U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS WASHINGTON, D.C. 20401 STUART M. FOSS Administrative Judge The Appeal of SHEPARD PRINTING Docket No. GPO BCA 23-92 Jacket No. 633-625 Purchase Order F-6728 April 29, 1993 DECISION AND ORDER By letter dated June 30, 1992, Shepard Printing, 620-G East Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877 (Appellant or Contractor), filed a timely appeal from the April 14, 1992, final decision of Contracting Officer Douglas M. Faour, of the U.S. Government Printing Office's (Respondent or GPO or Government) Regional Printing Procurement Office, Atlanta, Georgia (ARPPO), terminating the Appellant's contract identified as Jacket No. 633-625, Purchase Order F-6728, for default for failure to "fulfill the requirements of the contract" and the Contractor's "stated inability to correct the product" (R4 File, Tab F). 1/ For the reasons which follow, the decision of the Contracting Officer is hereby AFFIRMED, and the appeal is DENIED. 2/ SUMMARY FINDINGS OF FACT 3/ 1. On February 18, 1992, the Respondent issued Purchase Order F-6728 (Jacket No. 633-625) to the Appellant for the production of 2,500 copies of a spiral bound publication of 30 pages, entitled "Wonder" (R4 File, Tab A). "Wonder" had been requisitioned by the customer agency-the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services (R4 File, Tab A). The Purchase Order indicates that the publication was to be printed in black and purple ink (PMS 526), and had to meet the quality standards for Quality Level III (R4 File, Tab A). 4/ 2. Under the terms of the contract, the Contractor was to pickup the Government-furnished material (GFM) on February 18, 1992, and was to provide proofs by February 21, 1992 (R4 File, Tab A). The Purchase Order shows that delivery of the publication was to be completed by March 2, 1992, with shipment of the 2,500 copies to the CDC warehouse located at 4998 South Royal Drive, Tucker, Georgia 30084 (R4 File, Tab A). The contract price for this work was $7,410.00 (R4 File, Tab A). 3. The Appellant was unable to complete the work and ship the publication by the original contract due date. Consequently, the record shows that the parties mutually agreed to two extensions of the delivery date-first to March 24, 1992, and then to March 27, 1992, for reductions in the contract price of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively (R4 File, Tabs B and C). The Appellant delivered the printed product to the CDC on March 27, 1992. 4. When the shipment was received, CDC personnel inspected random samples of the book and discovered several quality defects (R4 File, Tab D). Specifically, their inspection revealed problems with the printing of the publication- improper registration, non-uniform type quality, and mismatched color (R4 File, Tab D). The CDC inspectors also observed that the product was printed in black and purple ink (PMS 526), instead of the black and blue ink (PMS 256) requested by the customer agency. 5/ CDC notified the ARPPO of these problems on March 30, 1992, and requested that the product be reprinted (R4 File, Tab D). 5. On April 13, 1992, the ARPPO's Compliance Officer, Gary Bush, examined 15 randomly selected copies of "Wonder" and confirmed the color match defect disclosed by the CDC inspection (R4 File, Tab H). Measuring the printed product against Quality Level III, Bush found that the samples contained "1,020 major defects," far exceeding the contractually established Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) of 6.5 defects for this job (R4 File, Tab J). 6/ 6. Between March 30, 1992, and April 14, 1992, the date the contract was defaulted, Bush had several conversations with CDC personnel concerning whether the customer agency would be willing to accept the job at a discount, instead of requiring a reprint (R4 File, Tab J).7/ However, the CDC was not interested in accepting the delivered product because the appearance was so poor (R4 File, Tab J). Accordingly, Bush called the Appellant's President, Daniel Campbell, on April 13, 1992, and informed him that the customer agency would not accept the job at a discount, and asked the Contractor to reprint the order and deliver it within three weeks (R4 File, Tabs I and J). Campbell told Bush that he could not perform the reprint within that time, and did not suggest any alternate delivery date (R4 File, Tab J). 8/ 7. Since the Appellant was unable to meet the CDC's needs, on April 13, 1992, the Contracting Officer sought the approval of the CRB to terminate the contract for complete default (R4 File, Tab I). Termination was requested because of inconsistent ink coverage and register problems throughout the publication (R4 File, Tab I). 9/ CRB concurrence was obtained that same day (R4 File, Tab I). 8. On April 14, 1992, the Contracting Officer issued a Notice of Termination-Complete (Notice of Termination) to the Appellant informing it that the contract had been terminated for complete default for failure to "fulfill the requirements of the contract" and because of the Contractor's "stated inability to correct the product" (R4 File, Tab F). Specifically, the contract was canceled because the "order was delivered with inconsistent ink coverage for the PMS 526 purple and register problems were found throughout the order" (R4 File, Tab F). 10/ 9. After the contract was defaulted, the ARPPO took steps to reprocure the job. However, for some reason not indicated in the record, the request for bids to reprocure the work was not issued until early July 1992, and potential bidders had until July 14, 1992, to submit their quotations. See, Complaint, Attachment No. 5 (Jacket No. 636-479). While the Government had talked about reprocuring the order at Quality Level II, the bid request shows that the job remained a Quality Level III procurement. Nothing in the record shows that the Appellant submitted a bid for the reprocured work although it was not prevented from doing so. ISSUES PRESENTED 1. Was the Appellant entitled to an opportunity to cure the defects found in the publication it supplied before the Contracting Officer could terminate the contract for default? 2. Is the Compliance Officer's QATAP Inspection Report a reliable basis on which to base a decision to terminate the Appellant's contract for default? 3. If the Inspection Report is inaccurate and is disregard, does the record support the Appellant's contention that the product it delivered was in substantial compliance with the contract specifications and thus it was entitled to an opportunity to correct the defects by operation of law ? 4. Did the Contracting Officer abuse his discretion by not considering the time critical nature of this procurement in making his decision to terminate the Appellant's contract? POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES The Appellant does not challenge the Respondent's conclusion that the publication it supplied to the CDC contained color match and registration defects. The Contractor argues, however, that these defects were relatively minor, and that the contract was really terminated for the convenience of the Government. 