The Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (“CDA”) contains a few simple requirements for claims over $a hundred,000, such as certification. Yet to this day contractors have consistently violated the certification necessities and, as a result, had their claims brushed off by using the Boards and Courts. This is a big mistake that is simple to avoid. The mistake happened most currently in NileCo Gen’l Contracting, LLC, ASBCA No. 60912, Sept. 22, 2017. It seems as though a technology-crazed world every so often refuses to apply the most low tech machine of all-the pen-due to the fact the pen is simply no longer electronically convenient. Government contractors need to be decrease tech while signing claims.
The CDA states that every declare for more than $one hundred,000 have to be certified to nation that:
1. The declare is made in exact faith;
2. The helping statistics are accurate and whole to the high-quality of the contractor’s know-how and belief;
3. The amount requested appropriately reflects the contract adjustment for which the contractor believes the government is liable; and
four. The certifier is authorized to certify the declare on behalf of the contractor.
Forty one U.S.C. § 7103(b). These specific necessities are included in Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) 33.207(c) and the disputes clause in each agreement. The FAR also states that the certification can be executed through any person duly legal to bind the contractor. Id. Although the Contract Disputes Act does no longer outline the time period “execute,” the Boards of Contract Appeals have constantly held for as a minimum 10 years that to “execute a Contract Disputes Act certification, there should be a signature by a certifier.” “Signature” is described in the FAR because the discrete, verifiable image of an individual which, while affixed to a writing with the expertise and consent of the man or woman, suggests a present goal to authenticate the writing. This consists of digital symbols.
FAR 2.One hundred and one
A failure to signal the certification as required strips the Court of Federal Claims or the Boards of Contract Appeals of jurisdiction to pay attention the declare and is not a correctable defect that can be corrected to restore the jurisdiction.
Here are 4 instances over the last ten years (the closing of which cites a 1993 case), where a “pen and ink” signature might have stored the contractor from having its declare disregarded by the Board: