Matter of: Father & Son Moving & Storage Company File: B-248514 Date: September 10, 1992

B-248514: Sep 10, 1992

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PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Unauthorized contracts Quantum meruit/valebant doctrine Company that provided unauthorized moving services to the government at request of government employee may be paid on a quantum meruit basis because government was otherwise authorized to procure moving services. The Transportation Divisions's employee acted under the apparent assumption that such services were covered by then-current contracts with Father & Son. This request was denied on the bases that the services rendered were not within the scope of contracts held at the time by the company. That the Directorate's employee was not authorized to place orders for work in any case. The Comptroller General may authorize reimbursement to a contractor on a quantum meruit basis when certain conditions are met. 64 Comp.Gen. 727 (1985).

Matter of: Father & Son Moving & Storage Company File: B-248514 Date: September 10, 1992

PROCUREMENT Payment/Discharge Unauthorized contracts Quantum meruit/valebant doctrine Company that provided unauthorized moving services to the government at request of government employee may be paid on a quantum meruit basis because government was otherwise authorized to procure moving services, the government received and accepted the services' benefit, the company acted in good faith, and the amount of the claim represents the reasonable value of the benefits received.

DECISION

Headquarters, U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Dix, asks whether it may pay Father & Son Moving & Storage's claim for $58,218.87 for transportation services. We find that the claim may be paid on a quantum meruit (the reasonable value of the supplies/services) basis.

The record shows that sometime before October 1986, an employee of the installation's Transportation Division introduced the company to an employee of the Directorate of Engineering and Housing with a view toward fulfilling the Directorate's need for local transportation services. The Transportation Divisions's employee acted under the apparent assumption that such services were covered by then-current contracts with Father & Son. Thereafter, the company performed the transportation services as requested by the Directorate employee.

Eventually, Father & Son requested payment for services performed from October 1986 through December 1987. This request was denied on the bases that the services rendered were not within the scope of contracts held at the time by the company, and that the Directorate's employee was not authorized to place orders for work in any case.

Under this Office's claims settlement authority, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3702 (1988), the Comptroller General may authorize reimbursement to a contractor on a quantum meruit basis when certain conditions are met. 64 Comp.Gen. 727 (1985). First, obtaining the goods or services for which payment is sought must have been a permissible procurement had the proper procedures been followed. Second, the government must have received and accepted a benefit. Third, the firm must have acted in good faith. And fourth, the amount to be paid must not exceed the reasonable value of the benefit received. Mohawk Data Science Corp., 69 Comp.Gen. 13 (1989).

All the elements for a quantum meruit payment are present here. Contracts for transportation services are routinely entered into by the government, and ongoing transportation contracts with Father & Son at the time the services at issue here were requested and performed evidence the permissibility of this type of contract had proper procedures been followed. We find nothing in the record to suggest bad faith by the company. Finally, information provided by the Director of Engineering and Housing, Fort Dix, establishes that the government received a benefit from the moving services provided and that $58,281.87 is a fair and reasonable value for that benefit.

Accordingly, we authorize payment of Father & Son's claim.

Date: To: Director, Claims Group/GGD - Sharon Green From: General Counsel - James F. Hinchman

Subject: Father & Son Moving & Storage (Z-2867125) (B-248514)

Returned is Claims File Z-2867125 and a copy of our decision authorizing payment to the claimant.