U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
   BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS
   WASHINGTON, D.C.  20401

In the Matter of              )
                              )
The Appeal of                 )
                              )
HURT'S PRINTING COMPANY, INC. )     Docket No. GPO BCA 27-92
Jacket No. 323-591            )
Purchase Order 20269          )

   DECISION AND ORDER

   By letter dated August 12, 1992, Hurt's Printing Company, Inc.
   (Appellant or Contractor), 1915 Southeastern Avenue,
   Indianapolis, Indiana 46201, filed a timely appeal from the
   July 24, 1992, final decision of Contracting Officer Dan
   Clurman, of the U.S. Government Printing Office's (Respondent
   or GPO or Government) Printing Procurement Department (PPD),
   Washington, DC 20401, terminating the Appellant's contract
   identified as Jacket No. 323-591, Purchase Order 20269, for
   default because of the Appellant's "inability to produce [the]
   job according to the specifications" (R4 File, Tab A).1  For
   the reasons which follow, the decision of the Contracting
   Officer is hereby AFFIRMED, and the appeal is DENIED.2

   FINDINGS OF FACT3

   1.   On June 12, 1992, the Respondent issued Purchase Order
   20269, Jacket No. 323-591, to the Appellant for the production
   of 25,000 "Joint Service Commemoration Medal Certificates"
   (Medal Certificates) (R4 File, Tab B).  The Medal Certificates
   had been requisitioned by the U.S. Department of Defense,
   Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) (R4 File, Tab B).  Apart from
   the text which was to be in black ink, the Purchase Order
   indicated that the ribbon depicted on the Medal Certificates
   was to be printed in green (PMS 349) and blue (PMS 292) ink,
   and the entire product had to meet the quality standards for
   Quality Level III (R4 File, Tab B).4

   2.   Production of the Medal Certificates required the
   Appellant to perform printing, stamping and embossing tasks
   (R4 File, Tab B, Attachment 2).  On June 12, 1992, along with
   the issuance of the Purchase Order, the Government furnished
   the Contractor with: (a) a film negative for the base black
   image; (b) a reprint copy to be used to create the artwork for
   the 2-color ribbon; and (c) a style sample (R4 File, Tab B,
   Attachment 1, and Tab J).  The style sample consisted of two
   Joint Service Commemoration Medals, a lapel pin, and a hanger
   ring for each medal, together in a presentation case.
   According to the contract, the Appellant was to create the
   necessary brass dies and to submit not less than 25 "Prior to
   Production" samples to the Government for approval by June 16,
   1992 (R4 File, Tab B, Attachment 2, and Tab F).  The contract
   was to be completed by June 26, 1992, with the delivery of the
   25,000 Medal Certificates to the DLA's Cameron Station
   facility located at Building 6, Door 21, 5010 Duke Street,
   Alexandria, Virginia 22304-6100 (R4 File, Tab B).  The
   contract price for this work was $5,463.00 (R4 File, Tab B).

   3.  The Appellant failed to furnish the required "Prior to
   Production" samples by June 16, 1992.  When Charles H. Homer,
   an employee in the PPD's Contract Compliance Section,
   telephoned the Appellant's Office Manager/Customer Service
   Representative, Ray Jordan, on June 24, 1992, to find out why
   the samples were delayed, he was told that the Appellant had
   experienced some "trouble" with the die subcontractor, but
   that the Contractor would immediately ship the "Prior to
   Production" samples so that they would arrive the next day-
   June 25, 1992 (R4 File, Tab H).5

   4.  Since the contract terms provided the Government with
   three (3) workdays to approve or disapprove the sample, Homer
   was concerned that the Appellant could not meet the contract
   completion date-June 26, 1992-and he recommended that a "Cure
   Notice" be issued to the Contractor (R4 File, Tab B,
   Attachment 2, and Tab H).  Accordingly, that same day-June 24,
   1992-a "Cure Notice" was sent, by telegram, to the Appellant,
   which stated that the failure to provide the samples in a
   timely manner was a "condition . . . endangering performance
   of the contract . . .", and that it had five (5) days to
   inform the Respondent, in writing, of the "measures adopted
   which have cured such condition[.]" (R4 File, Tab H).6  In
   response to the "Cure Notice," the Appellant wrote to the
   Contracting Officer on June 26, 1992, and explained, in
   pertinent part:

      In regard to our prior-to-production samples being late our
      die maker (Universal Die Company) was two days late than
      originally [sic] promised to us.  After receiving these
      dies we discovered one of the dies was made incorrectly and
      had to be remade, therefore[,] this added two more days to
      our already late schedule.  The cause of this problem was
      more difficult to control because of another firm making
      the die and not performing on their [sic] commitment to us.

   * * * * * * * * * *

      The problem now has been cured and the remainder of the job
      will be completed in a timely manner.