11/ See, Meeting Report, at pp. 2-3; App.Brf., at p. 2. In essence, the Appellant advances six major contentions: (1) an examination of 15 books which discloses 1,020 major defects is clearly erroneous since the QATAP standard for solid or screen tints color match (P-9) allows only one major defect per book, thus the maximum number of assessable major defects is 15 not 1,020; (2) apart from the fact that the random sample box is checked on the Inspection Report, there is nothing to indicate that the sample itself was properly selected by the customer agency; (3) the rule that the Government is entitled to strict compliance with the contract is not applicable in this case because the Respondent had waived it in two instances by allowing extensions of the delivery date; (4) once the Respondent decided to reprocure the publication as a Quality Level III job, instead of Quality Level II, the Contractor was entitled to an opportunity to correct the defects found by Government by reprinting the order, especially since the CDC had requested reprinting; (5) in the alternative, since the original shipment had some use, the Respondent should have been accepted the books at the Contractor's offer of a 50 percent reduction in price; and (6) the Contracting Officer abused his discretion by defaulting the contract without considering the time critical nature of the procurement. See, Meeting Report, at pp. 2-4; App.Brf., at p. 2; App.R.Brf., at p. 1. The Respondent, on the other hand, contends that the Appellant's contract was properly terminated for default because of numerous major defects in the quality of the printed product, especially a "pervasive" mismatching of the color and register problems throughout the publication. See, Meeting Report, at p. 3. Also see, R.Brf., at p. 4. The Respondent believes that the Appellant's 50 percent discount offer if the Government accept the original shipment is tantamount to an admission that the quality defects were, in fact, major discrepancies. R.Brf., at p. 3. Furthermore, the Respondent denies the Appellant's claim that it was not given an opportunity to cure the defects, stating instead that the Contractor was, in fact, asked to reprint a corrected publication, but that it declined to do so. 12/ See, Meeting Report, at p. 3. Also see, R.Brf., at pp. 2, 5. As for the central question in this appeal-whether or not the Appellant's contract was properly terminated for default because of an inability to produce a publication conforming to the contract specifications-the Respondent asserts that "black letter" public contract law entitles the Government to strict compliance with its specifications. R.Brf., at p. 4 (citing, Jefferson Construction Company v. United States, 151 Ct.Cl. 75 (1960); Red Circle Corporation v. United States, 185 Ct.Cl. 1, 8 (1968); American Electric Contracting Corporation v. United States, 579 F.2d 602 (Ct.Cl. 1978); Dependable Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 5-84 (September 12, 1985)). Thus, the Respondent states that the "strict compliance" doctrine affords the procuring agency complete discretion to accept or reject nonconforming supplies; i.e., the Government cannot be compelled to accept them at a discount even if the discrepancies are relatively minor. R.Brf., at p. 4 (citing, Famous Model Company, Inc., ASCBCA No. 12525, 68-1 BCA ¶ 6,902; Cherry Meat Packers, Inc., ASBCA No. 8974, 1963 BCA ¶ 3,937). Finally, the Respondent notes that if the Appellant had delivered a publication which conformed to the contract specifications in the first place, it would have been accepted without regard to whether it was usable or not (R4 File, Tab J). 13/ See, Meeting Report, at p. 5. SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS 14/ Since the ultimate question which the Board must decide is whether or not the Appellant's contract was erroneously terminated for default, certain legal principles should be kept in mind at the outset. First, a default termination is a drastic action which may only be taken for good cause and on the basis of solid evidence. 15/ See, R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, GPO BCA 31-90 (February 6, 1992), Sl. op. at 25, aff'd, Richard C. Swanson, T/A R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, No. 92-128C (U.S. Claims Court, October 2, 1992); 16/ Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 20 (citing, Mary Rogers Manley d/b/a Mary Rogers Real Estate, HUDBCA No. 76-27, 78-2 BCA ¶ 13,519; Decatur Realty Sales, HUDBCA No. 75-26, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,567). Second, the burden of proving the basis for the default is on the Government, Lisbon Contractors v. United States, 828 F.2d 759 (Fed. Cir. 1987); Chavis and Chavis Printing, GPO BCA 20-90 (February 6, 1991), Sl. op. at 11 (and cases cited therein); R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at 28, whereas the contractor has the burden of proving excusability. Switlik Parachute Company v. United States, 216 Ct.Cl. 362 (1978); Davis v. United States, 180 Ct.Cl. 20 (1967); J.F. Whalen and Company, AGBCA Nos. 83-160-1, 83-281-1, 88-3 BCA ¶ 21,066; 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; Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 11-12 (and cases cited therein); R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at 28. If the Government fails to meet its burden of proof, then the termination is converted into one of convenience and the contractor is allowed to recover for the work performed. See, GPO Contract Terms, Default, ¶ 20(g). Cf., Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 17-18; Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 9. Third, the standard "Default" clause identifies several grounds which will excuse defaulting conduct by contractors, including acts of the Government in either its sovereign or contractual capacity. 17/ See, GPO Contract Terms, Default, ¶ 20(c). Government acts which may extinguish a contractor's duty to perform include defective specifications, Robert E. Moore Construction, AGBCA No. 85-262-1, 90-2 BCA ¶ 22,803, and defective Government-furnished equipment or material. Boque Electric Manufacturing Company, ASBCA No. 25184, 86-2 BCA ¶ 18,925. The burden of proving Government defects is on the contractor, who must also show that those defects were the cause of the problems in question. Editors Press Incorporated, GPO BCA 03-90 (September 4, 1991) Sl. op. at 12-13; Fry Communications, Inc., GPO BCA 1-87 (June 1, 1989), Sl. op. at 5 (citing, Bailfield Industries, Division A-T-O, Inc., ASBCA No. 18057, 77-1 BCA ¶ 12,348). Finally, a default termination is a discretionary act which can be challenged on an abuse of discretion standard. Darwin Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, 811 F.2d 593 (Fed. Cir. 1987); Quality Environment Systems v. United States, 7 Cl.Ct. 428 (1985); Schlesinger v. United States, 390 F.2d 702 (Ct. Cl. 1968); Executive Elevator Service, Inc., VABCA No. 2152, 87-2 BCA ¶ 19,849, mot. for reconsider. denied, 87-3 BCA ¶ 20,083. The burden is on the contractor to prove abuse of discretion. Cf., Kit Pack Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 33135, 89-3 BCA ¶ 22,151; Lafayette Coal Company, ASBCA No. 32174, 89-3 BCA ¶21,963; Quality Environment Systems, Inc., ASBCA No. 22178, 87-3 BCA ¶ 20,060. Applying these principles to the facts in the record, the Board reaches the following conclusions: A. As a general rule, no "cure notice" would have been required in this case because the Appellant's contract was terminated for its failure to deliver a conforming publication. However, the Contracting Officer did, in fact, offer the Contractor an opportunity to cure the defects before defaulting the contract. 1. It is clear that the Contracting Officer's decision to default the Appellant for failure to "fulfill the requirements of the contract" is a termination based on the Contractor's failure to "[d]eliver the supplies or to perform the services within the time specified or any extension, thereof;. . .". GPO Contract Terms, Default, ¶ 20.(a)(1)(i). Such clauses have uniformly been held to apply not only to late deliveries of the contracted goods, Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 19 (citing, Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 12-15; Jomar Enterprises, Inc., GPO BCA 13-86 (May 25, 1989), Sl. op. at 3-5), but also to the timely delivery of nonconforming supplies. 