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Contracting Officer Cannot Give Himself More Time to Issue a Final Decision

Posted on September 7th, 2017 by

In the Appeal of CTA I, LLC, we filed a petition requesting that the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals direct the Contracting Officer to render a final decision under the Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”).  CTA filed a CDA claim on February 15, 2017 for delay, labor inefficiencies, and related costs.  The Contracting Officer was supposed to issue a final decision within 60 days, but stated that “due to the size and complexity of the claim documentation, our office will respond to your request for a Contracting Officer’s final decision by 10 July 2017.”  That did not happen. Just prior to July 10th, the Contracting Officer stated that “to allow the claims consultant adequate time to assess the validity of the claim, I will respond to your request for a Contracting Officer’s final decision by 8 September 2017.”

CTA filed a petition with the Board of Contract Appeals because it lack confidence that the Contracting Officer would issue a final decision by September 8, 2017.  In its petition, CTA stated that “the VA is engaged in bad faith delaying tactics” and is causing CTA and it subcontractors financial harm.  The Board explained that under the Contract Disputes Act, the Contracting Officer could only give himself one time extension to issue a final decision.  If a final decision is not issued by that extended deadline, he cannot give himself another time extension.  The Board therefore held that CTA could immediately file an appeal based on a deemed denial.  CTA did so the next day.

Does this case sound familiar?  Often times, Contracting Officers will delay issuing a final decision. Meanwhile, the contractor must carry the financial burden of fronting the cost of additional work and delays.  This case sends a clear message to Contracting Officers that they cannot give themselves multiple extensions of time in which to issue a final decision. Hopefully, this will help reduce the time it takes to adjudicate claims under the Contract Disputes Act.

 

CTA I, LLC v. Department of Veterans Affairs, CBCA No. 5800 (August 22, 2017)

Contractor’s Appeal of Final Decision is Timely, ASBCA Rules

Posted on November 29th, 2013 by

Contractor’s claim under Contracts Disputes Act is timely even though not filed at Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals within 90 days after issuance of the Contracting Officer’s Final Decision. Generally speaking, if a contractor does not appeal within 90 days after issuance of a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision, it is out of time. However, the appeal would still be timely if the contractor can establish that it relied upon actions of the government that “actually prejudiced its ability to prosecute its timely appeal.” (more…)

 

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