BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON, DC 20401 In the Matter of ) ) the Appeal of ) ) PIP PRINTING ) Docket No. GPO BCA 24-94 Jacket No. 536-286 ) Purchase Order F-6236 ) DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING APPEAL On April 29, 1994, the above-referenced contract was awarded to PIP Printing (Appellant or Contractor), North Clayton Village Shopping Center, 5421 Riverdale Road, College Park, Georgia 30349, by the U.S. Government Printing Office's (Respondent or GPO), Atlanta Regional Printing Procurement Office (ARPPO), 2 Park Place, Suite 110, 1888 Emery Street, NW., Atlanta, Georgia 30318-2542 (R4 File, Tab A).1 The contract was for the printing and delivery of 500 books entitled "41st National Security Forum 31 May 1994-3 June 1994," for the U.S. Air Force's Air War College (AWC) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Since the books were needed for a conference, the contract required that the complete order be delivered to AWC by May 5, 1994. On May 11, 1994, when Contractor failed to fulfill that delivery requirement, Contracting Officer Douglas M. Faour of the ARPPO, terminated the contract for default (R4 File, Tab F). GPO Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Supplemental Specifications, and Contract Clauses, GPO Publication 310.2, Effective December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88), ¶ 20(a)(1)(i) (Default) (GPO Contract Terms). By letter dated June 21, 1994, the Appellant filed a timely appeal with the Board from the Contracting Officer's final decision defaulting the contract. Board Rules, Rules 1(a), 2. The Board received and docketed the appeal on July 21, 1994.2 Board Rules, Rule 3. That same day, pursuant to Rule 3 of the Board Rules, the Board notified the Appellant that its appeal had been docketed, and enclosed a copy of the Board Rules with its docketing letter. Id. The Board's docketing letter expressly invited the Appellant's attention to its obligations under Rules 4(b), 6(a) and 8 of the Board Rules. Board Rules, Rules 4(b), 6(a), and 8. In particular, Rule 6(a) required the Appellant to file an original and two copies of a detailed Complaint with the Board within 30 days after receipt of the docketing letter.3 The docketing letter was mailed to the Contractor at its address of record, and the Board's records show that it was received by the Appellant on July 29, 1994. However, the Appellant did not file it Rule 6(a) Complaint within the time frame set forth in the Board Rules. On May 26, 1995, Counsel for GPO filed Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (Motion) with Board seeking dismissal of this case on the ground that the Appellant had abandoned its appeal. The Motion was based, inter alia, on the ground that the Appellant had not yet submitted its Complaint, even though more than ten (10) months had elapsed since the Contractor had received the Board's docketing letter. A copy of the Motion was also simultaneously served on the Appellant. Board Rules, Rule 16. Since, in the Board's judgment, the Appellant's letter dated June 21, 1994, did not sufficiently define the issues so that it could be deemed a Complaint under the Board Rules, it tried to reach the Contractor by telephone to ask about the status of this case, and in particular to ascertain its position on the Motion. However, its call to the Appellant's telephone number of record-(404) 997-5677-was answered by a prerecorded announcement stating that the number had been disconnected and no additional information was available about a new telephone number. Furthermore, when the Board also spoke to the Contracting Officer about locating the Contractor, he was unable to provide any current information. Accordingly, on June 7, 1995, the Board, exercising its authority under Rule 31 of the Board Rules, issued a Rule To Show Cause Why Appeal Should Not Be Dismissed For Failure To Prosecute (Rule to Show Cause).4 Board Rules, Rule 31. The Rule to Show Cause was sent by certified mailed to the Appellant at its address of record: Mr. Robert Robinson PIP Printing North Clayton Village Shopping Center 5421 Riverdale Road College Park, GA 30349 However, on July 12, 1995, the Rule to Show Cause was returned to the Board by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as unclaimed. As noted, Rule 31 allows the Board to dismiss an appeal whenever the record discloses, inter alia, that a party has: (1) failed to file documents required by the rules; (2) respond to the Board's notices or correspondence; or (3) otherwise indicates an intention not to continue the orderly prosecution or defense of an appeal. Board Rules, Rule 31. Based on the foregoing facts, it is clear to the Board that dismissal is justified in this case on all of those grounds. The record amply demonstrates that the Appellant has disregarded the Board's rules and directives, has not responded to the Board's notices or correspondence, and has clearly