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    Government Contracting Database

    Testing Procedures

    Where a contract does not specify a particular quantitative method or procedure for testing an item to determine whether it meets particular performance requirements, the general rule is that the method for determining performance must be reasonable. See Appeal of Prof’l Printing of Kansas, Inc., GPOBCA No. 28-93 (Sept. 16, 1997); Shirley Contracting Corp. et al., ENGBCA No. 4650, 85-3 BCA ¶ 18,214. However, in such circumstances, the test(s) employed must bear a reasonable relationship to reality, i.e., must take account of and reasonably replicate the conditions under which the items, as installed, are intended to operate. See Sante Fe Engineers, Inc., PSBCA No. 902, 84-2 BCA ¶ 17,377; Appeal of A-Nam Cong-Ty, ASBCA No. 14200.

    70-1 BCA ¶ 8106. The test standards for determining performance should be suited to the method of performance which the contractor has permissibly selected, and to the intended use and conditions of operation of the item. Meco, Inc., ASBCA No. 55306, 65-2 BCA ¶ 5132 (ASBCA); Waltham Electronics Corp., NASA BCA No. 19, 1962 BCA ¶ 3378.

    Where the specifications do not clearly require a different method, the testing procedure should conform to and not exceed the method utilized in the industry. G.W. Galloway Co., 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,460 (ASBCA); Roscoe Engineering Corp. & Associates, ASBCA No. 4820, 61-1 BCA ¶ 2919; Shirley Contracting Corp., et al., supra. Although the government may utilize a test not specifically called out in the specifications, the result must not be to impose a performance requirement for the item which has not been imposed by the specifications. Appeal of Centex Bateson Const. Co., Inc., VABCA No. 4802, 97-2 BCA ¶ 29194; General Motors Corp., ASBCA No. 10418, 65-2 BCA ¶ 4885.

    Updated: August 8, 2018

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