B-208059.OM, JUL 21, 1982

B-208059.OM: Jul 21, 1982

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IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS 9 MONTHS RENTAL FEES FOR WORD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE USED WITHOUT BENEFIT OF A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT. THE ORIGINAL INVOICE AND A PAYMENT VOUCHER ARE ENCLOSED. THE CLAIMANT IS NOT ON THE HOLD-UP LIST. THAT THE PRICE IS FAIR AND REASONABLE. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS MATTER. ATTACHED IS THE FILE (Z-2793519(4)) CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION (DEC) IN THE AMOUNT OF $53. WHILE EXERCISE OF THE OPTION TO EXTEND THE PERFORMANCE PERIOD THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1981 WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER 1980. THE PRICES CHARGED WERE CONSIDERED FAIR AND REASONABLE. THE COURTS AND OUR OFFICE HAVE RECOGNIZED ON EQUITABLE PRINCIPLES THAT IN SOME APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS (THE REASONABLENESS OF WORK OR LABOR). 40 COMP.GEN. 447.

B-208059.OM, JUL 21, 1982

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL:

THE CLAIM OF DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, IN THE AMOUNT OF $53,585.19, IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS 9 MONTHS RENTAL FEES FOR WORD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT WHICH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE USED WITHOUT BENEFIT OF A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT. THE ORIGINAL INVOICE AND A PAYMENT VOUCHER ARE ENCLOSED. THE CLAIMANT IS NOT ON THE HOLD-UP LIST.

THE COGNIZANT CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT BENEFITTED FROM THE SERVICES PROVIDED, AND THAT THE PRICE IS FAIR AND REASONABLE. HER RECOMMENDATION OF IRREGULAR PROCUREMENT. SEE B-200095, OCTOBER 8, 1980. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT MAY BE ALLOWED ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS, PURSUANT TO B-166439, MAY 2, 1969. SINCE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED EXCEEDS $25,000, WE FORWARD IT FOR YOUR DETERMINATION PURSUANT TO ITEM 11, B-112701, JUNE 28, 1954, AS MODIFIED BY B-189738 O.M., SEPTEMBER 30, 1977.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS MATTER, PLEASE CONTACT MR. LAWRENCE M. BOBIER AT 275-8145.

ATTACHMENT

INDORSEMENT

CHIEF, PAYMENT BRANCH - AFMD

RETURNED. ATTACHED IS THE FILE (Z-2793519(4)) CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION (DEC) IN THE AMOUNT OF $53,585.19 FOR RENTAL FEES FOR WORD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY DEC TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 1981, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1981, WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF A CONTRACT.

PRIOR TO HE PERIOD IN QUESTION, DEC HAD A CONTRACT, WITH AN OPTION, FOR LEASING OF THE EQUIPMENT. WHILE EXERCISE OF THE OPTION TO EXTEND THE PERFORMANCE PERIOD THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1981 WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER 1980, THE PROCURING AGENCY INADVERTENTLY FAILED TO EXERCISE THE OPTION, BUT DEC CONTINUED TO PROVIDE THE EQUIPMENT. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD NEED OF THE EQUIPMENT AND HAD BEEN MAKING USE OF THIS EQUIPMENT. THE PRICES CHARGED WERE CONSIDERED FAIR AND REASONABLE, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOMMENDS PAYMENT.

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 (8TH CIR. 1965), THE COURTS AND OUR OFFICE HAVE RECOGNIZED ON EQUITABLE PRINCIPLES THAT IN SOME APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS (THE REASONABLENESS OF WORK OR LABOR). 40 COMP.GEN. 447, 451 (1961). RECOGNITION OF A RIGHT TO PAYMENT ON THIS BASIS, HOWEVER, REQUIRES A SHOWING (1) THAT THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BENEFIT FROM THE SERVICES RENDERED AND (2) THAT THE UNAUTHORIZED ACTION HAS BEEN EXPRESSLY OR IMPLIEDLY RATIFIED BY AUTHORIZED CONTRACTING OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT. MARKWELL & HARTZ COMPANY, B-201987, JUNE 24, 1981, 81-1 CPD 527; POTTER INSTRUMENT COMPANY, B-189431, JULY 18, 1977, 77-2 CPD 35.

SINCE THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BENEFIT, THE PRICES ARE CONSIDERED FAIR AND THE UNAUTHORIZED ACTION HAS BEEN RATIFIED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, PAYMENT ON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS FOR $53,585.19 MAY BE ALLOWED, IF OTHERWISE PROPER.