18/ Id. (citing, KOPA Kopier Produckte, ASBCA No. 29,471, 85-3 BCA ¶ 18,367; Meyer Labs, Inc., ASBCA No. 18,347, 77-1 BCA ¶ 12,539. 2. As a general rule, no "cure notice" is required where a contract is to be terminated because of the contractor's failure to timely deliver or perform. Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 19-20 (citing, Kit Pack Company, Inc., supra, 89-3 BCA ¶ 22,151; Norm Hodges and Associates, Inc., GPOCAB 2-82, Sl. op. at 3 (1982); Sales Aids, Inc., GPOCAB 14-80, Sl. op. at 6 (1981)). 19/ Despite this general rule, the record clearly shows that in this case the Appellant was offered an opportunity to cure the defects and reprint the order, but it declined to do so (R4 File, Tab I and J). See, Meeting Report, at p. 3. 3. The Contractor argues that it refused to reprint the job because it mistakenly thought that the CDC wanted a Quality Level II publication, not a Quality Level III one, and it was not capable of producing the higher Quality Level II work. See, Meeting Report, at p. 3. Since the job was, in fact, reprocured at Quality Level III, the Appellant now claims that the Government should have allowed it to correct the defects and reprint the order at that level first. See, Meeting Report, at p. 4. The Board disagrees. While the Respondent certainly had the discretion to provide the Contractor with a second opportunity to correct the defects in question, it was under no legal obligation to do so, particularly since it had already initiated steps to reprocure the work. Cf., Electro-Neutronics, Inc., ASBCA No. 12947, 71-2 BCA ¶ 8,961. Accordingly, the Board concludes that under the circumstances of this case, the Respondent satisfied all necessary procedural steps prior to terminating the contract for default, and the Appellant's contentions to the contrary are without merit. 20/ B. The Compliance Officer's QATAP Inspection Report contains conflicting and confusing information, and standing alone, is an unreliable and inadequate foundation on which to base a decision to terminate the Appellant's contract for default. 1. The Appellant challenges the Respondent's reliance on its inspection of 15 sample books as the basis for its decision to reject the entire shipment and cancel the contract on two grounds: (a) the Compliance Officer's finding of 1,020 "major defects" is clearly erroneous because the maximum number of such defects which could be assessed under QATAP for mismatching color is one per book, or 15 major defects for a sample of 15 books; 21/ and (b) nothing in the record tells us that GPO instructed the agency how to select the "random" samples, and thus the evidence is insufficient to show that the sample examined was representative of the lot. App.R.Brf., p. 1 (citing, QATAP, p. 2, ¶¶ 4-1.b.(ii) and (iii)). See, QATAP Technical Manual, GPO Publication 355.1, March 1989, Principles of Sampling, p. 4 (hereinafter QATAP Manual). As the Board understands the Appellant's position, however, it is not challenging the Respondent's conclusion that the books it delivered contained color match and registration defects. Rather, it is claiming that they were relatively minor. 2. The Appellant's contention that one major defect per book is the maximum number of such defects which can be assessed for mismatching color is based on its interpretation of ¶¶4-1.b.(ii) and (iii)) of QATAP, which state in pertinent part: 4-1. Printing Attributes-For each copy that is inspected, the Government will evaluate each applicable printing attribute by separately inspecting: * * * * * * * * * * b. text (i.e., pages and covers 2 & 3) ADL's will be determined as follows: 22/ * * * * * * * * * * (ii) The text will be evaluated by inspecting pages (each page is an individual unit), cover 2, and cover 3 as individual units. Each unit will be assessed demerits (i.e., 4, 20, 100) pursuant to the demerit table for each printing attribute that deviates from specifications. The demerits which are assessed will be summed, and each sum will be divided by the number of individual units that were inspected for that printing attribute. The quotient constitutes the ADL for text for that printing attribute for that copy. (iii) In each copy the ADL's for each printing attribute will be classified as follows: Tolerance Table for Printing Attributes ADL's Classification of Defect 4 or less for both outside covers and text..................................None More than 4 for either or both outside covers and text...........................Major. Conspicuous Single Page Defects-When one or more pages have been assessed demerits for a printing attribute but the ADL does not exceed 4, a single major defect will be assessed for that printing attribute if one or more pages is so conspicuously defective that it significantly impairs the quality of the entire copy. . . . QATAP, pp. 2-3. [Emphasis added.] 3. In this case, the Compliance Officer found 1,020 "major defects" from his color match examination of 15 selected sample copies of "Wonder". Since each copy of the book consisted of 30 pages, the maximum number of inspection units was 450 (each page is an individual unit). The examination of these 15 sample copies was conducted pursuant to printing attribute P-9 (Solid or Screen Tints Color Match), which, among other things, provides for: (a) three categories of demerits-4, 20, and 100; (b) the assessment of demerits for each inspection unit; and (c) the automatic assessment of 20 demerits for each page when a visible density shift occurs within or between, solids or tints in a Quality Level III inspection. QATAP, p. 22. The record does not disclose how the Compliance Officer calculated 1,020 "major defects" from a sample of 450 units. However, assuming that he examined each page of each sample copy, then the total number of possible demerits which could have been assessed at each of the demerit levels would be 1,800 (4 x 450), 9,000 (20 x 450), or 45,000 (100 x 450). Of these figures only the latter two would result in a classification of a major defect for this attribute. 23/ In either case, however, the maximum number of major defects for each page would be one (1), and the total number of major defects for the complete sample would be 450. Moreover, even under QATAP's "Conspicuous Single Page Defects" concept, an assessment of 4 demerits or less per page could only have resulted in one (1) major defect per book for that printing attribute, or a possible total of 15 major defects. 4. The record fails to tell us whether the Compliance Officer examined all pages of the sample copies, or indeed, what exactly was the scope of his inspection. The Board has no doubt that he believed that there was a significant color match problem-the only attribute being measured-and that the AQL had been exceeded (R4 File, Tab J). However, the problem for the Board here is that his recorded findings on the Inspection Report are both conflicting and confusing (R4 File, Tab H). Therefore, the Board believes that he misapplied the QATAP requirements in this case. As the Board understands QATAP, it is simply not possible for 15 copies of a 30-page publication to have 1,020 "major defects," where, as here, only one printing attribute is being measured, even if every one of the 450 sampling units was assessed the maximum number of demerits. Thus, it seems to the Board that the 1,020 "major defects" are, instead, the Compliance Officer's evaluation of the total number of demerits assigned to the publication by his inspection. 