Matter of: Team Air Express File: B-248025 Date: July 17, 1992

B-248025: Jul 17, 1992

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Because the services were no different than those covered by the tender. The destination of all shipments except two was Fallon Naval Air Station. The remaining two were shipped to Nellis Air Force Base. Tender 17 was effective during the shipment period. Team Air contends that the overnight service requested by Cecil Field officials could not have been accomplished under Tender 17. Team Air maintains that (1) a request for overnight service to remote locations like Fallon is equivalent to a request for special services. (3) there was no air service that could accommodate the Key West shipment due to its size. Because Team Air was the only carrier that could meet the delivery requirements on time and in a satisfactory manner.

Matter of: Team Air Express File: B-248025 Date: July 17, 1992

PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Shipment costs Rates schedules Applicability Rates and charges in an air freight forwarder's government rate tender applied to the exclusion of higher charges quoted at the time the government ordered the services, because the services were no different than those covered by the tender.

DECISION

Team Air Express, an air freight forwarder, requests review of the General Services Administration (GSA)'s denial of its claim for additional charges on 14 Government Bill of Lading (GBL) shipments that the company transported for the Navy. We sustain GSA's audit action.

Between September and November 1990, transportation officials at Cecil Field Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, sought overnight service, with next day delivery, to move freight all kinds during Operation Desert Shield. The destination of all shipments except two was Fallon Naval Air Station, Nevada; the remaining two were shipped to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and Key West Naval Air Station, Florida.

On prepayment audit, the Navy applied the rates and charges in Team Air's Tender 17 on all shipments. Tender 17 was effective during the shipment period, and applied to transportation from any place in Florida to any other place in Florida or to any place in Nevada. The tender included express air service for delivery on the next business day at 300 percent of the basic rate/charge; basic service involved delivery on the third or fourth business day. On appeal, GSA agreed with the Navy's application of Tender 17, except for five shipments involving Saturday deliveries.

Team Air contends that the overnight service requested by Cecil Field officials could not have been accomplished under Tender 17, so that higher telephonic quotes the company provided to Cecil Field transportation officials for each GBL should apply. Team Air maintains that (1) a request for overnight service to remote locations like Fallon is equivalent to a request for special services; (2) the size of the freight or limited availability of flights required use of the airport in San Francisco rather than Reno; and (3) there was no air service that could accommodate the Key West shipment due to its size. Team Air points out that Cecil Field officials had agreed to the quoted charges when they ordered the services, because Team Air was the only carrier that could meet the delivery requirements on time and in a satisfactory manner. (The record includes a supporting statement from the Cecil Field transportation official who secured Team Air's services.)

In our view, GSA correctly concluded that a request for next day delivery to Fallon, Key West or Nellis was not a request for special services, but was a request for a service specifically included in Tender 17 at 300 percent of the basic rate/charge. The government pays the lowest charge on air freight services to which it is contractually entitled. Alaska Airlines, Inc., B-231659.4, Sept. 23, 1991. The record does not establish that the government received any benefit by the transportation beyond what it would have received under the terms of Tender 17, which could serve as legal consideration for the higher charges. For example, Tender 17 was silent as to specific routes or carriers that Team Air would employ to move government cargo, and contained no limitations on cargo dimensions. Also, the carrier has not directed our attention to any specific size limitations imposed by underlying carriers that serviced the three destination airports.

Accordingly, any agreement by Cecil Field officials to higher charges quoted at the time of ordering is ineffective, since no officer or agent of the government had authority to release vested contractual rights without adequate consideration. See 65 Comp.Gen. 563 (1986); and 40 Comp.Gen. 309, 311 (1960).

As to the shipments that required Saturday deliveries, as stated above Tender 17 referenced only deliveries on business days. We see no reason to question GSA's conclusion that Saturday should not be considered a business day for the tender's purposes.

GSA's audit action is sustained.