U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS STUART M. FOSS, Administrative Law Judge Appeal of CHAVIS AND CHAVIS PRINTING Docket No. GPO BCA 20-90 February 6, 1991 DECISION AND ORDER This appeal, timely filed by Chavis and Chavis Printing, Route 1, Box 317-F, Bamberg, South Carolina 29003 (hereinafter Appellant), is from the final decision of Contracting Officer Francis P. Dillon, of the U.S. Government Printing Office's (hereinafter Respondent or GPO) Regional Printing Procurement Office, New York (NYRPPO), dated May 25, 1990, terminating the Appellant's contract identified as Purchase Order C-1896, Jacket No. 713-359, for default for failing to comply with the terms of the contract. 1 For the reasons which follow, the decision of the Contracting Officer is hereby AFFIRMED. 2 BACKGROUND The relevant facts in this appeal are not in dispute. The contract in question was awarded to the Appellant by the NYRPPO on March 20, 1990, by means of Purchase Order C-1896, which covered two separate printing jobs (or Jackets), only one of which is involved in this protest -- Jacket No. 713-359 (Rule 4 File, Tab A) (hereinafter R4 File). 3 The contract specifications for Jacket No. 713-359 required the Appellant to print 73 copies of an 868 page book with a trim size of 11 x 17, and deliver them to Army Field Printing Plant (AFPP) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, no later than 3:00 p.m. on March 31, 1990. 4 The contract also required the Appellant to drill the pages with 3 holes, collate the pages and shrink-wrap the completed job for shipment to the AFPP. The Appellant failed to deliver the books covered by Jacket No. 713-359 by March 31, 1990. On April 17, 1990, after an unsuccessful attempt to reach the Appellant by telephone, Israel Cargin, the NYRPPO's Compliance Officer, issued a "Show Cause Notice" informing the Appellant that the contract would be terminated for default unless it could present extenuating facts which would excuse the delay (R4 File, Tab B). 5 The "Show Cause Notice" specifically advised the Appellant that the GPO was seeking to determine if the ". . . failure to perform arose out of causes beyond your control and without fault or negligence on your part." [Emphasis added.] According to the record, about the same time that the "Show Cause Notice" was issued, the Appellant contacted the Contracting Officer, telling him that while it was late in making delivery, it would ship the books by April 25, 1990 (R4 File, Tabs L and M). In a second telephone call made shortly thereafter, the Appellant asked for financial assistance, but the request was denied by the Contracting Officer (R4 File, Tab L). Further telephone calls were made to the Appellant by the Contracting Officer on April 20, 1990, and April 23, 1990, respectively, and on each occasion he was assured that the books would be shipped on April 25, 1990 (R4 File, Tab L). However, on April 25, 1990, when the Contracting Officer attempted to find out if the shipment had been made, he discovered that the Appellant's telephone had been disconnected (R4 File, Tabs L and M). The Contracting Officer immediately called the Assistant Manager of GPO's Satellite Printing Procurement Office in Charleston, South Carolina (CSPPO), and asked him to have the Appellant contact the NYRPPO (R4 File, M). In response to this request, the Appellant subsequently called the Contracting Officer and told him that a partial shipment had been made (R4 File, Tab M). In the interim, by letter dated April 22, 1990, the Appellant answered the "Show Cause Notice," acknowledging the delay and offering several reasons by way of explanation, including: (1) insufficient manpower or staff; (2) late delivery of equipment and supplies; and (3) lack of power and water at its plant for several days (R4 File, Tab C). With respect to its equipment problems, the record shows that in order to work on the contract the Appellant had to buy a drill press and rent "printers" and a copier (the Appellant's copier was broken), and this machinery was also delivered late. Indeed, the Appellant admitted that it did not receive the drill press until sometime in April; i.e., after the delivery date called for in the contract (March 31, 1990). The Contracting Officer made two other attempts to contact the Appellant during this period (on April 27, 1990, and April 30, 1990, respectively), only to discover that the Appellant's telephone was still disconnected. Therefore, on May 2, 1990, the Contracting Officer asked the Assistant Manager of the CSPPO to visit the Appellant's plant and ascertain the status of the work. The