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(Revised Edition-Updated to November 1, 1973)

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Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Small Business

24-115 O



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402 Price: $1.55

Stock No. 5270-02073


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Out of the recent total expenditure of $60.5 billion in 1972 on Government procurement, small business contractors received $12.5 billion. This very sizable portion is evidence that small business plays a most important role in Government procurement. This Committee is dedicated to the belief that small business must continue to be encouraged to seek Government contracts as well as be given a fair opportunity in obtaining them.

Over the years, the Senate Small Business Committee has pursued efforts to provide the small business contracting community with information on government contract claims. In 1961, the Committee published a committee print, "A Primer on Government Contract Claims." As an introduction for small business contractors to the procedures for submitting contractual claims against the Federal government, the "Primer" was well received by the small business community, the legal profession and government officials concerned with the claims process. Likewise, it provided a guide for Members of the Senate and House interested in this subject. In 1965 and 1966, the Committee conducted a study of the administrative handling of contract controversies and made recommendations for correcting deficiencies in the claims procedures of government departments and agencies.2

While recognizing that the legal complexities of filing contract claims against the government by small business contractors are properly a matter for private legal advice and representation, there is a need for a quick reference guide for the enlightenment of small businessmen seeking relief from possible injustices arising from contractual relationships with the Federal government.

Accordingly, it was our judgment that the 1961 "Primer" should be updated and expanded to assure a timely source of information on the claims process for the small business community and others.

The Committee staff was instructed to prepare such a basic guide to assist small contractors in identifying procedures for asserting claims against the government. It is intended that this be a simple reference covering only the bare rudiments of the claims process. It is not a manual on how to pursue a claim, since this involves legal conclusions.

This print includes a compilation of the rules, varying as they are, of all the boards of contract appeals. By their consolidation, this should serve as a handy source and provide a convenient reference for small contractors and others interested in researching and analyzing these rules.

Because of the significant recent change in the optional accelerated procedure of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, it was

1 Committee Print of the Select Committee on Small Business, U.S. Senate, 87th Cong., 1st Sess., December 20, 1961.

2 See "Boards of Contract Appeals," Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Government Procurement, Select Committee on Small Business, U.S. Senate, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., March 8 and 9, 1966, and "Operation and Effectiveness of Government Boards of Contract Appeals," Senate Document No. 99, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., July 28, 1966.

deemed appropriate to revise the September 17, 1973 Primer. Additional comment and statistics pertinent to this change in the Board Rules are made; otherwise, this revised edition is consistent with that issued earlier this year.

The assistance of the Federal agency procurement officials in the Committee's work in this and associated areas is hereby gratefully acknowledged.


Chairman, Select Committee on Small Business, U.S. Senate.
Chairman, Subcommittee on Government Procurement, Select
Committee on Small Business.

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