B-75124 May 10, 1948

B-75124: May 10, 1948

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Woods: Reference is made to your letter of March 25. Requesting a decision as to whether certification thereof for payment is authorized. No question is raised with respect to the charges listed for local service-said charges appearing to conform to the existing rate as provided for in the contract. " attention is invited to the fact that no information is furnished as tothe place called. Which information generally is required with respect to long distance calls in order to facilitate the audit of such charges. The nature of the charge for message units is set forth in your letter. As follows: "These charges are for toll calls to the area immediately surrounding Los Angeles. This new method of billing is approved by the Public Utilities Commission of California.

B-75124 May 10, 1948

M. W. Woods, Authorized Certifying Officer, c/o General Accounts Service, Civil Aeronautics Administration, Department of Commerce.

Dear Mr. Woods:

Reference is made to your letter of March 25, 1948, transmitting a voucher in favor of The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, Los Angles, California, in the amount of $17.85, covering certain telephone services furnished the Civil Aeronautics Administration pursuant to contract No. C6oa-2512, dated February 5, 1947, and requesting a decision as to whether certification thereof for payment is authorized.

The amount of the voucher represents charges for certain telephone service furnished to the District Inspection Office, Civil Aeronautics Administration, Los Angeles, California, and the invoice attached there to lists such charges as $16.05 for local service and $1.80 for 36 "message units." No question is raised with respect to the charges listed for local service-said charges appearing to conform to the existing rate as provided for in the contract. However, with respect to the charge made for "message units," attention is invited to the fact that no information is furnished as tothe place called, the initial or overtime period, or the rate applicable thereto, which information generally is required with respect to long distance calls in order to facilitate the audit of such charges.

The nature of the charge for message units is set forth in your letter, as follows:

"These charges are for toll calls to the area immediately surrounding Los Angeles, formerly listed on Form 650A, Statement of United States Government Official Toll Service. According to the contractor, this new method of billing is approved by the Public Utilities Commission of California, and is intended to reduce work on the part of the contractor and also benefit the governemt in that the initial period for calls billed as 'message units' is five minutes as compared with three minutes if the calls were itimized on Form 630A."

It appears from the above that the charges in question have been made generally applicable to all services to an area immediately surrounding Los Angeles, thus indicating clearly that service to such metropolitan area is no longer to be considered al long distance service for which individual itemized toll statements have heretofore been required. Accordingly, and in the light of the small fixed rate applicable to such message units, five cents per unit, if it be established that such method of billing has, in fact, been authorized by the Public Utility Commission of California, an itemization of such charges need not be reqired.

The voucher and accompanying papers are returned herewith and you are advised that the voucher may be certified for payment in accordance with the foregoing, if otherwise correct.

Respectfully,

Comptroller General of the United States.

Enclosures.