A construction contractor was unable to recover the costs of performing changed work allegedly ordered by the government’s project engineers because the engineers did not have authority to modify the contract.
As demonstrated in a recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decision, only a contracting officer or the contracting officer’s designated representatives may modify a contract, and a contractor bears the risk of non-payment by performing changed work directed by an unauthorized government employee.
The ASBCA’s decision in Circle, LLC, ASBCA No. 58575 (July 1, 2015) involved a contract between Circle, LLC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pursuant to which Circle was to construct a concrete flume on the Two Mile Canal in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. As part of its scope of work, Circle was to erect a Temporary Retaining Structure to stabilize the site while the flume was constructed.
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