Government Contracting Database
Lack of Notice
The government frequently asserts lack of notice in the defense of a claim. Notice is important because the government may be prejudiced by a lack of timely notice in that it is deprived of the ability to protect its interests and mitigate costs. If, for example, a contractor performs what it regards to be changed work without notifying the government, and later files a claim for extra costs incurred, the government has been denied the opportunity to delete the changed work from the contract, or to redesign the affected area.
The best response to a lack of notice is to show that notice was actually given to the government. This can be accomplished by providing a copy of a notice letter or by producing a written acknowledgment by the government that it was aware of the problem. If actual notice cannot be demonstrated, it is possible to impute notice from the conduct of the parties. If, for example, a government inspector observed the work in question on a daily basis, and was aware that the contractor believed that it was entitled to additional compensation, the inspector’s knowledge may be imputed to the contracting officer. Also, if the contractor can demonstrate that despite a lack of notice, the government was not prejudiced, the lack of notice may be overlooked.
(Also See Notice)
Updated: July 24, 2018