Claims Awareness

With more than four decades of experience in government contracting, the attorneys at Malyszek & Malyszek can help you navigate through the many procedures of dealing with claims.

Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REA) and Claims are similar by definition. However, the purposes for filing either a REA or a Claim are very different. It is important for a contractor to know the differences in order to understand which may be used in any situation. Some of the differences between a REA and a Claim are:

• Consultant fees, attorney fees, profit, and overhead are recoverable under a REA whereas they are not recoverable under a Claim.
• A REA must be certified if it is submitted to the Department of Defense, regardless of the dollar amount submitted. A Claim however, must be certified if the claim amount exceeds $100,000 and must additionally include specific wording and a signature by an authorized company official.
• A REA is considered collaboration between a Government Contracting Officer and a contractor attempting to resolve an issue; a Claim however, is a formal dispute which may lead to litigation.

A Claim is a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking the payment of money in a certain sum, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under the contract. However, a written demand or written assertion by the contractor seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000 is not a Claim under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 until certified by the Act. (See FAR § 2.101).

Claims can be resolved over a telephone call or a short meeting and we prefer a non-adversarial approach with emphasis on collective communication with contracting officers who may not know the facts, as well as early and reasonable settlement, negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.

A Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA), on the other hand, allows a contractor to recover costs associated with any suspensions of work or terminations for convenience or other constructive changes by the owner of a project.

We assist our clients with analyses of their performance and develop legal theories of recovery, including constructive claims for government-required services performed outside the statement of work. When the government customer proves stubborn or unreasonable, we don’t hesitate to resort to litigation. Call Malyszek & Malyszek today to speak to one of our professional lawyers.