B-171341, AUG 13, 1971

B-171341: Aug 13, 1971

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THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION WERE COVERED BY GSA PURCHASE ORDERS N-58976 1. YOU INDICATED THAT DEDUCTIONS FOR SHORTAGES ON THESE SHIPMENTS WERE MADE BY GSA BASED UPON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE CONSIGNEES IN NEW JERSEY AND TEXAS. A RECORD OF THE SHORTAGES IN THE NAMED SHIPMENTS WAS DEVELOPED WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA). WE FIND THAT THE DEDUCTIONS COVERING PURCHASE ORDER F/TI-07651-0 WERE IN ERROR AND THAT ON DECEMBER 4. THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DEDUCTION WAS PAID WITH CHECK #112967. WHICH WAS SUPPORTED BY AN INVENTORY RECOUNT CONFIRMING THE ORIGINAL COUNT OF A SHORTAGE IN BOTH SHIPMENTS. YOUR POSITION IS BEST EXPLAINED IN THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTERS TO THE EFFECT THAT AS A SHIPMENT IS BEING LOADED INTO A BOX CAR IT IS COUNTED AND A FINAL CHECK OF THE COUNT IS MADE BEFORE THE CAR IS SEALED.

B-171341, AUG 13, 1971

SHORTAGES IN SHIPMENTS - DEDUCTIONS IN PAYMENT - LACK OF EVIDENCE TO RESOLVE DISPUTED FACT DENIAL OF CLAIM BY CHICAGO TRANSPARENT, INC. FOR DEDUCTIONS IN PAYMENTS MADE BY GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ON REPORTED SHORTAGES OF SHIPMENTS OF PLASTIC BAGS TO VARIOUS GSA FACILITIES. SINCE CLAIMANT HAS FAILED TO PRODUCE SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE WHICH WOULD RESOLVE THE DISPUTED QUESTION OF FACT IN THEIR FAVOR, GAO HAS NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM.

TO CHICAGO TRANSPARENT, INC.:

PLEASE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF NOVEMBER 18 AND 19, 1970, CONCERNING DEDUCTIONS TAKEN BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) ON REPORTED SHORTAGES OF SHIPMENTS OF PLASTIC BAGS TO VARIOUS GSA FACILITIES.

THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION WERE COVERED BY GSA PURCHASE ORDERS N-58976 1, N-655600-J AND F/TI07651-0. YOU INDICATED THAT DEDUCTIONS FOR SHORTAGES ON THESE SHIPMENTS WERE MADE BY GSA BASED UPON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE CONSIGNEES IN NEW JERSEY AND TEXAS.

TO MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THE CLAIMS PRESENTED BY YOU, A RECORD OF THE SHORTAGES IN THE NAMED SHIPMENTS WAS DEVELOPED WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA). WE FIND THAT THE DEDUCTIONS COVERING PURCHASE ORDER F/TI-07651-0 WERE IN ERROR AND THAT ON DECEMBER 4, 1970, THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DEDUCTION WAS PAID WITH CHECK #112967, REFERENCED INVOICE 28847A. GSA HAS FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE FACILITIES AT THE RARITAN ARSENAL AND BELLE MEAD REVIEWED THEIR SHIPMENT RECORDS AND REPORTED RECEIVING THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION WITH A SHORTAGE, WHICH WAS SUPPORTED BY AN INVENTORY RECOUNT CONFIRMING THE ORIGINAL COUNT OF A SHORTAGE IN BOTH SHIPMENTS. YOUR POSITION IS BEST EXPLAINED IN THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTERS TO THE EFFECT THAT AS A SHIPMENT IS BEING LOADED INTO A BOX CAR IT IS COUNTED AND A FINAL CHECK OF THE COUNT IS MADE BEFORE THE CAR IS SEALED. BEFORE THE CAR IS SEALED, IT IS INDICATED THAT "ALL TALLYS MUST AGREE." IN OUR LETTER TO YOU DATED MARCH 2, 1971, WE ASKED YOU FOR EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT YOU ACTUALLY LOADED THE NUMBER OF PACKAGES SHOWN ON THE BILLS OF LADING. YOU HAVE NOT REPLIED TO OUR LETTER TO DATE.

THE STATEMENTS MADE BY YOU AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS TO THE NUMBER OF PACKAGES ACTUALLY CONTAINED IN BOTH SHIPMENTS CREATE A DISPUTED QUESTION OF FACT. WHEN THERE IS A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE STATEMENT OF THE CLAIMANT AND THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE - IN THIS INSTANCE THE SHORTAGE OF 40 CARTONS OF PLASTIC BAGS IN GSA PO. N-58976-1 AND 2 CARTONS IN GSA PO. N-655600-J - THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORT WILL BE ACCEPTED AS CORRECT IN THE ABSENCE OF SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. 41 COMP. GEN. 47, 54 (1961), 46 COMP. GEN. 740, 744 (1967). THE BURDEN IS UPON THE CLAIMANT TO PRESENT EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY PROVING ITS CLAIM AND ALL MATTERS INCIDENTAL THERETO REQUISITE TO ESTABLISH THE CLEAR LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHT TO PAYMENT. UNITED STATES V NEW YORK, N.H. & H.R. CO., 355 U.S. 253 (1957); BENJAMIN MOTOR EXPRESS, INC. V UNITED STATES, 251 F. 2D 547 (1958). ABSENT SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF CLAIM.

ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US, WE FIND THAT YOU HAVE NOT FURNISHED SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM FOR DEDUCTION MADE BY GSA FOR SHORTAGES IN THE SHIPMENT OF PLASTIC BAGS NOTED UNDER PURCHASE ORDERS N- 58976-1 AND N-655600-J. ..END :