Lifecycle of a Claim, Part IV: Contracting Officer’s Final Decision

Stay up to date by subscribing to our blog. Add your e-mail address to the Subscribe box on the right (below the post on mobile) to get our timely posts delivered directly to your inbox.

Stephanie M. Harden and David L. Bodner ●

Welcome back to our “Lifecycle of a Claim” series. This series explores the Contract Disputes Act claims process, with practical guidance stemming from recent case law every step of the way. Click the subscribe button on this page to get timely updates right in your inbox!

This series walks through this infographic (click here or the image below to expand), which illustrates the lifecycle of a typical claim:

Our previous posts are available at the following hyperlinks: Part I, Part II, and Part III. This post focuses on Steps 6 through 8 of this process: reviewing the Contracting Officer’s Final Decision (“COFD”), accepting or the appealing the COFD, and resolving or litigating the matter.

We begin with these essential questions: What is a COFD? What can a contractor do if it does not like the COFD? And what is the timeline to appeal a COFD?

What Is a COFD?

A COFD is a Contracting Officer’s (“CO”) decision on the merits, which provides the reasons for the decision and notifies the contractor of its appeal rights. 41 U.S.C. § 7103(d)-(e). The FAR describes a COFD as a written decision that:

i. Describes the claim or dispute

ii. References pertinent contract terms

iii. States the factual areas of disagreement

iv. States the CO’s decision, with supporting rationale

v. includes notice of contractor’s appeal rights “substantially as follows:”

Continue reading “Lifecycle of a Claim, Part IV: Contracting Officer’s Final Decision”

DoD Urges Contracting Officer Transparency in COVID-19 Impacts

Albert B. Krachman and Dominique L. Casimir

The Department of Defense’s (“DoD”) Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment issued Guidance on March 10, 2020, addressing internal and external communications in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. See Planning for Potential Novel Coronavirus Contract Impacts.

The Guidance states that the Contracting Officers (as distinguished from Program personnel) hold the contractual authority to address contract performance impacts related to COVID-19. Moreover, the Guidance encourages close communication between Contracting Officers and contractors, and stresses Contracting Officer transparency, a term not normally seen in contract administration guidance. In pertinent part the Guidance states as follows:

Communication between the Government and contractors is key to total workforce safety and mission continuity. Therefore, contracting officers should be as transparent as possible as they make decisions potentially impacting contract performance or contractor personnel. Contracting officers should also encourage their contractor site leads/leadership to engage with their employees as soon as possible to share information and discuss any COVID-19 concerns they have, and ask their contractors to identify potential impacts to the welfare and safety of their workforce or contract performance, which impacts our total force. Continue reading “DoD Urges Contracting Officer Transparency in COVID-19 Impacts”

%d bloggers like this: