORMAL BIDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF LABOR, MATERIAL, AND EQUIPMENT FOR ON-CALL REMOVAL OF SNOW FROM THE DRIVEWAYS AND PARKING AREAS OF THE SUBJECT BUILDING, IT BEING THE INTENT OF THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER TO ISSUE A PURCHASE ORDER WITHIN HIS $2,000 AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE INFORMAL CONTRACTS WHENEVER THE SERVICES OF THE LOW BIDDER WERE REQUIRED.

IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE SOCIAL SECURITY BUILDING IS IN A REMOTE AREA OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE WHERE THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT PUBLIC PARKING PLACES AND WHERE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS INADEQUATE TO ACCOMMODATE THE BUILDING OCCUPANTS. THE BUILDING PARKING AREAS ACCOMMODATE APPROXIMATELY 3,300 CARS. IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED WAS BASED UPON THE AMOUNT OF SNOW WHICH FELL THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION AND BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1960, THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER ACCEPTED THE LOW BID OF E. AND J. KIBLER.

BEGINNING JANUARY 19, 1961, THERE WAS A HEAVY SNOW FALL AS THE RESULT OF WHICH IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THE PROPORTED CONTRACT WOULD NOT BE OF SUFFICIENT SIZE TO REMOVE THE SNOW FROM THE DRIVEWAYS AND THE PARKING AREAS AND THEREFORE E. AND J. KIBLER WAS REQUESTED TO USE WHATEVER EQUIPMENT WAS NECESSARY TO DO THE JOB.

SHORTLY THEREAFTER THERE WAS A RECORD SNOW STORM WHICH APPARENTLY BROUGHT ABOUT AN EMERGENCY SITUATION INSOFAR AS THE OPERATION OF THE BUILDING WAS CONCERNED. IT WAS THE VIEW OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF MANAGEMENT OF THE BUREAU OF OLD AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE THAT THE FAILURE TO CLEAR THE INDICATED AREAS WOULD NECESSITATE THE RELEASE OF APPROXIMATELY 7,000 EMPLOYEES, THEREBY SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZING HIS AGENCY'S PROGRAM. IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT THE AMOUNT OF LOST EMPLOYEE SALARY AT THE BUILDING WOULD BE IN EXCESS OF $100,000 PER DAY.

IT WAS STATED THAT YOUR ADMINISTRATION OPERATES THIS BUILDING FOR THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ON A FULLY REIMBURSABLE BASIS. BASED UPON THE ASSURANCE OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SSA, THAT REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE MADE, THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER VERBALLY ORDERED E. AND J. KIBLER TO CLEAR AND REMOVE THE SNOW ACCUMULATION FROM THE INDICATED AREAS WITH WHATEVER EQUIPMENT WAS NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK AS EXPEDITIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE. THERE WAS A THIRD SNOW FALL WITH SIMILAR INSTRUCTIONS BY THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER.

AFTER SUGGESTING THAT THE CLAIM IN THIS CASE BE REDUCED BY THE SUM OF $738, OR TO THE AMOUNT OF $28,087.75, THE LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1961, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH:

"IN VIEW OF THE SEVERITY OF THE PAST WINTER AND THE LARGE ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW, THE REMOVAL OF WHICH WAS MANDATORY FOR ECONOMICAL GOVERNMENT OPERATION, WE WOULD RECOMMEND THAT PAYMENT BE MADE ON A "QUANTUM MERUIT" BASIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $28,087.75, WHICH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERS TO BE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE AS EXPENSE INCURRED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT.'

IN SUPPORT OF THE RECOMMENDATION FOR PAYMENT IT WAS STATED THAT THE PER HOUR CHARGES ARE CONSIDERED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATION TO BE REASONABLE, THERE BEING ATTACHED TO THE LETTER A SCHEDULE OF COMPARATIVE COSTS SUBMITTED TO THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER. IT WAS STATED FURTHER THAT WHILE THE ACTING BUILDINGS MANAGER DID NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO TAKE THE ACTION WHICH HE DID, NEVERTHELESS WHAT HE DID WAS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WHICH RECEIVED BENEFITS IN THE FORM OF EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES FURNISHED BY E. AND J. KIBLER.

UPON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF JUNE 23,1961, WE CONCLUDE THAT E. AND J. KIBLER IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $28,087.75 ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS. WE BASE OUR CONCLUSION ON THE FACT THAT THE CLAIMANT IN THIS CASE RENDERED VALUABLE SERVICES IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION WITH THE EXPECTATION OF RECEIVING COMPENSATION THEREFOR, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED THE BENEFIT OF SUCH SERVICES.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST THE ENCLOSURES TO THE LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1961, ARE RETURNED ..END :