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Government Contracts: Law, Administration and Procedure
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

5-36A Government Contracts: Law, Admin & Proc 36A.syn


Excusable Delay


Walter A.I. Wilson;John Cosgrove McBride;Thomas J. Touhey

Chapter Summary


This chapter, Excusable Delay, considers the causes of excusable delay. The chapter explains that contract performance does not follow the contractor's intended schedule. Outside events, such as strikes and inclement weather, can delay performance possibly resulting in the assessment of liquidated damages or even a termination for default. When its contract performance is delayed, a contractor will often assert that the delay is the result of some excusable cause and that the contractor is entitled to a time extension. The chapter considers the general rules pertaining to excusable delay.

The chapter discusses the burden of proving excusable delay, express government disclaimer of liability, and delay for which the government is not responsible. It also distinguishes excusablility and considers contracting officer's alternatives. Next, the chapter addresses forseeability, excusable delay without contract fault or negligence, acts of God, and government acts. Then, the chapter considers delays caused by third parties and specifically addresses fires, floods, epidemics, quarantines, strikes, embargoes, and unusually severe weather. The chapter addresses delay due to subcontractors, lack of or defects in plants or machinery, and delay due to lack of experience. The chapter considers labor difficulties other than strikes, financial difficulties, notice issues, and time extensions.

Government Contracts: Law, Administration, Procedure (Matthew Bender) features extensive coverage of the law and regulation of the business of government contracting or federal acquisition. Nearly every aspect of government contract law and practice is addressed, with references to the history and policies underlying current principles as well as current references to applicable statutes, regulations and case decisions. Along with certain standard forms published by the government, Government Contracts: Law, Administration and Procedure also contains typical practice forms, including sample filings for use in government contract adversary proceedings in the Federal Courts, the agency boards of contract appeals and the General Accounting Office. It also includes forms for non-adversary use, including those related to industrial security.


Government contracts,public contracts,excusable delay,forseeability,acts of God,government acts,third party delays,fires,floods,epidemics,quarantines,strikes,embargoes,severe weather,plant defects,machinery defects,lack of experience,labor difficulties,financial difficulties,time extensions


See Chapter 1 for an introduction to the general principles of government contracts. See Chapter 2 for discussion of the interpretation of government contracts. See Chapter 19 for specific consideration of types of government contracts and excusable delay in the context of late deliveries. See Chapter 22 for coverage of adequacy of government specifications in the context of defective design specifications and contractor delay due to defective specifications. See Chapter 30 for consideration of termination for convenience of the government and the contractor's excusable delay.


For a complete discussion of all aspects of government contract accounting with particular emphasis on the Federal Acquisition Regulation see Accounting for Government Contracts: Federal Acquisition Regulation (Matthew Bender).

For additional coverage of contract law generally, and exhaustive analysis of all the rules of contract law see Corbin on Contracts (Matthew Bender).

For detailed coverage of all aspects of administrative law and the administrative process, with an emphasis on federal agencies see Administrative Law (Matthew Bender).

For practice oriented coverage of all major aspects of the federal government contracting (procurement) process, citations to key administrative and court decisions, statutes, and regulations, and various forms and exhibits, see Federal Contract Management--A Manual for the Contract Professional (Matthew Bender).

For comprehensive treatment of local government law with current and complete perspectives on municipal corporations, as well as independent local government entities and counties, see Antieau on Local Government Law (Matthew Bender).
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