A "back-to-basics" guide to government contract law
Finally! A plain-English presentation of the basic legal concepts of government contract law for professionals at any stage in their careers.
Until now, anyone in the procurement field has had to trudge through dense and complex texts written in hard-to-follow "legalese" in their quest to understand procurement law. With Understanding Government Contract Law, they finally have a source of clear and concise explanations of the legal principles involved in government contract law, written by an authority on the subject.
Part I of the book focuses on the unique problems facing each of the parties to a government contract - the contract officer and the contractor - and offers insight to the many roles played by the contract officer in the procurement process. Part II describes why and how the government contract is different from commercial contracts. Part III explores the ins and outs of a government contract lawsuit.
The author presents key legal principles of government contract law by:
· Stating a legal principle
· Specifying where in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that principle is found
· Offering the rationale, context, and any public policy behind the principle
· Describing, with case law examples, situations where the government applied the law correctly and situations where the government came to that conclusion incorrectly
The structure of Understanding Government Contract Law is modeled after the FAR, the foundation of federal procurement, making it familiar and practical for both students and professionals.
Terrence M. O'Connor has practiced government contract law for over 35 years. After 15 years as an attorney for the federal government, he went into private practice, focusing on litigation and teaching. He has tried more than 70 criminal jury cases and more than 20 civil/non-jury administrative hearings, including government contract claims before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and various Boards of Contract Appeals.
He is the author of The Federal Contracting Answer Book and currently writes monthly columns on recent court, GAO, and BCA decisions for the popular monthly newsletter Federal Acquisition Report.
Part I: The Parties
· Chapter 1: The Contracting Officer as Judge
o A "Fair and Reasonable" Judge
o An "Independent Judge"
· Chapter 2: The Contracting Officer as Sheriff
o The Solicitation Process
o Contract Administration
· Chapter 3: The Contracting Officer as Defendant
o Contracting Officer's Financial Liability to the Government
o Contracting Officer's Financial Liability to The Public
· Chapter 4: The Contracting Officer as Plaintiff
· Chapter 5: Contractor Responsibilities
o Check Contracting Officer's Authority
o Bait and Switch
o Implied Certifications
o Fraud in Claims
Part II: The Contract
· Chapter 6: Types of Government Contracts
o Different Kinds of Agreements
o Express Contracts
o Implied Contracts
· Chapter 7: Contract Interpretation
o The Goal of Contract Interpretation: Finding the Intent of the Parties
o The Two Steps of Contract Interpretation
· Chapter 8: Contract Administration Quirks
o The Government Intentionally and Unilaterally Changes It Using the Changes Clause
o The Government Inadvertently Changes the Deal: Constructive Changes
o Deadlines That Are Not Really Deadlines, Just Suggestions: Notice Requirements
o Clauses Left Out That Are in a Government Contract Anyway: The Christian Doctrine
o The Government Prematurely Ends the Agreement: Terminations for Convenience
Part III: Lawsuits over Government Contracts
· Chapter 9: Federal Litigation: Suing the Federal Government
o Any Lawsuit
o Any Lawsuit Against the Federal Government
o The Two Typical Procurement Lawsuits Against the Government: Protests and Claims
oCFC-District Court Overlap: Does the Issue Involve a Federal Contract or a Federal Regulation?
· Chapter 10: Protests
o The Protest
o The Automatic Stay
· Chapter 11: The Claims Process
o What Is a "Claim"?
o How Is a Claim Raised and Resolved?
o When Must a Claim be Filed?
o Appeal to the CFC or BCA
o Appeal to the CAFC
· Chapter 12: Costs of Litigation