Fundamentals of Federal Contract Law

Fundamentals of Federal Contract Law

Fundamentals of Federal Contract Law

Fundamentals of Federal Contract Law

Synopsis

Massengale provides a much needed comprehensive review of the basic federal statutes and implementing regulations governing contracting with the United States government, as interpreted by the courts, boards of contract appeals, and the Comptroller General of the United States. His in-depth examination of the relationship between the common law of contracts and federal contracting also considers the underlying constitutional implications of government procurement.

Excerpt

The U.S. government is the world's single largest purchaser of goods and services. The civil and military departments of the executive branch annually award billions of dollars in contracts to the private sector for material ranging from paper clips to complex weapons systems and space vehicles, and for a variety of services from garbage collection to exotic research and development programs. These acquisitions are accomplished through an intricate procurement process that has evolved since 1775 from a few unrelated statutory fragments and the common law of contracts. The federal acquisition system is today governed by a body of law, commonly referred to as government contract law, that is based on the Constitution, federal statutes, executive orders, federal court decisions, rulings of Boards of Contract Appeals, and Comptroller General decisions. The system is implemented regulatorily through the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which has the force and effect of law. Government contract law, therefore, can best be viewed as a special blend of federal law and commercial contract law, with the overriding public interest dominating transactions between private parties and the sovereign power.

THE COMMON LAW AND FEDERAL CONTRACTS

A major portion of the applicable law governing federal procurement is derived from the common law of contracts. Though the legal elements of government and commercial contracts are essentially the same, with similar rules of construction, there are certain fundamental differences that di-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.