No “Sum Certain” Means No Valid Claim, Board Holds

A contractor’s claim against the Government was invalid because the contractor did not demand a “sum certain” in clear and unequivocal terms.

In a recent decision, the Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals held that a contractor’s claim was deficient where the contractor argued that it was up to the government to figure out the amount of the claim using “simple mathematics.”

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CBCA: “Appeal” Sent To Contracting Officer Didn’t Count

A contractor’s challenge to a contracting officer’s final decision was “improperly directed” when it was sent only to the contracting officer, and did not delay the 90-day period in which the final decision could be appealed to the Civilian Board of Contracting Appeals.

As demonstrated in a recent CBCA decision, when a contractor receives a contracting officer’s final decision, the appeals clock starts ticking–and an “appeal” to the contracting officer doesn’t stop the clock.

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ASBCA: Contractor’s Request For Cancellation Was Not A Default

A contractor’s request that the agency issue a “no-cost” cancellation of its contract was not a default–and did not justify the government’s default termination of the contract.

In a recent decision, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals held that a contractor did not repudiate its contract by requesting a cancellation because the contractor’s request was not a “positive, definite, unconditional, and unequivocal refusal to perform.”

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Reminder: Requests For Equitable Adjustment Are Not Claims

A request for equitable adjustment is not a “claim” under the FAR.  Although a REA and a claim can look very similar, there are important legal distinctions.

And as one contractor recently learned, the distinction between a REA and a claim can make all the difference when it comes to a potential appeal.

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Government’s Engineers Couldn’t Modify Contract, Says ASBCA

A construction contractor was unable to recover the costs of performing changed work allegedly ordered by the government’s project engineers because the engineers did not have authority to modify the contract.

As demonstrated in a recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals decision, only a contracting officer or the contracting officer’s designated representatives may modify a contract, and a contractor bears the risk of non-payment by performing changed work directed by an unauthorized government employee.

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ASBCA Appeals: Former Employee Could Not Represent Contractor

A former employee could not represent a contractor in an appeal filed with the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, even though the contractor’s owner had asked the former employee to serve as its representative.

In a recent decision, the ASBCA reiterated that, under its rules, a corporation must be represented by an officer or an attorney.  A former employee does not qualify.

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Ordinary, Undisputed Invoices Are Not “Claims”

For an invoice to be considered a claim under the Contract Disputes Act, thereby giving the U.S. Court of Federal Claims jurisdiction to consider an appeal of the government’s failure to pay, the contractor must establish that the invoice was in dispute at the time it was submitted to the government.

As demonstrated in a recent Court decision, ordinary, undisputed invoices are not “claims” under the Contract Disputes Act.

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