See, Letter from David Hurt, the Appellant's President to the
Respondent's Contracting Officer, dated June 26, 1992 (Hurt
Letter).  [Emphasis added.]7

   5.   When the "Prior to Production" samples were examined
   after they were received, it was discovered that the green and
   blue ribbon, and the star cluster in the hanger ring, failed
   to conform to the contract specifications (R4 File, Tab I).
   Specifically, the inspection revealed that the ribbon was flat
   and not rounded, as shown in the style sample provided to the
   Appellant, and more space was needed between the stars, which
   were too close together (R4 File, Tab I).  Accordingly, the
   Respondent rejected the "Prior to Production" samples,
   informed the Appellant of the defects found, and, because it
   had to remake the hanging medal and ribbon dies, the
   Contractor was asked to provide a second set of samples (R4
   File, Tab F).8  Although the Respondent asked for the revised
   samples by July 9, 1992, they were not received until July 13,
   1992 (R4 File, Tabs F and J).9

   6.  When the second set of "Prior to Production" samples were
   inspected, they, too, were found to be defective, essentially
   for the same reasons (R4 File, Tab J).  Specifically, an
   examination of the revised samples disclosed that while the
   ribbon was now rounded, the colors were washed out, and the
   spacing between the stars was still inadequate (R4 File, Tab
   J).  Furthermore, the inspection revealed a new defect-the
   Department of Defense (DoD) seal on the bottom of the second
   set of samples was too high (R4 File, Tab J).  Therefore, the
   revised samples were also rejected by the Respondent (R4 File,
   Tab F).

   7.  Because the Appellant was having difficulty producing dies
   which would provide satisfactory "Prior to Production"
   samples, the Respondent asked the Contractor to return the
   Government-furnished material to see if the cause of the
   problem was in the material itself (R4 File, Tab F).  However,
   an examination of the Government-furnished material disclosed
   no defect (R4 File, Tab F).
   8.   Since the Appellant was unable to meet the DLA's needs,
   on July 23, 1992, the Contracting Officer sought the approval
   of the Respondent's Contract Review Board (CRB) to terminate
   the contract for complete default (R4 File, Tab F).10
   Termination was requested because of the Appellant's
   "inability to deliver satisfactory [P]rior to [P]roduction
   samples" (R4 File, Tab F).  By July 24, 1992, all of the
   members of the CRB had concurred in the action proposed by the
   Contracting Officer (R4 File, Tab F).

   9.    On July 24, 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 default because of the Contractor's "inability to produce
   this job according to the specifications" (R4 File, Tab A).
   However, it is clear that the specific reason for the
   cancellation of the contract was the Appellant's inability to
   provide satisfactory "Prior to Production" samples (R4 File,
   Tab F).11

   10.  The Notice of Termination also informed the Appellant
   that it would be responsible for any excess reprocurement
   costs, if the Government decided to reprocure the Medal
   Certificates from another contractor (R4 File, Tab A).  In
   fact, after the contract was defaulted, the Respondent took
   immediate steps to reprocure the job (R4 File, Tabs C, D, and
   E).  Thus, on August 6, 1992, the Contracting Officer notified
   the Appellant that the contract had been reawarded at a
   contract price of $5,878.70, and that it was liable for the
   excess reprocurement costs (R4 File, Tab D).12  The
   Contracting Officer also wrote to GPO's Financial Management
   Service the same day, authorizing the recovery of the excess
   reprocurement costs-$415.70-from the Appellant's account (R4
   File, Tab C).

   ISSUES PRESENTED

   As indicated by the Board at the close of the presubmission
   conference held on September 11, 1993, three questions are
   presented by the facts in this case:

      1. Did the "Prior to Production" samples submitted by the
      Appellant conform to the contract specifications?

      2.  Did the Respondent's failure and/or refusal to inspect
      the artwork, at the request of the Contractor, before the
      "Prior to Production" samples were prepared and submitted
      for approval, amount to a breach of the Government's duty
      to cooperate in the performance of the contract?

      3. Did the Contracting Officer erroneously terminate the
      contract for default, thus converting the termination into
      one for the convenience of the Government, and if so, what
      is the amount of the Contractor's compensation for work
      performed?

See, Report of a Presubmission Telephone Conference, dated
November 17, 1993, pp. 5-6 (PTCR).

   POSITION OF THE PARTIES

   The central premise in the Appellant's defense against the
   Respondent's default termination action is its two-fold belief
   that: (1) the defects found by the Respondent in the "Prior to
   Production" samples were minor and/or insignificant; and (2)
   the discrepancies could have been corrected if the Government
   had cooperated with the Contractor in the production of
   acceptable materials.  PTCR, p. 4.  See also, Appellant's
   Brief, dated December 17, 1993, p. 1,  3 (App. Brf.).  In
   arguing that the defects in the samples were minor, the
   Contract seems to rely heavily a statement allegedly made by a
   "GPO representative" during discussions concerning the revised
   set of "Prior to Production" samples, that: ". . . I don't
   think the spacing of the stars is a major factor."  See,
   Affidavit of Ray Jordan, dated December 3, 1993 (Jordan
   Affidavit).13  However, the crux of the Appellant's position
   is found in its contention that GPO's refusal to inspect, at
   the Contractor's request, the artwork created from the actual
   ribbons and medallions furnished by the Government before the
   "Prior to Production" samples were made, amounts to a breach
   of the Respondent's duty to cooperate with the Contractor in
   the performance of the contract.  PTCR, p. 4; App. Brf., p. 1,
    1.14  Accordingly, the Appellant believes that the
   termination of its contract for default was in error, and that
   it is entitled to reimbursement from the Government in the
   amount of $1,608.70, consisting of the costs it incurred in
   preparing the "Prior to Production" samples, and a refund of
   the excess reprocurement charges.15  PTCR, pp. 4-5.

