Choice of Forum for Government Contract Claims: Court of Federal Claims vs. Board of Contract Appeals

    31 December 2009

    The Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (CDA) provides Government contractors with a choice of forum to challenge a Contracting Officer’s (CO) adverse Final Decision on a contract claim. A contractor has the exclusive right to choose the forum to litigate its claim and either may file a suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims (CFC) or may appeal to the appropriate agency board of contract appeals. Because the Government cannot appeal a CO’s decision, only a contractor may initially invoke the jurisdiction of the CFC or a board. However, once a contractor has filed an action in one of the forums, the choice ordinarily is final. It is therefore important that the contractor select the most advantageous forum in its initial filing.

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