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WHEN AGENCY AGREED TO INCREASE IN PRICE FOR PURCHASE OF RENEWAL SUBSCRIPTIONS WITHOUT ANY INDICATION THAT AMENDED PURCHASE ORDER WAS INTENDED TO BE SUBJECT TO CHANGES IN PUBLISHER SALES PRICES A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT WAS EFFECTED AND. WILBANKS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT THE BUREAU OF MINES ON OCTOBER 28. IN THE SUM OF $270 WITH THE EXPLANATION THAT "SOME OF OUR 1967 SUBSCRIPTION RATES ARE STILL BASED ON 1966 PRICES AND ARE. WHEN THIS VOUCHER WAS PAID BY THE BUREAU ON JULY 11. THE AMOUNT WAS REDUCED BY $30.75 TO MAKE THE SUM PAID. THIS INVOICE WAS RETURNED UNPAID BY THE BUREAU BY LETTER OF AUGUST 8. WITH THE EXPLANATION THAT THE ONLY AMOUNT QUESTIONED AT THE TIME THE COMPANY ACCEPTED THE BUREAU'S ORDER WAS THE ITEM OF $16 WHICH THEN WAS RAISED TO $31.50 AND THAT NO MENTION WAS MADE OF PRICE CHANGES ON ANY OF THE OTHER ITEMS.

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B-160067, OCT. 9, 1967

SUBSCRIPTIONS - PRICE INCREASES DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF BUREAU OF MINES CONCERNING PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS AT INCREASED PRICE. WHEN AGENCY AGREED TO INCREASE IN PRICE FOR PURCHASE OF RENEWAL SUBSCRIPTIONS WITHOUT ANY INDICATION THAT AMENDED PURCHASE ORDER WAS INTENDED TO BE SUBJECT TO CHANGES IN PUBLISHER SALES PRICES A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT WAS EFFECTED AND, THEREFORE, PAYMENT OF THE SUPPLIER'S INVOICE FOR AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT DUE TO PRICE INCREASES MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED.

TO MISS JEANNETTE B. WILBANKS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1967, AND ENCLOSURES, ASKING WHETHER PAYMENT PROPERLY MAY BE MADE ON AN INVOICE SUBMITTED BY WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., IN THE SUM OF $29.75.

IT IS EXPLAINED THAT THE BUREAU OF MINES ON OCTOBER 28, 1966, ISSUED A PURCHASE ORDER TO WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., TO COVER RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS TO VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1967 IN THE AMOUNT OF $223.75. BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1966, WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., RETURNED UNSIGNED THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT COPY OF THE PURCHASE ORDER AND ADVISED THE BUREAU THAT THE PRICE OF ONE OF THE ITEMS HAD INCREASED FROM $16 TO $31.50 AND ASKED THE BUREAU TO CONFIRM THE ORDER AT THE INCREASED PRICE OF $239.25. THE BUREAU, BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 17, 1967, AUTHORIZED WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CORRECTION IN THE BUREAU'S PURCHASE ORDER.

SUBSEQUENTLY, WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., SUBMITTED ITS INVOICE DATED MARCH 1, 1967, IN THE SUM OF $270 WITH THE EXPLANATION THAT "SOME OF OUR 1967 SUBSCRIPTION RATES ARE STILL BASED ON 1966 PRICES AND ARE, THEREFORE, SUBJECT TO PUBLISHERS' CHANGES.' WHEN THIS VOUCHER WAS PAID BY THE BUREAU ON JULY 11, 1967, THE AMOUNT WAS REDUCED BY $30.75 TO MAKE THE SUM PAID, $239.25, AGREE WITH THE CORRECTED AMOUNT OF THE PURCHASE ORDER.

SHORTLY THEREAFTER WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., SUBMITTED A SUPPLEMENTAL INVOICE FOR $29.75 (ALTHOUGH $30.75 HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FROM ITS PREVIOUS INVOICE). THIS INVOICE WAS RETURNED UNPAID BY THE BUREAU BY LETTER OF AUGUST 8, 1967, WITH THE EXPLANATION THAT THE ONLY AMOUNT QUESTIONED AT THE TIME THE COMPANY ACCEPTED THE BUREAU'S ORDER WAS THE ITEM OF $16 WHICH THEN WAS RAISED TO $31.50 AND THAT NO MENTION WAS MADE OF PRICE CHANGES ON ANY OF THE OTHER ITEMS.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REFUSAL TO PAY THE SUPPLEMENTAL INVOICE THE COMPANY AGAIN ON AUGUST 16, 1967, RESUBMITTED THE SUPPLEMENTAL INVOICE TO THE BUREAU AND ASKED THAT PAYMENT BE MADE IN THE AMOUNT OF $29.75 BECAUSE "* * * THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES COVERED BY OUR INVOICE WERE DULY CHARGED TO US BY THE PUBLISHERS * * *.'

IN BRIEF, THE RECORD THUS SHOWS THAT THE BUREAU OFFERED TO PURCHASE AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS AT A PRICE OF $223.75. THIS OFFER WAS NOT ACCEPTED BUT WALTER J. JOHNSON, C., IN EFFECT, OFFERED TO ACCEPT THE ORDER IF THE PRICE WAS INCREASED TO $239.25. THE BUREAU THEN AGREED TO THE INCREASED PRICE. NOTHING IN THE RECORD UP TO THAT TIME INDICATED THAT THE AMOUNT STATED IN THE AMENDED PURCHASE ORDER WAS INTENDED BY EITHER PARTY TO BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DEPENDENT UPON CHANGES IN THE PUBLISHERS' SALES PRICES. WE THINK IT CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT SUCH OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE CONSTITUTED A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT REQUIRING WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., TO FURNISH THE PUBLICATIONS FOR THE AGREED PRICE OF $239.25.

ACCORDINGLY, AND NOTWITHSTANDING THAT WALTER J. JOHNSON, INC., MAY HAVE HAD TO PAY THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS CHARGED TO IT BY THE PUBLISHERS,YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE SEE NO PROPER BASIS ON WHICH A SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $29.75 NOW MAY BE AUTHORIZED.

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