B-156758, JUN. 9, 1965

B-156758: Jun 9, 1965

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 1. WAS ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $161.20. 96 ATTACHE CASES WERE DELIVERED AT NEW YORK BY YOUR COMPANY AND THEN RESHIPPED BY THE U.S. WHEN THE LOT WAS RETURNED. 3 CASES WERE MISSING AND 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED. THE REMAINING 76 CASES HAVE BEEN SUBSEQUENTLY RESHIPPED ON OTHER GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) ORDERS. ALLEGING THAT THE 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED IN TRANSIT. PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF YOUR CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT THE GSA QUALITY CONTROL DIVISION CONDUCTED A SURVEY IN THE MATTER AND ESTIMATED THE SALVAGE VALUE OF THE DAMAGED CASES WAS $98.80. YOU STATE THAT THE 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED COMPLETELY AND "CAN REALIZE NOTHING BY WAY OF SALVAGE" BUT DO NOT OTHERWISE REFUTE THE GSA FINDING IN THAT REGARD.

B-156758, JUN. 9, 1965

TO BENCH CRAFT LUGGAGE, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 1, 1965, REQUESTING IN EFFECT, REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 20, 1965, WHEREIN YOUR CLAIM FOR 20 ATTACHE CASES AT $13 EACH OR $260, WAS ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $161.20, AFTER DEDUCTION OF THE SUM OF $98.80, REPRESENTING SALVAGE VALUE OF 17 ATTACHE CASES RETURNED TO YOUR COMPANY.

UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-OOS-47748, PURCHASE ORDER NO. FNW-52378/GF/ 3/3, 96 ATTACHE CASES WERE DELIVERED AT NEW YORK BY YOUR COMPANY AND THEN RESHIPPED BY THE U.S. ARMY TO GRESSEN, GERMANY. THE ARMY REJECTED THE CASES IN GERMANY AND YOUR COMPANY SHIPPED ANOTHER 96 CASES, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ORIGINAL SHIPMENT WOULD BE RETURNED. WHEN THE LOT WAS RETURNED, 3 CASES WERE MISSING AND 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED. THE REMAINING 76 CASES HAVE BEEN SUBSEQUENTLY RESHIPPED ON OTHER GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) ORDERS. YOU CLAIM THE CONTRACT VALUE OF THE 20 CASES, ALLEGING THAT THE 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED IN TRANSIT. PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF YOUR CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT THE GSA QUALITY CONTROL DIVISION CONDUCTED A SURVEY IN THE MATTER AND ESTIMATED THE SALVAGE VALUE OF THE DAMAGED CASES WAS $98.80. OUR SETTLEMENT DISALLOWED THIS AMOUNT FOR THAT REASON.

YOU STATE THAT THE 17 CASES WERE DAMAGED COMPLETELY AND "CAN REALIZE NOTHING BY WAY OF SALVAGE" BUT DO NOT OTHERWISE REFUTE THE GSA FINDING IN THAT REGARD. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MAY BE STATED THAT IT IS NOT A FUNCTION OF OUR OFFICE TO RESOLVE DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT. UPON DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND A CLAIMANT OR OTHER PERSON DEALING WITH THE GOVERNMENT, THE LONG-ESTABLISHED RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES IS TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENTS OF FACT FURNISHED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF. 16 COMP. GEN. 325; ID. 410.

MOREOVER, IT LONG HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF OUR OFFICE AND THE COURTS THAT THOSE ASSERTING CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES HAVE THE BURDEN OF ESTABLISHING THEIR VALIDITY AND THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOT REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT CLAIMS NOT SO ESTABLISHED. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 CT.CL. 288, 291; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CL. 316, 319; 18 COMP. GEN. 199; 26 COMP. GEN. 776, 778.

FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, THERE APPEARS NO PROPER BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF ANY FURTHER PORTION OF THE CLAIM ASSERTED. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 20, 1965, APPEARS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.