Keep A Record of All Oustanding Invoices Seeking Payment or Claims From The Federal Government
When seeking payment for an outstanding invoice or claims from the federal government, you want to keep a copy of all invoices submitted. This is especially true for invoices over $100,000.00. Small businesses and large government contractors alike rely on prompt payment from the government to conduct business operations. However, keep in mind that under the Prompt Payment Act, the agency is only required to pay invoices that are properly submitted and for work that is performed under the terms of your contract.
- Always follow up to ask whether there are any mistakes with your invoice
- Keep records of your outstanding invoice submitted and follow-up communications
- After no response, it would not hurt to send a demand for payment
It is not uncommon for the government to lose records and then assert that you never submitted an invoice when there is a contract claims appeal to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeal (ASBCA). See Appeals of CCIE & Co. In that case, the government argued that appellant’s outstanding invoice was merely a routine request for payment and not a proper CDA claim. As a result, the government then suggested that the ASBCA lacked jurisdiction because the invoice sought more than $100,000 but was not certified.
- Certification requirements of a government contract claim over $100k are mandatory for ASBCA jurisdiction to hear your case on appeal.
More than one Outstanding Invoice for Contract Claims Over $100K
There is a good chance that the Contract Disputes Act claim challenged on appeal, with a separate outstanding invoice arise from the same set of operative facts, the ASBCA will treat the invoices as one claim.
In the CCIE case, the court looked at CCIE’s outstanding invoice as presenting two different demands, one for $3,000 for payment allegedly due under the contract and a different demand for $100,000 for damages caused by delays communicating with appellant and processing its payment request.
Outstanding Invoices and Routine Request for Payment Versus a CDA Claim
Initially, when you submit an invoice to the federal government, it is considered a routine request for payment, not a CDA claim.
- A routine request for payment relieves Contracting Officer from issuing a contracting officer’s final decision.
- A routine request for payment may be converted into a claim by written notice to the CO if it is disputed or not acted upon within a reasonable time. See FAR 2.101.
What Can You Do to Turn Your Outstanding Invoices and Payment Requests into a CDA Claim?
To protect your rights to a Contract Disputes Act Claim on appeal to ASBCA, you should consider communicating frequently to the contracting officer regarding payment of your outstanding invoices. It will help your case on appeal if the government shows a continued failure to pay your invoice.
This continued request for payment, failure to pay your invoice by the government can convert the routine request for payment into a contract disputes act claim. See JWA Emadel Enters., Inc., ASBCA No. 51016, 98-2 BCA ii 29,960 at 148,240, aff’g on re con. 98-2 BCA ii 29,765.
Tip: Be aware that you can appeal a claim that is less than $100k to the board even if there is no certification.
Tip: Written notice to the CO is all that is required to convert outstanding invoices into a claim after it becomes disputed or is not timely acted upon. FAR 2.101.
For questions or legal representation, call our government contract claims lawyers at 1-866-601-5518. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.