B-177607, MAR 7, 1973

B-177607: Mar 7, 1973

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SINCE THE ORIGINAL PRICE QUOTATION WAS GIVEN ON A TOTAL "JOB" BASIS AND COVERED ALL COSTS INCLUDING LIVING AND TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR ITS REPAIRMEN. THE ADDITIONAL WORK PERFORMED AND THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE REPAIRMEN WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT REQUESTED BASED ON QUANTUM MERUIT OR QUANTUM VALEBAT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BENEFIT THEREFROM AND THE SERVICES WERE RATIFIED BY THE COGNIZANT CONTRACTING OFFICIALS. 46 COMP. ALL OF THE INVOICES WERE CHARGED AGAINST PURCHASE ORDER NO. 115-NB-SCS-73 DATED AUGUST 8. BLOEMER AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE USING ACTIVITY ADVISE THAT THIS QUOTE WAS GIVEN ON A TOTAL "JOB" BASIS AND COVERED ALL COSTS INCLUDING LIVING AND TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE REPAIRMEN.

B-177607, MAR 7, 1973

CONTRACT - ADDITIONAL EXPENSES - QUANTUM MERUIT OR QUANTUM VALEBAT DECISION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF THREE INVOICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,818.79 TO BLOEMER GRAPHIC ARTS SUPPLY CO. SINCE THE ORIGINAL PRICE QUOTATION WAS GIVEN ON A TOTAL "JOB" BASIS AND COVERED ALL COSTS INCLUDING LIVING AND TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR ITS REPAIRMEN, THE ADDITIONAL WORK PERFORMED AND THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE REPAIRMEN WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT REQUESTED BASED ON QUANTUM MERUIT OR QUANTUM VALEBAT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BENEFIT THEREFROM AND THE SERVICES WERE RATIFIED BY THE COGNIZANT CONTRACTING OFFICIALS. 46 COMP. GEN. 348; 40 COMP. GEN. 447.

TO MR. JOHN P. FISH:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1973, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THREE INVOICES (NOS. 25512, 25549 AND 25696), SUBMITTED BY THE BLOEMER GRAPHIC ARTS SUPPLY CO. (BLOEMER), OMAHA, NEBRASKA, MAY BE PAID.

THE INVOICES TOTALING $4,818.79 REPRESENT THE COST OF REPAIRS TO A PRESS CONSISTING OF LABOR, REPLACEMENT PARTS, AND TRAVEL AND LIVING EXPENSES FOR REPAIRMEN. ALL OF THE INVOICES WERE CHARGED AGAINST PURCHASE ORDER NO. 115-NB-SCS-73 DATED AUGUST 8, 1972, WHICH SHOWS THE AMOUNT OF $2,500 FOR ONE JOB. THE PURCHASE ORDER MAKES NO REFERENCE TO TRAVEL AND LIVING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE JOB.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE USING ACTIVITY REQUESTED THAT BLOEMER INSPECT THE PRESS TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF PARTS AND REPAIRS NECESSARY TO PUT IT IN FIRST-CLASS CONDITION. ON THE BASIS OF AN EXTERNAL INSPECTION, IT RECEIVED A TELEPHONIC COST ESTIMATE FROM BLOEMER OF BETWEEN $1,600 AND $2,000 FOR THE REPAIRS. BLOEMER AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE USING ACTIVITY ADVISE THAT THIS QUOTE WAS GIVEN ON A TOTAL "JOB" BASIS AND COVERED ALL COSTS INCLUDING LIVING AND TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE REPAIRMEN. THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS REQUESTED AND ISSUED IN THE HIGHER AMOUNT OF $2,500 TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE COSTS MIGHT EXCEED $2,000. A WRITTEN ITEMIZATION OF BLOEMER'S ESTIMATE WAS NOT REQUESTED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

AFTER DISASSEMBLING THE PRESS, THE REPAIRMEN FOUND THAT MORE EXTENSIVE REPAIR WAS NEEDED THAN HAD BEEN CONTEMPLATED ORIGINALLY. THE ADDITIONAL WORK, REQUIRING THE ORDERING OF SEVERAL PARTS FROM THE MANUFACTURER AND A RETURN TRIP TO THE WORKSITE BY A FACTORY REPAIRMAN, INCREASED THE COST OF THE WORK TO AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $2,500.

AN OFFICIAL OF THE USING ACTIVITY, WHO WAS NOT A CONTRACTING OFFICER, PURPORTED TO AUTHORIZE THE CONTRACTOR TO EXCEED THE $2,500 AMOUNT STATED ON THE PURCHASE ORDER. FROM THE RECORD, IT IS CLEAR THAT THIS OFFICIAL HAD NO AUTHORITY TO TAKE SUCH AN ACTION WHICH RESULTED IN A VIOLATION OF THE $2,500 OPEN MARKET LIMITATION.

HOWEVER, OUR OFFICE HAS PERMITTED PAYMENT IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS FOR UNAUTHORIZED GOODS AND SERVICES RECEIVED ON A QUANTUM VALEBAT OR QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS IF THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BENEFIT THEREFROM AND THE ACQUISITION OF THE UNAUTHORIZED GOODS AND SERVICES WAS RATIFIED BY THE COGNIZANT CONTRACTING OFFICIALS. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 348 (1966); 40 ID. 447 (1961). IT IS REPORTED THAT THE REPAIRS WERE SATISFACTORILY PERFORMED AND RESULTED IN SUBSTANTIAL BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN ADDITION, THE COGNIZANT CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS SUBMITTED A WRITTEN RECOMMENDATION THAT THE CLAIM BE PAID IN FULL. THEREFORE, IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,818.79, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.