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Challenge to Performance Evaluation Was Claim Under CDA

A challenge to performance evaluations constituted a claim for purposes of the Contract Disputes Act, the Court of Federal Claims held, because the contractor demanded relief "as a matter of right" and sought relief "arising under or relating to the contract." After the contracting officer issued unfavorable evaluations of its performance of two task orders for roof repairs, the contractor submitted written assertions the evaluations were factually inaccurate and violated applicable procedures. The government rejected the challenge in a letter identified as a "Final Contracting Officer Decision," and the contractor filed for declaratory and injunctive relief, seeking a determination the evaluations were unlawful and an order to remove the evaluations from the Construction Contractor Appraisal Support System. The government moved to dismiss, arguing the contractor's challenge to the performance evaluations was not a claim within the meaning of the CDA because it was not made "as a matter of right" and did not arise under or relate to the contract as required by FAR 52.233-1(c).
Matter of Logic

However, FAR 36.201 entitles construction contractors to an accurate and fair performance evaluation prepared in accordance with agency procedures. The contractor made a request as a matter of right when it asserted it was entitled to a fair and accurate evaluation and adherence to detailed agency procedures. In addition, the government's argument a request for relief "arising under or relating to" the contract must request monetary relief or a non-monetary substitute lacked merit because it focused on the type of relief requested rather than the substance of the claim and was not supported by the cases on which the government relied. The contractor's claim for relief related to the contract as a matter of logic because the evaluations related to the contractor's performance under the contract. (Todd Construction, L.P. v. U.S., FedCl, 53 CCF 79,046)


(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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