B-163995, NOV. 18, 1968

B-163995: Nov 18, 1968

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RYDQUIST: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4. THE BILL IS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES RENDERED THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED BY THE PUEBLO ARMY DEPOT TO COVER THE TRANSPORTATION OF FIVE STEEL SHIPPING CONTAINERS FROM PUEBLO. ALTHOUGH THE BILL OF LADING WAS UNROUTED. IT WAS PREPARED BY THE ISSUING OFFICER TO SHOW THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS TO BE TENDERED TO C-AND H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY. THAT THE INITIAL CARRIER WAS TO BE THE C-AND-H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY. THE SHIPMENT WAS PICKED UP BY NW TRANSPORTATION COMPANY WHOSE DRIVER APPARENTLY REPRESENTED TO GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL AT THE PUEBLO ARMY DEPOT THAT HIS COMPANY MADE PICK UPS FOR THE C-AND-H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY.

B-163995, NOV. 18, 1968

TO MISS MARY M. RYDQUIST:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4, 1968, FILE D733B-2, ASKING WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT BILL NO. FT-8758 IN THE AMOUNT OF $723.75 FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES PRESENTED BY NORTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT COMPANY.

THE BILL IS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES RENDERED THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING A- 9727810. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED BY THE PUEBLO ARMY DEPOT TO COVER THE TRANSPORTATION OF FIVE STEEL SHIPPING CONTAINERS FROM PUEBLO, COLORADO, TO BRIDGER, MONTANA. ALTHOUGH THE BILL OF LADING WAS UNROUTED, IT WAS PREPARED BY THE ISSUING OFFICER TO SHOW THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS TO BE TENDERED TO C-AND H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC., AND THAT THE INITIAL CARRIER WAS TO BE THE C-AND-H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC.

HOWEVER, THE SHIPMENT WAS PICKED UP BY NW TRANSPORTATION COMPANY WHOSE DRIVER APPARENTLY REPRESENTED TO GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL AT THE PUEBLO ARMY DEPOT THAT HIS COMPANY MADE PICK UPS FOR THE C-AND-H TRANSPORTATION COMPANY. THE DRIVER THEN ALTERED THE BILL OF LADING BY STRIKING OUT ,C- AND-H" AND WRITING IN "NW" SO THATNW TRANSPORTATION COMPANY WAS SHOWN AS THE INITIAL CARRIER AND THE CARRIER TO WHICH THE SHIPMENT WAS TENDERED. THE RECORD INDICATES THE NW TRANSPORTATION COMPANY INTERCHANGED THE SHIPMENT AT DENVER, COLORADO, WITH CONSOLIDATED FREIGHTWAYS, WHICH IN TURN INTERCHANGED AT BILLINGS, MONTANA, WITH NORTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORTATION COMPANY FOR DELIVERY TO THE CONSIGNEE AT BRIDGER, MONTANA, ALTHOUGH THE CONSIGNEE'S CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY SHOWS THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS RECEIVED FROM N W TRANSPORTATION COMPANY.

UNDER 31 U.S.C. 74, DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS MAY APPLY FOR AND THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IS REQUIRED TO RENDER HIS DECISION UPON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVING A PAYMENT TO BE MADE BY THEM. HOWEVER, UNDER 49 U.S.C. 66, COMMON CARRIERS SUBJECT TO THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT GENERALLY RECEIVE PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION UPON PRESENTATION OF BILLS THEREFOR. DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE EXEMPT FROM LIABILITY FOR OVERPAYMENTS MADE FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHEN SAID OVERPAYMENTS ARE DUE TO IMPROPER TRANSPORTATION RATES, CLASSIFICATIONS, OR THE FAILURE TO DEDUCT THE PROPER AMOUNT UNDER LAND GRANT LAWS OR EQUALIZATION AND OTHER AGREEMENTS. SEE 31 U.S.C 82G.

SINCE THIS BILL PRESENTS DOUBTFUL QUESTIONS OF FACT AS WELL AS LAW INVOLVING A TRANSPORTATION PAYMENT, WE WILL TREAT IT AS A CLAIM SUBMITTED HERE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 6012.10 AND 6015.10 OF TITLE 5 OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL FOR GUIDANCE OF FEDERAL AGENCIES.

YOUR BRINGING OF THE MATTER, WHICH APPEARS TO INVOLVE POSSIBLE IRREGULARITIES, TO OUR ATTENTION RATHER THAN PROCESSING THE BILL FOR PAYMENT IS TO BE COMMENDED AND IS APPRECIATED.