Only Contracting Officer or Designee Can Modify a Contract

Government’s Engineers Couldn’t Modify Contract, Says ASBCA

A construction contractor made changes per requests from poject engineers.  Unfortunately, this contractor could not reqcoup those costs since the only authority allowed to make changes is the contracting officer or a designated representative.
Source: SmallGovCon, Article written by Steven Koprince, published July 17, 2015
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 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.  MORE…
Contractors need to be careful when making contract changes.  Those costs may not be recoverable.


 For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.