5. The Board's conclusion that the Inspection Report is confusing and conflicting is reenforced by the calculation of 6,800 total defects per 100 items-a major inconsistency in that document. As defined in QATAP, the total number of defects are the sum of all critical and all major defects. QATAP, p. 1, ¶ 1-5. Since the Compliance Officer was only testing the publication's color match here-a single printing attribute-the total number of defects and the number of major defects should have been the same because critical defects are only assessed for serious deviations in finishing attributes. Id.,, ¶¶ 1-3, 1-4. Thus, the Board would have expected the number 1,020 for both major defects and total defects in the Inspection Report, instead of 1,020 "major defects" and 6,800 "total defects". The record does not explain why there is a 5,780 count difference between these defect categories, and no logical reason comes to mind for a situation where, as here, only one printing attribute is involved. Therefore, the Board agrees with the Appellant that the Inspection Report is not an accurate indicator of the number of major defects found for the printing attribute measured. Accordingly, the Board concludes that the Inspection Report, standing alone, will not support the Respondent's decision, made in partial reliance thereon, to default the Appellant's contract. 24/ C. Notwithstanding the inaccuracy of the Inspection Report, the product delivered by the Appellant was still not in substantial compliance with the contract specifications, and thus it was not entitled to an opportunity to correct the defects by operation of law. 1. The Respondent correctly states the general rule that the Government is entitled to strict compliance with its specifications. See, e.g., Rose Printing Company, GPO BCA 2-87 (June 9, 1989), Sl. op. at 6 (and cases cited therein); Fry Communications, Inc., GPO BCA 1-87 (June 1, 1989), Sl. op. at 5; Mid-America Business Forms Corporation, GPO BCA 8-87 (December 30, 1988), Sl. op. at 18-19. See also, Mega Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, 25 Cl.Ct. 735, 741 (1992); Wholesale Tire and Supply Company, Ltd., ASBCA No. 42502, 92-2 BCA ¶ 24,960. Indeed, this rule has always been considered absolute in supply contracts. See, e.g., Melrose Packaging Corporation, ASBCA No. 9045, 1964 BCA ¶ 3,769; Cherry Meat Packers, Inc., supra, 1963 BCA ¶ 3,937). However, in 1966 the Court of Claims created a limited exception to the "strict compliance" principle for situations where a contractor has timely shipped nonconforming goods which deviate from the specifications in only minor respects. This so-called "substantial compliance" rule affords defaulting contractors an opportunity to correct minor defects in shipments to the Government. See, Radiation Technology, Inc. v. United States, 177 Ct.Cl. 227, 366 F.2d 1003, 1005-06 (1966) (". . . contractor is entitled to a reasonable period in which to cure a nonconformity provided that the supplies shipped are in substantial conformity with the contract specifications."). 2. As the Board understands the thrust of the Appellant's challenge to the termination action, it argues that the "substantial compliance" rule should have been applied in this case. In order for the "substantial compliance" doctrine to apply to a particular shipment of nonconforming goods, the contractor must show that: (a) a timely delivery of goods was made; (b) he/she reasonably believed, in good faith, that the supplies conformed to the contract when shipped and that they would be acceptable; and (c) the defects are minor in nature and capable of correction within a reasonable period of time. 366 F.2d at 1006. 25/ A contractor who ships nonconforming goods is only protected by the Radiation Technology rule to the extent that he/she can satisfy all elements of the test. 26/ In the Board's opinion, notwithstanding the Compliance Officer's miscalculation of the number of "major defects" in the publication under QATAP, when the record is considered as a whole, the "substantial compliance" doctrine does not apply to the circumstances of this case because the admitted defects in the aggregate, are not minor for the purposes of the "substantial compliance" rule. 3. Under the Radiation Technology doctrine, whether a defect is minor is a question of fact, based upon a consideration of: (a) whether the items are usable; (b) the nature of the product; (c) the urgency of the Government's needs; and (d) the extent of repair and adjustment necessary to produce a fully conforming product. 27/ In that regard, it is established under the rule that numerous minor defects, when considered together, can constitute a major nonconformity. Astro Science Corporation v. United States, 200 Ct.Cl. 354, 471 F.2d 624 (1973); Environmental Tectonics Corporation, supra, 76-2 BCA ¶ 12,134; Kain Cattle Company, ASBCA No. 17124, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,999. Similarly, if the minor defect is not readily correctable the "substantial compliance" doctrine will not apply. Inforex, Inc., GSBCA No. 3859, 76-1 BCA ¶ 11,679; Levelator Corporation, VACAB No. 1069, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,763; Nuclear Equipment Corporation, NASABCA No. 1170-18, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,815. Both of these principles defeat the Appellant's claim to the protection of Radiation Technology in this case. 4. The facts here clearly show that in addition to the color match problem, the customer agency also complained that the publication had a quality defect concerning improper registration (R4 File, Tab D). However, because the Appellant had not returned the GFM, the Compliance Officer could only test the color match (R4 File, Tab H). On the other hand, the Appellant does not dispute that its publication contained registration problems. Therefore, the Board believes that when the registration defects are considered in conjunction with the color match problem, a major nonconformity existed with the publication delivered by the Appellant. Astro Science Corporation v. United States, supra, 471 F.2d 624 (1973); Environmental Tectonics Corporation, supra, 76-2 BCA ¶ 12,134; Kain Cattle Company, supra, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,999. 5. Furthermore, assuming for the sake of argument that the defects were only minor, the facts still warrant the conclusion that they were not readily correctable. In that regard, the Board believes that the Appellant's reply to the Government's request giving it three weeks to reprint the job and deliver a corrected product is highly significant. When the Board considers that the job, as initially ordered, had to be completed in nine days, and that the Contractor would have to reconstruct the GFM before it could reprint the publication because it had lost the original camera copy, it is persuaded that three weeks was a reasonable timeframe for the Appellant to correct the defects. Consequently, even if the defects were minor in this case, the Appellant's response that it could not give the Government what it wanted within that time period warrants the conclusion that they were not readily correctable. Inforex, Inc., supra, 76-1 BCA ¶ 11,679; Levelator Corporation, supra, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,763; Nuclear Equipment Corporation, supra, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,815. Also see, Echo Science Corporation, NASABCA No. 671-9, 72-2 BCA ¶ 9,755. Accordingly, for these reasons the Board also concludes that the Radiation Technology doctrine does not apply here; i.e., the defects were not minor for the purpose of that rule, and moreover, they could not be corrected to conform to the specifications within three weeks-a reasonable period of time. Cf., Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 52-53 (citing, Environmental Tectonics Corporation, ASBCA No. 29947, 87-1 BCA ¶ 19,382; KOPA Kopier Produckte, ASBCA No. 29471, 85-3 BCA ¶ 18,367; Renwin Metal Products, Inc., ASBCA No. 15413, 72-1 BCA ¶ 9,233, mot. for reconsideration denied, 72-1 BCA ¶ 9,329). 