The case of Green Valley Company, ASBCA No. 61275, presents an interesting conundrum for contractors facing fraud allegations who also have a contract claim against the government. In 2006, the contractor presented invoices for payment to the government. In 2017, the contractor converted those invoices into a certified claim requesting payment. Under the CDA, the contractor had clearly exceeded the 6-year statute of limitations. However, the contractor requested the ASBCA equitably toll the CDA for what appeared to be sensible grounds. From 2009 until 2016, the contractor had been defending a lawsuit the government filed against it alleging false claims act violations and breach of contract among other causes of action. The government had simultaneously been considering the contractor for debarment, the death penalty of government contracts.
The contractor argued it could not have submitted its claim to the contracting officer while the lawsuit was pending because the government would have alleged the contractor had made yet another false claim thus further potentially exposing the contractor to additional treble damages. The ASBCA rejected the contractor’s argument stating “[n]or does [the contractor] explain why the possibility that the government might respond to its claim with fraud based defenses or causes of action would block it from submitting a claim. The mere fact that such a response from the government might be undesirable to [the contractor] is irrelevant.” Thus, the contractor’s claim was held to be outside the statute of limitations and the appeal was considered time-barred. Continue Reading Threat of Contractor Death Penalty Does Not Toll the CDA Statute of Limitations