CLAIM DOES NOT ACCRUE UNTIL “SUM CERTAIN” IS KNOWN BY CONTRACTOR

The Federal Circuit recently clarified that a contractor’s claim does not accrue until the exact amount (“sum certain”) of the claim is known to the contractor. Kellogg Brown & Root Serv., Inc. v. Murphy, No. 2015-1148 (Fed. Cir. May 18, 2016), 2016 WL 2893218. This case is important because any dollar claim that fails to include a “sum certain” should be dismissed by the contracting officer and the courts. First, a brief discussion of accrual of claims, and definition of a claim. The Contract Disputes Act provides that a claim “shall be submitted within 6 years after the accrual of the claim.” 41 USC § 7103(a)(4)(A). The FAR defines accrual of a claim as follows: “the date when all events, that fix the alleged liability … Continue reading

DON’T BECOME A VOLUNTEER WHO ISN’T PAID FOR YOUR WORK

Do you know what a government contract volunteer is? A volunteer is someone who embarks on duties of their own free will and without any expectation that they will be paid for their work. A contractor who elects to perform work not required by a contract without a formal change order is considered to be a volunteer who will not be paid for the services. [1] Is it not only small businesses that fall into the trap of becoming an unpaid volunteer. Even one of the largest aerospace companies in the U.S. (Boeing) became a volunteer and failed to get paid for subcontractor work.[2] Boeing had a cost plus award fee contract to perform engineering assignments as ordered by the government. The contract included FAR … Continue reading