B-168701, MAR. 5, 1970

B-168701: Mar 5, 1970

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POSTMASTER GENERAL: WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM MR. THE QUESTION IS ASKED WHETHER THERE IS ANY OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF THE FOREGOING CLAIM UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREAFTER RELATED. WE ARE DIRECTING OUR REPLY IN THIS MATTER TO YOU INASMUCH AS MR. WILSON IS NOT A CERTIFYING OR DISBURSING OFFICER AND THUS IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION IN THE MATTER. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UNDER AN EMERGENCY SITUATION IT WAS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE MAIL SERVICE. THUS BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY TELEPHONE. TWO LOW BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES. BATTAGLIA WAS NOT ADVISED THAT BECAUSE HE WAS A SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEE HE WAS PRECLUDED FROM BIDDING ON SUCH A CONTRACT BY 39 U.S.C. 2008. BATTAGLIA WAS MISTAKENLY AWARDED THE CONTRACT AND HIS AUTOMOBILE WAS USED FOR 18 DAYS.

B-168701, MAR. 5, 1970

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT--EMPLOYEES--CONTRACTING WITH GOVERNMENT- SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES ALTHOUGH 39 U.S.C. 2008 PRECLUDES SUPERVISORS FROM BIDDING ON POST OFFICE DEPT. CONTRACTS FOR HIRE OF EMPLOYEE VEHICLES TO DELIVER MAIL, ACTING ASSISTANT POSTMASTER MISTAKENLY AWARDED SUCH CONTRACT AND CLAIMING $80.75 EXPENSE FOR CAR USE FOR 18 DAYS, MAY BE PAID REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH USE, NOTWITHSTANDING CONTRACT HAS BEEN VOIDED, SINCE CLAIMANT ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND GOVT. DERIVED BENEFIT.

TO MR. POSTMASTER GENERAL:

WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM MR. JAMES J. WILSON, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, REAL PROPERTY AND PROCUREMENT DIVISION, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, THE CLAIM OF MR. BILL BATTAGLIA, ACTING ASSISTANT POSTMASTER, EAST SETAUKET, NEW YORK, FOR $80.75 REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR THE DELIVERY OF MAIL. THE QUESTION IS ASKED WHETHER THERE IS ANY OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF THE FOREGOING CLAIM UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREAFTER RELATED. WE ARE DIRECTING OUR REPLY IN THIS MATTER TO YOU INASMUCH AS MR. WILSON IS NOT A CERTIFYING OR DISBURSING OFFICER AND THUS IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION IN THE MATTER. SEE 31 U.S.C. 74, 82D.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UNDER AN EMERGENCY SITUATION IT WAS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE MAIL SERVICE. THUS BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY TELEPHONE. TWO LOW BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES, ONE FROM THE CLAIMANT. FURTHER THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. BATTAGLIA WAS NOT ADVISED THAT BECAUSE HE WAS A SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEE HE WAS PRECLUDED FROM BIDDING ON SUCH A CONTRACT BY 39 U.S.C. 2008. THAT SECTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY HIRE, BY CONTRACT OR ON AN ALLOWANCE BASIS, VEHICLES FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES, OTHER THAN SUPERVISORS, FOR USE IN THE CITY AND VILLAGE DELIVERY, INCLUDING SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICES, AND FOR THE COLLECTION OF MAIL."

MR. BATTAGLIA WAS MISTAKENLY AWARDED THE CONTRACT AND HIS AUTOMOBILE WAS USED FOR 18 DAYS. WE NOTE THAT THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN VOIDED IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS AND MR. BATTAGLIA MAKES CLAIM FOR CERTAIN EXPENSES INCURRED IN FURNISHING THE MAIL SERVICE FOR THE 18 DAYS AMOUNTING TO $80.75.

SINCE THE CLAIMANT ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED THE BENEFIT OF THE SERVICES, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE REASONABLE VALUE THEREOF.