The docket of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals continued its steady growth last year, according to the Board’s FY 2014 statistical report. In fact, the 1,066 appeals pending on the date of the report is slightly more than twice the number pending on the same date in 2009.
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The Board closed more cases this year than in past years. It closed 535 appeals in 2014. But the number of new appeals increased even more, meaning that the number of pending appeals also increased.
The Board has implemented several measures to accommodate the demand for its services. Contractors with small claims ($50,000 or less) may elect expedited or accelerated appeals procedures under Board Rule 12. The Board also offers Alternative Dispute Resolution services, including nonbinding mediation and binding summary procedures before an Administrative Law Judge. The Board’s ADR program has proven valuable and productive. According to the Board’s April 2014 ADR summary, parties agreed to use ADR in 82 appeals in FY 2013. All of them were successfully resolved.
Of the 535 appeals closed in FY 2014, the Board sustained only 60 in whole or in part. This does not mean that contractors prevail only 11 percent of the time. Forty nine of the 535 appeals closed in FY 2014 were denied. Including the appeals resolved through ADR and traditional two-party settlement agreements, the Board continues to be an effective forum for the resolution of contract disputes.