6. In the final analysis, the Appellant cannot escape the consequences of its own refusal to reprint the job at the Respondent's request. In that regard, it is established that despite an entitlement to a reasonable cure period under the Radiation Technology rule, the contractor itself may defeat the doctrine by failing to correct the defects or even expressing a willingness to do so. Cf., Frequency Electronics, Inc., ASBCA No. 17917, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,792; Kain Cattle Company, supra, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,999. As indicated above, where, as here, a contractor has already been afforded a reasonable opportunity to correct the defects in its product, it may not later be heard to say that the "substantial compliance" rule entitles it to a second chance. Cf., Electro-Neutronics, Inc., supra, 71-2 BCA ¶ 8,961. Furthermore, the Board rejects the Appellant's claim that its decision not to reprint the job was based on an erroneous belief, based on discussions with the Contracting Officer, that the CDC wanted a Quality Level II publication. 28/ See, Meeting Report, p. 3. The Board believes that the Appellant, as an experience contractor knew, or should have known that any reprint request from the Respondent was on the same terms and conditions as the original purchase order-any modification of the Quality Level would have been, by definition, a cardinal change to the contract. Accordingly, for these reasons the Board also concludes that even if the Radiation Technology rule applied in this case, when the Appellant declined to reprint the publication because it may have been mistaken about what the Government wanted, the Respondent was relieved of any further responsibility under the "substantial compliance" doctrine. Cf., Frequency Electronics, Inc., supra, 74-2 BCA ¶ 10,792; Kain Cattle Company, supra, 73-1 BCA ¶ 9,999. D. The Appellant's allegation that the Contracting Officer's failure to consider the time critical nature of this procurement in making his decision to terminate the contract amounted to an abuse of discretion, is without merit. 1. It is well settled that while a contracting officer has the discretionary authority to terminate a contract for default, the exercise of that discretion must be fair and equitable. Lewis B. Udis v. United States, supra, 7 Cl. Ct. at 387 (citing, Everett Plywood Corporation v. United States, 512 F.2d 1082, 1090 (Ct.Cl. 1975)). Where a board of contract appeals finds that a contracting officer's default termination decision is arbitrary and capricious, it has the authority to set the decision aside. 29/ Darwin Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, supra, 811 F.2d at 596. 30/ See also, Schlesinger v. United States, supra, 390 F.2d at 709; Executive Elevator Service, Inc., supra, 87-2 BCA ¶ 19,849, at 100,438. The burden of proof is on the contractor alleging an abuse of discretion. Cf., Kit Pack Company, Inc., supra, 89-3 BCA ¶22,151; Lafayette Coal Company, supra, 89-3 BCA ¶ 21,963; Quality Environment Systems, Inc., supra, 87-3 BCA ¶ 20,060. 2. Recent CDA cases on the "abuse of discretion" issue seem increasingly to involve whether the contracting officer considered the eight factors set out in FAR 49.402-3 before terminating a contract for default. See, e.g., S.T. Research Corporation, ASBCA No. 39600, 92-2 BCA ¶ 24,838; Stanley Machining and Tool Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 44177, 92-3 BCA ¶ 25,195. The requirements of FAR 49.402-3 have been adopted by GPO and are found in the agency's printing procurement regulations. 31/ PPR, Chap. XIV, Sec. 1, ¶ 3.c.(3) (i)-(viii). The Appellant relies on one of those factors-the urgency of the need for the supplies or services and the period of time which would be required to obtain sources as compared with the time in which delivery could be obtained from the delinquent contractor-for its position that the Contracting Officer abused his discretion in this case. Id., ¶ 3.c.(3)(iv). 3. The law is clear that the failure to comply with these regulations is a factor to be considered in determining whether a contracting officer committed an abuse of discretion in taking an action which has the most serious consequences for a contractor; i.e., termination for default. Darwin Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, supra, 811 F.2d at 598; Executive Elevator Service, Inc., supra, 87-2 BCA ¶ 19,849, at 100,438. However, it is also clear that the contracting officer's omission is not "an automatic admission ticket to a termination for convenience." Lafayette Coal Company, supra, 89-3 BCA ¶ 21,963, at 110,482. Also see, e.g., Air, Inc., GSBCA No. 9535, 93-1 BCA ¶ 25,429; Danrenke Corporation, VABCA No. 3601, 93-1 BCA ¶ 25,365. Rather, the contractor is required to show that the contracting officer's failure was prejudicial; i.e., constituted harmful error. 32/ Cf., Darwin Construction Company, Inc., GSBCA No. 10193, 91-1 BCA ¶ 23,419; Danrenke Corporation, supra, 93-1 BCA ¶ 25,365. The Appellant has not made such a showing here. 4. The Contracting Officer did not expressly address the eight factors in his memo to the CRB. Nonetheless from the record it is clear that his decision to default the contract was based on his consideration of at least three of those requirements: (a) the provisions of the contract and applicable laws and regulations; (b) the specific performance failure of the Appellant and the Contractor's excuses for nonperformance; and (c) the availability of other sources to produce the publication in question. PPR, Chap. XIV, Sec. 1, ¶ 3.c.(3)(i)-(iii). Furthermore, contrary to the Appellant's position, the Board believes that the Contracting Officer did, at one point, consider the CDC's urgent need for the books and how long it would take to obtain the publication from other sources as compared with the Appellant's ability to deliver them, otherwise the Respondent's invitation to the Contractor allowing it three weeks to reprint corrected books makes no sense. 33/ Id., ¶ 3.c.(3)(iv). Indeed, regardless of the Contracting Officer's thoughts about reprocuring the work at a higher QATAP Quality Level, it is clear that the Appellant's rejection of the reprint request left the Government no choice but to reprocure the job. Therefore, based on the entire record, the Board concludes that the Appellant has failed to sustain its burden of showing prejudicial error or an abuse of discretion. DECISION In light of the foregoing analysis, the Board finds and concludes that: (a) the Appellant was offered an opportunity to cure the defects before the contract was defaulted; (b) the QATAP Inspection Report prepared by the Compliance Officer is conflicting and confusing, and standing alone does not support the decision to terminate the Appellant's contract for default; (c) despite the inaccuracy of the Inspection Report, because of other factors the Contracting Officer's decision to default the contract was not erroneous; and (d) the Appellant's allegation that the Contracting Officer's termination decision amounted to an abuse of discretion, is without merit. Accordingly, the Board also finds and concludes that the Respondent's termination of the Appellant's contract for default under the circumstances herein was an appropriate exercise of discretion in this case. Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 16-19 (and cases cited therein). THEREFORE, considering the record as a whole, the Board AFFIRMS the Contracting Officer's decision and DENIES the appeal. It is so Ordered. _______________ 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 September 4, 1992. GPO Instruction 110.12, Subject: Board of Contract Appeals Rules of Practice and Procedure, dated September 17, 1984, Rule 4(a) (Board Rules). It will be referred to hereinafter as the R4 File, with an appropriate Tab letter also indicated. The R4 File, as originally submitted, consisted of seven documents identified as Tab A through Tab G. However, during the informal meeting in this appeal conducted by the Board on October 9, 1992, it became apparent that certain relevant evidence was not included in the R4 File. Specifically, the Board asked the Respondent to provide: (a) a copy of the Inspection Report; (b) a copy of the Contracting Officer's memorandum to GPO's Contract Review Board (CRB) seeking approval to terminate the contract for default; and (c) a Declaration from Gary Bush, the ARPPO's Compliance Officer for the contract, who inspected the publication shipped by the Appellant and rejected it. See, Report Of An Informal Meeting Under the Small Claims (Expedited) Procedure (November 13, 1992), at pp. 5-6 (hereinafter Meeting Report). The Respondent complied with the Board's request on December 7, 1992, and those documents are hereinafter referred to as Tab H (Inspection Report), Tab I (CRB Memorandum), and Tab J (Declaration of Gary Bush), respectively. 2/ By letter dated August 18, 1992, the Appellant advised the Board that it had selected the optional Small Claims (Expedited) Procedure to process its appeal. Board Rules, Rules 12.1(a) and 12.2. 3/ In accordance with the Board Rules concerning the Small Claims (Expedited) Procedure, the Board's decision and order here contains only summary findings of fact and conclusions. Board Rules, Rule 12.2(c). Furthermore, the decision and order in this case shall have no value as precedent in future appeals considered by the Board. Board Rules, Rule 12.2(d). See, B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, GPO BCA 22-91 (February 5, 1993), Sl. op. at 2, fn. 3; Graphics Image, Inc., GPO BCA 13-92 (August 31, 1992), Sl. op. at 2, fn. 3. 4/ As indicated on the Purchase Order, apart from the specifications pertaining to printing, binding and delivery of the publication, Purchase Order F-6728 was also governed by applicable articles of GPO Contract Terms, GPO Publication 310.2, effective December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88) (GPO Contract Terms), and GPO's Quality Assurance Through Attributes Program, GPO Publication 310.1, Revised September 1986 (QATAP), which were incorporated by reference in the Purchase Order (R4 File, Tab A). 5/ Since the CDC had expected the book to be printed in black and blue ink (PMS 256), it is apparent that during the preparation of the Purchase Order the PMS numbers "2," and "5" were reversed by ARPPO personnel (R4 File, Tab I). 6/ As indicated in the Inspection Report, however, the customer agency's complaint concerning improper registration could not be evaluated because the Appellant had not returned the GFM (R4 File, Tab H). Bush contacted the Appellant to have the GFM returned, but the Contractor could not find the materials or prove that they had been returned to the CDC (R4 File, Tabs I and J). The Contractor did propose to make new copy from the negatives, and deliver them by April 14, 1992, but was advised by the Respondent that the contract had been defaulted before it could do so (R4 File, Tab E). When also told that it would be charged $600.00 as the reconstruction cost for replacement GFM, the Appellant agreed with that decision at that time (R4 File, Tabs E and I). On appeal, however, the Contractor now asks the Board to set aside the termination for default, and seeks as a remedy an award of the original contract price plus the $600.00 charged for reproducing camera copy. See, Appellant's Brief Regarding Termination for Default (undated but received by the Board on December 7, 1992), at p. 2 (hereinafter App.Brf.); Appellant's Reply Brief Regarding Termination for Default (undated but received by the Board on December 21, 1992), at p. 2 (hereinafter App.R.Brf.). 7/ Apparently, it was during this two week period that the Appellant first made its offer to discount the contract price 50 percent if the CDC would accept the job as delivered. See, Meeting Report, at p. 2; App.R.Brf., at p. 1. 8/ The CRB Memorandum contains a note which says that Joseph Nadler, the Appellant's Technical Advisor, had called the ARPPO and stated, in effect, that termination for default was inappropriate because the Contractor could provide the reprinted publication (R4 File, Tab I). This is contrary to Campbell's statement that the Appellant could not reprint and deliver a corrected version of the book within three weeks, as requested (R4 File, Tabs I and J). The Board interprets these separate conversations to mean that the Appellant could have produced corrected books but not under the schedule needed by the CDC. 9/ The Contracting Officer's memorandum also informed the CRB that the QATAP specifications in the Appellant's contract were wrong and that the job should have been procured at Quality Level II instead of Quality Level III "because of close registration" (R4 File, Tab I). During a subsequent telephone conversation with Campbell concerning the Appellant's offer to accept a discount for the work, the Contracting Officer apparently told him the same thing; i.e., that the job should have been advertised at Quality Level II rather than Quality Level III. See, Appellant's Complaint, dated August 18, 1992, p. 1 (hereinafter Complaint). The Contracting Officer also told Campbell that, in his opinion, the Appellant was not capable of producing Quality Level II work. Id. 10/ Apart from the $600.00 charge for reconstruction costs for new GFM, note 6 supra, the Notice of Termination also informed the Appellant that it would not be charged for excess reprocurement costs (R4 File, Tab F). The reason for not holding the Contractor responsible for excess costs was that at the time of the default, the Government intended to modify the specifications-i.e., change the QATAP Quality Level from III to II-a cardinal change for the reprocurement contract (R4 File, Tab I). 11/ The Appellant's contention that the contract was really terminated for the convenience of the Government and that the default termination was a "sham," is based on the scope of the changes made to the contract specifications when the publication was reprocured. See, Meeting Report, at p. 3; App.Brf., at p. 1. The Board rejects this argument for two reasons. First, the argument is, in effect, an allegation that the Respondent's decision to cancel the contract was made in bad faith so that the CDC could escape a bad bargain; i.e., one in which the GPO had ordered a product which was inconsistent with the customer agency's printing requisition. See, Meeting Report, at p. 5. Also see, Respondent's Brief, dated December 7, 1992, at pp. 5-6 (hereinafter R.Brf.). However, the Board has held on numerous occasions that because of the strong presumption that Government officials properly and honestly carry out their functions, an allegation of bad faith must be established by "well-nigh irrefragable" proof. See, e.g., B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, GPO BCA 14-91 (August 10, 1992), Sl. op. at 16; Stephenson, Inc., GPO BCA 02-88 (December 19, 1991), Sl. op. at 55; The Standard Register Company, GPO BCA 4-86 (October 28, 1987); Sl. op. at 12-13. Also see, Karpak Data and Design, IBCA 2944 et al., 93-1 BCA ¶ 25,360; Local Contractors, Inc., ASBCA 37108, 92-1 BCA ¶ 24,491. The key to such evidence is a showing of a specific intent on the part of the Government to injure the contractor. Kalvar Corporation v. United States, 543 F.2d 1298, 1302 (Ct.Cl. 1976), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 830 (1977); Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 54. In the Board's view, no such "irrefragable" proof of the Respondent's bad faith exists in this record. Certainly, there is absolutely nothing in the record which would show that the employees of two separate Government