Recently, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, in Jane Mobley Associates Inc. v. General Services Administration, CBCA 28728 (2016), rejected the government’s argument that certain defenses set forth by the contractor should be dismissed because they supposedly constitute Contract Disputes Act “claims” that should have been — but were not — first submitted to the contracting officer for a final decision. As discussed below, the CBCA’s “under the radar” — and thoughtful — decision in Jane Mobley Associates is noteworthy because it provides much-needed clarity on the jurisdictional issues surrounding contractor defenses to government claims and because it serves to limit the applicability of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s controversial decision in M. Maropakis Carpentry Inc. v. United States, 609 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Moreover, although the CBCA’s decision in Jane Mobley Associates, on the surface, appears to only be a victory for “Team Government Contractor,” as explained below, the CBCA’s decision should be viewed as a welcome development by the government and the public as well.
This article first appeared in Law360 Government Contracts on January 22, 2016. (login required)