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The Government typically wants the contractor to sign a release of claims and some certifications after work in done and paid for.

Has anyone ever taken the position that they will do so, but only if and after the Government signs similar forms releasing the contractor from future claims and making similar certifications (e.g., the government has back all of its property)?

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Good idea!

As I understand, the FAR requires a release of claims for cost-reimbursement contracts, time-and-material contracts, and fixed-price construction and A-E contracts -- and even then, the release of claims is due before final payment, not in association with contract file closeout.  FAR 4.804, Closeout of Contract Files, does not require a release of claims as part of the Government's process for closing out contract files.

Unless text in a contract requires a release of claims, the contractor is under no obligation to provide one.

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2 hours ago, lotus said:

The Government typically wants the contractor to sign a release of claims and some certifications after work in done and paid for.

Has anyone ever taken the position that they will do so, but only if and after the Government signs similar forms releasing the contractor from future claims and making similar certifications (e.g., the government has back all of its property)?

I don't think a contracting officer would be able to release the contractor from future claims involving fraud, so I don't believe a complete release would be enforceable. Otherwise, I can't think of why a contracting officer couldn't sign such a release. Not a lawyer.

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I was going to post a long-winded epistle about government property disposition and how a delay in providing disposition instructions can work to the contractor's advantage (52.245-1). Then I realized I was going to post about government property, and it hit me how complex and nuanced that area really is. No matter what I posted, somebody was going to find an exception, or minor correction. Not worth it.

Lotus, do what you need to do. I don't think a contracting officer is going to touch a government-executed property cert with a 10-foot pole; instead, I think the matter will be punted to the Plant Clearance Officer or to the Government Property Administrator, where it will sit for a long time. But do what you need to do.

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FAR 12.302

If the need is procured pursuant to FAR Part 12 and based on market research a mutual release is consistent with commercial practice it would be an appropriate condition of the contract.  

FAR 1.102(d)

If procured pursuant to other than FAR Part 12 and if based on a best value ideal, and I would add best interest of the Federal government, it would be consistent with the FAR guiding principles to add a mutual release as an appropriate condition of the the contract. 

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