"Court of Federal Claims"

The Contract Disputes Act imposes a six-year statute of limitations on all claims, whether they are asserted by the contractor or by the Government. See 41 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(4)(A). The limitations period begins to run upon accrual of a claim, which is “the date when all events . . . that fix the alleged liability of either the Government or the contractor and permit assertion of the claim . . . were known or should have been known.” FAR 33.201. Because six years must Aeroplane Sunsetpass before the claim expires, the precise date of accrual is often little more than an academic question. Indeed, there have been relatively few cases applying the CDA limitations period to Government claims. But accrual has recently become a real and sometimes insurmountable obstacle to Government claims. Here is a short summary of the basic concepts that have emerged from the decisions that have addressed the issue.

1.         The government has the burden of proving timeliness. 

The CDA limitations period is “jurisdictional.” When the government asserts a claim against a contractor, the government has the burden of proving jurisdiction. To do so, the government must establish that the claim was timely asserted. If the government cannot show that the claim was asserted within six years of accrual, the Board or the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the claim. Raytheon Missile Systems, ASBCA No. 58011 (Jan. 28, 2013) [pdf].

Continue Reading “Accrual” of government claims under the Contract Disputes Act

The Court of Federal Claims has issued an important decision establishing that offerors will be held accountable for making inaccurate representations in proposals. According to the Court’s decision in GTA Containers, Inc. v. United States, No. 11-606C (Fed. Cl. Feb. 22, 2012) [pdf], proof that an offeror made a misrepresentation in its proposal is sufficient to sustain a bait-and-switch protest if the agency relied on the misrepresentation.
Continue Reading Clarifying the standard of proof for bait-and-switch protests at the Court of Federal Claims