When Govt. Sought 'Other Relief' Under Contract, It Made A 'Claim'

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:52 am
February 2018 - Volume 40 Number 2

Claims --- Defects

Appeals of: Greenland Contractors I/S, 2017 ASBCA Nos. 61113, 6124 Lexis 465 (Dec. 8, 2017),

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (F.A.R.) 2.101 defines a claim as "a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to the contract." Typically, an unpaid contractor will file a request for equitable adjustment of the contract, followed by a claim. Here, though, it was the government who filed the "claim"---in that it issued a demand directing the contractor to perform disputed work.

Greenland Contractors I/S (Greenland) performed under a contract with the U.S. Department of the Air Force (Air Force) on a maintenance and repair project at Thule Air Base in Greenland. The parties disagreed as to the interpretation of the contract’s performance work statement, which contained the note: "Government will furnish depot level maintenance."

Greenland believed this language made that work the government’s responsibility. The Air Force insisted, via a series of letters sent in the latter half of 2016, that Greenland was responsible for "all depot level repairs required on M Plant Diesel Units."

Finally, on January 11, 2017, the Air Force sent a letter to Greenland, labeled as the contracting officer’s (CO) official response to electrical generation equipment maintenance/repair wor[..]