With over 40 years of experience in government contract law, Malyszek & Malyszek can provide simple, straightforward guidance for contractors who bring appeals to federal boards of contract appeals (BCA’s) without representation by an attorney (pro se litigants), and for attorneys who may not be familiar with BCA practice. We may also help contractors decide whether to hire an attorney to present the appeal.
The boards of contract appeals (BCA’s) are committees established by Congress in the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) to resolve disputed claims arising under or relating to a federal government contract. 41 U.S.C. §§ 7101 - 7109. The BCA’s are charged with providing easy, inexpensive, and quick resolution of government contract disputes.
In addition to providing a forum for a full hearing, the BCA’s also make a variety of alternative dispute resolution procedures available; these procedures can be used either for matters that are already docketed at a BCA, or for issues still being disputed with a contracting officer that may later result in an appeal to a BCA.
For administrative purposes, the BCA’s are housed within federal agencies. However, Congress has made the BCA’s functionally independent. Decisions of the BCA’s may not be reviewed or changed by any agency official. Board decisions issued under the CDA are final unless one of the parties appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or, in the case of maritime appeals, the appropriate Federal District Court.
Each BCA publishes its own rules, which may be found at the webpage for that board as well as in the appropriate C.F.R. section (i.e., 48 C.F.R. part 6101 for the CBCA, and Appendix A to Chapter 2 of 48 C.F.R. for the ASBCA). When questions arise, a party should always check the rules of the BCA in which it’s appearing. Generally, when a contracting officer’s decision is appealed to a board, the clerk of that BCA will send a copy of its rules to the contractor with the notice of docketing, or notify the contractor how those rules can be attained.
For more information concerning a specific board of contract appeals contact the attorneys of Malyszek & Malyszek today.