following day, the Assistant Manager, CSPPO, telephoned the Compliance Officer at the NYRPPO and confirmed that a partial shipment had been made on Jacket No. 713-359 (R4 File, Tab F). He also informed the Compliance Officer that the Appellant's telephone service would be restored on May 3, 1990 (R4 File, Tab M). On May 4, 1990, the Compliance Officer telephoned the Appellant to notify it that it was in default and that it would only be allowed to complete the work if shipment could be made by May 8, 1990 (R4 File, Tabs G and M). The Appellant assured the Compliance Officer that the remainder of Jacket 713-359 would be shipped by that date (R4 File, Tabs G and M). In the meantime, the partial shipment had arrived at its destination. On inspection, the books were discovered to be undrilled, incomplete and not shrink-wrapped. 6 When asked why the partial shipment arrived in this condition, the Appellant claimed that it was told to ship the work that had been completed "as is;" i.e., the Appellant understood that completed and uncompleted work, "printed or otherwise," was to be shipped. See, Prehearing Report at 4. The Compliance Officer, on the other hand, told the Board that the Appellant was instructed to ship everything that had been "completed" to that point. Id. Furthermore, the Contracting Officer said that the NYRPPO "would never accept a job (in all forms of completion and incompletion) without some kind of negotiation beforehand. If we were going to negotiate a partial termination and give (the Appellant) credit for the work (it) did, that would be a different story. This was not the case in this instance." See, Prehearing Report at 5. In any event, the Appellant was notified, first by telephone, and then in a formal "Rejection Notice," dated May 10, 1990, that the partial shipment was defective, and that it was being rejected because the contract specifications were not followed (R4 File, Tabs H and I). The "Rejection Notice" offered the Appellant an opportunity to "cure" these defects at its own expense, and to deliver a satisfactory product to the AFPP by May 18, 1990. Further, the "Rejection Notice" demanded a written explanation of the reasons for the defects and a description of the quality control measures which would be implemented to guard against future occurrences of poor performance. Nothing in the record indicates that the Appellant responded to the "Rejection Notice," either in writing or by telephone. On May 22, 1990, the Compliance Officer issued a second "Show Cause Notice" with respect to Jacket No. 713-359, inviting the Appellant, once again, to present extenuating facts which might excuse the failure to perform in accordance with the contract's terms (R4 File, Tab M). Instead of responding to the "Show Cause Notice," the Appellant filed an appeal with the Board (R4 File, Tab N). Thereafter, by letter dated May 25, 1990, the Contracting Officer notified the Appellant that its contract relating to Jacket No. 713-359 was terminated for default (R4 File, Tab O). POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES The Appellant admits that it did not fulfill all of the specifications necessary to complete the work on Jacket No. 713-359, but nonetheless claims that it is entitled to compensation for all of the work which was accomplished. 7 As for its failure to ship the books on time, the Appellant offers the following reasons: (1) the supplies and paper which it had ordered were delivered late; (2) it had to buy a drill press which was not delivered until April; (3) because its copier was broken, it had to rent printers and copiers which were also delivered late; (4) there was a power failure; and (5) there was a shortage of staff to do the work. 8 In addition, the Appellant tells us that it had done a number of small jobs for the Government in recent years without experiencing any problems, but this was its first large printing order. The Respondent argues that its default termination of Jacket No. 713-359 was justified. In that regard, the Respondent believes that a default was appropriate in this case because the Appellant: (1) missed the original shipping dates; (2) made a partial shipment which consisted of work not in compliance with the terms of the contract; (3) was given an additional opportunity to cure the defects; and (4) failed to do so in a timely manner. According to the Respondent, under the clauses governing GPO contracts, the reasons given by the Appellant to explain the product defects and the shipping delay are not within the classes of acceptable reasons which would excuse a failure to perform. Rather, to the Respondent the Appellant's reasons are essentially failures of subcontractors and suppliers, which might give rise to a cause of action against them, but which would not otherwise prevent the Government from defaulting the Appellant. DISCUSSION The sole issue before the Board is whether or not the Contracting Officer was in error in terminating the Appellant's contract under Jacket No. 713-359 for default. If so, then the termination is converted into one of convenience and the Appellant would be allowed to recover for the work performed. See, Contract Terms, ¶¶ 19.