Terminations for Default by ProQuest

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Over a year into the successful contract performance, the USPS contracting officer issued a unilateral change instructing Keeter to service an additional fifty-two mailboxes located along Keeter's existing route and increasing annual compensation by $1,087.56.26 Keeter refused to perform the additional work, believing that the price adjustment was undervalued.27 Ultimately, the USPS agreed and further increased the annual compensation by $1,602.72, for a total of $2,690.28.28 Nevertheless, the contract's Changes clause permitted the contracting officer to make unilateral changes that would increase compensation by no more than $2,500-any changes in excess of that amount could be made only by mutual agreement.29 When Keeter refused to perform the additional work on the ground that the unilateral change was not permitted by the Changes clause, the USPS procured that work from another source and deducted the cost of that "reprocured" work from payments due Keeter.\n44 The court recited some allegations made by Keeter in his attempt to show that the government had acted in bad faith in terminating the contract for default.45 Although opining that "[t]here can be no real dispute that [Keeter's] allegations, even when coupled with the documentation contained in the record, do not meet the standard of 'well-nigh irrefragable proof' required to establish bad faith on the part of the government,"46 the court noted that the issue of bad faith in this case was an "intensely factual question" for which more information was needed and which was inappropriate for summary judgment.47 The court therefore stayed the issue of quantum pending the development of further facts needed to resolve the issue.

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