BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON, DC 20401 In the Matter of ) ) the Appeal of ) MIDWEST BANK NOTE COMPANY ) Docket No. GPOBCA 05-95 Program D381-S ) Purchase Order 60004 ) For the Appellant: Midwest Bank Note Company, Plymouth, Michigan, by Frederic G. Antoun, Jr., Attorney at Law, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. For the Government: Thomas Kelly, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Government Printing Office. Before BERGER, Ad Hoc Chairman. DECISION AND ORDER Midwest Bank Note Company (Appellant), 46001 Five Mile Road, Plymouth, Michigan, appeals two final decisions of Contracting Officer Richard Weiss of the U.S. Government Printing Office (Respondent or GPO) denying the Appellant's claims for additional compensation in connection with its contract under Program D381-S calling for the production of Social Security cards. For the reasons which follow, one of the Contracting Officer's final decisions is MODIFIED and the appeal is ALLOWED to the extent indicated in this decision. The other final decision is AFFIRMED and the appeal of that decision is DENIED. I. BACKGROUND 1. On April 24, 1992 the Appellant was awarded the Program D381-S contract, Purchase Order No. 92708, for the period April 24, 1992 to January 31, 1994. Rule 4 File, Tab 4.1 On October 8, 1993, Print Order No. 60004 was issued for a quantity of 15 million cards, at an estimated cost of $1,265,000, broken down by various quantities and shipping dates. This Print Order contained a copy change, as well as a notation indicating that another copy change would occur in December 1993. Rule 4 File, Tab 5. 2. On December 7, 1993 the contract administrator notified the Appellant that a change was forthcoming and that new Government Furnished Material (GFM) would be provided. (The parties contemplated that the changes would be made after completion of the first batch of 5 million forms.) App. Exh. No. 4.2 Shortly thereafter the Appellant received new negatives for the front and back of the form. The Appellant found that it could not use the negative for the back of the form because of a change in the vertical image size, and so notified the Respondent. On or about December 15, the Appellant was furnished with a new negative with a resized vertical image, and the Appellant proceeded with production. 3. On January 27 and again on February 3, 1994, the Appellant- pursuant to a contract requirement that it furnish to GPO for testing and approval samples of the paper to be used-submitted samples from two mill orders. These samples were rejected on February 9, and the Appellant ceased production. On February 17 the Appellant submitted new samples from the same orders. These were found to be acceptable and the Appellant was so advised on February 28. Production resumed on March 1. 4. The Appellant filed several requests for additional compensation in connection with Print Order 60004 which resulted in final decisions of the Contracting Officer. Rule 4 File, Tabs 14, 23, 25, 26, 31, and 32. The Contracting Officer's responses to two of those claims are the subject of this appeal . The first of those claims was for $5,105 for additional makeready and other costs incurred as a result of the December 1993 copy change; the second was for another $5,105 for makeready and other costs incurred as a result of the delay in obtaining GPO approval of the paper samples. The Contracting Officer, in final decisions dated October 31, 1994, determined that the Appellant was entitled to $1,052 for the first claim and nothing at all for the second. Rule 4 File, Tabs 31 and 32. This appeal followed, with the Appellant in its Complaint seeking $5,646 for the first claim and $42,509.22 for the second. II. DISCUSSION A. Copy Change Claim The contract contains a specific "makeready" price, and the parties apparently agree that the makeready effort for which this price is to be paid encompasses any product changes that occur at the outset of a print order. The Appellant asserts that it is also entitled to be reimbursed for makeready efforts that are necessitated by product changes occurring during performance of a print order and states that the December 1993 change required such an effort. The Appellant, in its claim for this extra reimbursement filed with the Contracting Officer, stated: Every operation of this change-over had to be re-engineered in order to produce the new form. This not only involved what had previously been discussed but also offset printing, intaglio make ready and test printing and numbering/slitting. We had to do considerable work to keep the intaglio plate blue plate tinge from appearing on the white part of the card. Previously this was hidden by the litho tint. We actually had to do a pilot run in order to work out the bugs. Rule 4 File, Tab 28. The Contracting Officer did not agree that this work "is chargeable as a new makeready," but determined that the Appellant was entitled to some compensation for making the litho plate changes required by the copy change. He further determined that $1,052, but not the claimed $5,105, was a fair and reasonable amount. He based this on another claim filed by the Appellant, which the Respondent had agreed to pay, for a June 1992 change required by GPO. The Appellant's breakdown of charges for that claim included amounts for typesetting/proofing, making film layout for plate, platemaking, and makeready, and totaled $526. Rule 4 File, Tab 29. The Contracting Officer decided that the changes involved in the current claim were "the same" as those required in 1992 and that $526 per side, or $1052, was therefore the appropriate reimbursement amount. In its Complaint the Appellant abandoned its claim for $5,105 and focused not on the fact of the December 1993 copy change but on the alleged defect in the GFM it was furnished. It stated that the film furnished was defective because it "had images running into the margins" and that as a result it incurred the following costs: -- 3.5 hours trying to determine if the defect could be corrected $ 257 -- upon receipt of "new corrected film," redoing flats and offset plates 1139 -- 10 hours of "press on hold" representing the time between when the Appellant "would have gone on press" and when it received proof approval based on the corrected film 1750 -- "labor waiting" during the 10-hour delay 500 -- performing an additional litho press makeready after receipt of the corrected film 2000 $5646 The Appellant stated that none of these costs would have been incurred "but for the error in government furnished materials which necessitated a change by the government. Complaint at 2. Subsequently, the Appellant resurrected its argument that it is entitled to an equitable adjustment because of the copy change and twice more changed the amount it is claiming. In responding to interrogatories, the Appellant stated that the amount listed in the Complaint was erroneous because it omitted the cost of 10.5 hours worth of film work on the replacement negative furnished on December 15, and that the $1,139 figure should be $1,811.20, which would increase the total to $6,318.20. Appellant's Responses To Respondent's First Set Of Interrogatories and Request For Production Of Documents (hereafter Responses To Interrogatories) ¶ 12. In its post- hearing submission, the Appellant referenced the hearing testimony of its Chairman, see HT 28, to claim reimbursement for an additional 1.2 hours for making ready one backplate, Appellant's Brief (App.Brf.) at 3, which, at the Appellant's claimed rate of $64 per hour, would add another $76.80, for a total of $6,395. The Appellant also again argued that the December 1993 copy change, regardless of whether the GFM was defective, entitled it to an equitable adjustment because of the additional costs it incurred as a result of the change. App.Brf. at 8. The Respondent's position, tersely set forth in its brief, is that: (1) the Appellant has not met its burden of proving that the GFM was defective; and (2) even if the GFM was defective the Appellant is entitled to no more than the $1,052 offered by the Contracting Officer because: (a) new plates are routinely installed during production runs without any contractor entitlement to makeready charges, and (b) the Appellant cannot be reimbursed for the claimed labor and equipment downtime because the Appellant was not otherwise ready at that time to begin production. Respondent's Brief (Resp.Brf.) at 3-4. The Appellant correctly states that, pursuant to the "Changes" clause of the contract, GPO Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Supplemental Specifications, and Contract Clauses, GPO Pub. 310.2, effective December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88) (hereafter GPO Contract Terms), Contract Clauses, ¶ 4, "the reasonable cost of performing changes is compensable." App.Brf. at 9. Costs incurred by contractors because of defective GFM or delayed receipt of GFM may also be reimbursable. GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 7; Commercial Products & Eng'g Co., Inc., ASBCA 40392, 96-2 BCA ¶ 28,411; Banta Company, GPOBCA 03-91 (November 15, 1993), slip op., 1993 WL 526843.3 Thus, notwithstanding the Appellant's lack of clarity about the precise basis for its claim, its entitlement to an equitable adjustment must be considered in light of both the pure "changes" basis for the claim and the defective GFM aspect of the claim. The "Changes" clause permits the Contracting Officer to make changes, within the general scope of the contract, to the drawings, designs, and specifications and provides for an equitable adjustment to the contract price if the changes increase or decrease the cost of, or the time required for, performance of the contract work. The changes can be effected through a formal change order or, when the procedures of the "Changes" clause are not followed, through a constructive change. See News Printing Co., Inc., GPOBCA 13-94 (February 20, 1998), slip op. at 7-8, 1998 WL 148999. The basis for a constructive change must be some action by the Contracting Officer or someone authorized to act on his behalf, or a ratification by the Contracting Officer of some action by an official not authorized to change the contract. Id. at 9. Here, although the record contains no formal change order, the Contracting Officer agrees that the contract was changed in December 1993 and, as noted above, has agreed to reimburse the Appellant the sum of $1,052 for that change. Thus, regardless of whether the December copy change was directed by someone with authority to act for the Contracting Officer or was simply ratified by the Contracting Officer's subsequent actions, see, e.g., T.W. Cole, PSBCA 3076, 92-3 BCA ¶ 25,091 (acceptance of work with knowledge of modification); Mil-Pak Co., GSBCA 5849, 83-1 BCA ¶ 16,482 (fixing amount of equitable adjustment), the Board is satisfied that there was a change to the contract within the meaning of the "Changes" clause. The Appellant claims it is entitled to an equitable adjustment in light of the change because the change increased its cost of performance. The burden of proof is on the party claiming an equitable