   The Respondent, on the other hand, asserts that the contract
   was properly defaulted because of the Appellant's inability to
   furnish acceptable "Prior to Production" samples within the
   specified period, and that the Government is entitled to
   recovery of the excess reprocurement costs.  PTCR, pp. 3-4.
   In that regard, the Respondent argues that the defects in the
   "Prior to Production" samples were not minor, but rather
   constituted major dissatisfactions with Contractor's work.
   PTCR, p. 5.  See also, Respondent's Brief, dated December 20,
   1993, pp. 2-3 (R. Brf.).
As proof of this contention, GPO relies heavily on the visual
appearance of both "Prior to Production" samples submitted by the
Appellant when compared to the Government-furnished material, as
well as the difficulty experienced by the Contractor in its
unsuccessful effort to correct the problems found by the
Respondent.  Id.  See, R4 File, Tabs B, I and J.  The Respondent
also contends that since the contract terms did not provide for
any inspection of the Appellant's artwork before the submission
of the "Prior to Production" samples, for GPO to do so would have
been beyond the scope of the contract-indeed, it would have been
tantamount to a change in the specifications-and thus the
Government cannot be penalized for its failure to conduct such an
examination, at the Contractor's request, in this proceeding.
PTCR, p. 5; R. Brf., pp. 3-4.  Rather, it was the Appellant who
failed to live up to its responsibilities under the contract by
not examining the contract specifications and the Government-
furnished material before starting the job, and raising any
concerns it may have had about the work or the material with the
Contracting Officer before it began preparing the samples.  R.
Brf., pp. 4-5 (citing, GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, 
7).  Finally, the Respondent claims that it did not breach its
duty to cooperate with the Appellant because it gave the
Contractor ample opportunity, after the original contract due
date, to produce satisfactory "Prior to Production" samples, and
only terminated the contract when the Appellant demonstrated that
it could not perform.  PTCR, p. 5.  Therefore, GPO believes that
the Contracting Officer's default action was correct in this
case, and should be affirmed.16  PTCR, p. 3-4.

   CONCLUSIONS17

   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.18  See, Shepard Printing, supra,
   Sl. Op. at 10; 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);19
   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.  See, 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); Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. Op. at 11; R.C. Swanson
   Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at 28.  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); Shepard
   Printing, supra, Sl. Op. at 11; 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, Contract Clauses,  20(g).  Cf., Shepard Printing,
   supra, Sl. Op. at 11; Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at
   17-18; Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 9.

   Finally, 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.20  See, GPO Contract Terms, Contract
   Clauses,  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).

   Applying these principles to the facts in the record, the
   Board reaches the following conclusions:

      A. The Appellant's "Prior to Production" samples did not
      conform to the contract specifications.

   1.   The contract in dispute was terminated by the Contracting
   Officer because, in his view, the Appellant was unable to
   produce satisfactory "Prior to Production" samples from the
   Government-furnished materials (R4 File, Tabs A and F).  The
   Appellant challenges that determination by alleging that
   defects found by the Respondent in the samples were minor
   and/or insignificant.  PTCR, p. 4.  The only evidence in the
   record supporting the Contractor's contention is the affidavit
   of its Office Manager/Customer Service Representative, who
   stated that during his discussions with GPO's Contract
   Administrator about the "Prior to Production" samples on July
   2, 1992, he was told that: ". . . I don't think the spacing of
   the stars is a major factor."  See, Jordan Affidavit, p. 1.
   As previously indicated, however, the only person authorized
   to make such a determination under the Respondent's Printing
   Procurement Regulation was the Contracting Officer.  PPR,
   Chap. XIII, Sec. 1,  4.f.  See, note 11 supra.

     2.   As a rule, the Government is entitled to strict
     compliance with its specifications.21  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.
     However, the law creates a limited exception to the "strict
     compliance" rule for situations where a contractor has
     timely shipped nonconforming goods which deviate from the
     specifications in only minor respects.  This so-called
     "substantial compliance" principle 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).  The "substantial compliance" rule applies
     to timely deliveries of slightly nonconforming first
     articles or pre-production items, as well as the final
     product.  National Aviation Electronics, Inc., ASBCA No.
     18256, 74-2 BCA  10,677.  See, John Cibinic, Jr. & Ralph C.
     Nash, Jr., Administration of Government Contracts 2d ed.,
     (The George Washington University, 1986), p. 694
     (hereinafter Cibinic and Nash).

   3.   As the Board understands the Appellant's challenge to the
   termination action, it seems to be arguing that the
   "substantial compliance" rule should have been applied in this
   case.  In order for that 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.
   Radiation Technology, Inc. v. United States, supra, 366 F.2d
   at 1006.22  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.23

   4.   In the Board's view, when the record is considered as a
   whole, the "substantial compliance" doctrine does not apply to
   the circumstances of this case.  First, it is undisputed that
   the initial set of "Prior to Production" samples were not
   delivered on time; i.e., by the date established in the
   contract for receipt of the samples (June 16, 1992) (R4 File,
   Tab B).  Instead, the first set of samples were received by
   the Respondent after it had issued a "Cure Notice," on the
   date set for the completion of the contract itself (June 26,
   1992) (R4 File, Tabs B, H and I).  Even though it meant
   waiving the contract due date, the Respondent afforded the
   Contractor an opportunity to correct the defects found in the
   initial set of samples, and established July 9, 1992, as the
   date for receipt of the revised samples.  However, the record
   shows that the second set of "Prior to Production" samples was
   also delivered late; i.e., they were not received until July
   13, 1992 (R4 File, Tabs F and J).  Thus, even if the defects
   in the sample were minor, as alleged by the Appellant, it has
   not satisfied the first element of the rule; i.e., there is no
   question but that the delivery of both the initial and second
   set of "Prior to Production" samples were untimely.

