The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decided this case involving the appeal of Northrop Grumman Corporation, 2017 WL 2962585. The ASBCA is an impartial forum that deals with contract disputes that arise between government contractors and various federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Contract Disputes Act
The ASBCA operates primarily under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 7101-7109) and the ASBCA Charter. All ASBCA decisions are made pursuant to procedures outlined in the ASBCA Rules. The rules include instructions for contractors to proceed without the representation of a lawyer as well as procedures for expedited hearings.
The ASBCA also supports the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve any and all disputes. The ASBCA has developed an award-winning approach to ADR, helping parties resolve their disputes effectively and efficiently.
Background of a Default by the Appelant
Northrop Grumman Corporation (Northrop Grumman) won a contract award from the Air Force. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract called for “Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program radar system development and demonstration alignment with the Global Hawk Block 40 program schedule.”
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, located at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, was the contracting entity. Funds for this contract came from fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015, drawing from research, development, test, and evaluation budgets. While the contract was funded over time incrementally, there was a one-time assignment of $319,615 at the time of contract award.
The total contract value was $1,529,683,365. The timeline for work included an expected completion date of September 30, 2015. Northrop Grumman would perform work under the contract in El Segundo, California.
Sometime after the contract award, a dispute arose concerning this contract. Northrop Grumman appealed to the ASBCA for review and a final determination.
Default by the Appelant Analysis
Before the ASBCA could review this case, the parties were able to resolve the dispute. The ASBCA judge dismissed the appeal with prejudice, in accordance with the ASBCA Charter.
For more insight regarding dismissal with prejudice, we can look to ASBCA Rule 17, which is titled, “Dismissal or Default for Failure to Prosecute or Defend.” According to Rule 17, dismissal with prejudice may be appropriate in cases where there is a “default by the appellant.” Examples of such a default include failure to:
“File documents required by these Rules,”
“Respond to notices or correspondence from the Board,” or
“Comply with orders of the Board.”
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