adjustment; thus, the Appellant must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, the reasonableness of the costs claimed and their causal connection to the change upon which the equitable adjustment claim is based. Universal Printing Co., GPOBCA 09-90 (June 22, 1994), slip op. at 40, 1994 WL 377586; see John Cibinic, Jr. and Ralph C. Nash, Jr., Administration of Government Contracts 698-99 (Third ed. 1995) (hereafter Cibinic & Nash, Administration) and cases cited therein. The Appellant's claim for the cost of additional work engendered by the copy change, as explained in its response to interrogatories and its brief, includes the following: -- 3.5 hours @$64 for prepress work, plus $33 for materials 257 -- 11.3 hours @$64 for prepress work, plus $416 for materials, plus 1811.20 another 10.5 hours @$64 for prepress work on the face side of the form -- 1.2 hours @$64 for backplate makeready 76.80 -- litho press makeready 2000 The Appellant explains that the $64 hourly rate had been previously agreed to, and that the $2,000 makeready charge is a very conservative amount representing the work required only for the litho press makeready.4 HT 37. The Appellant in its brief and during the hearing described the prepress effort as stopping the offset press, duplicating the Government-furnished negative 12 times (for each side of the card), positioning the 12 images in the appropriate layout, and making a plate. HT 30-32; App.Brf. at 8. The ensuing press makeready involved removing the old plates, washing and inking the press, installing the new plates, and "get[ting] the 4 units of the press running in appropriate synchronization with appropriate register," App.Brf. at 8, a process that often takes "half a day to a full day to get it going, and you waste a lot of paper." HT 32. The Respondent does not take exception to any particular cost element of the Appellant's claim. The Contracting Officer testified only that he considered the original claimed amount to be "out of line" because in "the course of a 15 million run on this press, plates are changed numerous, numerous times" (without compensation to the contractor for an additional makeready) and recent experience with the Appellant indicated that $526 per side was a reasonable amount for making a new plate required by copy changes. HT 192, 208, 212. He further stated he "made a decision based on the facts that were in front of me" and that "[n]obody ever came back to me and said there [were] extenuating [circumstances.]" HT 216. The Appellant sums up this record by stating that its "statement of the cost of the change was not effectively challenged by the GPO's testimony [so] there is no reason to disregard it." HT 9. It further states that the "$2,000.00 cost of the litho press makeready is, according to uncontradicted testimony, reasonable" and not challenged by GPO. HT 9. The problem with the Appellant's summation is that it is the Appellant which has the affirmative burden of proving the amount to which it is entitled. The preferred method for establishing the amount of an equitable adjustment is through the introduction of actual cost data. "As a rule, actual costs are proved through the introduction of the contractor's accounting records, which will be accepted if they have been audited by the Government and are unrebutted," although in other cases costs may be established on the basis of estimates that are supported by detailed, substantiating data. Universal Printing Co., supra, at 41. In addition, the Appellant must show what it reasonably cost to perform the work as changed. Id. at 42. The Appellant's claimed amounts are not supported by accounting records or by any other detailed, substantiating data. The claim for prepress hours is based on a letter dated April 29, 1994 from the Appellant to the Contracting Officer listing hours worked, App.Exh. No. 6, and a handwritten document stating that it reflects manufacturing and daily time sheet records and showing the times worked by employee Dan Ellis on December 15 through 18 for a total of 10.5 hours. App.Exh. No.7. Although these documents were referred to by the Appellant's chairman during his testimony, HT 28-29, neither the actual time sheets nor an affidavit from the person compiling the data are a part of the record. Moreover, there is no meaningful explanation in the record for the difference between what the Appellant now claims for work engendered by the December copy change and the work performed after the June 1992 change. The Appellant's chairman testified that the June change occurred at a press sheet inspection, before the presses were running, while the change here was made in the middle of a run. HT 93. That does not explain, however, why film layout and platemaking involved 4.3 hours for the June 1992 change but 10.5 and 11.3 hours for the December 1993 changes. Accordingly, the Board finds that the Appellant has not met its burden of proof to show its actual prepress costs or the reasonableness of those costs. The Board therefore concludes that the Appellant has not established its entitlement to more than the $1,052 for litho plate changes offered by the Contracting Officer. With respect to the makeready operation, the Appellant has furnished absolutely no cost data. While it has explained why a substantial makeready effort was required and how long such an effort could conceivably take, it has provided no testimony or written information concerning the actual hours devoted to the makeready effort, the number of employees involved in that effort, or the approximate amount of paper