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    Government Contracting Database

    Acceleration

    Acceleration is defined as a directive to increase efforts in order to complete performance on time, despite excusable delay. To prevail on an acceleration claim, a contractor must show excusable delay; notice to the government of the excusable delay, with a request for a contract extension; and an express or implied order to overcome excusable delay. Trepte Constr. Co., Inc., ASBCA No. 38555, 90-1 BCA ¶ 22,595. The contractor must also prove that the costs claimed were actually incurred as a result of actions specifically taken to accelerate performance. 

    In order to receive compensation from the government for increased costs resulting from acceleration, a contractor must generally establish (a) the existence of excusable delay, (b) contractor notice to the government of the excusable delay and a request for a performance time extension, and (c) an express or implied government order to overcome the excusable delay or to complete performance by a date earlier than that by which the contractor was entitled to perform due to the excusable delay. Intermax, Ltd., ASBCA No. 41828, 93-2 BCA ¶ 25,699; Trepte Constr. Co., Inc., ASBCA No. 38555, 90-1 BCA ¶ 22,595. An additional essential element of a successful acceleration claim is actual acceleration of the work. T.H. Taylor, Inc., ASBCA No. 27699, 86-2 BCA ¶ 18,743, and cases cited therein. 

    A contractor may accelerate on his own initiative to assure completion within the contract schedule or for other purposes. A contractor is, in fact, entitled to finish ahead of schedule, so long as he does not “tread upon the interests of others, or violate his contract.” Liles Constr. Co., Inc., ASBCA Nos. 11919 et al., 65-1 BCA ¶ 7,067, rev’d on other grounds, Liles Constr. Co., Inc. v. United States, 197 Ct.Cl. 164. But the contractor cannot compel the government to aid him in finishing ahead of schedule, Id. (citing United States v. Blair, 321 U.S. 730, rehearing denied, 322 U.S. 768 (1944)), or recover the costs of acceleration unless the government has actually or constructively ordered the effort. No compensation is due where a contractor voluntarily accelerates performance for his own purposes. Superior Asphalt & Concrete Co., AGBCA No. 75-142, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,851; Corbetta Constr. Co. of Illinois, Inc., PSBCA No. 199, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,699; Robichaux Contractors, Inc., AGBCA No. 296, 72-1 BCA ¶ 9,302. 

    Appeal of O’Hair, AGBCA No. 82-115-1, 89-1 BCA ¶ 21384. 

    Updated: July 25, 2018

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