Under the Contract Disputes Act, contractor claims submitted to contracting officers (CO) must set forth a clear and unequivocal statement that gives the CO adequate notice of the basis and amount of the claim. This requirement prohibits contractors from raising new claims in court that were not first presented to the CO. In the Affiliated Construction Group v. United States case issued last week, the Court of Federal Claims held that the contractor’s new articulation of a claim in litigation was based on different operative facts from those on which the claim presented to the CO was based. Although the court observed that the case presented a very close question, the court dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The case provides a helpful reminder to contractors that they (and counsel) must carefully assess all of the facts in preparing CDA claims—and carefully craft all theories of recovery based on the relevant facts.
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