that was wasted during the operation. It relies solely on its extrapolation of an arbitrary but "conservative" figure of $2,000 from its higher contract makeready price as the basis for this aspect of its claim. While contract bid prices may be used to establish a basis for an equitable adjustment where actual cost data are not available, arbitrary figures, as opposed to actual costs or estimates of actual costs supported by substantiating data, are not acceptable bases for equitable adjustments. Universal Printing Co., supra, at 41 n.41, 48. Thus, again the Board must conclude that the amount claimed has not been shown to be reasonable. On the other hand, since the December 1993 changes took place after commencement of the production run for Print Order 60004 and the litho press had to be restarted with the new plates, Responses To Interrogatories ¶ 12, the Board has no difficulty in believing that the changes had a cost impact beyond the $1,052 the Contracting Officer was willing to pay for making new plates. Thus, the Board also does not agree with the Respondent that the Appellant should receive nothing for the makeready operation. Under the circumstances, the Board considers this element of the claim to be appropriate for resolution through the "jury verdict" approach, pursuant to which the Board may exercise its discretion to arrive at a fair amount of compensation. Universal Printing Co., supra, at 50; Banta Co., supra, at 46. One accepted jury verdict technique is to split the difference. Universal Printing Co., supra, at 53. The difference between the Respondent's offer of zero and the Appellant's claim of $2,000 is $1,000. Thus, the Board holds that the Appellant is entitled to $1,000 for its makeready expenses. That leaves the claim for 10 hours of down time for labor and press equipment, which is predicated on the assertion that the GFM furnished to the Appellant on December 13, 1993 was defective. The Appellant asserts that the negative was defective because the size of the text image increased from 3 inches to 3 5/8 inches, which didn't allow it enough margin space to provide for "plate gap" on its 24-inch press. According to the Appellant, neither it nor any other web press operator could manufacture the card with that dimension. HT 21; App.Brf. at 2. The Respondent denies that the negative was defective, and asserts that a replacement negative was furnished solely to accommodate the Appellant's printing equipment. Resp.Brf. at 3. The Board is not convinced that the original negative was defective. Whether or not GFM is defective typically depends upon its suitability for its intended use. A & E Copy Center, GPOBCA 38-92 (September 25, 1996), slip op. at 21-22, 1996 WL 812881; Printing Unlimited, GPOBCA 21-90 (November 30, 1993), slip op. at 18-20, 1993 WL 516844. The Board has held that in the context of GPO printing contracts suitability means that the image clarity of the GFM (negatives, mylar materials, camera copy, etc.) must be clear enough so that the contractor, "with a reasonable expenditure of effort," could use it to produce an acceptable end product. A & E Copy Center, supra, at 22; Printing Unlimited, supra, at 20. There is no suggestion here that the negative in question did not provide sufficient clarity. The Appellant's only objection to the negative concerns the size of the text image which, because of "plate gap," would not permit it to "get six cards around the cylinder" of its 24-inch press. HT 21. The Appellant does not explain, however, why the only way it could do the job was with six cards around the cylinder. While that might be the most efficient production method given the size of the card and the dimensions of the Appellant's press, the Board sees nothing in the contract requiring six card images on a plate. Certainly, the Respondent is not precluded from specifying legitimate requirements that happen not to be compatible with a production process utilizing six images per plate on a 24-inch press; if the Respondent has such requirements, a contractor may utilize a different press if one is available or have fewer than six images going around the cylinder. Accordingly, given the complete absence of testimony or other evidence from the Appellant as to why it could not do the job with fewer than six images per plate without unreasonable delay or expense, the Board finds that the Appellant has not met its burden of proof on this issue as well and therefore agrees with the Respondent that here the problem involved not defective GFM, but rather, as it did in A & E Copy Center, supra, the contractor's equipment and the contractor's approach to performance. Accordingly, the Board finds no basis for an equitable adjustment for the claimed costs of labor and equipment down time. The Appellant is therefore entitled to a total of $2,052 ($1,052 for new plates, as offered by the Contracting Officer, and $1,000 for the makeready) for the copy change claim. B. Delay Claim The delay claim arises primarily out of the production delay the Appellant encountered when paper samples it submitted were not approved. The "Sampling and Testing" provision of the specifications required the contractor to furnish 50 sheets of the paper proposed to be used for the contract prior to starting production. That provision further stated that "[e]ach shipment of paper from the manufacturer must be tested," that the contractor will be notified of approval or disapproval within 5 workdays of receipt of the samples by GPO, and that "[i]f the initial sample is disapproved, the contractor will be required to furnish