Forrest Gump’s mama was a brilliant woman. As anyone who watched the 1994 Academy Award-winning classic can confirm, Mrs. Gump’s advice to her son provided an indispensable well of wisdom from which Forrest often drew to navigate life’s many adversities. Perhaps the most famous of Mrs. Gump’s quotes equated the unpredictability of life with the somewhat surprising discoveries one can make after removing the lid from a box of chocolates. As it turns out, contractors can learn a lot from Mrs. Gump.
With its Aug. 9, 2016, opinion in AMX Veterans Specialty Services LLC, CBCA No. 5180, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals reiterated an important message that has become all too familiar to companies pursuing claims against the government: Facts matter, the law matters, and sometimes the government seems to know neither. This is a case in which the government’s reliance on outdated law, incorrect facts and unfounded assumptions required a small business to expend precious time and resources defending itself against allegations that it improperly certified a claim and incorrectly lodged an appeal with the board.