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Approved 15 July 1963

Revised 1 May 1969

Revised 1 September 1973




I. Summary of Pertinent Charter Provisions

The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals is the authorized representative of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force, in hearing, considering and determining, as fully and finally as might each of the Secretaries:

(a) Appeals by contractors from decisions of con-
tracting officers or their authorized representatives or
other authorities on disputed questions, taken pursuant
to the provision of contracts requiring the determination
of such appeals by the Secretary of Defense or by a Sec-
retary of a military department or their duly authorized
representative or board; or,

(b) Appeals by contractors taken pursuant to the provisions of any directive whereby the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department has granted a right of appeal not contained in the contract.

When an appeal is taken pursuant to a disputes clause in a contract which limits appeals to disputes concerning questions of fact, the Board may in its discretion hear, consider, and decide all questions of law necessary for the complete adjudication of the issue. In the consideration of an appeal, should it appear that a claim is involved which is not cognizable under the terms of the contract, the Board may make findings of fact with respect to such a claim without expressing an opinion on the question of liability.

When a contract requires the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department, personally to render a decision on the matter in dispute, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals makes and submits findings and recommendations to the appropriate Secretary with respect thereto.

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There are a number of divisions of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, established by the Chairman of the Board in such manner as to provide for the most effective and expeditious handling of appeals. The Chairman and a Vice Chairman of the Board act as members of each division. Appeals are assigned to the divisions for decision without regard to the military department or other procuring agency which entered into the contract involved. Hearing may be held by a designated member (administrative judge), or by a duly authorized examiner. The decision of a majority of a division constitutes the decision of the Board, unless the Chairman refers the appeal to the Board's Senior Deciding Group (consisting of the Chairman, Vice Chairmen and all division heads), in which event a decision of a majority of that group constitutes the decision of the Board. Appeals referred to the Senior Deciding Group are those of unusual difficulty, significant precedential importance, or serious dispute within the normal division decision process.

On request of the parties, an appeal involving $25,000 or less may be decided by a single member and a Vice Chairman or the Chairman under a simplified, accelerated procedure in accordance with Rule 12. This procedure contemplates a short decision made in not over 30 days from the time the appeal is ready for decision. Further, in appeals involving $5,000 or less, a single member may decide the appeal orally from the bench at the conclusion of a hearing.

II. Statement of Purpose

Emphasis is placed upon the sound administration of these rules in specific cases, because it is impracticable to articulate a rule to fit every possible circumstance which may be encountered. These rules will be interpreted so as to secure just and inexpensive determination of appeals without unnecessary delay.

Preliminary procedures are available to encourage full disclosure of relevant and material facts, and to discourage unwarranted surprise.

All time limitations specified for various procedural actions are computed as maximums, and are not to be fully exhausted if the action described can be accomplished in a lesser period. These time limitations are similarly eligible for extension in appropriate circumstances, on good cause shown.

Whenever reference is made to contractor, appellant, contracting officer, respondent and parties, this shall include respective

counsel for the parties, as soon as appropriate Notices of Appearance have been filed with the Board.


1. Appeals, How Taken Notice of an appeal must be in writing, and the original, together with two copies, may be filed with the contracting officer from whose decision the appeal is taken. The notice of appeal must be mailed or otherwise filed within the time specified therefor in the contract or allowed by applicable provision of directive or law.

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2. Notice of Appeal, Contents of A notice of appeal should indicate that an appeal is thereby intended, and should identify the contract (by number), the department and agency or bureau cognizant of the dispute, and the decision from which the appeal is taken. The notice of appeal should be signed personally by the appellant (the contractor making the appeal), or by an officer of the appellant corporation or member of the appellant firm, or by the contractor's duly authorized representative or attorney. The complaint referred to in Rule 6 may be filed with the notice of appeal, or the appellant may designate the notice of appeal as a complaint, if it otherwise fulfills the requirements of a complaint.


Forwarding of Appeals

When a notice of appeal in any form has been received by the contracting officer, he shall endorse thereon the date of mailing (or date of receipt, if otherwise conveyed) and within 10 days shall forward said notice of appeal to the Board. Following receipt by the Board of the original notice of an appeal (whether through the contracting officer or otherwise), the contractor and contracting officer will be promptly advised of its receipt, and the contractor will be furnished a copy of these rules.

4. Preparation, Contents, Organization, Forwarding, and Status of Appeal File

(a) Duties of Contracting Officer Within 30 days of receipt of an appeal, or advice that an appeal has been filed, the contracting officer shall assemble and transmit to the Board, with a copy to the Government trial attorney, an appeal file consisting of all documents pertinent to the appeal, including:

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(2) the contract, including specifications and
pertinent amendments, plans and drawings;

(3) all correspondence between the parties
pertinent to the appeal, including the
letter or letters of claim in response
to which decision was issued;

(4) transcripts of any testimony taken during
the course of proceedings, and affidavits
or statements of any witnesses on the matter
in dispute made prior to the filing of the
notice of appeal with the Board;

(5) any additional information considered pertinent.

Within the same time above-specified, the contracting officer shall furnish the appellant a copy of each document he transmits to the Board, except those stated in subparagraph (a)(2) above, as to which a list furnished appellant indicating specific contractual documents transmitted will suffice, and those stated in subparagraph (d), below.

(b) Duties of the Appellant

Within 30 days after receipt of a copy of the appeal file assembled by the contracting officer, the appellant shall supplement the same by transmitting to the Board any documents not contained therein which he considers pertinent to the appeal, and furnishing two copies of such documents to the Government trial attorney.

(c) Organization of Appeal File Documents in the appeal file may be originals or legible facsimile or authenticated copies thereof, and shall be arranged in chronological order, where practicable, numbered sequentially, tabbed, and indexed to identify the contents of the file.

(a) Lengthy Documents

The Board may waive the requirement of furnishing to the other party copies of bulky, lengthy, or out-ofsize documents in the appeal file when a party has shown that doing so would impose an undue burden. At the time a party files with the Board a document as to which such a waiver has been granted, he shall notify the other party that the same or a copy is available for inspection at the offices of the Board or of the party filing same.

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