(c),(d),(e), 20.(g). See, e.g., Bonnar-Vawter, GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 5 (1975) (citing, Racon Electric Company, ASBCA, 1962 BCA ¶ 3,528 (October 3, 1962). 9 In the judgment of the Board, the Appellant has admitted to facts which justified the cancellation of its Jacket No. 713-359 contract for at least two reasons, either one of which would have been sufficient to support the action -- an unexcused failure to deliver the books on time and a failure to fully perform in accordance with the contract specifications with respect to the partial shipment. 1. Untimely Delivery The Board derives its powers solely from the "Default" clause of the contract. See, e.g., Ascot Tag and Label Company, Inc., GPO BCA 14-85, at 23 (August 7, 1987); Peake Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 12-85, at 6 (November 12, 1986). Under the "Default" clause the Contracting Officer may, by written notice of default to the contractor, terminate a contract, in whole or in part, if the contractor fails to: (1) deliver the supplies or perform the required services within the time specified or any extension which may have been granted; (2) make progress on the work, so as to endanger performance of the contract; or (3) perform any of the other provisions of the contract. Contract Terms, ¶¶ 20.(a) (1)(i), (ii),(iii). Further, where a contract is terminated for default and the work must be reprocured, the contractor will be held responsible for excess procurement costs and possible liquidated damages. Id., 20.(b), 22.(d). However, the contractor is excused from paying such reprocurement costs or damages if the failure to perform or to deliver on time results from causes beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of the contractor. Id., ¶¶ 20.(c), 22.(e), 23. Such causes include, but are not limited to, acts of God or of the public enemy, acts of the Government in either its sovereign or contractual capacity, fires, floods, epidemics, quarantine restrictions, strikes, freight embargoes, and unusually severe weather -- but in each case, the failure to perform must be beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of the contractor. Id., 20.(c). Where the failure to perform is caused by the default of a supplier or subcontractor, the cause of the default must be beyond the control of both the contractor and subcontractor, and without the fault or negligence of either, in order for the contractor not to be liable for any excess costs for failure to perform, unless the subcontracted supplies or services could have been secured from other sources in sufficient time to meet the required delivery schedule. Id., ¶ 20.(d). The Government's initial burden in default cases is to show that the contractor has failed, in some respect, to perform on the contract. See, e.g., Vogard Printing Corporation, GPOCAB 7-84, at 5 (January 7, 1986) (citing, Caskel Forge, Inc., ASBCA No. 6205, 61-1 BCA ¶ 2,891; National Aviation Electronics, Inc., ASBCA No. 18256, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,677). Because, the findings and determinations of contracting officers are, as a rule, considered prima facie correct, once the default has been established the contractor must then demonstrate that the default was excusable. See, e.g., Remco Business Systems, Inc., GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 2-3 (October 5, 1977) (citing, Norm Evans Construction Company, AGBCA (1975), 75-1 BCA ¶ 11,229); Mill River Press Lithographers, Printers, GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 4 (August 12, 1977) (citing, Beco, Inc., ASBCA, 1964 BCA ¶ 4,403; Highway Products, Inc., ASBCA, 69-2 BCA ¶ 8,064); Vogard Printing Corporation, supra (citing, B. M. Harrison Electrosonics, Inc., ASBCA No. 7684, 1963 BCA ¶ 3,736; Hy-Cal Engineering Corporation, NASA BCA Nos. 871-18 and 772-7, 75-2 BCA ¶ 11,399). If the default termination is based on untimely performance, the contractor's burden is four-fold: (1) to prove affirmatively that the delay was