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Colonial Press International, Inc. (Appellant) v. Government Publishing Office (Respondent)

2020-04 Aug 30, 2023
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Appellant, Colonial Press International, Inc. ("Colonial Press"), appeals a contracting officer's final decision by respondent, the Government Publishing Office ("GPO") in connection with Purchase Order No. 79239 for the production of Medicare handbooks issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. GPO awarded this contract to Colonial Press, from which three print orders were issued. Relevant to this appeal, Colonial Press completed delivery of the handbooks in February 2020 and GPO made final payment for the print orders in March 2020. Subsequently, GPO issued contract modifications imposing a decrement in price to each of the print orders. The price decrement for all three print orders amounted to a total of $199,490.59. Because payment on the three print orders had already been completed, GPO recovered this amount, in full, by administratively offsetting payments due on other contracts that Colonial Press had with GPO. Colonial Press submitted a claim to GPO on October 30, 2020, requesting restoration of the entire $199,490.59 amount, with interest. The contracting officer issued a final decision, denying the claim on December 1, 2020. On December 2, 2020, Colonial Press appealed the contracting officer's final decision to the Board.

We conclude that GPO has not meet its burden in proving that the government did not contribute to the defect alleged in the government's claim of breach of warranty. The government, therefore, has failed to prove its claim for breach of warranty. Accordingly, we need not address the parties' other arguments. This appeal is GRANTED. Colonial Press is entitled to $199,490.59, the full amount retained by GPO through administrative offset. The appellant is also entitled to interest pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act, starting from the date the contracting officer received Colonial Press's claim until the date of payment. 41 U.S.C. § 7109.


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