   5.   Second, the "substantial compliance" rule is inapplicable
   because the defects in both sets of "Prior to Production"
   samples are not minor for the purposes of the doctrine.  Under
   the principles of Radiation Technology, 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.  See, Cibinic and Nash, p. 683.  In
   that regard, it is established under the "substantial
   compliance" 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.  Furthermore, 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 here.
   6.   In this case, the facts clearly show that when it
   inspected the first set of "Prior to Production" samples, the
   Respondent found, in addition to the spacing problem with
   respect to the stars in the hanger ring, that the green and
   blue ribbon was flat and not rounded, as required by the
   contract specifications (R4 File, Tab I).  As for the revised
   set of "Prior to Production" samples, GPO's examination
   disclosed that not only was the star spacing problem
   uncorrected, but the ribbon's colors were now washed out (R4
   File, Tab J).  Furthermore, there was a new defect in the
   second set of samples-the DoD seal on the bottom of the Medal
   Certificate was too high (R4 File, Tab J).  Therefore, when
   the Board considers all of these defects as a whole, it
   believes that a major nonconformity existed with the "Prior to
   Production" samples 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.

   7.   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 admission to
   the Respondent, in its  letter dated June 26, 1991, the
   original contract completion date, that it was already behind
   schedule because of the problem with the dies, is highly
   significant.  See, Hurt Letter.  Moreover, when the Board also
   considers that the Appellant never made a timely delivery of
   the "Prior to Production" samples-either by June 16, 1992, or
   July 9, 1992-it is persuaded that the Contractor could not
   give the Government what it wanted within a reasonable time.
   Cf., Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 22.  Therefore, for
   these reasons the Board concludes that the defects 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.

   8.   Finally, the Board cannot ignore the fact that the
   Appellant was, in fact, afforded an opportunity to "cure" the
   defects in its "Prior to Production" samples.  Where, as here,
   a contractor has already been given 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., ASBCA
   No. 12947, 71-2 BCA  8,961.  Accordingly, even if the
   Radiation Technology rule applied in this case, when the
   Respondent gave the Appellant an opportunity to furnish a
   corrected second set of "Prior to Production" samples, it was
   relieved of any further responsibility under the "substantial
   compliance" doctrine.

   9.   As stated previously, under the Respondent's Printing
   Procurement Regulation, the only person authorized to make a
   final determination on whether the two "Prior to Production"
   samples submitted by the Appellant conformed to the contract
   specifications was the Contracting Officer.  PPR, Chap. XIII,
   Sec. 1,  4.f.  Consequently, a statement made by the Contract
   Administrator while the Appellant was still preparing the
   revised samples, that the spacing between the stars on the
   hanger ring was not a "major factor, see, Jordan Affidavit, p.
   1, is not adequate to overcome the Contracting Officer's
   finding, eleven (11) days later, when the second set of
   samples were received by the Respondent, that they did not
   meet the requirements of the contract.24  Cf., Ralph
   Construction, Inc. v. United States, 4 Cl.Ct. 727, 734 (1984)
   (citing, Campbell v. United States, 2 Cl.Ct. 247, 249 (1983)).
   Furthermore, the record is devoid of any evidence that would
   show that the Contracting Officer knew of the Contract
   Administrator's statement of belief, and either approved or
   ratified it.  Cf., Tymshare, PSBCA No. 206, 76-2 BCA  12,218
   (1976).  Moreover, the Board itself has examined the
   Appellant's "Prior to Production" samples, compared them with
   the Government-furnished material, and finds that the defects
   identified by the Contracting Officer are clearly visible.
   Cf., Printing Unlimited, GPO BCA 21-90 (November 30, 1993),
   Sl. op. at 20-21 (citing, AAA Engineering and Drafting
   Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 21326, 77 BCA  12,454).  Since the
   determination that the "Prior to Production" samples failed to
   meet the contract specifications was within the discretion of
   the Contracting Officer, and as there is no credible evidence
   in the record which would indicate that his judgment was
   erroneous or flawed, the Board will not disturb his decision
   and will let it stand.  Cf., Stabbe Senter Press, supra, Sl.
   op. at 53; Printing Unlimited, supra, Sl. op. at 21-22.

      B. The Respondent did not breach its duty to cooperate with
      the Appellant in the performance of the contract by
      refusing to inspect the artwork, at the request of the
      Contractor, before the "Prior to Production" samples were
      prepared and submitted for approval.

   1.   The main objection raised by the Appellant is that GPO's
   refusal to inspect, at its request, the artwork created from
   the actual ribbons and medallions furnished by the Government,
   before the "Prior to Production" samples were made, was a
   breach of the Respondent's duty to cooperate with the
   Contractor in the performance of the contract.  PTCR, p. 4;
   App. Brf., p. 1,  1.

   2.   The Appellant relies on a well-settled principle of
   public contract law which states that in every Government
   contract there is an implied affirmative obligation on the
   part of the Government that it will do whatever is necessary
   to enable the contractor to perform.25  Stephenson, Inc.,
   supra, Sl. op. at 38-39 (citing, Nanofast, Inc., supra, 69-1
   BCA  7,566; The Kehm Corporation v. United States, 119 Ct.
   Cl. 454, 93 F.Supp. 620 (1950); United States v. Speed, 75
   U.S. (8 Wall.) 77 (1868)).  Under this doctrine, the
   Government will be held liable for breaching its implied duty
   to cooperate if it wrongfully fails or refuses to take some
   action, within its control, which is essential for the
   contractor to perform.26  Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at
   39.  In most cases applying this principle to excuse a
   contractor's default, there is a clear nexus between the
   Government's breaching conduct and the performance period
   itself.  See, e.g., Maitland Brothers Company and Maitland
   Brothers Company and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance
   Company, ASBCA Nos. 30,089, 30,764, 31,032, 32,071, 32,605,
   34,659, 90-1 BCA  22,367; Singleton Contracting Corporation,
   GSBCA No. 8,552, 90-1 BCA  22,298; G. W. Galloway Company,
   ASBCA Nos. 17,436, 17,723, 17,836, 17,911, 18,324, 77-2 BCA 
   12,640.  Furthermore, whether the Government is liable depends
   on the reasonableness of its conduct under the circumstances.
   See, e.g., Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. v. United States, 152 Ct. Cl.
   69, 285 F.2d 432 (1961); Tolis Cain Corporation, DOTCAB No.
   72-2, 76-2 BCA  11,954.