caused by or arose out of a situation which was beyond the contractor's control and it was not at fault or negligent; (2) to show that performance would have been timely but for the occurrence of the event which is claimed to excuse the delay; (3) to show that it took every reasonable precaution to avoid foreseeable causes for delay and to minimize their effect; and (4) to establish a precise period of time that performance was delayed by the causes alleged. See. e.g., Loose Leaf Devices Company, GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 4-5 (1977) (citing, Ace Electronics Associates, Inc., ASBCA 13899, 69-2 BCA ¶ 7,922 (1969)); Allegheny Plastics, Inc., GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 5 (1975); Scanforms, Incorporated, GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 3 (September 24, 1975); American Printing and Publishing, Inc., GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 3-4 (September 19, 1975) (citing, Lee K. Geiger Construction Company, GSBCA, 67-1 BCA ¶ 6,189; American Construction Company, Inc., GSBCA, 65-2 BCA ¶ 4,964). This burden must be carried by substantial evidence -- unsupported reasons by way of explanation are not enough -- and the contractor must also show that the delay in contract performance was due to unforeseeable causes beyond its control and without any contributory negligence on its part. See, e.g., Kaufman DeDell Printing, Inc., GPOCAB [No Docket Number], at 5 (November 6, 1979) (citing, Empire State Tree Service, VACAB, 71-1 BCA ¶ 40,498); Bonnar-Vawter, Incorporated, GPOCAB, supra, at 5-6 (citing, H. C. Thode, Inc., ASBCA, 74-1 BCA ¶ 10,418); Loose Leaf Devices Company, GPOCAB, supra, at 7 (citing, Aargus Poly Bag, GSBCA, 1976 BCA ¶ 11,927 (1976)). As indicated above, the Appellant admits that it did not meet the contract delivery date in this case. However, it offers the late deliveries of its vendors of supplies, paper, and machinery, as well as a power failure and a shortage of staff to do the work, as excuses for its failure to complete the contract on time. The Board agrees with the Respondent that none of these reasons fall within the range of acceptable occurrences or events which would excuse the Appellant's failure to perform. See, e.g., Jomar Enterprises, Inc., GPO BCA 13-86, at 3-5 (May 25, 1989). Furthermore, the Appellant offers no evidence which would demonstrate that the failure of its suppliers to perform was due to their negligence or reasons beyond their control. See, e.g., Loose Leaf Devices Company, supra, at 7 (citing, Williamsburg Drapery Co. v. United States, 177 Ct. Cl. 776, 799, 369 F.2d 729 (1966)). It is accepted that a contractor has an obligation to reasonably assure itself of the availability of necessary supplies and machinery prior to making a contract commitment with the Government. See, e.g., Scanforms, Incorporated, supra, at 4 (citing, Woodhull Construction Company, ASBCA, 57-1 BCA ¶ 1,260; First Dominion Corporation (1967), GSBCA, 69-1 BCA ¶ 7,488); American Printing and Publishing, Inc., supra, at 4; Allegheny Plastics, Inc., supra, at 5-7 (citing, Vereinigte Osterreichische Eisen and Stahlwerke Aktiengesellschaft, IBCA, 1962 BCA ¶ 3,503). Indeed, as a general rule the unexplained breakdown of machinery is not excusable per se; in fact, the difficulty attending the performance of a contract is not an excusable cause of delay. Id., at 7 (citing, Carnegie Steel Company v. United States, 240 U.S. 156 (1916)). The reason for these rules is simple -- implicit in a contractor's promise to perform is its assurance that it has the ability to perform; i.e., that there is available machinery and replacement parts so that performance will not be delayed due to machinery breakdown. Id. As explained by one of GPO's ad hoc boards: Every contractor impliedly represents, when he makes his bid, that he can accomplish what he sets out to do, within the time upon which there was an agreement; and by such implied representation, he is not, in the eyes of the law, entitled to maintain a mental reservation, to the effect, that he can perform within the time required provided the material suppliers lives [sic] up to their commitment and he can obtain the paper stock in time to maintain the required schedule. [Citation omitted.] The failure of the paper supplier to make timely delivery of the necessary stock does not excuse the contractor from resulting delays in contract completion. [Citation omitted.] Scanforms, Incorporated, supra, at 4. In short, it is the contractor's responsibility to have labor, plant, equipment, finances and material adequate for