In a departure from its prior precedent, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) recently held in Kamaludin Slyman CSC, ASBCA Nos. 62006, 62007, 62008, that a typed name at the end of an email satisfies the certification requirement under the Contract Dispute Act (CDA), so long as it is discrete, verifiable, and conveys an intent to authenticate.
The contractor at issue submitted a $155,500 demand for payment to the Government in March 2013, thus, triggering the CDA’s certification requirement under FAR 52.233-1. The demand itself did not contain a certification, but the contractor sent a follow-up email just prior to the six-year statute of limitations, stating:
For contract numbers -12-C-0089, -12-C-0131, -11-C-0322, and the claims submitted in respect to them on March 16, 2013, I certify that the claim is made in good faith; that the supporting data are accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief; that the amount requested accurately reflects the contract adjustment for which the contractor believes the Government is liable; and that I am duly authorized to certify the claim on behalf of the contractor.
Three days after sending this email, the contractor submitted an appeal to the ASBCA pursuant to a “deemed denial” and the Government moved to dismiss asserting that the contractor had failed to sign its certification and, thus, failed to certify its claim. The Board noted that the Government did not argue in its motion that the appeal was premature, as the requisite 60 days had not passed between the certification and the purported deemed denial. However, because at the time of its decision more than 60 days had elapsed since the certification, the ASBCA saw “no useful purpose in dismissing the appeal as premature and requiring appellant to refile.”