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"Yardstick" Measures Failure to Progress in A-12 Default Termination

May.11.2007

In the latest opinion in the 16-year A-12 litigation, McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. United States, No. 91-1204C (Fed. Cl. May 3, 2007, http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Hodges/07/
HODGES.McDonnellDouglas050307.pdf
) the Court of Federal Claims, on remand from the Federal Circuit, upheld default termination of the fixed-price research and development contract based upon a failure to make progress -- even though the full contract "had no completion date at [the time of] termination." With no completion date for the full contract, the Court instead used a "yardstick" to measure the contractors' progress, holding that (1) the Court could use a series of interim deadlines for the production of prototype aircraft to define both the "performance required" and the "time remaining for performance"; and (2) at the time of termination, there was sufficient information available for the contracting officer to have concluded there was no reasonable likelihood of delivery under those deadlines (even if the contracting officer did not, in the event, make the default termination decision based upon that "available" information).
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