B-151143, JUN. 6, 1963

B-151143: Jun 6, 1963

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THAT THE DISCOUNT TIME YOU OFFERED WOULD BE COMPUTED FROM THE DATE A CORRECT INVOICE WAS RECEIVED IN THE SPECIFIED OFFICE. IF SUCH DATE WAS LATER THAN THE DATE OF DELIVERY. THE INVOICE WAS SENT. YOU WERE PAID WITHIN 10 DAYS AFTER ITS RECEIPT. THE BASIS OF THE CLAIM IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT. WE MUST POINT OUT THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD A CONTRACTUAL RIGHT TO HAVE YOU SUBMIT THE INVOICE DIRECTLY TO THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING DIVISION. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO RELINQUISH A RIGHT ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER A CONTRACT. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE GRATUITOUS AND VOLUNTARY PROMISE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENT TO FORWARD AN INVOICE TO THE PROPER OFFICE DOES NOT WAIVE THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RECEIVE FROM THE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE OF AN OBLIGATION WHICH CONTRACTUALLY DEVOLVES UPON HIM.

B-151143, JUN. 6, 1963

TO THE AMERICAN FOREST SEED CO., INC.:

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1963, TO MR. C. W. WALTERS, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, TEXARKANA, TEXAS, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT, YOU CLAIM ENTITLEMENT TO A REFUND OF A 2 PERCENT 10-DAY DISCOUNT IN THE AMOUNT OF $176.09, DEDUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT FOR SEED DELIVERED TO THE RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, TEXARKANA, TEXAS, ON FEBRUARY 4, 1963, PURSUANT TO CONTRACT 41117-003-08500, DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1962.

THE SUBJECT CONTRACT PROVIDED THAT YOUR INVOICE WOULD BE SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT TO THE EXAMINATION BRANCH, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING DIVISION, AND THAT THE DISCOUNT TIME YOU OFFERED WOULD BE COMPUTED FROM THE DATE A CORRECT INVOICE WAS RECEIVED IN THE SPECIFIED OFFICE, IF SUCH DATE WAS LATER THAN THE DATE OF DELIVERY. THE RECORD ESTABLISHES THAT UPON DELIVERY OF THE SEED, YOUR COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS INVOICE TO THE RECEIVING PERSONNEL INSTEAD OF THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING DIVISION, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE INVOICE WOULD BE FORWARDED TO YOUR PROPER OFFICE. ON FEBRUARY 27, 1963, THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING DIVISION, HAVING RECEIVED NO INVOICE FOR THE SEED, REQUESTED THAT YOU SEND A PROPER INVOICE. THE INVOICE WAS SENT, AND YOU WERE PAID WITHIN 10 DAYS AFTER ITS RECEIPT. APPEARS THAT GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL HAD MISDIRECTED THE INVOICE ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED ON FEBRUARY 4, 1963.

THE BASIS OF THE CLAIM IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT, HAVING ACCEPTED THE INVOICE, OWED YOUR COMPANY A DUTY TO FORWARD SUCH INVOICE TO THE PROPER OFFICE. WE MUST POINT OUT THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD A CONTRACTUAL RIGHT TO HAVE YOU SUBMIT THE INVOICE DIRECTLY TO THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING DIVISION. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO RELINQUISH A RIGHT ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER A CONTRACT. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 27, 30, AND AUTHORITY CITED THEREIN. THEREFORE, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE GRATUITOUS AND VOLUNTARY PROMISE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENT TO FORWARD AN INVOICE TO THE PROPER OFFICE DOES NOT WAIVE THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RECEIVE FROM THE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE OF AN OBLIGATION WHICH CONTRACTUALLY DEVOLVES UPON HIM. SEE DECISIONS B-136708, DATED AUGUST 20, 1958; B-108407, DATED APRIL 18, 1952, B-94154, DATED JULY 14, 1950. THEREFORE, WE MUST HOLD THAT THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT OWE YOUR COMPANY A DUTY TO FORWARD THE INVOICE TO THE PROPER OFFICE, AND ACCORDINGLY, DENY YOUR CLAIM FOR $176.09.