such additional samples as is deemed necessary by the Contracting Officer ...." Rule 4 File, Tab 1. During the course of the contract the Appellant received multiple shipments of paper for use on this contract, Complaint at 2, and on January 27 and February 3, 1994, the Appellant submitted samples from two of those shipments. Testing was completed on February 9, and the Appellant was informed on that date that the samples had failed. The Appellant, by letter of February 10, advised the Contracting Officer that "it would be in touch ... when we determine when a new mill run of paper will arrive ... so that we can submit samples for your testing." Rule 4 File, Tab 12. On February 16, however, the Appellant advised that it had no plans to order more paper. Rule 4 File, Tab 15. The Contracting Officer then requested additional samples, which the Appellant furnished on February 17 and which GPO received on February 18. HT 195. These samples were tested on the day of receipt and found to conform with the specifications. Rule 4 File, Tab 19. Concerned about the inconsistent results, the Contracting Officer on February 23 asked for an explanation of the inconsistency. Rule 4 File, Tab 18. The Appellant was notified that the samples were acceptable on February 28. The Appellant alleges that the rejection of its first samples on February 9 was erroneous, that GPO took longer than the contractually permitted time of five workdays to respond to the second samples, and that as a result it incurred 75 hours of down time for labor and equipment, had to do another makeready of both the litho and intaglio presses, and incurred substantial overtime expenses in order to ensure final delivery by the original contract date. The Appellant seeks $3,750 for idle labor, $13,125 for idle press time, $5,105 for the makeready, and $20,529.22 for overtime labor. The Respondent's position again is a succinct one: (1) the Appellant cannot recover down time and makeready costs because the Appellant commenced production with the paper before it was approved and therefore bore the risk of the consequences of the subsequent rejection of the paper, and (2) the Appellant cannot recover the overtime costs because the Respondent did not require adherence to the original final delivery date. The failure of the paper samples involved chemical sensitivity testing. The contract specifications required the paper to "have certain chemical sensitivities such that it shall provide a visual reaction to attempted alteration" with various classes of chemicals, including sodium bisulfite. Rule 4 File, Tab 1. The Respondent tested the paper by applying drops of the chemicals and then looking for a visual reaction-if a white spot appeared after application of sodium bisulfite, the paper passed the test. HT 266, 278. The GPO testing official determined that there was no visual reaction to the sodium bisulfite on the samples furnished on January 27 and February 3. The reaction was found on the samples furnished on February 17. GPO's chief of the Paper and Physical Testing Division testified that the original samples were rejected because "there was no appreciable reaction or there was no reaction to the ... sodium bisulfite." HT 269. On cross-examination, she was asked, if she looked "very, very hard," if she saw "any discoloration or markings ... around the edge, even tiny," on the February 3 paper sample. She admitted that she did, but stated that the paper failed because this was "a subjective test" and it was the testing official's judgment "that it was not an obvious reaction." HT 284. She further testified that "there was no way" the January 27 sample would be acceptable and that the February 3 sample was "questionable" but that "[a]nyone making a judgment could say that was unacceptable." HT 304. The Appellant asserts that the rejection of the first samples was erroneous because the same "subjective" testing that resulted in the rejection resulted in approval of the same paper when additional samples were furnished and tested. The Appellant further asserts that the testimony of the Testing Division chief establishes that there was no difference in the test results on the February 3 sample and the later sample from the same mill order. The Appellant's position is not convincing. First, the testimony does not establish that the test results on the first samples and on the later samples were the same. The testimony was to the effect that the January 27 sample was in "no way" acceptable and that the chemical reaction on the February 3 sample was "questionable" and could be considered unacceptable, while the results of the testing on the second set of samples indicated compliance with the specifications. HT 270, 304. Second, while the later testing was on paper from the same mill orders, the samples were different, and the Testing Division chief testified that paper can vary within a mill run and even within a roll and clearly did so here. HT 270, 271-72, 289-90. This indicates not that the initial testing was erroneous, but that different test results were possible from the same mill run. In short, the Appellant has not met its burden of establishing, as it alleges in its brief, that "the first tests were in error or that the test standards were improperly and negligently applied."5 App.Brf. at 12. Moreover, as the Respondent states, the Appellant embarked on production with the paper in question before obtaining GPO's approval of that paper, App.Exh. No. 10, despite the contract provision stating that "[m]anufacture of the final production prior to approval of the