Summary: H.R.11002 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/12/1978)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 3178)

Contract Disputes Act - Declares that this Act applies to any contract entered into by the United States for the procurement or disposal of personal property, the procurement of services, the procurement of construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of real property, and to any other contract which by its terms is expressly made subject to the provisions of this Act.

Stipulates that, with respect to contracts of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), this Act applies only to contracts which contain a disputes clause requiring that a contract dispute be resolved through an agency administrative process. Excludes TVA contracts for the sale of fertilizer or electric power or related to the conduct or operation of the electric power system from coverage by this Act. States that this Act does not apply to a contract with a foreign government, or agency thereof, or international organization, or subsidiary body thereof, if the head of the agency determines that the application of this Act to the contract would not be in the public interest.

Stipulates that specified appeals and suits under this Act, arising out of maritime contracts shall be governed by certain Acts, as applicable, to the extent that those Acts are not inconsistent with this Act. Establishes liability to the government for a contractor who, as the result of misrepresentation of fact or fraud, is unable to support any part of his claim, for an amount equal to such unsupported part of his claim. Requires that such liability be determined within six years of the commission of such misrepresentation of fact or fraud.

Requires all contract dispute claims to be submitted to the appropriate executive agency in writing. Requires the contracting officer of such agency to issue a final and binding decision on each dispute. Stipulates that such authority: (1) shall not extend to a claim or dispute for penalties of forfeitures prescribed by statute or regulation which another Federal agency is especially authorized to administer, settle, or determine; and (2) does not authorize any agency head to settle, compromise, pay, or otherwise adjust any claim involving fraud.

Allows executive agencies to include a clause in government contracts requiring that, pending final decision of an appeal, action, or final settlement, a contractor shall proceed diligently with performance of the contract in accordance with the contracting officer's decision.

Provides certain procedures and time limits for the issuance of such decisions by the contract officer, depending on whether the claim is more or less than $50,000.

Authorizes executive agencies to establish agency boards of contract appeals to which appeals from decisions of contracting officers may be taken. States that if the volume of procurement of any agency does not justify a full-time appeals board, such agency may agree with another agency to permit appeals to be taken by such other agency's appeals board.

Requires each appeals board to include in its rules and apply a simplified procedure for the expedited disposition of small claims, at the sole option of the contractor. Makes decisions under the small claims procedure final and conclusive, except in cases of fraud.

Authorizes the Board of Directors of the TVA to establish a board of contract appeals over which the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy shall have no authority in establishing or terminating such board.

Authorizes such agency boards to grant any relief that would be available to a litigant asserting a contract claim in the Court of Claims, in exercising their jurisdiction to decide any appeal from a contract officer (1) relating to contracts made by their agencies, and (2) relating to a contract made by any other agency when such agency or the Administrator has designated the agency board to decide the appeal.

States that the decision of such appeals board may be appealed by a contractor and the government to the United States Court of Claims within 120 days of a decision. Allows a contractor and the TVA to appeal a decision to a district court within 120 days of such decision. Permits a contractor to bring a de novo suit in the Court of Claims in lieu of appealing the decision of a contracting officer. Allows a contractor to bring a de novo action against the TVA only in a district court.

Requires the payment of interest to a prevailing contractor from the date a claim was received by a contracting officer until payment thereof.

Grants the Court of Claims jurisdiction to render judgement upon any claim by or against, or dispute with, a contractor arising under this Act.