   3.   It is unnecessary for the Board to engage in a detailed
   survey of the cases involving the Government's duty to
   cooperate with a contractor for the purpose of this decision.
   However, it should be noted that agencies will breach their
   implied duty to cooperate if they unreasonably disapprove
   suggestions for alternate methods of performance, Albert C.
   Rondinelli, ASBCA No. 9,900, 65-1 BCA  4,674, or if they deny
   the contractor a reasonable opportunity to correct minor
   defects in timely deliveries.  Nanofast, Inc., supra, 69-1 BCA
    7,566.

   4.   As the Board understands the Appellant's claim, the
   alleged breach of the implied duty to cooperate occurred
   because the Respondent had an affirmative obligation to
   inspect the artwork developed from the Government furnished
   material before the actual "Prior to Production" samples were
   manufactured.  However, in the Board's opinion, the Appellant
   has misconstrued the Respondent's responsibilities and duties
   in this case.

   5.   Under the Respondent's printing regulation, inspection
   and testing of procured products is accomplished in accordance
   with the "Inspection and Tests" article of GPO Contract Terms.
   PPR, Chap. XIII.,  1,  4(g).  See, GPO Contract Terms,
   Contract Clauses,  14.  This article provides, in pertinent
   part:

      (c) The Government has the right to inspect and test all
      supplies called for, to the extent practicable, at all
      places and times, including the period of manufacture, and
      in any event before acceptance.  The Government shall
      perform inspections and tests in a manner that will not
      unduly delay performance and assumes no contractual
      obligation to perform any inspection and test for the
      benefit of the contractor unless specifically set forth
      elsewhere.

GPO Contract Terms, Inspection and Tests,  14(c), (f).  It is
well-settled that inspections and tests are for the benefit of
the Government.  Editors Press, supra, Sl. op. at 18 (citing,
Custom Printing, GPO BCA 10-87 (May 10, 1988), Sl. op. at 14; Red
Circle Corporation v. United States, 185 Ct. Cl. 1, 398 F.2d 836
(1968)).  See generally, Cibinic and Nash, pp. 568-83.  Absent a
provision in the contract itself, the Government has no duty to
conduct tests or inspections for the benefit of a contractor.
Editors Press, supra, Sl. op. at 18; Custom Printing, supra, Sl.
op. at 13.

   6.   An examination of the contract discloses no inspection
   duty on the part of the Respondent other than to examine the
   "Prior to Production" samples (R4 File, Tab B, Attachment 2).
   Indeed, under the express terms of the contract, GPO had no
   obligation to provide the Appellant with an opportunity to
   submit a revised set of such samples, i.e., that "second
   chance" was wholly within GPO's discretion.27  Thus, the
   Respondent would have been acting within its rights under the
   contract if it had defaulted the Appellant based on the
   rejection of the first samples.28  Stephenson, Inc., supra,
   Sl. op. at 21.  However, it is undisputed that not only did
   the Appellant receive a second opportunity to provide
   conforming "Prior to Production" samples,29 but when it became
   apparent that the Contractor was experiencing difficulty
   producing satisfactory dies, the Respondent, on its own, asked
   for the return of the Government-furnished material to see if
   the cause of the problem was in the material itself (R4 File,
   Tab F).  When the Respondent's pro-active response to the
   Contractor's problems is considered in light of the fact that
   only two weeks was allowed for performance under the original
   terms of the contract, the Board believes that inspecting the
   artwork in advance of the samples would have been
   superfluous.30  Hence, the Board concludes that, under these
   circumstances, it was not unreasonable for GPO to reject the
   Contractor's suggestion that the artwork be examined before
   the "Prior to Production" samples were produced.  Cf., Albert
   C. Rondinelli, supra, 65-1 BCA  4,674.  Consequently, the
   Board believes that there is absolutely no evidence in this
   record to support the Appellant's contention that the
   Respondent breached its implied duty to cooperate under the
   circumstances herein.  Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 47.
   Rather, the Board finds that the Respondent fully cooperated
   with the Appellant in its attempt to make provide acceptable
   "Prior to Production" samples and to fulfill its obligations
   under the contract.  See, e.g., Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. v. United
   States, supra, 285 F.2d 432 (1961); Tolis Cain Corporation,
   supra, 76-2 BCA  11,954.  Accordingly, for all of these
   reasons, the Board concludes that there is no merit to the
   Appellant's claim that the Respondent breached its implied
   duty to cooperate with it to complete performance under the
   contract.31

      C. Under the circumstances of this case, the Contracting
      Officer's decision to terminate the contract for default
      was not in error.

