The Contract Disputes Act
The CDA applies to nearly all contracts[FN1] with the
express or implied, executed on or after March 1, 1979, for: |
A. The procurement of property, other than real property;
B. The procurement of services;
C. The procurement of construction, alteration, repair or
real property; or
D. The disposal of personal property.
See 41 U.S.C. § 602(a).
FN1. Contracts with the Tennessee Valley Authority and
contracts with foreign entities may be excepted from the CDA under
certain circumstances. 41 U.S.C. §§ 601(b) and (c).
The CDA creates a comprehensive system for resolving disputes
between a contractor and a procuring agency relating to the
of most procurement contracts. The starting point for this system
contracting officer's decision. The claims of both the contractor
the agency must be the subject of a contracting officer's decision.
41 U.S.C. § 605(a). The contractor may appeal such a decision
appropriate agency board of contract appeals; such boards are
specifically authorized by the CDA. 41 U.S.C. § 607.
the contractor, in lieu of appealing a contracting officer's
a board of contract appeals, may file suit on its claim in the
States Court of Federal Claims (CFC). 41 U.S.C. § 609(a).[FN2]
Wilner v. United States, 24 F.3d 1397 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (en banc).
both forums the claim is heard de novo. If the contractor or the
(with the approval of the Attorney General) wishes, either may
decision of a board of contract appeals or the CFC to the United
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). 41 U.S.C. §
See USAM 4-4.220
FN2. Where the claim arises under a maritime contract,
jurisdiction over an appeal from a contracting officer's decision
governed by 41 U.S.C. § 603, which confers jurisdiction on the
Where the claim arises under a maritime contract, jurisdiction
an appeal from a contracting officer's decision is governed by 41
§ 603, which confers jurisdiction in the district court.
In the case of a claim brought by the United States, the
contractor-defendant who fails to appeal from the contracting
determination will be foreclosed from challenging that decision in
litigation. See United States v. Ulvedal, 372 F.2d 31
Cir. 1967); see also Zidell Exploration, Inc. v. United
States, 427 F.2d 735, 739 (Ct. Cl. 1970). Questions concerning
CDA should be directed to the Commercial Litigation Branch.
[cited in USAM 4-4.420]