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Settlement Proposal Could Have Ripened Into A Claim

Friday, July 07, 2017 07:59 am

 

Claims---Contract Termination

Appeal of: Pamir Zameen Constr. and Logistic Co., 2017 ASBCA No. 60597 Lexis 69 (March 3, 2017)

Both the contractor and the government made mistakes handling a settlement proposal that followed contract termination. Unfortunately, the contractor's error---in not certifying its more-than-$100,000 request---cost it a chance for recovery before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.

The U.S. Army awarded a contract to Pamir Zameen Construction and Logistic Company (Pamir) for construction work at the Forward Operating Base in Muqor, Afghanistan in March 2009. Two years later, the government terminated the contract for convenience because it no longer needed the project. In September 2012, the contracting officer (CO) invited Pamir to submit a settlement proposal for any costs incurred. It is unclear whether Pamir submitted a proposal at that time, though, in the instant appeal to the Board, it sought $650,000 for materials, equipment, and labor. The government moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, alleging that the contractor never submitted a claim, as defined by the Contract Disputes Act (CDA).

Pamir responded to the CO's invitation in 2012 with an email message that stated, "Please find attached our settlement proposal for [the contract]." Was the settlement proposal actually attached? The Army claimed it had no record of such a proposal until recently.

In any event, the Army told Pamir, in November 2012, that after reviewing payrolls it had calc[...]

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