B-230874, Nov 21, 1988

B-230874: Nov 21, 1988

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GSA's actions are sustained since its recomputation of the carrier's original charges was based on the Comptroller General's interpretation of the carrier's tenders. The decision held that an exclusive-use charge of 90 cents per vehicle mile was applicable and should be allowed. /1/ GSA subsequently settled the claims for the exclusive-use charges. GSA contends that if the 90 cents per mile rate is applicable for the exclusive-use service. 000 pounds) since there is no provision in the applicable tenders for a minimum weight of 10. Yowell contends that GSA's action disregarded our decision and objects to GSA's reaudit of the bills because the agency's initial audit determined that Yowell's original charges were correct.

B-230874, Nov 21, 1988

PROCUREMENT - Contract Disputes - Shipment costs - Freight charges DIGEST: Comptroller General's decision in Yowell Transportation Services, Inc., B-225014, Sept. 30, 1987, reversed the General Services Administration's (GSA) disallowance of the carrier's supplemental bill for exclusive-use-of -vehicle charges. Upon remand, GSA allowed the exclusive-use charges, but reduced the amount of the carrier's recovery on the basis of a reaudit of the carrier's original line-haul charges. The carrier contends that GSA disregarded the Comptroller General's decision, and should not be allowed to reaudit the original charges since GSA initially considered them to be correct. GSA's actions are sustained since its recomputation of the carrier's original charges was based on the Comptroller General's interpretation of the carrier's tenders, which differed from GSA's original interpretation, and the carrier failed to challenge the technical basis for GSA's reaudit of the line-haul charges.

Yowell Transportation Services, Inc. - Reaudit of Carrier's bills by the General Services Administration:

Yowell Transportation Services, Inc., requests review of audit action taken by the General Services Administration (GSA) subsequent to a Comptroller General decision. We sustain GSA's action.

BACKGROUND

In Yowell Transportation Services, Inc., B-225014, Sept. 30, 1987, we reversed the GSA's disallowance of Yowell's supplemental bill for exclusive-use charges. The decision held that an exclusive-use charge of 90 cents per vehicle mile was applicable and should be allowed. /1/ GSA subsequently settled the claims for the exclusive-use charges, allowing the 90 cents per mile as directed in our decision. However, in settling the claims GSA determined that the charges originally collected by Yowell exceeded the applicable line-haul charges, in view of the decision's interpretation of the carrier's tenders, which differed from GSA's original interpretation.

GSA contends that if the 90 cents per mile rate is applicable for the exclusive-use service, the original line-haul charges must be recomputed on actual weight (rather than the higher constructive weight of 10,000 pounds) since there is no provision in the applicable tenders for a minimum weight of 10,000 pounds, which Yowell had used in billing its line -haul charges initially.

Yowell contends that GSA's action disregarded our decision and objects to GSA's reaudit of the bills because the agency's initial audit determined that Yowell's original charges were correct.

ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION

We conclude that GSA complied with our decision. The agency allowed Yowell's supplemental bills for separate 90 cents per-vehicle mile, exclusive-use charges, as directed by our decision. Further, since our interpretation of Yowell's tenders differed materially from GSA's interpretation, it was clear that a reaudit of the carrier's initial bills was appropriate.

In the Yowell decision we found that Supplement 6 to Yowell's Tender 14, the governing rules tender, changed the method of determining exclusive- use charges. Under GSA's original interpretation of Yowell's tenders (including Rate Tender 13), a single charge, combining line haul and exclusive-use factors, was determined by applying a per-100 pound rate to a minimum weight of 10,000 pounds. Supplement 6 changed the carrier's method of rate application. It separated exclusive-use from line-haul charges. The additional charge of 90 cents per vehicle mile provided a distinct charge for exclusive-use service. GSA properly concluded from our interpretation that upon application of the independent exclusive-use charge in Supplement 6 to Tender 14, the line haul rates originally applied were no longer subject to the 10,000 pound minimum constructive weight, the exclusive-use factor included in the original charges.

Based on our interpretation of the carrier's tenders, GSA determined that the line-haul rates applied to actual weight rather than to the 10,000- pound minimum weight and Yowell has presented no argument to refute GSA's determination. As a result, we conclude that GSA's settlements, upon remand, were proper and we sustain GSA's actions.

/1/ The exclusive-use rate was published in Rule 27 of Yowell's Rules Tender 14, as amended by Supplement 6, effective January 10, 1986.