[Carrier's Claims and Overcharges for Navy Shipments]

B-261127: Feb 15, 1996

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The General Services Administration (GSA) requested a decision on a contract carrier's claim for additional charges under a Navy transportation contract. GSA and the carrier contended that the carrier accepted and extended its contract based on an understood definition of a shipment, and it would be unfair to retroactively change the definition, which would significantly reduce the amounts due the carrier. The Navy contended that each shipment should be based on a single bill of lading. GAO held that the carrier: (1) did not have constructive knowledge of the Navy's interpretation of a shipment when it accepted and extended its contract; (2) sought guidance from experienced and competent government traffic managers in determining the appropriate method of billing for shipments; and (3) could not bill additional charges for terminal services related to the same shipments. Accordingly, the claim was allowed in part.

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