Contract Disputes Act

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The Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (CDA) ensures uniform procedures for negotiating and litigating government contract disputes. The litigation process under the CDA is transparent and definitive, ensuring fairness and predictability. The government and the contractor are encouraged to negotiate claims and other disputes in good faith at the lowest possible level.

The procedural path of a claim pursuant to the CDA starts with the Contracting Officer, who issues a Contracting Officer’s Final Decision, which is a decision on the merits. To challenge that decision, the contractor must appeal to the Board of Contract Appeals or to the United States Court of Federal Claims. Decisions by either initial forum must be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the intermediate appellate authority. The final appellate authority is the Supreme Court of the United States.

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team