samples submitted is at the contractor's risk." Rule 4 File, Tab 1. Just as it does in connection with a contractor's failure to await an "OK to print" authorization before starting production, this language places the financial consequences of proceeding with production before the requisite approval is obtained squarely on the shoulders of the Appellant. See IPI Graphics, GPOBCA 04-96 (April 9, 1998), slip op. at 5-6, 1998 WL ______; Fry Communications, Inc., GPOBCA 30-94 (March 30, 1998) slip op. at 9, 1998 WL ______; The George Marr Co., GPOBCA 31-94 (April 23, 1996), slip op. at 51-52, 1996 WL 273662; McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., GPOBCA 25-92 (April 11, 1994), slip op. at 22-23.6 Indeed, even "the Government's own initial error or change of mind" will not insulate the contractor from the consequences of proceeding without approval. IPI Graphics, supra, at 6. Thus, if the Appellant had to stop production and incur costs as a result of that stoppage because the paper subsequently was not approved, it bore the risk of that consequence and cannot look to the Government to reimburse it. In addition, the Board notes that the situation in which the Appellant found itself when the paper samples were rejected on February 9-having to stop production, incur press and labor down time, and engage in another makeready-would have occurred regardless of how the testing came out. In this respect, the Appellant admits that it started to use the paper in question before obtaining approval because it was "short of paper." App.Exh. No. 10. The Appellant's chairman testified that if he had received back within five days an approval for the paper sample submitted on January 27, he would not have had to cease production. HT 324-25. However, GPO did not perform the test on the samples until February 9. Govt.Exh. No. 4B. Thus, had the Appellant not started to print with the unapproved paper, it would have run out of paper in early February while waiting for GPO's test results and would have had to stop production, with the resultant down time and the necessity for another makeready. Although the contract required the Respondent to respond to the paper sample submissions within five days of receipt, the contract, pursuant to the "Notice of Compliance With Schedules" clause, supra, n.3, provided only for a delivery date extension in the event the Respondent took more than five days. Thus, if the samples had been approved rather than rejected, the Appellant still would have experienced down time because of the Respondent's delay in testing the paper samples, and under the contract such a delay would have entitled the Appellant to a delivery date extension, but not to reimbursement for idle presses and labor.7 As for the claim for overtime labor, the Appellant asserts that the overtime was necessary to meet the original final delivery date of May 10 and that the overtime was necessitated by the delay caused by the Respondent's improper and untimely testing. Since the Board cannot find on this record that the testing was improper, the Board is concerned only with the delay resulting from the Respondent's failure to test the paper samples and provide the outcome of that testing to the Appellant within the contractually required five-day period. As stated above, this type of delay is controlled by the "Notice of Compliance With Schedules" clause of the contract, supra, n.3. That clause provides that the "shipping/delivery schedule will be extended automatically by the total number of workdays that the work was delayed PLUS 1 workday [up to a total of 3] for each day of delay ...." (The clause also permits the contractor to request additional time beyond the automatic extension date.) Thus, the original final contract delivery deadline of May 10 was automatically extended by GPO's testing delays.8 See Pennsylvania Printed Products Co., Inc., GPOBCA 29-87 (January 22, 1990), slip op. at 13, 1990 WL 454977 (termination for default for failure to deliver improper where delivery date was automatically extended by Government-caused delay). The Appellant argues, however, that the Respondent did not extend the delivery schedule and made it plain that it expected final delivery to be by the original May 10 date. Under these circumstances, the Appellant asserts, the Respondent "affected [sic] a de facto acceleration of the schedule" entitling it to an equitable adjustment. App.Brf. at 10. Where there are delays that entitle the contractor to delivery schedule extensions, the Government's insistence, in the face of those delays, that the contractor meet the original delivery schedule is treated as a constructive change entitling the contractor to an equitable adjustment9 under the "Changes" clause of the contract, GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 4. See Cibinic & Nash, Administration 450-1. The Government's acceleration order may be express or implied; it may be implied from expressions of urgency by the Government, particularly if coupled with a threat of default or of an assessment of liquidated damages. Fermont Div., Dynamics Corp. of America, ASBCA 15806, 75-1 BCA ¶ 11,319, aff'd, 216 Ct. Cl. 448 (1978); William Lagnion, ENGBCA 3778, 78-2 BCA ¶ 13,260; Pathman Constr. Co., ASBCA 14285, 71-1 BCA ¶ 8905. Constructive acceleration does not arise, however, when the Government merely informs the contractor of the Government's right to default, Donald R. Stewart & Assocs., AGBCA 84-226-1, 92-1 BCA ¶ 24,705, or applies "reasonable" pressure to complete work on schedule. Fermont Div., Dynamics Corp. of