Trends and Issues with the Contract Disputes Act “Statute of Limitations”

Questions regarding the statute of limitations have been raised in several cases at the Court of Federal Claims (CFC) and the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) in the past several years. In 1994, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) established a six-year statute of limitations for claims under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). FASA states that each claim shall be submitted within six years “after the accrual of the claim.” The six-year limitation applies to all contracts awarded after October 1, 1995, and “accrual of claim” is defined as the date when all events that resolve the alleged liability of either the government or the contractor and permit assertion of the claim were known or should have been known.

How have the courts interpreted contractor statute of limitations?

Court cases have included matters related to constructive contract changes, quantity variations, mistakes in bid, defective pricing and Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) revised practices. This demonstrates that the statute of limitations is being tested at phases throughout the contract life-cycle. The following table provides a brief synopsis of some relevant cases.

Gary McDonald
Director, DHG Government Contracting Advisory

Paul Pompeo
Partner, Arnold & Porter

Bill Walter
Managing Director, DHG Government Contracting Advisory

govcon@dhg.com