Today, a question for federal contractors: Did you know that there is a way to “speed up” your claims under the Contract Disputes Act? In his recent publication, Reggie Jones, a partner in Fox Rothschild’s Washington, D.C. Office and the Chair of our Government Contracts Practice Group explains that there is – and that claim acceleration will enhance your ability to recover on favorable terms and avoid throwing good money after bad on a multi-year dispute resolution process.
Generally speaking, claims on federal projects are processed in two stages: First, the claim is submitted to the contracting officer with a request for a final decision. The hope is that – while the claim is pending – the contractor can work with the government and negotiate a favorable settlement. Second, if no deal is reached and the contracting officer denies the claim, the contractor can appeal to a board of contract appeals, such as the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA).
One way to short-circuit the often lengthy claims process is to “unbundle” your claim into smaller pieces, each $100,000 or less. That way, you can limit the contracting officer’s decision time on your claim to just 60 days and take advantage of various accelerated and expedited procedures offered by the boards.
Reggie’s article provide a great example of how strategic thinking and planning ahead can maximize your recovery and minimize time, costs, and wasted effort.