entities-GPO and the CDC-set out to harm the Appellant or that they acted in concert to achieve that specific result. Id., Sl. op. at 57. Second, insofar as the Appellant's claim relies on the changes in the contract specifications in the reprocurement contract, the Board's narrow jurisdictional mandate prevents it from considering matters pertaining to other contracts unrelated to the one under review in this case. See, e.g., B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, supra, Sl. op. at 15. The Board has frequently stated that its authority is purely derivative and contractual, and is limited to deciding disputes within the parameters of the contract before it. See, e.g., The Wessel Company, GPO BCA 8-90 (February 28, 1992), Sl. op. at 32-33; Bay Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 16-85 (January 30, 1987), Sl. op. at 9; Peake Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 12-85 (November 12, 1986), Sl. op. at 6. Indeed, the Board has expressly noted that the Public Printer has not delegated to it the authority to consider legal questions existing outside the contract itself. Automated Datatron, Inc., GPO BCA 20-87 (March 31, 1989), Sl. op. at 4-5. In this case, since no excess costs were assessed against the Appellant, the reason for not considering the reprocurement contract is even stronger. 12/ The Respondent claims that the Appellant's refusal to reprint the product, in effect, amounts to an "anticipatory repudiation" of the contract, and thus no formal cure notice was required. R.Brf., at p. 5 (citing, Bendix Corporation, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,656; Fairfield Scientific Corporation, 78-1 BCA ¶ 13,082, mot. for reconsid. denied, 78-2 BCA ¶13,429, aff'd, 228 Ct.Cl. 264, 655 F.2d 1062 (1981); De-Luxe Vans, Inc., 81-2 BCA ¶ 15,421). As the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals stated in Fairfield Scientific Corporation: "The hallmark of anticipatory repudiation is that there must be a 'definite and unequivocal manifestation of intention on the part of the repudiator that he will not render the promised performance when the time fixed for it in the contract arrives.' Corbin on Contracts § 973. Therefore, to constitute an anticipatory repudiation the alleged repudiator's words or conduct must manifest 'a positive, unconditional, and unequivocal declaration of fixed purpose not to perform the contract in any event or at any time.' Dingley v. Oler, 117 U.S. 490, 503 (1886)." Fairfield Scientific Corporation, supra, 78-1 BCA ¶ 13,082, at 63,908. [Emphasis added.] See also, Beeston, Inc., ASBCA No. 38969, 91-3 BCA ¶ 24,241. It is not clear from the appeal record whether the Contractor's refusal to reprint the product was based on its understanding that CDC was looking for a Quality Level II job or that it simply could not meet the Government's time target for the delivery of the reprint (three weeks). Hence, the Board cannot say here that the Appellant made such an "unequivocal declaration of fixed purpose not to perform the contract in any event or at any time." See, Meeting Report, at pp. 3-4; R.Brf., at p. 2. 13/ See, Stephenson, Inc., GPO BCA 02-88 (December 20, 1991), Sl. op. at 55-56 ("Clearly, if the Appellant had delivered conforming books to the [United States Postal Service] on the contract due date, the agency would have been contractually bound to accept them; . . ."). 14/ The record on which the Board's decision is based consists of: (1) the Notice of Appeal, dated June 30, 1992; (2) the R4 File (Tabs A-J); (3) the Appellant's Complaint, dated August 18, 1992; (4) the Respondent's "General Denial", dated September 11, 1992; (5) the Report of An Informal Meeting Under the Small Claims (Expedited) Procedure, dated November 13, 1992; (6) the Appellant's Brief (undated); (7) the Respondent's Brief, dated December 7, 1992; and (8) the Appellant's Reply Brief (undated). 15/ Default terminations-as a species of forfeiture-are strictly construed. See, D. Joseph DeVito v. United States, 188 Ct.Cl. 979, 413 F.2d 1147, 1153 (1969). See also, Murphy, et al. v. United States, 164 Ct.Cl. 332 (1964); J. D. Hedin Construction Co. v. United States, 187 Ct.Cl. 45, 408 F.2d 424 (1969). 16/ On October 29, 1992, certain provisions of the Federal Courts Administration Act of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-572, 106 Stat. 4506 (1992), became effective. Pursuant to Title IX, the United States Claims Court was renamed the United States Court of Federal Claims. 17/ While the excusable events listed in the "Default" clause, all of which must be beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of the contractor, are set forth in the context of relieving the contractor from responsibility for excess reprocurement costs, it is well-settled that the same occurrences extend the time available for performance and make termination prior to that time improper. See, e.g., FKC Engineering Company, ASBCA No. 14856, 70-1 BCA ¶ 8,312. 18/ The rationale for this dual application of the default clause is simple. As explained in a leading text on the subject of public contracts: "While these clauses explicitly make untimely performance the basis for the default action, it is important to recognize that nearly every Government contract spells out the contractor's required performance in terms of the nature of the product or service which is to be delivered or performed as well as the time by which these performance efforts are to be completed. Thus, in order for the contractor to render 'timely performance,' two basic requirements must be satisfied. The product, service or construction work must conform to the required design / performance characteristics, and the product must be delivered or the work completed by the specified due date." [Emphasis added.] John Cibinic, Jr. & Ralph C. Nash, Jr., Administration of Government Contracts 2d ed., (The George Washington University, 1986), p. 677 (hereinafter Cibinic and Nash). 19/ Sales Aids, Inc., was decided by one of the ad hoc contract appeals boards which considered appeals from decisions of GPO Contracting Officers prior to the establishment of the Board in 1984. GPO Instruction 110.10C, Subject: Establishment of the Board of Contract Appeals, dated September 17, 1984. Decisions of these ad hoc boards are hereinafter cited as GPOCAB. While the Board is not bound by their decisions, it is the Board's policy to follow the rulings of these ad hoc boards where applicable and appropriate. 20/ It should be noted that GPO's printing procurement regulation, like the procurement rules of other Federal agencies, recommends the issuance of a show cause letter, "where practicable," prior to the default termination of a contract for failure to make timely deliveries or perform services within the time required by the contract. GPO Printing Procurement Regulation, GPO P-305.3 (September 1, 1988), Ch. XIV., § 1, ¶ 3(c)(1) (PPR). Cf., Lewis B. Udis v. United States, 7 Cl. Ct. 379, 385-86 (1985). The Contracting Officer did not issue a show cause letter prior to terminating the contract in this case. It seems to the Board that he simply made the determination that it was impracticable to issue such a show cause letter under the circumstances herein. That decision was within his discretion. Since the Appellant has not objected to absence of a show cause letter in this case, the Board will not disturb the Contracting Officer's judgment. Cf., Stabbe Senter Press, GPO BCA 13-85 and 19-85 (May 12, 1989), Sl. op. at 53. In any event, the omission of a "show cause notice" by the Government is not generally a procedural defect to a termination based on the contractor's failure to make timely deliveries or perform timely services. Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 20, fn. 22. See also, Kit Pack Company, Inc., supra, 89-3 BCA ¶ 22,151, at 111,486-87 (citing, H. N. Bailey & Associates, ASBCA No. 21,300, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,681, at 61,553). 21/ The QATAP defines a "major defect" as " . . . a deviation from specifications which is less serious than a critical defect." QATAP, p. 1, ¶ 1-4. Simply stated, a major defect is a deviation which normally would be noticed by the customer; e.g., excessively low type density. Id., p. ix (Definition of Defects). 22/ ADL is the acronym for Average Demerit Levels, which is simply defined in QATAP as ". . . one of the means used to classify defects for printing attributes." QATAP, p. 1, ¶ 1-10. 23/ Since the color match problem involved a visible density shift, the most likely assessment for this defect was 20 demerits a page. 24/ In light of the Board's decision with respect to the "major defect" issue, it is unnecessary to address and resolve the Appellant's second contention regarding the inspection performed by the Respondent in this case, namely, that the record is devoid of evidence to show that the sample was randomly selected, and thus representative of the lot. 25/ See generally, Cibinic and Nash, note 18 supra, pp. 680-84. The Radiation Technology doctrine is clearly an encroachment on the Government's right to terminate. However, it is also apparent that the rule merely stays for a reasonable period the Government's right to terminate, and not its right to insist on 100 percent conforming goods; i.e., the doctrine concerns time, not the supplies themselves. Furthermore, the "substantial compliance" rule is used to prevent surprise rejections by the buyer after a contractor's timely shipment in situations where performance departs in only minor respects from that which has been promised. See, Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 50-51, fn. 54 (citing, Environmental Tectonics Corporation, ASBCA No. 20340, 76-2 BCA ¶ 12,134). 26/ In most cases involving the "substantial compliance" rule, the timeliness of the contractor's shipment is generally not an issue. Rather, the dispute usually involves the resolution of questions of "reasonable belief" and the seriousness of the defects. Absent such a "reasonable belief" by the contractor and proof that only minor defects are involved, the supplier is not entitled to the protection of the "substantial compliance" principle. See, Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 51, fn. 55 (citing, Introl Corporation, ASBCA No. 27,610, 85-2 BCA ¶ 18,044 at 90,578; Norwood Precision Products, Textron, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 38095, 38196, 90-3 BCA ¶ 23,200; Environmental Tectonics Corporation, supra, 76-2 BCA ¶ 12,134). 27/ See, Cibinic and Nash, note 18 supra, p. 683. 28/ Although the chronology of events is not entirely clear, in light of the fact that GPO's inspection of the sample copies did not take place until April 13, 1992, and the contract was canceled the next day, the Board concludes that the Appellant's discussions with the Contracting Officer occurred after the contract had already been terminated, but before the request for bids reprocuring the work had been issued; i.e., between April 14, 1992, and July 1992. 29/ The cases speak in terms of a board's "statutory" authority to set aside the arbitrary and capricious default decisions of contracting officers. Darwin Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, supra, 811 F.2d at 596; Executive Elevator Service, Inc., supra, 87-2 BCA ¶ 19,849, at 100,438. The authorities are referring, of course, to boards of contract appeals established pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-563 (November 1, 1978), 92 Stat. 2383, 41 U.S.C. § 601 et seq. (CDA). The Board is not a creature of statute, but rather its authority is purely derivative and contractual. The Wessel Company, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 32-33 (citing, Peake Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 6). See also, Automated Datatron, Inc., GPO BCA 20-87 (March 31, 1989), Sl. op. at 4-5; Bay Printing, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 9. For GPO, the statutory authority to enter and administer contracts is vested in the Public Printer of the United States. See, 44 U.S.C. §§ 301, 309, 501, 502 (1982). GPO Instruction 110.10C, Subject: Establishment of the Board of Contract Appeals, dated September 17, 1984, ¶ 3. The Public Printer, however, has delegated his authority to decide contract appeals to the Board, which can act as fully and finally as might the Public Printer. Id., ¶ 5. See also, Board Rules, Preface to Rules, ¶ I (Jurisdiction for Considering Appeals). Therefore, because the Board is acting on behalf of the Public Printer in these appeals, its authority to set aside arbitrary and capricious default decisions also has a "statutory" foundation. 30/ In Darwin the Court specifically rejected the following statement by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in the underlying decision [Darwin Construction Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 29340, 86-2 BCA ¶ 18,959 at 95,733]: "[O]nce the right to termination is acquired by the Government and if that right is not lost by the Government because of its conduct, the Board will uphold the termination for default without any inquiry by the Board into the 'motives' or judgment of the contracting officer leading to the decision to terminate [relying on Nuclear Research Associates, Inc., ASBCA No. 13563, 70-1 BCA ¶ 8,237]." The Court stated, in pertinent part: "If we correctly understand the purport and effect of that decision, we cannot agree with it, because we think it is in conflict with the decisions of the Court of Claims, as well as the decisions of the Claims Court . . . . Also, it is our opinion that it imposes an erroneous limitation on the statutory authority of boards of contract appeals to set aside default decisions of contracting officers in cases where the boards find that such decisions are arbitrary or capricious." Darwin Construction Company, Inc. v. United States, supra, 811 F.2d at 599. 31/ PPR, Chap. XIV, Sec. 1, ¶ 3.c.(3) lists eight factors which "[t]he Contracting Officer shall consider" in determining whether to terminate a contract for default: (i) the provisions of the contract and applicable laws and regulations; (ii) the specific failure of the contractor and the excuses, if any, made by the contractor for such failure; (iii) the availability of the supplies or services from other sources; (iv) the urgency of the need for the supplies or services and the period of time which would be required to obtain sources as compared with the time in which delivery could be obtained from the delinquent contractor; (v) the effect of a termination for default upon the contractor's capability as a supplier under other contracts; (vi) the effect of a termination for default on the ability of the contractor to liquidate progress payments; (vii) the availability of funds to finance repurchase costs which may prove uncollectible from the defaulted contractor, and the availability of funds to finance termination costs if the default is determined to be excusable; and (viii) any other pertinent facts and circumstances. 32/ "Harmful error" is defined in these cases as nonconsideration of the factors in circumstances where compliance with those requirements might have led the contracting officer not to terminate the contract for default. Darwin Construction Company, Inc., supra, 91-1 BCA ¶ 23,419, at 117,487. 33/ In light of the fact that four months subsequently elapsed between the termination date of the Appellant's contract and the request for bids on reprocuring the work, the CDC's need for the publication in question may not have been as urgent as it appeared at first blush.