B-80653, JANUARY 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 401

B-80653: Jan 4, 1949

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REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 28. YOU STATE THAT THE REQUEST FOR DECISION IS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF THIS OFFICE REPORTED IN 16 COMP. THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES FOR DECISION. WHILE IT WAS HELD IN 16 COMP. THE EXCEPTION THUS MADE TO THE GENERAL RULE WAS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT APPLY TO CASES WHERE NO ALLEGATION OF ERROR IS MADE UNTIL AFTER THE EXECUTION OF A FORMAL CONTRACT. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE IS NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR REQUIRED TO RENDER A DECISION TO YOU ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED.

B-80653, JANUARY 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 401

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE - DECISIONS - REQUESTS - CONTRACTING OFFICERS WHILE THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE MAY RENDER DECISIONS DIRECTLY TO CONTRACTING OFFICERS IN CASES INVOLVING ALLEGED MISTAKES IN BIDS WHEN THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SITUATION WOULD NOT PERMIT OF DELAY IN SUBMITTING THE MATTER THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS, A DECISION MAY NOT BE RENDERED TO A CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH RESPECT TO AN ALLEGATION OF ERROR IN BID AFTER THE FORMAL CONTRACT HAD BEEN EXECUTED AND WHERE PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT WORK HAS BEEN UNDER WAY FOR SOME TIME. 16 COMP. GEN. 565, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO N. RAY JOHNSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, JANUARY 4, 1949;

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1948 (OFFICE SYMBOL MCPPXG22/1NRJ/ED EXT. 2-8238), WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AUTHORIZATION TO AMEND CONTRACT NO. W33-038-AC-17247 (17774) WITH FREDRIC FLADER, INC., DATED JULY 28, 1947, TO CORRECT AN ALLEGED ERROR THEREIN. YOU STATE THAT THE REQUEST FOR DECISION IS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECISION OF THIS OFFICE REPORTED IN 16 COMP. GEN. 565.

THAT DECISION MADE AN EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL RULE THAT ONLY DISBURSING OFFICERS, CERTAIN CERTIFYING OFFICERS, AND THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES FOR DECISION. SEE B-62476, DATED DECEMBER 13, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 993. WHILE IT WAS HELD IN 16 COMP. GEN. 565 THAT THIS OFFICE WOULD RENDER DECISIONS DIRECTLY TO CONTRACTING OFFICERS IN CASES INVOLVING ALLEGED MISTAKES IN BIDS, WHERE THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SITUATION WOULD NOT PERMIT OF DELAY WHICH MIGHT BE OCCASIONED IN THE SUBMISSION OF THE MATTER THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS, THE EXCEPTION THUS MADE TO THE GENERAL RULE WAS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT APPLY TO CASES WHERE NO ALLEGATION OF ERROR IS MADE UNTIL AFTER THE EXECUTION OF A FORMAL CONTRACT. THAT APPEARS TO BE THE SITUATION IN THE PRESENT CASE. AFTER A FORMAL CONTRACT HAS BEEN EXECUTED, AND PARTICULARLY WHERE, AS HERE, PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT WORK HAS BEEN UNDER WAY FOR SOME TIME, THERE WOULD NOT APPEAR TO EXIST SUCH NECESSITY FOR IMMEDIATE DECISION AS TO PRECLUDE SUBMISSION OF THE MATTER THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE IS NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR REQUIRED TO RENDER A DECISION TO YOU ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED.