Appeal of University of California, San Francisco

Appeal of University of California, San Francisco
1996 WL 681971 (V.A.B.C.A.), 97-1 BCA 28,642, VABCA No. 4661
November 25, 1996.

Facts of the Case:

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is questioning the penalty imposed on the institution for relying on the government officer’s omission of a defective pricing clause, subject thus, to government contract law and regulations.

IssuesAppeal of University of California, San Francisco
1996 WL 681971 (V.A.B.C.A.), 97-1 BCA 28,642, VABCA No. 4661
November 25, 1996.

1.      With the engagement of UC into contractual relations, which government contract law doctrine applies: the Christian doctrine or the one laid out in OPM v Richmond.

Decision

1.      The OPM v Richmond doctrine applies, as the Christian doctrine does not have extensive completeness of the former.

ReasoningAppeal of University of California, San Francisco
1996 WL 681971 (V.A.B.C.A.), 97-1 BCA 28,642, VABCA No. 4661
November 25, 1996.

a.       The roots of the OPM v Richmond doctrine is based fully on the text of the US Constitution, and the Christian doctrine merely reflects a modern innovation, like many of those in administrative law, coordinating the more complex, regulation-dependent system of recent decades.

b.      The Christian doctrine does not have the ruling barring estoppel of the government by the action of government agents, and the limited authority of those agents.

Obiter Dictum

1.      On the intention of the Christian doctrine – The doctrine implements the public law nature of government contracting, by importing into every contract what those higher formally-acting authorities prescribe.

a.       In a government structured by the Constitution and the enactments under it, and controlled by the Congress and President, the law governing each government contract cannot be left to the discretion of the particular contracting officers involved in the contract’s drafting.

b.      The power belongs to the Congress, the President, and the formal processes they supervise that produce implementing regulations, not to the individual government officials who draw up particular contracts.

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