Notice Requirements in Federal Acquisition Contracts.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Various notice provisions are sprinkled throughout the typical government contract. Where sovereign immunity once reigned, the government now shields itself from breach of contract liability with a wide variety of clauses providing for administrative resolution of claims and disputes. Frequently the clause contains one or more provisions requiring the contractor to give notice to the government as a prerequisite to eligibility for equitable adjustment or further appellate review. In the absence of the required notice, the clause language limits or eliminates the contractors remedy. However results are often quite different than this would imply. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the notice provisions of several major clauses. Primary emphasis will be given to the Disputes Clause, the Changes Clauses, and the Differing Site Conditions Clause. A discussion of the clause provisions will demonstrate that the interpretation and application of the notice requirements by the dourts and agency boards of contract appeals often deviate substantially from the apparent literal meaning. In some cases, it seems that the plain language of the clause is totally ignored, often without explanation. Finally, the thesis will analyze these deviations to provide a rationale for the approach taken by the boards and courts and will discuss whether there is any substantial detrimental impact to the government resulting from their approach.
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