B-126726, MAR. 28, 1956

B-126726: Mar 28, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 1. WHICH IS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS ROUTED VIA "HEALZER CARTAGE CO . WERE CLAIMED INITIALLY IN YOUR COMPANY'S BILL NO. 145-933. YOU WERE ALLOWED $103.54. IT BEING EXPLAINED THAT THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE CHARGES FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED WERE $966.50. WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT THAT THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES TO AND BEYOND ST. THAT THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS SAID THAT JOINT RATES WHICH EXCEED THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES ARE PRIMA FACIE UNREASONABLE. WHICH PROVIDES THAT A LOCAL OR JOINT RATE ESTABLISHED OVER ANY ROUTE FROM POINT OR ORIGIN TO DESTINATION IS THE APPLICABLE RATE OF THE CARRIERS OVER THE AUTHORIZED ROUTE.

B-126726, MAR. 28, 1956

TO CENTRAL TRUCK LINES, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 1, 1955, WHICH IS, IN EFFECT, A REQUEST FOR A REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM, ON BILL NO. 145-933A, FOR ADDITIONAL FREIGHT CHARGES OF $131.52, FOR SERVICES PURSUANT TO GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AF 2240421, DATED DECEMBER 22, 1953, COVERING THE MOVEMENT OF STEEL SHEETS, PLAIN, NOIBN, WEIGHT 32,200 POUNDS, FROM PAULINE, KANSAS, TO MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, TAMPA, FLORIDA.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS ROUTED VIA "HEALZER CARTAGE CO --- SOUTHEASTERN MTR TRK LINES--- CENTRAL TRK LINES," AND THAT CHARGES IN THE AMOUNT OF $862.96, BASED ON A FOURTH-CLASS RATE OF $2.68 PER 100 POUNDS, APPLIED TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 32,200 POUNDS, WERE CLAIMED INITIALLY IN YOUR COMPANY'S BILL NO. 145-933, AND PAID ON VOUCHER NO. 2610 OF THE MARCH 1954 ACCOUNTS OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL S. GADDIS, U.S. ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER. THEREAFTER, YOU PRESENTED YOUR BILL NO. 145-933A, CLAIMING ADDITIONAL CHARGES AMOUNTING TO $235.06, PREDICATED UPON A THROUGH THIRD-CLASS MINIMUM RATE OF $3.41 PER 100 POUNDS. BY CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT NO. T-624968, DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1955, YOU WERE ALLOWED $103.54, IN ADDITION TO THE CHARGES OF $862.96 PAID ADMINISTRATIVELY, IT BEING EXPLAINED THAT THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE CHARGES FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED WERE $966.50, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A COMBINATION OF RATES TO AND BEYOND ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, AS PUBLISHED IN MIDWEST MOTOR FREIGHT BUREAU TARIFF NO. 1232, MF-I.C.C. NO. 35, THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MOTOR FREIGHT TARIFF ASSOCIATION TARIFF NO. 100, MF-I.C.C. NO. 117. THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 145-933A, RECLAIMING THE SUM OF $131.52 NOW ALLOWED IN THE PRIOR SETTLEMENT, WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT THAT THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES TO AND BEYOND ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, RESULTS IN LOWER TOTAL CHARGES THAN THOSE COMPUTED ON BASIS OF THE JOINT ONE-FACTOR THIRD-CLASS RATE APPLIED AS A MINIMUM, FROM PAULINE, KANSAS, TO TAMPA, FLORIDA, AND THAT THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS SAID THAT JOINT RATES WHICH EXCEED THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES ARE PRIMA FACIE UNREASONABLE.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU CITE PARAGRAPH (I) OF RULE 4 OF TARIFF CIRCULAR MF NO. 3, ISSUED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, WHICH PROVIDES THAT A LOCAL OR JOINT RATE ESTABLISHED OVER ANY ROUTE FROM POINT OR ORIGIN TO DESTINATION IS THE APPLICABLE RATE OF THE CARRIERS OVER THE AUTHORIZED ROUTE,"NOTWITHSTANDING THAT IT MAY BE HIGHER THAN THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES OVER SUCH ROUTE.' YOU ALLEGE THAT THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CLAIMED WERE DETERMINED FROM TARIFFS ,APPROVED BY AND ON FILE WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION" AND SUBMIT THAT THE PRESENT CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD NOT "PEREMPTORILY DECIDE THAT THE UNREASONABLENESS OF A RATE REMOVES THE LEGALITY OF A RATE.'