America, supra. The Appellant's position that a constructive acceleration occurred here is grounded in its "impression that no schedule extensions would be granted." App.Brf. at 7. This impression, the Appellant's chairman testified, came from various discussions he had with the Contracting Officer and the contract administrator, the "substance" of which was that, while interim shipping dates were changed, he would "be able to make that last shipping date, you won't have any more time on that ... we have got to have that," and which led him to conclude "that the final shipping date was not going to be extended." HT 66, 111. The Appellant argues that its chairman made that impression known to the Contracting Officer in a letter dated February 10, 1994, Rule 4 File, Tab 13, and that the Contracting Officer never contradicted that understanding. The Appellant further argues that because the Contracting Officer sent it a "Cure Notice" on February 9 when the paper samples were rejected, threatening a possible default because of "endangering future ship[ping] dates," Rule 4 File, Tab 11, it "believed default and termination ... was a real possibility." App.Brf. at 11. GPO denies that there was a constructive acceleration. It points out that in a letter to the Contracting Officer dated January 13, 1994, the Appellant set forth its projected shipping schedule and stated that "even allowing for unexpected contingencies, we should be able to ship the last of this order by mid April ... prior to the last scheduled shipment of May 10th." Answer, Tab K. The Respondent further states that it did nothing to accelerate the shipping schedule, and that the "Appellant accelerated itself." Resp.Brf. at 9. The Board has little doubt that the Appellant believed GPO desired final shipment by May 10; the Appellant's incurrence of substantial overtime costs on this fixed price contract is not otherwise readily explainable. Cf. Swanson Printing Co., GPOBCA 27-94 (November 18, 1996), slip op. at 43, 1996 WL 812958 ("...contractors do not, as a rule, voluntarily perform work not called for by the contract."). Notwithstanding that belief and that desire, however, the Board finds no evidence that GPO explicitly or implicitly directed the Appellant to ship by May 10 instead of by the later date to which the Appellant was automatically entitled by virtue of its contract. There is no evidence that the Appellant ever informed the Contracting Officer of its intention or desire to deliver by the extended date or any date beyond May 10, and no evidence that the Respondent precluded the Appellant from so doing by any direct exhortation of urgency or of a firm need for a May 10 delivery. In this regard, the Contracting Officer testified that as a result of the paper testing delays he informed the Appellant of its entitlement to an automatic extension and that delivery schedule adjustments were made for whatever the Appellant requested, with the result that interim shipment dates were changed. HT 200-201. He further testified that he never insisted on a May 10 final delivery date, that it made sense to him that the Appellant would have wanted to extend that date since it sought and received extensions of interim dates, but that the Appellant indicated it could meet the May 10 date. HT 202. Indeed, in a letter to the Contracting Officer dated March 4, 1994, the Appellant, expressing its understanding that "the agency is anxious to receive as many cards as possible as soon as possible," proposed a shipment of 3,536,000 cards on March 30 which would "allow us to complete final 4,000,000 cards for shipment May 10 as originally planned." Gov't.Exh. No. 1. There was no suggestion from the Appellant that it considered this proposed schedule to be an accelerated one for which it would expect extra compensation and no mention of the use of overtime labor to effect the schedule. The Appellant's reliance on its February 10 letter to the Contracting Officer and the February 9 cure notice also is of no avail. The Appellant's statement in the letter about its "impression ... that the shipping schedule ... must be maintained" was by way of explanation for the Appellant's decision in early February to utilize the paper that had not been approved; this preceded GPO's testing delay and thus had nothing to do with contract delivery dates that resulted automatically from the testing delay. The cure notice simply stated that "your failure to submit paper samples equal to specifications ... is endangering future ship dates ...." The focus of the notice was not on delivery dates, but on the paper failure, which threatened whatever the delivery dates-as originally specified or as automatically extended-happened to be. In short, for there to be a constructive acceleration here there must be something more than what the Appellant has identified. Impressions, understandings, and desires are not the basis for a constructive acceleration. See, e.g., Guaranty Constr. Co., GSBCA 3109, 70-2 BCA ¶ 8483; Kingston Bituminous Prods. Co., ASBCA 9964, 67-2 BCA ¶ 6638 (urging completion of the work in accordance with the original schedule is not an acceleration order). There must be something tantamount to a Government order that deprives the contractor of the extended delivery date to which it is entitled. Nothing like that is evident from the record before the Board. Accordingly, the Board finds no basis for an equitable adjustment to accommodate the claimed overtime costs. III. ORDER The Contracting Officer's final decision on the copy change claim is MODIFIED and the matter is REMANDED to the Contracting Officer with instructions to pay the Appellant, in accordance with this decision, the sum of $2,052. The Contracting Officer's final decision on the delay claim is AFFIRMED and the appeal of that decision is DENIED. It is so Ordered. May 27, 1998 Ronald Berger Ad Hoc Chairman Board of Contract Appeals _______________ 1 The Contracting Officer's appeal file, assembled pursuant to Rule 4 of the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure. was delivered to the Board on March 9, 1995. It is referred to as the Rule 4 File,, with an appropriate Tab number also indicated. The Rule 4 File consists of 34 tabs, numbered accordingly. 