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Co-Joint Venturer Had Standing to File Appeal


A motion to dismiss based on an alleged lack of privity of contract with the government was denied because a co-joint venturer had standing to bring the appeal. The dispute arose from a contract to provide food services at a military base. The contract fell under the requirements of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which applies a selection preference for qualified nominees of State Licensing Agencies for the Blind that represent clients seeking contracts for military cafeteria-style food operations. Here, the blind vendor represented by the SLA formed a joint venture with the contractor that filed the appeal. The government argued the appellant was a subcontractor with whom the government did not have a privity of contract. According to the government, the appeal should have been brought "in the name of the [SLA]."

In Privity

However, the SLA's delegation of contract rights to the joint venture included the right to appeal, in the SLA's name, from Contracting officer decisions made under the contract's Disputes clause. Also, the government, the SLA, and the joint venture entered a tripartite agreement that identified the joint venture as the contracting party with the government. The agreement specifically stated the joint venture had the authority to "appeal in the name of the [SLA]." The government then issued two modifications implementing the agreement and expressly making the joint venture a "contractor" in privity with the government. Accordingly, the appellant as a co-joint Venturer had the right to bring the appeal on behalf of the joint venture. The failure to reference the name of the joint venture in the caption of the notice of appeal was not an omission of jurisdictional significance, and the board's failure to docket the appeals in the name of the joint venture was a correctable administrative action. ( Intermark Managed Services, Inc., ASBCA, 93,525)





(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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