B-238818, Feb 20, 1991, 90-2 CPD 190

B-238818: Feb 20, 1991

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PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment costs - Overcharge - Payment deductions - Propriety PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment costs - Additional costs Evidence sufficiency DIGEST: Carriers are required by the Interstate Commerce Act. Which was collected by deduction. The carrier says that it "was given 0063 as the applicable rate tender by the Naval Branch Representative at Annapolis. When the shipment was offered.". Carriers are required by the Interstate Commerce Act. The carrier should have clarified the issue before accepting the shipment. GSA's position is sustained.

B-238818, Feb 20, 1991, 90-2 CPD 190

PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment costs - Overcharge - Payment deductions - Propriety PROCUREMENT - Payment/Discharge - Shipment costs - Additional costs Evidence sufficiency DIGEST: Carriers are required by the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 10101, et seq., to collect only the applicable charges shown in tariffs or tenders filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission. Where a carrier has issued one tender that applies to shipments from Maryland to California and another to those from California to Maryland, actual shipment charges must be based on the appropriate tender.

Double "M" Transport:

Double "M" Transport, a motor carrier, requests review of a General Services Administration (GSA) audit action citing the company for overcharges on a September 1987 shipment from Maryland to California. sustain GSA's action.

The Government Bill of Lading (GBL) for the shipment (C-1,531,302), did not reference a carrier rate tender. Double "M" charged the government on the basis of the carrier's Tender 63, which covered shipments from California to Maryland. GSA, in its postpayment audit, assessed charges under the carrier's Tender 85, which applied to shipments from Maryland to California. This resulted in a carrier overcharge of $1,661.40, plus interest, which was collected by deduction.

The carrier says that it "was given 0063 as the applicable rate tender by the Naval Branch Representative at Annapolis, MD, when the shipment was offered." The carrier contends that because the GBL issuing officer did not insert the applicable tender number on the GBL, Tender 63 should apply; at least, Double "M" suggests, this omission precludes overcharge interest even if Tender 85 applies.

We find no merit in the carrier's position. Carriers are required by the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 10101, et seq., to collect only applicable charges shown in tariffs or tenders filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission. United Carriers, Inc., 67 Comp.Gen. 479, 482 (1988). As GSA points out, Tender 63 applied from California to Maryland, not from Maryland to California. Accordingly, Tender 63 never applied to this transaction, and the carrier cannot collect charges based on it. In this regard, Double "M" issued both Tender 63 and Tender 85 and, therefore, knew of their contents, so that if Double "M" in fact received oral advice that Tender 63 applied, the carrier should have clarified the issue before accepting the shipment. See Coast Counties Express, B-227179, Mar. 23, 1988; Riss International, B-226006, Feb. 19, 1988.

Finally, the GBL expressly provides for the carrier's payment of interest on overcharges.

GSA's position is sustained.