Request for Reconsideration

B-203639: Apr 22, 1982

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A firm requested reconsideration of a GAO decision which held that the released value rates contained in its tender were applicable to the shipment of a road grader and which sustained an agency's audit action. GAO found that the protester had not shown that a motorized road grader is a tractor under applicable regulations, because a road grader is not used for the transportation of passengers or property over the highway. Furthermore, the failure of the government to declare a released value on the government bill of lading for the road grader shipment did not bar application of the tender's released valuation rates to the shipment as would have been the case if the commodity was covered. The protester subsequently contended that the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) rate order was construed too restrictively in the GAO decision; it contended that the rate order was not intended to limit the scope of its term tractors to those designed for the limited purpose of transporting passengers or property as GAO concluded. However, well-established principles of tariff construction controlled the disposition of this case. The most reasonable inference that could be drawn was that the protester intended to limit its operating authority to that of a specialized class of carrier known as a carrier of motor vehicles. The description in the ICC order was limited to commodities transported by carriers of vehicles. The protester did not show that the GAO analysis of the ICC order was erroneous, and GAO found no merit in the protester's arguments that GAO assigned excessive weight to the commodity description used by the ICC, that the order did not limit the commodities to over-the-highway vehicles, and that the order was issued to all motor common carriers. None of the cases cited by the protester in its reconsideration request supported the carrier's contention that the GAO decision contained an error of law. Since the request for reconsideration presented no evidence demonstrating an error in fact or law in the previous decision, that decision was affirmed.

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