   1.   The Appellant has failed to demonstrate that the defects
   found by the Respondent in the "Prior to Production" samples
   were minor and/or insignificant, or that the discrepancies
   could have been corrected if the Government had cooperated
   with the Contractor.  Consequently, it has not sustained its
   burden of proof in this case.  Thus, on this record, the
   Appellant's case is essentially a collection of unverified
   assertions, and the Board cannot accept argumentation alone as
   a substitute.  Cf., Reese Manufacturing, Inc., ASBCA No.
   35144, 88-1 BCA  20,358.  Indeed, it is settled that
   unsubstantiated assertions are not sufficient proof to permit
   recovery.  Cf., Banta Company, supra, Sl. op. at 52; Fry
   Communications, Inc./InfoConversion Joint Venture, GPO BCA No.
   9-85, Decision on Remand (August 5, 1991), Sl. op. at 33, fn.
   31, (citing, Fry Communications, Inc./InfoConversion Joint
   Venture v. United States, 22 Cl.Ct. 497, 510 (1991));
   Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 57.  See also, Singleton
   Contracting Corporation, GSBCA No. 8548, 90-2 BCA  22,748;
   Tri-State Services of Texas, Inc., ASBCA No. 38019, 89-3 BCA 
   22,064)); Gemini Services, Inc., ASBCA No. 30247, 86-1 BCA 
   18,736.

   2.   Therefore, the Board is unable to say that the
   Contracting Officer's decision to terminate the Appellant's
   contract under the circumstances described herein is clearly
   erroneous.  Cf., B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, GPO BCA
   22-91 (February 5, 1993), Sl. op. at 28 (citing, Chavis and
   Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 18).  Accordingly, the
   Board affirms the Contracting Officer's decision to default
   the contract because of the Appellant's inability to provide
   acceptable "Prior to Production" samples (R4 File, Tab F).32

      ORDER

     The Board finds and concludes that the Appellant has not
     proved that: (1) the defects found by the Respondent in the
     "Prior to Production" samples were minor and/or
     insignificant; or (2) a breach of the Government's implied
     duty to cooperate with the Contractor occurred in this case.
     THEREFORE, the decision of the Contracting officer is
     AFFIRMED, and the appeal is DENIED.

It is so Ordered.

January 21, 1994                  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 September 24, 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 R4
    File, with an appropriate Tab letter also indicated.  The R4
    File consists of ten (10) documents identified as Tab A
    through Tab J.
    2 By letter dated October 22, 1992, the Appellant advised the
    Board that it had selected the optional Accelerated Procedure
    to process its appeal.  Board Rules, Rules 12.1(b) and 12.3.
    Board Docket File, Tab 5.
    3 Decisions under the Accelerated Procedure are normally
    brief and contain only summary findings of fact and
    conclusions.  Board Rules, Rule 12.3(b).  In this case,
    however, the Board believes that the nature of the
    controversy entitles the parties to a fuller explanation of
    the facts, issues, and reasons for the Board's decision than
    would be found in a typical Accelerated Procedure case.  See,
    RD Printing Associates, Inc., GPO BCA 02-92 (December 16,
    1992), Sl. op. at 2, fn. 3.  The Board also notes that this
    decision, unlike its opinions under the Small Claims
    (Expedited) Procedure, may be cited as precedent in future
    appeals.  Cf., Graphics Image, Inc., GPO BCA 13-92 (August
    31, 1992), Sl. op. at 2, fn. 3; Board Rules, Rule 12.2(d).
    4 As indicated on the Purchase Order and in its attachments,
    the contract was 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 (R4 File, Tab B).
    5 In fact, the "Prior-to Production" samples were not
    received by the DLA until June 26, 1992 (R4 File, Tab I).
    6 Ordinarily, a contract may not be defaulted for a
    contractor's failure to make progress, so as to endanger
    performance, unless and until the Contracting Officer has
    served a ten (10) day "Cure Notice" on the contractor
    affording it an opportunity to cure the failure.  See,
    Printing Procurement Regulation, GPO Publication 305.3
    (September 1, 1988), Chap. XIV, Sec. 1,  3.c.(2) (PPR); GPO
    Contract Terms, Contract Clauses,  20.(a)(2).  However, a
    ten (10) day "Cure Notice" is not an absolute, because, apart
    from the cited provision of GPO Contract Terms, the
    Respondent's implementing regulations also state: "If the
    Contracting Officer determines that a shorter period is
    reasonable, and sufficient time remains in the contract
    delivery schedule, such shorter period may be authorized,
    provided the determination is supported and documented in the
    contract file.  If the time remaining in the contract
    delivery schedule is not sufficient to permit a realistic
    "cure" period, the "Cure Notice" shall not be issued."  PPR,
    Chap. XIV, Sec. 1,  3.c.(2).  [Emphasis added.]  Ten (10)
    days to cure the problem was out of the question here because
    the Contractor only had three (3) days (counting the "Cure
    Notice" date-June 24, 1992) to complete the contract (by June
    26, 1992), and the contract terms allowed the Government a
    three (3) workday approval period for the "Prior to
    Production" samples (R4 File, Tab B, Attachment 2).
    Therefore, the Contracting Officer would have been within
    justified in not issuing any "Cure Notice" whatsoever under
    these circumstances, since insufficient time remained to
    permit a realistic "cure" period.  Graphics Image, Inc.,
    supra, Sl. op. at 16.  The decision concerning whether or not
    a shorter cure period is reasonable, realistic, and warranted
    in light of the contract delivery schedule, is discretionary
    with the Contracting Officer.  Id. (citing, Stephenson, Inc.,
    GPO BCA 02-88 (December 20, 1991), Sl. op. at 19-20, fn. 22
    ("show cause notice")).  If that decision is consistent with
    the rules in the PPR, it will not be disturbed by the Board.
    Graphics Image, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 17 (citing, Stabbe
    Senter Press, GPO BCA 13-85 and 19-85 (May 12, 1989), Sl. op.
    at 53).

