Contract Appeals Board

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CAB Overview


The mission of the DC Contract Appeals Board (CAB) is to provide an impartial, expeditious, inexpensive, and knowledgeable forum for hearing and resolving contractual disputes, protests, Quick Payment Act claims, Public-Private Partnership Act claims, and Debarments and Suspensions involving the District and its contracting communities.

Date Established

The DC Contract Appeals Board was established on September 17, 1953, pursuant to Reorganization Order No. 29, Part VII.  

Current Authority and Status

CAB is a statutorily created independent agency pursuant to the Procurement Practices Reform Amendment Act of 2010, Bill 18-610 (effective April 8, 2011). DC Code §§2-360.08 et seq. (2011).

Staffing and Budget

The Board is led by three Administrative Judges, including one Chief Administrative Judge and two Administrative Judges. CAB Judges are members of the D.C. Bar, the Supreme Court of the United States, the American Bar Association, and the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association/Judicial Division, In addition to Board Judges, the CAB staff consists of one General Counsel, an I.T. Director, three Attorney Advisors, and three administrative support staff. The FY20 CAB appropriated budget is $1,824,000 which supports 11 FTEs and the Board’s digital litigation infrastructure.

Partnerships/External Relations

CAB partners with area law schools to provide volunteer internship opportunities with Board Judges on an as needed basis. Since 2011, interns from Howard University School of Law, George Washington University School of Law, American University School of Law, the University of the District of Columbia School of Law, Catholic University School of Law, the Texas Southern University School of Law, and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School have served CAB. If you are interested in learning more, please contact [email protected].

Docket and Workflow

FY19 Performance and Pending Cases at the Beginning of FY20

In FY19, CAB closed 36 cases, including 16 appeals and 20 protests. In FY19, the Board closed 55% of all cases by settlement. Of the protests filed in FY19, 100% were resolved within the statutorily required 60 business days. Of the appeals on the Board’s docket in FY19, 81% were resolved within four months of the case being ready for final decision. Due to CAB’s overall performance, the Board opened FY20 with a record low 18 pending cases (please visit our online calendar to see cases scheduled for trial in FY20). As FY20 began, all of the Board’s pending cases were three-years old or less, with 92% of pending appeals cases being two-years-old or less, and 100% of pending protest cases being less than 60 business days old. In FY19, 20 new protests and 15 new disputes cases were filed with the Board. All newly filed FY19 cases were filed digitally through the Board’s secure online file and serve provider, File & Serve Xpress. The parties filed a total of 27,735 pages of litigation materials with the Board in FY19.

In FY19, two CAB cases were affirmed on appeal by the DC Courts: Rustler Construction, Inc. v. District of Columbia, 211 A.3d 187 (D.C. 2019), and Spectrum Mgmt. LLC v. District of Columbia Board of Contract Appeals, No. 2019 CA 001266 P (MPA) (D.C. Super. Ct. Sept. 11, 2019). No Board cases were reversed on appeal by DC Courts in FY19. In addition, in FY19 the Board completed a major revision of its practice rules (27 DCMR §§ 100-400). The Board expects final rulemaking to occur with respect to the revised rules during the first quarter of FY20. The revised rules harmonize the Board’s practice procedures with the District’s applicable procurement statutes, including, but not limited to, the Procurement Practices Reform Act of 2010, D.C. Code §§ 2-351.01 et seq. as amended.