This blog has previously talked about how contractors on public projects can request an equitable adjustment under certain circumstances. For example, a contractor may run in to unanticipated expenses that are not their fault, issues that affect the ability to get the project done or the government's need for a tighter timetable.
Even when a contractor feels it has good cause to ask and has prepared a through application, a government agency is free to deny requests for equitable adjustments. The government may, for instance, disagree that the project has change significantly and thus not feel extra compensation is warranted.
A denial can be a very frustrating experience for a contractor since it could mean that the contractor is not able to make a profit on government project, even if the contractor made a well-thought and appropriate bid on it. As the name implies, a request for an equitable adjustment is just that, a request to the government to, in fairness, make a change to the terms of the contract as a courtesy. If the government declines to do so, then the contractor will have to evaluate whether it has a basis on which to initiate a full-blown construction dispute by making a formal claim that the government breached the terms of the contract.
The contractor may in some cases be able to raise some other grounds for legal relief. When a Massachusetts contractor is not able to get a request for an equitable adjustment granted, then the contractor may have to evaluate its options.