UNDER THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF 1921, 31 U.S.C. 71,"ALL CLAIMS AND DEMANDS WHATEVER BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST IT, AND ALL ACCOUNTS WHATEVER IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED, EITHER AS DEBTOR OR CREDITOR, SHALL BE SETTLED AND ADJUSTED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.' IN THE SETTLEMENT OF SUCH ACCOUNTS, DUE CONSIDERATION MUST BE GIVEN TO THE TERMS AND PROVISIONS OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, AS AMENDED, AND TO THE INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF THAT ACT BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION AND THE COURTS. COMMON CARRIERS BY MOTOR VEHICLE, ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE, ARE REQUIRED TO ,ESTABLISH, OBSERVE, AND ENFORCE, JUST AND REASONABLE RATES, CHARGES, AND CLASSIFICATIONS, AND JUST AND REASONABLE REGULATIONS AND PRACTICES RELATING THERETO" BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 216/B) OF THE MOTOR CARRIER ACT OF 1935, AS AMENDED, 49 U.S.C. 316 (B), AND ALL CHARGES MADE FOR SERVICES RENDERED "SHALL BE JUST AND REASONABLE, AND EVERY UNJUST AND UNREASONABLE CHARGE FOR SUCH SERVICE OR ANY PART THEREOF, IS PROHIBITED AND DECLARED TO BE UNLAWFUL.' 49 U.S.C. 216/D).

IN A NUMBER OF CASES, THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS STATED THAT A JOINT THROUGH RATE WHICH EXCEEDS THE AGGREGATE OF INTERMEDIATE RATES IS PRIMA FACIE UNJUST AND UNREASONABLE TO THE EXTENT IT EXCEEDS SUCH AGGREGATE. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, KINGAN AND COMPANY V. OLSON TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, 32 M.C.C. 10, 12; VICTORY GRANITE COMPANY V. CENTRAL TRUCK LINES, 44 M.C.C. 320, 324; STOKELY FOODS, INC. V. FOSTER FREIGHT LINES, INC., 62 M.C.C. 179, 182. OUR OFFICE DOES NOT MAKE DETERMINATIONS AS TO THE REASONABLENESS OR UNREASONABLENESS OF TARIFF RATES. WE DO, HOWEVER, DETERMINE WHETHER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN CONNECTION WITH A GIVEN CLAIM SHOW THAT THE CLAIM IS BASED ON A RATE APPLIED UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE SIMILAR RATES IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE BEEN DECLARED BY THE COMMISSION TO BE PRIMA FACIE UNREASONABLE. SANCTION THE AVAILABILITY OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PAYMENT OF CHARGES CLAIMED IN SUCH SITUATIONS WOULD APPEAR TO VIOLATE THE DUTY IMPOSED BY LAW UPON US TO CONSIDER, IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS, SUBSTANTIVE DEFENSES IN LAW. THIS SITUATION THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS AUTHORIZED DUTIES TO "SETTLE AND ADJUST ALL ACCOUNTS," WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE JUSTIFIED IN HOLDING PUBLIC FUNDS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF PRIMA FACIE UNJUST AND UNREASONABLE CHARGES, WHICH ARE EXPRESSLY "PROHIBITED AND DECLARED TO BE UNLAWFUL.' ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON THE INVOLVED SHIPMENT WAS PROPER AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.

Oct 28, 2020

Oct 27, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here