B-181038, MAY 16, 1974

B-181038: May 16, 1974

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CLAIM FOR GOODS AND SERVICES FURNISHED TO AGENCY AT VERBAL ORDER OF UNAUTHORIZED AGENCY OFFICIAL MAY BE ALLOWED ON QUANTUM MERUIT AND QUANTUM VALEBAT BASIS WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT CONTRACTOR FURNISHED SERVICE IN GOOD FAITH AND AT A REASONABLE PRICE. IS IN RESPONSE TO HIS REQUEST FOR OUR CONSIDERATION OF A CLAIM FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASE OF GOODS AND SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $650.00 BY DICTAMATIC CORPORATION (DICTAMATIC). THE NAVY'S REPORT TO THIS OFFICE STATES THAT: "IT IS THE OPINION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THESE SERVICES WERE REQUIRED. WERE OF BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT. THAT THE CLAIMED AMOUNT IS FAIR AND REASONABLE. THE COURTS AND OUR OFFICE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT IN APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS (THE REASONABLE VALUE OF WORK OR LABOR).

B-181038, MAY 16, 1974

CLAIM FOR GOODS AND SERVICES FURNISHED TO AGENCY AT VERBAL ORDER OF UNAUTHORIZED AGENCY OFFICIAL MAY BE ALLOWED ON QUANTUM MERUIT AND QUANTUM VALEBAT BASIS WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT CONTRACTOR FURNISHED SERVICE IN GOOD FAITH AND AT A REASONABLE PRICE.

TO DICTAMATIC CORP.:

THIS DECISION TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, IS IN RESPONSE TO HIS REQUEST FOR OUR CONSIDERATION OF A CLAIM FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASE OF GOODS AND SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $650.00 BY DICTAMATIC CORPORATION (DICTAMATIC).

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DICTAMATIC PERFORMED URGENT HOSPITAL SERVICE WORK PURSUANT TO VERBAL ORDERS OF AN UNAUTHORIZED NAVY OFFICIAL. THE NAVY'S REPORT TO THIS OFFICE STATES THAT:

"IT IS THE OPINION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THESE SERVICES WERE REQUIRED, WERE OF BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT, THAT THE CLAIMED AMOUNT IS FAIR AND REASONABLE, AND THAT THE DICTAMATIC CORPORATION PERFORMED THESE SERVICES IN GOOD FAITH AND WITH THE REASONABLE EXPECTATION THAT THEY HAD BEEN OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED AND WOULD RECEIVE A PURCHASE ORDER."

ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE BOUND BEYOND THE ACTUAL AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON ITS AGENTS BY STATUTE OR REGULATION, SEE UNITED STATES V. CRANCE, 341 F.2D 161, 166 (1965), THE COURTS AND OUR OFFICE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT IN APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS (THE REASONABLE VALUE OF WORK OR LABOR), OR FOR GOODS FURNISHED ON A QUANTUM VALEBAT BASIS (THE REASONABLE VALUE OF GOODS SOLD AND DELIVERED). 40 COMP. GEN. 447, 451 (1961). BEFORE A RIGHT TO PAYMENT UNDER SUCH BASIS MAY BE RECOGNIZED, IT MUST BE SHOWN THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED A BENEFIT, AND THAT THE UNAUTHORIZED ACTION HAS BEEN EXPRESSLY OR IMPLICITLY RATIFIED BY AUTHORIZED CONTRACTING OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT. B-166439, MAY 2, 1969.

IN THIS CASE THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE ABOVE REQUISITES HAVE BEEN MET. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE AMOUNT OF $650.00 CLAIMED HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE REASONABLE, IT MAY BE ALLOWED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. SEE B-179898, DECEMBER 11, 1973, AND MARCH 11, 1974, AND CASES CITED THEREIN.