Puslapio vaizdai


[ocr errors]

In response to a circular dated March 14, 1913, inviting proposals therefor, M. G. Copeland & Co., March 25, 1913, proposed " in accordance with the above advertisement * and subject to all the conditions thereof” to do all the work incident to repairing 53 tents (assorted kinds) theretofore inspected by the bidder, at a price for the job of $137—materials to be furnished by the Government.

Paragraph 2 of the specifications (a part of said circular) was as follows:

“ 2. All work must be completed within 30 days, not including Sundays or holidays, from date of awarding contract. And for all delays beyond that time liquidated damages to the amount of $1 per day for each day overtime specified will be deducted from the contract price, unless such delay be caused by the nondelivery of the material by the quartermaster.”

The work to be done was simply that

"All tentage (53 tents) be completely repaired and placed in a thoroughly serviceable condition. All holes to be patched and all torn seams to be sewed with not less than three stitches to the inch." By letter dated April 7, 1913, M. G. Copeland & Co. were advised:

Under your proposal opened March 25, 1913, award is made for the following work:

“Repairing tentage, machine sewing, $137.

"A copy of your bid is inclosed herewith, and the work must be done in strict accordance with the specifications. The tentage will be delivered to you at once."

Thread of the kind suitable for doing the work was not, however, delivered to Copeland & Co. until April 16, 1913.

No contract other than as effected by the transactions noted was made or executed.

The work thus agreed to be done was not completed until June 14, 1913.

Assuming the time for commencement of the work was April 17, 1913, the date when Copeland & Co. were first supplied with the necessary materials, and counting the 30 working days allowable for completing the work from that date, the agreed time expired on May 21, 1913, there was a delay of 24 days in the completion of the work, and from the agreed price thereof, if proper, the quartermaster proposes to deduct $24 as liquidated damages for the delay.

There are a number of reasons, on the facts shown, why the deduction proposed would not be proper. Section 3744 of the Revised Statutes requires that contracts of the War Department be reduced to writing and signed at the end thereof by the contracting parties. There was, therefore, no such contract in this case as is contemplated and required by law if the parties thereto are to be mutually bound by its terms.

[ocr errors]

But having, at the request of proper officers of the Government, repaired the tents, Copeland & Co. are to be paid the fair value of the services so rendered, and in the absence of any showing that the same is either inadequate or excessive, the price named in its proposal is to be accepted as the fair value to be allowed and paid. (Clark v. United States, 95 U. S., 539.)

So far as the paragraph purporting to provide for liquidated damages is concerned, it bears on its face no evidences that it was either designed or intended as any real liquidation of the damages that might or would result from any failure on Copeland & Co.'s part to complete the work“in 30 days” from date of award, and had it been so designed and intended, it would still be objectionable on the ground that it purported to impose the same measure of damages for a failure to repair one tent as for a failure to repair 53 tents. (19 Comp. Dec., 20.)

Copeland & Co. should be paid $137 for the work done if that sum represents the fair value of the saine. No deductions as for delay should be made from whatever sum is found to be the reasonably fair value of the work done.


A civilian employee of the Army was engaged under orders on temporary duty

at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., away from his regular station. While at said place he was ordered to perform other temporary duty at Leon Springs, Tex., about 20 miles away. Held, That the order to perform temporary duty at Leon Springs was a new or additional assignment to the performance of temporary duty, and that the employee was entitled to reimbursement of living expenses not to exceed $4.50 per day while on duty at said place. Held also, That the employee's return to Fort Sam Houston under his orders to go to Leon Springs was not a second assignment or tour of duty at Fort Sam Houston, but rather a continuation of the assignment or tour of duty at said place under his first orders to go there.

Comptroller Downey to Capt. J. F. Preston, quartermaster, United States Army, January 8, 1914:

I have received your communication of the 27th ultimo, requesting my decision whether you are authorized to pay an account amounting to $157.50 in favor of Leonard W. Osborne, electrical assistant, signal service at large, United States Army, being for expenses of lodging and meals while on temporary duty covering the period from October 17 to 31, 1913, at Leon Springs, Tex., and from November 1 to 30, 1913, at San Antonio, Tex., at $3.50 per day.

From the papers submitted the facts are gained as follows: Under authority from the War Department, dated May 12, 1913, Mr. Osborne, a civilian employee, was ordered to proceed from Fort Leavenworth, Kans., to Fort Sam Houston, Tex., “reporting upon arrival to the Chief Signal Officer, Southern Department, for temporary duty in connection with the installation of a post telephone system, and that upon the completion of this duty he be directed to return to his proper station, Chicago, Ill.” It was contemplated that Mr. Osborne would be absent at Fort Sam Houston about four months.

While at Fort Sam Houston, Mr. Osborne was directed by Special Order No. 154, headquarters Southern Department, October 17, 1913, to proceed to Leon Springs, Tex., for temporary duty, “ for the purpose of completing the installation of the annunciator buzzer system on the auxiliary target range at that place," and upon completion of this duty to return to Fort Sam Houston. It appears from the expense account submitted that Mr. Osborne was at Leon Springs for 15 days.

It is stated in the papers submitted that said employee was paid $4.50 per day for the first 30 days of his assignment at the post Fort Sam Houston, in May or June, 1913, and $1 per day thereafter, in accordance with Army Regulations.

