As a general contractor who is currently working with the government, you may be frustrated when there are delays or when the government entity doesn’t seem to keep up its end of the arrangements. Usually, you can bring a claim against the government if it breaches the contract or another dispute arises.
The act that you need to know about is called The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, also known as the CDA. The CDA creates a way for government contract claims to be resolved, so the contractor has some way to resolve the conflict.
How do you handle a claim through the CDA?
The CDA has set rules that you have to follow to make a claim against the government. To start with, your initial claim has to demand a certain sum of money, for example, that isn’t the routine request for payment or your typical invoice. So, for example, if the government has failed to pay on time for $50,000 of work and you previously invoiced it, you can make a written demand through the CDA.
The CDA requires that you exhaust all other options before litigating, so don’t expect this to result in a court date. Instead, you will likely need to negotiate with the government entity that you were contracted to do work for.
The nice thing about the CDA is that it does give the contractor and government time to resolve a dispute outside of court, but it also opens up a pathway to go to court and make a claim. Eventually, if neither party is satisfied with possible resolutions, the case could even go to the Supreme Court.
Frustrated with your government contract? You don’t have to try to handle it alone
It can be hard to handle a government contract and frustrating to think you have to litigate to get what you deserve after doing work for the state. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle this entire situation yourself. You have the option of getting legal support and working through your side of the case to make sure it’s ready to be presented during negotiations. With some good planning, you may be able to resolve the dispute without ever having to go to court.