When filing an appeal from a contracting officer’s final decision denying a demand for payment under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (CDA), 41 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7109, in order for the appeals court to hear your case, it must have jurisdiction to hear it.
A common mistake made by government contractors is that they fail to meet the required certification requirement. The government often takes advantage of this mistake, even though it knows that when filing an appeal from a contracting officer’s final decision, you will more than likely get the appeal dismissed.
After filing the appeal, the government will file a motion to dismiss the appeal for the court’s lack of jurisdiction. The agency will more than likely argue that the claims demand for payment was not a claim under the Contract Disputes Act.
Lack of claims certification and the contractor’s signature will more than likely cause the court to dismiss the case.
- These are only some of the basic requirements of the Contract Disputes Act.
- Government contracting agencies often see the mistakes at the early stages of your claims submission.
- The agency is not required to provide legal advice and preserve your rights to appeal.
- Getting the important details under the CDA is a requirement and the appeal courts are strict on meeting those requirements.
How Do You Preserve Your Appeal Rights When Filing an Appeal From a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision?
Besides getting your contract claims document to have the requisite facts and support, to preserve your appeal rights when filing an appeal from a contracting officer’s final decision, government contractors must also be cognizant that under 41 U.S.C. § 7103(b)(l);
For contractor claims exceeding $100,000, the CDA requires the contractor to certify that:
- The claim is made in good faith;
- The supporting data are accurate and complete to the best of the contractor’s knowledge and belief;
- The amount requested accurately reflects the contract adjustment for which the contractor believes the Federal Government is liable; and
- The certifier is authorized to certify the claim on behalf of the contractor.
Trying to Decrease the Claims Amount
A common strategy used by government contractors, after the claim has been submitted, is to ask the contracting officer to reduce the claim amount. This is obviously to avoid the certification requirement. However, this strategy may not work simply because your original claim is what is on the record. At best, you would have to amend the claim for the reduced amount. This issue was decided in the case of Al Rafideen Co., ASBCA No. 59156 (May 7, 2015).
For help with filing an appeal from a contracting officer’s final decision, call government contract claims attorneys at 1-866-601-5518. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.