Proper Authority Needs to be Signor

September 19, 2017

Release of Claims: Contractor Signatory Must Have Authority

SmallGovCon, Steven Koprince, September 12, 2017

What goes around, comes around.

The government sometimes refuses to pay a contractor for a modification when the government official requesting the modification lacks appropriate authority. But contractual authority isn’t a one-way street benefiting only the government. A recent decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals demonstrates that a contractor may not be bound by a final waiver and release of claims if the individual signing on the contractor’s behalf lacked authority.

The ASBCA’s decision in Horton Construction Co., SBA No. 61085 (2017) involved a contract between the Army and Horton Construction Co., Inc. Under the contract, Horton Construction was to perform work associated with erosion control at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The contract was awarded at a firm, fixed-price of approximately $1.94 million.

After the work was completed, Horton Construction submitted a document entitled “Certification of Final Payment, Contractors Release of Claims.” The document was signed on Horton Construction’s behalf by Chauncy Horton.

More than three years later, Horton Construction submitted a certified claim for an additional $274,599. The certified claim was signed by Dominique Horton Washington, the company’s Vice President. READ MORE….

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