A contractor must request and obtain a contracting officer final decision in order to appeal under the Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. Sections 601-13. Appeals must be brought within the time limits permitted by law.
In Parker v. Donley, 20 WL 2330408 (C.A.Fed.), Mr. Parker was to provide software use license and support services to the Air Force for the Predator MQ-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Multi-Task Trainer. The contractor was informed that no further delivery orders would be placed against his contract. Mr. Parker submited a certified claim for payment, which was denied. The contracting officer’s final decision letter informed him of his appeal rights to the Board of Contract Appeals within 90 days or in the United States Court of Federal Claims within 12 months. Mr. Parker appealed after the statutory 90-day deadline, so there was no jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act.
Mr. Parker also submitted an invoice which was rejected, but the rejection letter did not state it was a final decision. Mr. Parker appealed to the Board of Contract Appeals, which found that the Board did not have jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act because the invoice did not use the word claim or request a contracting officer final decision. The Act states that “all claims by a contractor against the government relating to contract shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the contracting officer for a decision.” FAR 2.101 states that an invoice, or other routine request for payment that is not in dispute when submitted is not a claim.
Mr. Parker appealed to the United States Court of Federal Claims, which affirmed the Board of Contract Appeals dismissing the claims for lack of jurisdiction as untimely and for filing to seek a contracting officer final decision.
For assistance with your government contract claims, contact government contracts lawyer Karen S. Hindson of Hindson & Melton LLC.