contract performance. Allegheny Plastics Inc., supra, at 7 (citing, Fulton Shipyard, IBCA, 71-1 BCA ¶ 8,616). In the Board's judgment, the Appellant's reliance on the delays of its vendors of supplies, paper and machinery to excuse its own failure to ship the books on time, afford it no protection under the law. The Appellant had an obligation under the contract to plan for its performance, including, prior to submitting its bid and binding itself to the delivery terms of the contract, assuring that essential materials and machinery would be available. In the absence of any evidence from the Appellant that the late receipt of supplies and machinery was due to negligence on the part of its suppliers, the Board must conclude that the untimely shipment under Jacket No. 713-359 was attributable to the Appellant's own failure to properly plan for its performance. The burden of proof was on the Appellant to demonstrate that its failure to perform was due to causes beyond its control and without its fault or negligence. However, as the Board sees it, the cause of the Appellant's delay was not unforeseeable and beyond its control and without its fault or negligence. Accordingly, the Appellant has not met its burden of proof with respect to excusing its failure to make a timely shipment under Jacket No. 713-359. 2. Failure to Comply with Specifications In addition to requiring receipt of the shipment under Jacket No. 713-359 at the AFPP by March 31, 1990, the contract also mandated that, among other things, the books had to be drilled with 3 standard holes 1/4 inch in diameter, centered on the left side, and shrink-wrapped in sets. It is undisputed in the record that the late partial shipment made by the Appellant consisted of books which, contrary to these contract specifications, were undrilled and not shrink-wrapped. Indeed, while the record indicates that the Appellant received its drill press in April before it made its partial shipment, it offers no explanation why, nonetheless, it shipped undrilled books. Because of these defects, the Respondent rejected the shipment. Although the Appellant was offered a reasonable opportunity to "cure" the defects, it never did so. As previously noted, the general rule is that the Government is entitled to strictly enforce compliance with its specifications. See, e.g, Rose Printing Company, GPO BCA 2-87, at 6 (June 9, 1989) (and cases cited therein); Fry Communications, Inc., GPO BCA 1-87, at 5 (June 1, 1989); International Lithographing, GPO BCA 1-88, supra, n. 6; Mid-America Business Forms Corporation, GPO BCA 8-87, supra, n. 6. However, where the Government insists on strict compliance, it bears the initial "burden of persuasion" to show that the work it rejects does, in fact, deviate from the specifications. See, e.g., International Lithographing, GPO BCA 1-88, supra, n. 6, at 20 (citing, Fillip Metal Cabinet Company, GSBCA, 87-2 BCA ¶ 19,822 (1987); Hardeman-Monier-Hutcherson, ASBCA, 67-1 BCA ¶ 6,210 (1967); Ramar Co., ASBCA, 72-2 BCA ¶ 9,644 (1972); Pams Products, Inc., ASBCA, 72-1 BCA ¶ 9,401 (1972)). The Government usually meets this burden by advising the contractor of the results of the inspection it has conducted. The burden then shifts to the contractor to prove that the Government's findings are invalid for one reason or another. See, e.g., International Lithographing, GPO BCA 1-88, supra, n. 6, at 21 (citing, Universal Steel Stripping Co., ASBCA, 69-2 BCA ¶ 7,799 (1969); C. W. Roen Construction Co., DOTCAB, 76-2 BCA ¶ 12,215 (1976); Continental Chemical Corp., GSBCA, 76-2 BCA ¶ 11,948 (1976)). Here, the Respondent met its "burden of persuasion" when the Compliance Officer told the Appellant, first by telephone, and then in a formal "Rejection Notice" on May 10, 1990, the specific reasons the partial shipment was being refused. The burden at that point shifted to the Appellant to prove that the Compliance Officer's findings were wrong. Instead of controverting the Respondent's evidence, the Appellant admits to these deficiencies. Rather, for its defense the Appellant relies on its understanding of shipping instructions it was given by the Compliance Officer. According to the record, the Compliance Officer told the Appellant to ship all the work which had been "completed" to that point. The Appellant interpreted these directions to mean that it should ship work that had been "completed as is." The dictionary defines the word "complete" as "having all necessary or normal parts, elements, or steps; whole; lacking nothing essential." WEBSTER'S II NEW RIVERSIDE UNIVERSITY DICTIONARY, at 290 (1984). In the context of