B-232496, Nov 21, 1989, 89-2 CPD ***

B-232496: Nov 21, 1989

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment - Tenders - Terms - Interpretation DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. Berry billed and was paid charges based on its Tender ICC 66. GSA determined that lower rates offered in Berry's Tender ICC 67 were "otherwise applicable.". Berry argues that the government shippers expected the shipments to be rated under Tender 66 since on one of the GBL's the goods were further identified with the designation National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) 100240. Which relates specifically to crated household goods and is the specific commodity covered by Tender 66.

B-232496, Nov 21, 1989, 89-2 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment - Tenders - Terms - Interpretation DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. To locate substantive decisions addressing this issue, refer to decisions indexed under the above listed index entry.

Berry Van Lines:

Berry Van Lines requested review of transportation audit actions taken by the General Services Administration (GSA) relating to two Government Bill of Lading (GBL) shipments of crated household goods tendered by the Air Force. Berry billed and was paid charges based on its Tender ICC 66, which offered rates to the government for the transportation of crated household goods. The tender's paragraph 20:g provided for the alternation of rates, stating that:

"This tender shall not apply where charges for service provided under this tender exceed charges otherwise applicable for the same service.

GSA determined that lower rates offered in Berry's Tender ICC 67 were "otherwise applicable."

Berry argues that the government shippers expected the shipments to be rated under Tender 66 since on one of the GBL's the goods were further identified with the designation National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) 100240, which relates specifically to crated household goods and is the specific commodity covered by Tender 66. Berry also notes that both GBL's referred to Tender 66.

The fact that a government shipping officer identified the commodity on the GBL as crated household goods, NMFC item 100240, a commodity covered by Tender 66, does not preclude GSA from determining that lower rates in Tender 67 were applicable, since crated household goods are among the commodities also covered by Tender 67. Similarly, the GBL references to Tender 66 do not preclude the use of a lower applicable rate from another tender. The insertion of a tender number on a bill of lading is not conclusive. See Starflight, Inc., 65 Comp.Gen. 84 (1985); American Farm Lines, B-200939, May 29, 1981. Rather, the government is entitled to the rate which produces the lowest charges. 58 Comp.Gen. 213 (1979).

Finally, Berry argues that the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) recognized in MTMC Freight Traffic Rules Publication No. 1, effective October 1, 1986, that crated household goods were not intended to be included in the term "Freight All Kinds" as used in tenders offered to MTMC. However, the tenders relevant to this case-- Tender 66, dated December 19, 1985, and Tender 67, dated May 23, 1986, both were issued well prior to the October 1, 1986 publication and, thus, are not subject to its requirements.

Therefore, GSA's audit action based on application of Tender 67 rates appears correct and is sustained.