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WAS SIGNED ON FEBRUARY 19. INDEED THE LEASE WAS SO EXTENDED UPON THE POSTAL SERVICE'S EXERCISE OF ITS FIRST OPTION IN 1969. YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR DESIRE TO RENEGOTIATE THE LEASE IN QUESTION IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT YOUR EXPENSES (TAXES. HAVE INCREASED CONSIDERABLY WHILE THE RENTAL HAS REMAINED CONSTANT FOR APPROXIMATELY NINE YEARS. A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL COULD NOT RENEGOTIATE THE LEASE AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO PAY YOU A HIGHER RENT THAN IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE AGREEMENT.

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B-169004, JUL 9, 1973

ANY POSSIBLE UPWARD MODIFICATION OF THE LEASE PROVIDING SOME BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT AN INCREASE IN THE RENTAL RATE WOULD BE A MATTER FOR RENEGOTIATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE POSTAL SERVICE.

TO MR. G. W. FERGUSON:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1973, SEEKS OUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER A RENTAL AGREEMENT WHICH YOU ENTERED INTO WITH THE FORMER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, NOW THE POSTAL SERVICE, MAY BE RENEGOTIATED.

THE LEASE IN QUESTION FOR PREMISES ON ROBINSON AVENUE, GROVETOWN, GEORGIA, WAS SIGNED ON FEBRUARY 19, 1964. IN THE AGREEMENT, YOU, AS LESSOR, AGREED TO RENT THE PREMISES TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR A PERIOD OF 60 MONTHS AT A RENTAL OF $137.50 PER MONTH. YOU ALSO AGREED TO GRANT THE GOVERNMENT THREE SUCCESSIVE OPTIONS TO RENEW. EACH OPTION UPON EXERCISE BY THE GOVERNMENT EXTENDS THE TERM OF THE LEASEHOLD AN ADDITIONAL 60 MONTHS AT THE SAME RENTAL PER MONTH ($137.50). INDEED THE LEASE WAS SO EXTENDED UPON THE POSTAL SERVICE'S EXERCISE OF ITS FIRST OPTION IN 1969.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR DESIRE TO RENEGOTIATE THE LEASE IN QUESTION IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT YOUR EXPENSES (TAXES, UPKEEP, ETC.) HAVE INCREASED CONSIDERABLY WHILE THE RENTAL HAS REMAINED CONSTANT FOR APPROXIMATELY NINE YEARS.

OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY MODIFY AN EXISTING GOVERNMENT CONTRACT OR LEASE IN FAVOR OF ANOTHER PARTY, OR SURRENDER OR WAIVE A VESTED CONTRACT RIGHT ABSENT OF COMPENSATING BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT. B-178011, APRIL 12, 1973, 40 COMP. GEN. 309 (1960); B-169004, MARCH 6, 1970; SEE ALSO BAUSCH & LOMB OPTICAL CO. V. UNITED STATES, 78 CT. CL. 584(1934). THEREFORE, A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL COULD NOT RENEGOTIATE THE LEASE AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO PAY YOU A HIGHER RENT THAN IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE AGREEMENT, WITHOUT SOME FURTHER CONSIDERATION FLOWING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ANY POSSIBLE UPWARD MODIFICATION OF THE LEASE PROVIDING SOME BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT AN INCREASE IN THE RENTAL RATE WOULD BE A MATTER FOR RENEGOTIATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE POSTAL SERVICE.

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