Failure to Follow CDA Claims Filing Requirements Will Get Appeal Dismissed

If the Contracting Officer issues a final decision denying your contract claim against the government, you have rights to appeal the decision to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA). Filing Contract Disputes Act Claims to Civilian Board of Contract Appeals CBCAHowever, there are specific procedural rules and activity that a prime contractor must follow to preserve its rights to appeal to the Board.

Filing a Contract Disputes Act Appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals

When a prime contractor decides that it wants to file an appeal, its attorney must file a written notice of appeal.

If the lawsuit is an appeal from the CO’s final decision, the notice of appeal should include enough detail to allow the Court to distinguish the CO decision from any other claim.  See information about getting awards of claims based uponCDA certification.

  • These are critical guidelines under the Contract Disputes Act.
  • Failure to follow them may get the appeal dismissed.
  • Government contractor should attach the Contracting Officer final decision and the contract claim submitted to the agency.


The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals gets its jurisdiction to hear contract disputes cases from the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), 41 USC 7101-7109 (2012). For the Board to have jurisdiction over a dispute not involving a government claim, the CDA requires a contractor to submit a written claim to the contracting officer for a final decision. A claim does not have to be for money only.

The FAR defines a “claim” as “a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or

Filing Deadlines

In the event of filing a Contract Disputes Act claim appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, you have to file the appeal from the decision no later than 90 calendar days after you receive the contracting officer’s decision.

  • There are specific rules that address the CO’s failure to issue a final decision.

CBCA cannot hear an untimely appeal. In the case of SOTO CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., the contractor did not file the notice of appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals. Instead, it filed the notice to the agency. This was a huge mistake and a waste of attorney fees.

  • Understanding the procedural rules is just as important as establishing the merits of the case.
  • Agency providing incorrect information will not be a defense.
  • Individuals and contractors are responsible for knowing the CBCA appeal rules.

In the Soto case, the general contractor argued to the Court that the Contracting Officer’s final decision failed to give it the proper direction to preserve its appeal rights.

The CBCA appeals court rejected the argument. Instead, the Court referred to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 33.211(a); See 48 CFR 33.211(a) (2011). It stated that nothing in the regulations required the contracting officer to be responsible for giving government contractors precise appeal rights direction.

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals said that it is up to the prime contractor to make sure that the Appeal is timely and properly filed with the Clerk of the Board.

If you are a prime contractor that fails to properly file a Contract Disputes Act Claim to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals,  and your case is dismissed, then you may have the option to file at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. See. Olsberg Excavating Co. v. United States, 3 Cl. Ct. 249 (1983).

See How We Can Help You With REA and Government Contract Claims

For help appealing the contracting officer’s denial of your contract claim to the CBCA, call our experienced government claims attorneys at 1-866-601-5518. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

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