New Rule Changes Bring CBCA Procedures Into the Efiling Age

On August 17, 2018, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) issued new procedural rules which go into effect Monday, September 17, 2018. The substantial overhaul of the former rules intends to bring the CBCA into the 21st century by emphasizing, adding, and clarifying rules about electronic filing.

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Government’s Default Termination Threat Was Improper Coercion, Says ASBCA

The Government improperly threatened to terminate a contractor for default, because there was no good reason to believe the contractor had actually defaulted.

In a fascinating new decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the Government’s threat–made to a contractor with cash-flow issues–amounted to coercion, and invalidated a settlement agreement that awarded the contractor much less than it probably should have received.

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CO Identifies Wrong Appeals Board, Appeal Dismissed Anyway

An Air Force Contracting Officer, asked by a contractor where to send an appeal, provided the contractor with information about the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, not the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.

Despite the Contracting Officer’s erroneous advice, the CBCA dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

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CBCA: Government Also Bound by Six-Year Statute of Limitations

A contractor has many requirements when submitting a claim against the federal government. But the government must also abide by some of the same rules.

Case in point, a recent Civilian Board of Contractor Appeals case affirms that the government is bound by the same six-year time limit to file a claim against a contractor that a contractor has to file a claim against the government.

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Government’s Delayed Response Breached Contract, Says ASBCA

Here’s a situation my colleagues and I see with some frequency: a contractor, in the course of working on a government contract, submits a request of some sort to the agency.  Then waits for a response.  And waits some more.  Meanwhile, the government’s delay in responding prevents the contractor from moving forward with some aspect of the project, causing the contractor to incur costs.

For contractors faced with this type of government inaction, a recent decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals is welcome news.  In that case, the ASBCA held that the government breached its implied duty of good faith and fair dealing by waiting more than three months to respond to the contractor’s request to amend the Statement of Work–allowing the contractor to “twist in the wind” during that period.

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Claim of Bad Faith Termination by Government Requires Strong Evidence, says CBCA

An agency has broad discretion to terminate a contract for convenience. But sometimes, a contractor will challenge the termination for convenience by arguing that the agency acted in bad faith in terminating the contract.

A recent CBCA decision looks at what type of evidence is needed to establish bad faith. Not surprisingly, the CBCA confirms that the standard of proof is quite high.

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