this appeal, instructions to ship "completed" work should have told the Appellant to ship books which were "lacking in nothing essential; i.e., finished in accordance with the contract specifications, including being drilled, collated, and shrink-wrapped. The Board believes it is patently unreasonable to construe instructions to ship "completed" work as authority to ship work "as is" or not in compliance with the contract specifications. Therefore, considering the record as a whole, the Board concludes that the Appellant has not carried its burden of proving that the Compliance Officer's findings in this regard were clearly erroneous. Admittedly, this was the Appellant's first major printing job for the Government, and hence it may have been somewhat inexperienced. However, in the Board's view, a contractor's inexperience is no excuse for its failure to perform. As the Board has observed in other circumstances: It is the duty of the Government to treat all bidders fairly. Indeed, the very nature of advertised competitive procurements mandates such action in order that commercial providers of goods and services will be encouraged to compete for the public's business. This requirement places a heavy burden upon contracting officials to strictly adhere to the exact letter of contract language once award has been made. To do otherwise would be patently unfair to the unsuccessful bidders and would discourage future participation in Government solicitations. The downside of this is that an innocent bidder, as here, who might not fully comprehend the provisions of the solicitation will receive the award as low bidder and be economically injured as a result. Absent Government fault contributing to the commission of such error, there is no means of negating such an unfortunate consequence. Graphicdata, Inc., GPO BCA 28-88, at 9 (February 9, 1990). CONCLUSION Considering the record before it as a whole, the Board is unable to say that the Contracting Officer's decision to terminate the contract for Jacket No. 713-359 for default under the circumstances described is clearly erroneous. Therefore, the Board affirms his decision and denies the appeal. 10 It is so Ordered. _______________ 1. The contract specifications for Purchase Order C-1896 included a second, separate order for books (65 copies of a 534 page book), which was covered by Jacket No. 713-360. Jacket No. 713-360 was terminated by the Contracting Officer on May 16, 1990, also for failure to comply with the terms of the contract. By letter dated May 24, 1990, the Appellant filed an appeal with the Board protesting the termination of both Jacket Nos. 713-359 and 713-360. However, during the prehearing telephone conference conducted by the Board on November 13, 1990, the Appellant admitted that no work had been accomplished on Jacket No. 713-360, and withdrew its claim with respect to it. Therefore, the only issue before the Board is whether or not the contracting officer's termination of Purchase Order C-1896, Jacket No. 713-359 was erroneous. 2. The termination letters issued by the contracting officer on May 16, 1990, and May 25, 1990, mistakenly referred to the Jacket numbers in Purchase order C-1896, and Jacket No. 713-960 and Jacket No. 713-959 respectively. It is clear to the Board that the misidentification of the Jacket numbers in Purchase order C-1896 was an inadvertent clerical error, and is without material significance in the context of this case, particularly since the Appellant correctly identified the Jacket numbers in its appeal letter of May 24, 1990. 3. See note 1 supra. 4. The books were to be printed from Government-supplied camera ready copy to be furnished to the Appellant by March 20, 1990. There is nothing in the record before the Board to indicate any failure by the Government to meet its responsibilities under the contract. 5. This "Show Cause Notice" also addressed the Appellant's failure to deliver the books covered by Jacket No. 713-360. In short, the Appellant had made no delivery under the contract whatsoever when the "Show Cause Notice" was issued. 