B-167574, AUG. 8, 1969

B-167574: Aug 8, 1969

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YOU INDICATE THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT WATERVLIET ARSENAL SHOULD NOT HAVE TERMINATED FOR DEFAULT SIX CONTRACTS WITH YOUR COMPANY. YOU STATE THAT THE TERMINATIONS ARE PRESENTLY BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS (ASBCA) AND YOU REQUEST THAT OUR OFFICE ACT TO PROTECT OTHER CONTRACTORS FROM SIMILAR TERMINATIONS BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS IS VESTED WITH THE AUTHORITY TO TERMINATE CONTRACTS FOR DEFAULT IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. CONTRACTORS AGGRIEVED BY SUCH TERMINATIONS ARE PROVIDED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REVIEW OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION UNDER SPECIFIC APPEAL PROCEDURES WHICH YOU APPARENTLY ARE FOLLOWING.

B-167574, AUG. 8, 1969

TO MR. GUENTHER L. KUEHL, PRESIDENT:

IN LETTER OF JULY 25, 1969, YOU INDICATE THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT WATERVLIET ARSENAL SHOULD NOT HAVE TERMINATED FOR DEFAULT SIX CONTRACTS WITH YOUR COMPANY. YOU STATE THAT THE TERMINATIONS ARE PRESENTLY BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS (ASBCA) AND YOU REQUEST THAT OUR OFFICE ACT TO PROTECT OTHER CONTRACTORS FROM SIMILAR TERMINATIONS BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS IS VESTED WITH THE AUTHORITY TO TERMINATE CONTRACTS FOR DEFAULT IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. CONTRACTORS AGGRIEVED BY SUCH TERMINATIONS ARE PROVIDED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REVIEW OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION UNDER SPECIFIC APPEAL PROCEDURES WHICH YOU APPARENTLY ARE FOLLOWING. APPARENTLY, THE ASBCA HAS NOT AS YET SUSTAINED YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACTED IMPROPERLY IN TERMINATING YOUR CONTRACTS. ANY EVENT, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS CHARGED WITH THE INITIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ADMINISTERING THE CONTRACTS AND OUR OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO EXERCISE THAT POWER. ANY OTHER CONTRACTOR WHO LIKE YOU BELIEVES THAT HIS CONTRACT WAS IMPROPERLY TERMINATED HAS THE RIGHT TO PURSUE THE APPEAL PROCEDURES PROVIDED BY CONTRACT AND BY LAW. THOSE ARE THE ONLY PROCEDURES PROVIDED TO CORRECT IMPROPER TERMINATIONS.

IF THE IMPLICATION IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS INCOMPETENT IS MEANT TO SUGGEST THAT HE SHOULD BE RELIEVED OF HIS DUTIES, THAT CHARGE SHOULD BE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYING HIM, SINCE IT IS NOT THE FUNCTION OF OUR OFFICE TO MAKE SUCH DECISIONS REGARDING AN OFFICER OF ANOTHER AGENCY.