Request for Review of Audit Actions

B-193964: Oct 5, 1979

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A carrier requested a review of a General Services Administration (GSA) action on seven notices of overcharge sent to the carrier. The notices of overcharge resulted from GSA determination that freight charges lower than those collected by the carrier were in effect and applicable to seven shipments transported by the carrier in interstate commerce on government bills of lading. The lower freight charges were derived from the carrier's offers filed with the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) in the form of rate tenders. Susequently the carrier filed supplement tenders which contained a statement indicating that it wanted to cancel the original tenders in their entirety. In the effective date space on the forms the carrier specified MTMC acceptance date. On the same date during a regular filing cycle, the carrier filed with MTMC a new set of tenders designed to replace the original tenders. Again MTMC acceptance date was shown in the effective date space. MTMC rejected the entire package to an error on one of the replacement tender forms. The carrier resubmitted them and they were accepted on June 22, 1977. The carrier contended that the cancellation supplements became effective 30 days after they were filed, or on June 2, 1977 before it received the seven shipments for transportation.Subject to regulation by the Interstate Commerce Act, the carrier had submitted several offers to MTMC to transport goods at rates less than its rates applicable to Department of Defense shipments. The tenders involved in this case contained a schedule of rates and conditions requiring in part that it maybe cancelled or modified by written notice of no less than 30 days by either party to the other. GAO held that the carriers cancellation of the original tenders, 64 did not become effective until June 22, 1977, when MTMC accepted the carrier's cancellation supplements, which was after the shipments were tendered to the carrier for transportation. Rate tenders issued persuant to the Interstate Commerce Act are continuing offers to perform transportation services for stated prices. GSA audit action on the seven notices of overcharge was sustained.