Posted on 8/11/2011 1:52 PM

BLIND LEADING THE BLIND

Don’t be the blind leading the blind. Chances are your newly minted contracting officer does not know what an REA or a claim is supposed to look like—what is must contain. There is no form in FAR, no outline, not even a discussion of what goes in this type of document. That’s a bit odd, in my view.

Here’s the outline:
1.       A statement of the relevant contract requirements;
2.       A statement of the government direction, actions or omissions which caused the problem;
3.       Detailed descriptions of the added work or effect on performance;
4.       Computation of the cost and profit impact; and
5.       A legal brief stating the theories of recovery and damages.
This document should be a whopper. It must contain thorough and complete statements of fact and be supported by all the documentary evidence you can find. Five pages will not do. Put it together now and save yourself a lot of grief later. Be specific. Provide names and places. Don’t just say the work was delayed and disrupted. Be specific.
Too many times, the uninitiated submit a rambling tale of woe with accusations of bias and prejudice. Wrong! Or, they submit a lengthy discussion of the law which is short on facts. Also wrong. There is a tried and true method of preparing REA’s and claims even though it is not found in FAR, DFARS or any other regulation. 
Finally, unless you are a lawyer or accountant, you should not try to do the damage calculation yourself. The cost allowability rules are complicated and you will need assistance on just what damage theories apply. Although the general concept is to make you whole, the whole is your contract and not normally the impact on other contracts and your business generally. 

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