    7 For some reason, not apparent in the record, this letter
    was not included in the R4 File.  Instead, is was sent to the
    Board on October 22, 1992, as an attachment to the
    Appellant's Complaint (Attachment D).  In addition to this
    letter, the Appellant also attached: (a) a copy of a
    memorandum for the file prepared by Jordan, dated June 16,
    1992, stating that he spoke to Nancy Ferraiuolo, GPO's
    Contract Administrator for this contract, and offered to
    provide proofs in lieu of "Prior to Production" samples, but
    was told that only the samples were required; i.e., the
    proofs were refused (Attachment B); and (b) notes from the
    Appellant's Job Production Log, dated June 20, 1992, June 24,
    1992, and June 25, 1992, describing the problems with dies
    prepared by Universal Die Company, and steps taken by the
    Contractor, once the corrected dies were returned by the
    subcontractor, to prepare the samples and send them to the
    Respondent (Attachment C).
    8 In that regard, the contract expressly provides, in
    pertinent part, that "[i]f the samples are disapproved by the
    Government, the Government, at its option, may require the
    contractor to submit additional samples for inspection and
    test, in the time and under the terms and conditions
    specified in the notice of rejection.  Such additional
    samples shall be furnished, and necessary changes made, at no
    additional cost to the Government and with no extension in
    the shipping schedule. . . ." (R4 File, Tab B, Attachment 2).
    [Emphasis added.]
    9 In the meantime, on July 2, 1992, the Respondent sent the
    Appellant, by telegram, a "Show Cause Notice", which stated
    that because the Contractor had failed to perform according
    to the contract schedule, the Government was considering
    defaulting the contract, and affording the Appellant an
    opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances, in
    writing, within five (5) days from the receipt of the notice
    (R4 File, Tab G).  The record does not contain any response
    from the Appellant to this "Show Cause Notice."  Furthermore,
    it seems that GPO took no action with respect to the
    Contractor's failure to respond, but instead waited for
    receipt of the second set of "Prior to Production" samples.
    10 Under the PPR, the Contracting Officer must submit a
    proposal to terminate a contract for default to the CRB for
    its review and concurrence.  PPR, Chap. I, Sec. 10, 
    4.b.(i).  See, Graphics Image, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 9, fn.
    10.
    11 In that regard, the Purchase Order itself expressly
    states, in pertinent part, that "[i]n the event the samples
    are disapproved by the Government, the contractor shall be
    deemed to have failed to make delivery within the meaning of
    the default clause in which event this contract shall be
    subject to termination for default, . . ." (R4 File, Tab B,
    Attachment 2).
    12 The reprocurement contractor was Quality Printing Service
    of Bismarck, North Dakota (R4 File, Tab C).
    13 The Board is compelled to observe that Jordan identifies
    two GPO agents-Nancy Ferraiuolo and Larry Hamm-in his
    affidavit as the persons with whom he was dealing on the
    matter of correcting the "Prior to Production" samples.  From
    the affidavit, it seems that the statement concerning minor
    significance of the spacing of the stars, was made by
    Ferraiuolo on or about July 2, 1992.  However, it should be
    noted that Ferraiuolo is identified in the record as the GPO
    Contract Administrator assigned to the disputed contract (R4
    File, Tab B).  Under the Respondent's Printing Procurement
    Regulation, the only person authorized to make final
    determinations on whether products submitted by a contractor
    conform to contract specifications is the Contracting
    Officer.  PPR, Chap. XIII, Sec. 1,  4.f.
    14 The Appellant also believes that by refusing to look at
    the artwork under these circumstances, the Government failed
    to follow standard industry practice, and "entrapped" the
    Contractor into entering the contract.  The doctrine of
    "entrapment" is peculiar to  criminal law.  See, e.g., United
    States v. Berry, 661 F.2d 618 (7th Cir. 1981).  It is rarely
    found, and even then usually only by analogy, in
    administrative proceedings.  See, e.g., Transportation
    Enterprises, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 630 F.2d
    421 (5th Cir. 1980) (The court held that where the National
    Labor Relations Board first rules that it has no jurisdiction
    over an employer and then reverses itself, it can not find
    the employer guilty of an unfair labor practice for conduct
    engaged in after the initial ruling, on which the employer
    relied).  There is nothing in the evidence here which would
    support such an "entrapment" defense.  Indeed, the Appellant
    really seems to be saying that it made a mistake by bidding
    on the contract without all of the facts.  However, such
    errors in business judgment do not warrant any relief.  See,
    e.g., Aydin Corporation v. United States, 229 Ct.Cl.  309,
    669 F.2d 681 (1982); American Ship Building Company v. United
    States, 228 Ct.Cl. 220, 654 F.2d 75 (1981).  See generally,
    John Cibinic, Jr. and Ralph C. Nash, Jr., Formation of
    Government Contracts 2d ed., (The George Washington
    University, 1986), p. 481-82.
    15 In its brief, the Appellant, for the first time, alleged
    that the Respondent engaged in bad faith by drafting
    specifications based on a knowledge of pre-existing dies that
    produced acceptable artwork, and not procuring those dies for
    the Contractor.  App. Brf., p. 1,  2.  The thrust of this
    argument is that GPO purposely wrote the specifications to
    give the previous contractor an unfair advantage in the
    bidding process.  Aside from the fact that the existence of
    such ready-made dies is nothing but pure speculation on the
    Appellant's part, 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., Shepard Printing, GPO BCA
    23-92 (April 29, 1993), Sl. op. at 7, fn. 11; 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 that there must be 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 Government,
    or the previous contractor for that matter, set out to harm
    the Appellant or that both of them acted in concert to
    achieve that specific result.  Id., Sl. op. at 57.
    16 In addition, the Respondent's Answer and Brief contend
    that the Contracting Officer's decision to default the
    contract was also based on the Appellant's repeated tardiness
    in delivering its product.  See, Answer, dated August 6,
    1993, p. 5; R. Brf., p. 5.  To the Board's mind, however,
    this argument is unsupported in the record and has no
    substance.  That is, there is nothing in the appeal file,
    including the Contracting Officer's memorandum to the CRB and
    the Notice of Termination, which would warrant the conclusion
    that the default was based on anything other than the
    Appellant's inability to produce satisfactory "Prior to
    Production" samples of the Medal Certificate.  See, R4 File,
    Tabs A and F.  Furthermore, GPO failed to mention its
    "tardiness" argument at the presubmission telephone
    conference.  Since all the evidence of record tells us that
    the Contracting Officer solely relied on the poor quality of
    the Appellant's "Prior to Production" samples in defaulting
    the contract, the Board believes that this "tardiness" claim
    is nothing more than a "make weight" argument, and it is
    summarily rejected.  Cf., Banta Company, GPO BCA 03-91
    (November 15, 1993), Sl. op. at 28-29, fn. 39.
    17 The record on which the Board's decision is based consists
    of: (1) the Appellant's letter, dated August 12, 1992, noting
    an appeal from the Contracting Officer's decision; (2) the R4
    File (Tabs A-J); (3) the Appellant's letter, dated October
    13, 1992, setting forth the basis of its complaint and the
    items and amounts involved in its counterclaim; (4) the
    Appellant's Complaint letter, dated October 22, 1992, with
    attachments; (5) the Respondent's Answer, dated August 6,
    1993; (6) the Report of a Presubmission Telephone Conference,
    dated November 19, 1993; (7) the Affidavit of Ray Jordan,
    dated December 3, 1993, submitted by the Appellant; (8) the
    Appellant's Brief, dated December 17, 1993; and (9) the
    Respondent's Brief, dated December 20, 1993.
    18 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).
    19 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.
    20 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.
     21 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.,
     ASBCA No. 8974, 1963 BCA  3,937.
     22 See generally, Cibinic and Nash, 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).
     23 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).
     24 Indeed, the Board finds it difficult to believe that any
     reasonable or responsible GPO Contracting Officer, or
     Contract Administrator for that matter, would approve the
     quality level of any product "sight unseen."
     25 See, Cibinic and Nash, pp. 221-22, 223-25. There is also
     an implied negative obligation on the part of the Government
     that it will not do that which will interfere with the
     contractor in the performance of the contract.  Id., at pp.
     222-23.  See, e.g., Nanofast, Inc., ASBCA No. 12,545, 69-1
     BCA  7,566 (citing, George A. Fuller Company, A Corporation
     v. United States, 108 Ct. Cl. 70, 69 F.Supp. 409 (1947);
     Fern E. Chalender d/b/a Chalender Construction Company of
     Springfield, Missouri v. United States, 127 Ct. Cl. 557;
     Restatement, Contracts,  295 and 315).  Both implied
     duties are part of every Government contract.  George A.
     Fuller Company, A Corporation v. United States, supra, 69
     F.Supp. 409.
     26 See, Cibinic and Nash, p. 221.
     27 See, note 8 supra.
     28 See, note 11 supra.
     29 The Board also notes that in "bending over backwards" to
     give the Appellant every last chance to perform, the
     Contracting Officer actually provided for a "cure period"
     (from June 26, 1992 to July 24, 1992), which was twice as
     long as the time allowed for performance under the original
     terms of the contract (two weeks).

     30 Indeed, the Board interprets the Appellant's offer to
     provide proofs in lieu of "Prior to Production" samples as
     nothing less than a request by the Contractor to modify the
     contract.  See, note 7 supra (citing, Complaint (Attachment
     B)-Jordan memorandum for the file, dated June 16, 1992).
     31 Obviously, no breach of the Government's implied duty to
     cooperate with the Appellant can be found in this case on
     the basis of the so-called Nanofast doctrine, because the
     Contractor was afforded an opportunity to correct the
     defects discovered in the first set of "Prior to Production"
     samples.  Cf., Stephenson, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 42-46
     (citing, Nanofast, Inc., supra, 69-1 BCA  7,566.  As
     indicated above, the Nanofast doctrine applies to situations
     where a contractor timely delivers supplies with minor
     defects and is denied a reasonable opportunity to correct
     them.  In this case, however, the record is replete with
     evidence that the Appellant was, in fact, given a chance to
     repair the defects in the "Prior to Production" samples, but
     was unable to do so within a reasonable time.
     32 Even if the Board was disposed to find in favor of the
     Appellant, it would have no basis for awarding any monetary
     recovery.  At the prehearing conference, the Board directed
     the Appellant to submit evidence, inter alia, of the actual
     expenses it incurred in preparing the "Prior to Production"
     samples.  PHR, p. 6.  The Contractor has failed to provide
     such evidence; e.g., bills from its subcontractor, Universal
     Die Company , etc.  It is well-settled that a contractor has
     the burden of proof in establishing the amount of its claim.
     Cf., Banta Company, supra, Sl. op. at 50, fn. 62 (and cases
     cited therein).  Notwithstanding the Board's instructions,
     the Appellant has failed to provide such evidence, and
     therefore, has not sustained its burden of proof on its
     claim.