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Contract Dispute Act

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What Is the Contract Dispute Act?

The Contract Dispute Act of 1978 is a highly specific act that governs claims that involve U.S. Federal Government contracts. The Act defines various procedures that are to be followed if the federal government has any claims against an independent contractor.

An example of this is where the federal government claims that the contractor engaged in fraud when working on a contract duty. Under the Contract Dispute Act, federal claims against contractors must be submitted to a special review conducted by the U.S. Contracting Office.

What Are Some Provisions in the Contract Dispute Act?

Under the Contract Dispute Act (CDA), claims for contract disputes with contractors need to be submitted in writing. Most provisions revolve around the amount of money being disputed. For claims submitted by contractors above $100,000, the claim needs to be made in good faith. The claim should be supported by accurate data and must represent a reasonable estimation of the amount that the government owes.

For claims less than $100,000, similar requirements are enforced. Also, the government is then required to respond with a decision within 60 days of receiving the complaint. Appeals can sometimes be made under the Contract Dispute Act, depending on the nature of the contracting dispute at hand.

Are There Any Alternative Avenues for Relief Under the Contract Dispute Act?

Under the Contract Dispute Act, the parties may be able seek alternative dispute resolution procedures for handling conflicts, especially if there is a possibility that the parties will be able to cooperate closely in the process. There are also mechanisms for streamlined (faster) hearings for claims involving smaller amounts. Issues with government contractor immunity can sometimes be a factor in such decisions.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Issues Involving the Contract Dispute Act?

Government contract agreements often involve highly specific laws such as the Contract Dispute Act. Such laws contain very specific instructions for how to file a legal claim for breach of contract or other disputes. You may wish to hire a qualified and experienced lawyer for help with legal issues with such contracts. Your attorney can provide you with expert legal advice and guidance on these specific topics of law.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 01-20-2014 02:24 PM PST

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