Recommendation for Payment Under Meritorious Claims Act]

Gao ID: B-199453 October 2, 1980

An advertising firm made a claim arising from a recruitment advertisement placed through the firm in nine newspapers by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without prior written approval by the proper authorities. The claim for services which had been rendered without a formal contract could not be certified for payment since the advertisements were placed without prior written authorization in violation of the U.S. Code. GAO has held that the provisions of the code do not preclude advertising in newspapers per se, but preclude the payment for the advertisement unless the proper procedures are followed. Ratification after the services have been rendered does not comply with the terms of the statute. However, GAO determined that because EPA had the advertisements published in good faith and the Government received benefits from them, the equities warranted reporting the claim to Congress under the Meritorious Claims Act, with a recommendation that payment be authorized.

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