2 A hearing was held in this matter on September 20-21, 1995. The transcript of the hearing will be referred to as HT with appropriate page citations. Exhibits introduced into evidence at the hearing are identified as App. Exh. or Gov't Exh. followed by the appropriate number. 3 In Banta Co. an equitable adjustment was allowed because of a delay in furnishing GFM. However, unlike the comparable clause used by Executive agencies, see Federal Acquisition Regulation § 52.245-4, GPO's "Government Furnished Property" clause does not provide for an equitable adjustment in the event of untimely delivery of GFM. Delays in furnishing GFM are instead dealt with in GPO's "Notice of Compliance With Schedules" clause, GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 12, which provides for an extension of the delivery schedule when such delays occur. It is only when the contractor has undertaken performance, a change is then made to the required performance, and the GFM related to that change is delayed, that an equitable adjustment for costs incurred (including down time) as a result of the delay may be permitted under the "Changes" clause. See New South Press, GPOBCA 45-92 ( November 4, 1994), slip op., 1994 WL 837425, distinguishing Banta Co., supra. 4 The Appellant's Chairman testified that this makeready charge was less than the contract price for makeready because that price encompassed makeready on all the presses. HT 33, 37. 5 The Board recognizes that there is subjectivity involved in evaluating the results of the chemical testing of the paper. While Government agencies are required to establish objective criteria for measuring the acceptability of a contractor's deliverables and may not reject those deliverables on the basis of some subjective determination of unacceptability or noncompliance, The Standard Register Co., Inc., GPOBCA 25-94 (March 23, 1998), slip op. at 20, 1998 WL ______; Professional Printing of Kansas, Inc., GPOBCA 02-93 (May 19, 1995), slip op. at 69, 1995 WL 488488; A & E Copy Center, supra, at 19, in certain circumstances some subjectivity in determining acceptability pursuant to established criteria may be unavoidable. In the Board's view, such circumstances include situations where only a "visual" examination is to be made, since the results depend upon what the viewer believes he or she sees. See Fry Communications, Inc., GPO 22-84 (February 20, 1986), slip op. at 17-19, 1986 WL 181462 6 While the cited cases all involve a contractor's failure to await an "OK to print" authorization after submission of proofs rather than an approval of paper samples, in at least one of the cases the ["m]anufacture ... at the contractor's risk" language was virtually the same as in this case, see McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra at 4; moreover, in the Board's view, the financial risk on the contractor of proceeding without the requisite approval, regardless of whether the approval is for a paper sample or a printed proof, is the same. 7 To the extent the Appellant is asserting that is was financially damaged by the delay and is entitled to damages for idle press time and labor, it is raising a pure breach of contract claim, over which this Board has no jurisdiction. The Wessel Co., Inc., GPOBCA 8-90 (February 28, 1992), slip op., 1992 WL 487877; R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Co., GPOBCA 15-90 (March 6, 1992), slip op., 1992 WL 382924. 8 The Appellant asserts that it was entitled to a 12-workday extension based on a 3-day delay with the January 27 sample submission, a 1-day delay on the February 3 submission, and a 2-day delay in connection with the allegedly defective GFM problem. The Board has already concluded that the GFM was not defective. The "Notice of Compliance With Schedules" clause also does not provide for unlimited one-for-one "grace" days-there is a limit of three. The Board is also unaware of why the Appellant considers GPO's February 9 response to the February 3 sample submission to be late-by the Board's calculations, the Respondent took only four workdays to respond to that sample. On the other hand, the Respondent did take an extra workday (from February 18, the date of receipt, HT 196, to February 28) to respond to the second set of samples. Thus, the Board considers that the Appellant was entitled to an extension of 3 days for the January 27 submission (the Appellant and the Contracting Officer agree that GPO received these samples on January 28, HT 43, 217) and 1 day for the February 17 submission, plus 3 grace days, for a total of 7 workdays. 9 Additional costs incurred for accelerated delivery authorized by the Contracting Officer are limited to the "actual net increase in manufacturing expense." GPO Contract terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 26 ("Payment for Accelerated Delivery"). See Harry Hoffman & Sons Printing, GPOBCA 7-86 (April 20, 1987), slip op. at 3, n.1, 1987 WL 228969.