The contractual duty of “good faith and fair dealing” is well established in private contracts. Depending on your jurisdiction, there is very likely either a formal or an informal rule that parties to a contract must deal with each other honestly and in good faith. This is (usually) not a written contract term – rather, the duty is implied automatically in order to reinforce the parties’ intent when entering into the agreement.
But, did you know that the same kind of duty exists in public contracts – and runs as a two-way street between contractors and the Federal government? It is true. And it can help your business in the pursuit of time or damages from the government as part of an REA or Claim.
Implicit in every government contract is the duty for the government to treat the contractor fairly and act in good faith. Courts discussing this duty place both affirmative and negative obligations on the government. In other words, the government: 1) must take active steps to enable the contractor’s performance, and 2) must not willfully or negligently interfere with said performance.