6. During the prehearing telephone conference, a dispute arose between the parties concerning whether the partial shipment was collated, as required by the contract specifications. The compliance officer contended that the books were uncollated, while the Appellant's President insisted that they were. See, Prehearing Telephone Conference Report, at 3 (hereinafter Prehearing Report). In light of the Appellant's other performance deficiencies, the Board finds it unnecessary to resolve this factual dispute in the context of this appeal because it is not controlling of the outcome. As will be discussed infra, the Board has consistently followed "black letter" procurement law which holds that the Government is entitled to strictly enforce its contracts, even where a variance from specifications is very minor. See, e.g., International Lithographing, GPO BCA 1-88, at 20 (January 29, 1989) (and cases cited therein); Mid-American Business Forms Corporation, GPO BCA 8-87, at 18-19 (December 30, 1988). See also, Broyles Typesetting Service, [No Docket Number], at 5 (December 3, 1979) ("The general and overriding principle is that the Government is entitled to strict compliance with the specifications."). Consequently, in the Board's judgment, where numerous shortcomings concerning a contractor's performance are alleged, one deficiency, more or less, among several is without controlling significance. 7. The Appellant has submitted a voucher, dated November 7, 1990, demanding payment in the amount of $6,018.73, for all of the printing on Jacket No. 713359, and for storage and accounting fees. The voucher also includes a claim for interest based on an alleged violation of the Prompt Payment Act of 1982. as amended (PPA). 31 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq.. The Respondent argues that the PPA does not apply to GPO. The Board has examined the PPA and its legislative history, and agrees with the Respondent. Simply stated, the PPA was enacted to provide incentives for the Federal Government to pay its bills on time. H.R. REP. No. 97-461, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. 1, reprinted in 1982 U.S. CODE CONG. & AD. NEWS 111 (H.R. REP.). Congress sought to enforce its prompt payment policy by authorizing interest for late payments. 31 U.S.C. § 3902. However, by defining "agency" coverage in terms of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 551, Congress evinced a clear intent to limit the PPA to Executive Branch Agencies. H.R. REP. at 16, reprinted in 1982 U.S. CODE CONG. & AD. NEWS 126. Because GPO is an agency of the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government, it does not fall within the confines of the APA, or any other statute, such as the PPA, which uses the APA to define its coverage. See, e.g., Gray Graphics Corporation v. U.S. Government Printing Office, et al., Civil Action No. 82-2869, Sl. op. st 6 (D.D.C. 1982) (Small Business Act). Accord, Ethnic Employees of the Library of Congress v. Boorstin, 751 F.2d 1405, 1416, n. 15 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (Freedom of Information Act). 8. At the prehearing telephone conference, the Appellant claimed that it was initially unaware that it could have received a partial payment in advance to hire additional staff. However, when the Appellant did ask the Respondent for such an advance, its request was refused. The record indicates that the Appellant's request for an advance payment was presented to the Contracting Officer by the Compliance Officer on April 17, 1990, and that it was denied because the shipment was already late (R4 File, Tab L). Partial payments are addressed in paragraph 25 of GPO Contract Terms, which governs the rights and obligations of the parties under this contract. GPO Publication 310.2, effective December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88), at 23 (hereinafter .Contract Terms.) In that regard, partial payments are authorized if the contractor submits a proper voucher and furnishes acceptable evidence of shipment or delivery. Since no work under Jacket No. 713-359 had been shipped as of the date of the request for financial assistance, there was no basis for a partial payment to the Appellant. 9. The Board was created by the Public Printer in 1984. GPO Instruction 110.10C, Subject: Establishment of the Board of Contract Appeals, dated September 17, 1984. Prior to the Board's creation, appeals from decisions of GPO Contracting officers were considered by ad hoc Contract Appeals Boards (the decisions of these ad hoc boards are hereinafter cited as GPOCAB). While the decisions of these ad hoc boards are not legally binding on the Board, it is the Board's policy to follow them where applicable and appropriate. 10. Under the Board's ruling the Appellant could be liable for excess reprocurement costs. However, there is nothing in the record before the Board which would indicate whether the NYRPPO reprocured the contract or, if it did so, the amount of excess reprocurement costs. Therefore, the amount of excess reprocurement costs, if any, has not been considered in this appeal since it was not before the Board.