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Termination for Convenience Can Be Tricky

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2012 | Business Litigation

A recent Washington Post article pointed out that the government is increasingly terminating government contracts for convenience in order to stockpile agency funds in anticipation of severe budget cuts in FY 2013. According to the Post, terminations for convenience have doubled in just over several years.

Unfortunately for government contractors, getting fairly paid for terminations for convenience can be a significant problem because the specific termination for convenience clause in their contract could be one of almost a dozen different clauses available to the government. Not only are the compensation terms different-so are the paperwork requirements.  For example, the commercial item termination for convenience clause limits the government’s right to audit the contractor’s records.

The government may not use the right clause. Berenzweig Leonard has recently had to inform a Contracting Officer that the government had invoked a termination for convenience clause that was not even in the client’s contract. The clause the government wanted to use gave the government more rights than the correct clause.

Berenzweig Leonard can quickly review and advise government contractors on whether the government is doing a termination for convenience properly. And our advice would be at no cost to the client because legal fees associated with a termination for convenience are generally fully reimbursable as termination settlement expenses.

Terry O’Connor is the Director of  Government Contracts with Berenzweig Leonard, LLP a DC region business law firm. He can be reached at [email protected].

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