Federal Contracting Series – Part Two

The Law(s) Governing Federal Contracts

By:  Charlie Cole, Guest Blogger

Private construction projects are governed primarily by contracts.  As such, the parties are able to allocate risks and responsibilities through the negotiation process.  Contractors and suppliers new to the federal contracting arena soon learn that the negotiations have already been done for them, in the form of federal statutes, regulations, and agency policies.

The law governing federal work comes from a variety of sources, including the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 (ASPA), the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (FPASA), and the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA).  But if there is any one source that contractors and suppliers should be familiar with, it is the “FAR.”  The Federal Acquisition Regulation, codified at Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, sets forth the procedures by which most federal projects are delivered and administered.   The FAR is not a one stop shop, because some agencies have a habit of supplementing the FAR with their own particular rules and regulations.  They do add another layer to the regulatory cake.

Believe it or not, disputes do occur on federal projects.  The Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) provides the rules of the road for resolving contract claims between contractors and the government.

In my next guest post, I will summarize the methods by which federal contracts are delivered, including a discussion on sealed bidding and negotiation.

About Gregory L. Shelton

Gregory L. Shelton is licensed to practice in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. He is a South Carolina circuit court mediator and North Carolina superior court mediator. Greg is the Managing Editor of the North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook, the definitive treatise on construction law in the state. He is also Florida board certified as a construction law specialist. He practices at Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, P.A. Phone: (704) 377-2500 Fax: (704) 716-0905 Email: GShelton@horacktalley.com.
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