indicated an intention not to continue an orderly prosecution of its appeal; i.e., simply stated, the Contractor has made no meaningful effort to prosecute the case. Indeed, the Board finds the Appellant's failure to advise the Board of its current address and telephone number particularly persuasive in reaching the conclusion that the Appellant has abandoned its appeal. See Rosemark, GPO BCA 30-90 (April 22, 1994), Slip op. at 6, 1994 WL 275076; Bedrock Printing Co., GPO BCA 5-91 (April 10, 1992), Slip op. at 5-6. Accord, David M. Noe, AGBCA No. 88-155-1, 89-1 BCA ¶ 21,560; Leonard V. West, PSBCA No. 1443, 86-3 BCA ¶ 19,060; Rodger Roose, AGBCA No. 85-231-1, 86-1 BCA ¶ 18,566. As the Board explained in Bedrock: Inherent in the Appellant's responsibilities under the Board Rules, was the simple duty to keep the Board apprised of any new address so that the Board can contact it. The Board had no obligation under its rules to undertake extensive efforts to trace and locate the Appellant in order to communicate with it. Bedrock Printing Co., supra, Slip op. at 6. See also Rosemark, supra, Slip op. at 6-7 ("[A]ny contractor who is interested in pursing an appeal would, at a minimum, keep the Board apprised of any new address, instead of leaving it in the dark concerning his/her whereabouts"). The Appellant's last contact with the Board was more than a year ago; i.e., its letter dated June 21, 1994. Since then, the Board's attempts to contact the Contractor by telephone, and its effort to serve the Rule to Show Cause by certified mail sent to the Appellant's address of record, have been unsuccessful because of the Appellant's failure to keep the Board informed of its new address and telephone number. As a consequence, the Board has no way of communicating or corresponding with the Contractor at the present time. Clearly, the Appellant's failure to meet its minimal responsibilities to the Board under the rules has frustrated the orderly prosecution of its own appeal. The Board has an ever-increasing work load. Consequently, it is not in a position, and is unwilling any longer, to expend its limited resources on continued efforts to locate the Appellant, particularly since it has no assurance that the contractor remains interested in the outcome of the appeal. Under Rule 31 of the Board Rules, an appellant who has disregarded the Board's rules and directives, ignored its notices and correspondence, and otherwise indicates an intention not to continue the orderly prosecution or defense of its appeal, is subject to having the Board dismiss the case for failure to prosecute after the appellant is given an opportunity to show cause why the appeal should not be dismissed. Here, the Appellant's failure to notify the Board of its current address is clear evidence of its "intention not to continue the orderly prosecution . . . of [its] appeal." See Rosemark, supra, Slip op. at 6; Bedrock Printing Co., supra, Slip op. at 7. The Board has attempted to give the Appellant an opportunity under Rule 31 of the Board Rules to show cause why its appeal should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. Through no fault of the Board, the Appellant has not responded to the Rule to Show Cause in this case. Consequently, the Appellant has not made a showing that the appeal should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. THEREFORE, the Respondent's Motion is GRANTED, the appeal is DISMISSED with prejudice for failure to prosecute, and the case is closed. See Rosemark, supra, Slip op. at 7; Bedrock Printing Co., supra, Slip op. at 8. It is so Ordered. July 17, 1995 STUART M. FOSS Administrative Judge _______________ 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 August 25, 1994. GPO Instruction 110;12, Subject: Board of Contract Appeals Rules of Practice and Procedure, dated September 17, 1984, Rules 4(a) (Board Rules). It will be referred to hereafter as the R4 File, with an appropriate Tab letter (and a page number for Tab A) also indicated. The R4 File consists of nine documents identified as Tabs A through I. 2 The delay was caused by the fact that the Contractor sent its appeal letter to the Contracting Officer at the ARPPO, and he had to forward it to the Board. 3 Insofar as Rule 4(b) was concerned, it required the Appellant to supplement the R4 File with any missing documents within 30 days after the receipt of its copy of the file. As for Rule 8, the Appellant was charged with telling the Board, after the Respondent answered the Complaint, whether it desired a hearing or wished to have the appeal decided on the record. 4 Rule 31 states, in pertinent part, that the Board may dismiss an appeal: "[w]henever a record discloses the failure of either party to file documents required by these rules, respond to notices or correspondence from the Board, comply with an order of the Board, or otherwise indicated an intention not to continue the orderly prosecution or defense of an appeal, . . .".