Paragraph 744, Army Regulations, 1910, provides that reimbursement of actual expenses of civilian employees in the military service when traveling under competent orders will be allowed under the several heads designated in the regulations. Subhead 5, as amended May 23, 1913, provides:

“ Cost of meals and lodgings, including baths, tips, and laundry work, not to exceed $1.50 a day while on duty at places designated in the orders for the performance of temporary duty, but reimbursement of such expenses will be limited to $1.00 a day after the first 30 days at any one place, and in time of actual war no such reimbursement of expenses will be made to the civilian employees specified who accompany troops in the field, but in lieu thereof the allowance of tents prescribed by the War Department and a ration will be furnished such employees."

It appears from the above orders that while Mr. Osborne was engaged on temporary duty at Fort Sam Houston he was ordered to perform other temporary duty at Leon Springs, about 20 miles distant. This was a new or additional assignment to perform temporary duty. It occupied a period of 15 days and necessitated a change of station and quarters. While Mr. Osborne was at Leon Springs he was absent from the station to which he had been temporarily assigned, and during the time of such absence (not exceeding 30 days) I think he became entitled to reimbursement of living expenses not to exceed $1.50 per day under the provisions of the regulations for cost of meals, etc., while on duty at places designated in the orders for the performance of temporary duty. I do not think, however, that Mr. Osborne's return to Fort Sam Houston was a second assignment or tour of duty at said place within the meaning of the regulations, but rather a continuation of the assignment or tour of duty under the first orders, and I am of opinion that upon his return to Fort Sam Houston he was only entitled to reimbursement of living expenses at a rate not exceeding $1 per day as provided in the regulations for the time “after the first 30 days in any one place.”

I have to advise you that you are authorized to reimburse Mr. Osborne upon the evidence presented at the rate of $3.50 per day while he was at Leon Springs, a period of 15 days, but for the other periods reimbursement in excess of $1 per day is not authorized.



Moneys deposited in advance by officers of the Army to cover cost of shipment

of their baggage in excess of change of station allowance and involving refundment come within the rule of accounting laid down in 19 Comp. Dec., 442, and should be accounted for through the medium of a special deposit

account. As to what moneys should be included in special deposit account, see decision. Special deposit moneys collected and held by miscellaneous officers, not ac

countable to the Treasury, should be turned over as received, without any deductions whatever, to the proper disbursing or collecting officer, who will account for same in his special deposit account.

Comptroller Downey to the Secretary of War, January 9, 1914:

By reference of the Chief of the Quartermaster Corps I have received for approval a form of special deposit account current for use in accounting for deposits made to cover cost of shipments of excess baggage of officers of the Army under the act of March 23, 1910 (36 Stat., 255), together with two forms of schedules, viz, deposits and refundments.

Said act of March 23, 1910, provides :

“That hereafter baggage in excess of regulation change of station allowances may be shipped with such allowances, and reimbursement collected for transportation charges on such excess."

In pursuance of this law you have provided by regulation for the deposit, in advance of shipment of the excess baggage, of a sum sufficient to cover such excess, the overdeposit, if any, to be refunded to the depositor when the exact cost of said transportation, has been finally ascertained. Moneys thus deposited come squarely within the rule of accounting laid down in 19 Comp. Dec., 442, and should be accounted for through the medium of a special deposit account.

The Chief of the Quartermaster Corps refers to the form of account current submitted as a "model", and requests authority to stamp or type it on the disbursing or collecting officer's regular account current, in lieu of providing a separate form. It is understood, however, that the above-mentioned excess baggage deposits are not the only class of moneys collected in the War Department which are embraced within the rule of 19 Comp. Dec., 442, and should therefore be carried in a special deposit account. I believe that a general form of special deposit account current should be provided and used by all disbursing and collecting officers of your department who collect moneys the correct amount of which has not been determined at the time of receipt and refundment is involved, or which, for any reason, must be held until their nature and place in the officer's regular account have been determined. This account should also include all moneys held in trust by an officer as agent of the Government not otherwise provided for by law or Treasury regulation, which is subsequently returned in whole or in part to the depositor.

I have prepared, and inclose herewith, a form of special deposit account current for use throughout the War Department, by which gross receipts not heretofore reported will be fully accounted for to the Auditor of the Treasury for the War Department. Any money of the nature above described collected and held by miscellaneous officers, such as chiefs of bureaus, chief clerks, or others not accountable to the Treasury, should at once be turned over as received, without any deduction whatsoever, to the proper disbursing or collecting officer, who will account for same as above outlined.

I have also made certain changes, indicated in red ink, on the forms. of schedules of deposits and refundments, and as thus modified and subject to the views above expressed the forms in question are approved.

With reference to the amendments to Circular No. 7, Office of the Quartermaster General, July 12, 1910, proposed by the chief of the Quartermaster Corps, I have to state:

(1) The settling officer (disbursing or collecting officer) should not attempt, by correspondence with the bank on which a check is drawn or otherwise, to cash same, but should at once deliver the check to the Treasurer of the United States or to a designated depository for collection and deposit with the Treasurer to the officer's official credit on account of special deposits. (See 19 Comp. Dec., 444.)

(2) The disposition of special-deposit moneys deposited with the Treasurer should be by check on the Treasurer in order that the latter may make the proper entry on his books, as well as for other purposes. This includes not only refundments, but also authorized disbursements and transfers to the regular account. (See 19 Comp.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »