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 1999 GSBCA LEXIS 252

General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals

October 28, 1999

GSBCA No. 14296-COM

Opinion

Before Board Judges BORWICK, WILLIAMS, and GOODMAN.

MARY ELLEN COSTER WILLIAMS, Board Judge.

Appellant, Raytheon STX Corporation (Raytheon), seeks $ 196,994, representing its costs arising from the partial shutdown of Government operations due to the expiration of Fiscal Year 1996 funds in December 1995. Specifically, appellant seeks reimbursement for layoff pay of its employees and its subcontractors' salary costs paid or potentially owed to employees for the period of the shutdown when they were unable to work. Appellant invokes the Stop Work, Administrative Leave, and Changes clauses of the cost-reimbursement contracts at issue, as well as the doctrine of equitable estoppel. Respondent alleges that reimbursement is not warranted because the shutdown was a "sovereign act" which would relieve the Government of any liability [*2]  under particular contracts, and alternatively contends that appellant has not demonstrated entitlement because the employees performed no work during the shutdown.

Although the shutdown was a sovereign act, we grant the appeal in part, finding that the sovereign acts doctrine does not bar recovery since the cost-reimbursement contracts obligate the Government to bear the increased costs attributable to the shutdown which are allocable to the contracts. Specifically, because the Government closed the sites of performance and stopped work for an uncertain time frame but expected appellant to maintain its work force and resume work immediately after the shutdown, appellant is entitled to recover its employee and subcontractor salary costs actually paid during the shutdown. We grant appellant's claim in part in the amount of $ 166,944. We deny that portion of the claim representing the salary that one subcontractor potentially owes but has not paid to its employees. We dismiss appellant's claim for delay damages in the amount of $ 3084.24 because that claim was never presented to a contracting officer.

Findings of Fact

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 1999 GSBCA LEXIS 252 *

RAYTHEON STX CORPORATION, Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, Respondent

CORE TERMS

contracts, costs, shutdown, employees, salary, Exhibits, layoff, notice, contractor, stop-work, furlough, subcontractor, funding, reimbursement, Audit, documents, sovereign, Reply, time sheet, questioned, overhead, sovereign acts doctrine, affected employee, audit report, Holidays, administrative leave, appellant's claim, claimed costs, Cost-Reimbursement, circumstances