BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON, DC 20401 In the Matter of ) ) the Appeal of ) RIM ADVERTISING ) Docket No. GPO BCA 38-94 Program 2052-S ) Purchase Order R-0298 ) For the Appellant: RIM Advertising, Billings, Montana 59108, by Donald W. Kuntz, Owner (pro se). For the Government: Kerry L. Miller, Esq., Associate General Counsel, U.S. Government Printing Office. Before FOSS, Administrative Judge. DECISION AND ORDER I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE On December 5, 1994, the Board received a letter from RIM Advertising (Appellant or Contractor), P.O. Box 80644, Billings, Montana 59108, appealing the final decision of Contracting Officer Michael J. Atkins, dated October 18, 1994, of the U.S. Government Printing Office's (Respondent or GPO or Government), Seattle Regional Printing & Procurement Office, 4735 East Marginal Way, South, Seattle, Washington 98134 (SRPPO), denying the Appellant's equitable adjustment claim of $8,370.33, under its contract identified as Program 2052-S, Purchase Order R-0298 (R4 File, Tab).1 See Board Rules, Rules 1(a) and 2. The contract in question is a "requirements" contract, and the adjustment request was based on the Government's alleged failure to place sufficient orders.2 For the following reasons, the Contracting Officer's final decision is hereby AFFIRMED, and the appeal is DENIED. II. BACKGROUND 1. The contract at issue, Program 2052-S, was a single-award, "requirements" agreement covering the production of multiple volumes of court records for the Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Missoula, Montana (hereinafter Forest Service or customer-agency), involving such operations as copying, binding, packing, and delivery, for the term beginning June 1, 1993, and ending May 31, 1994 (R4 File, Tab A, at 5). This agreement was only the second such contract requisitioned by the Forest Service. See Notice of Filing, dated July 21, 1995, Declaration of Donna Crahay, ¶ 4 (hereinafter Crahay Declaration); Declaration of William Antonich, ¶ 2 (hereinafter Antonich Declaration). 2. The contract, which incorporated GPO Contract Terms by reference, also contained GPO's standard "requirements" clause, which provides, in pertinent part: This is a requirements contract for the items and for the period specified herein. Shipment/delivery of items or performance of work shall be made only as authorized by orders issued in accordance with the clause entitled "Ordering". The quantities of items specified herein are estimates only, and are not purchased hereby. Except as may be otherwise provided in this contract, if the Government's requirements for the items set forth herein do not result in orders in the amounts or quantities described as "estimated", it shall not constitute the basis for an equitable price adjustment under this contract.3 Except as otherwise provided in this contract, the Government shall order from the contractor all the items set forth which are required to be purchased by the Government activity identified on page 1.4 See R4 File, Tab A, at 3. 3. The contract specifications also told the Contractor that: (1) there would be approximately 10 orders per year; (2) the average order would consist of 15 copies; (3) an estimated five to 50 volumes, with approximately 500 to 600 pages per volume (550 pages on average), would comprise each order; (4) copying operations would be required on three different page sizes-8-1/2 x 11", 8-1/2 x 14"; and 11 x 17"; and (5) the 8-1/2 x 14"; and 11 x 17" pages would fold (R4 File, Tab A, at 5, "Frequency of Orders," "Quantity," "Number of Pages," and "Trim Size" clauses). Furthermore, the specifications estimated that copying would be required for 1,214,220 8-1/2 x 11" pages, while 12,390 copies each would be needed for page sizes 8-1/2 x 14" and 11 x 17" (R4 File, Tab A, at 8, "Determination of Award" provision). These work estimates were based on the previous agreement, after the Forest Service had reviewed those figures and indicated to GPO that its needs were unchanged. See Crahay Declaration, ¶¶ 4-6; Antonich Declaration, ¶ 3.5 At the time, there was no reason to believe that the number of orders would substantially deviate from the prior contract. See Crahay Declaration, ¶¶ 6; Antonich Declaration, ¶ 5. 4. The Respondent received three bids on the contract-from Copies, Etcetera (which held the previous contract), Denny's Copy Stop, and the Appellant (R4 File, Tab B). On May 25, 1993, GPO issued Purchase Order R-0298 awarding Program 2052-S to the Contractor for $36,303.28, the low bid (R4 File, Tab C). 5. Shortly afterward, the Contractor received an order for a small copy job of about 35,000 pages (R4 File, Tab D). There is no dispute that this was the only copy work ordered by the Forest Service under the contract. See SRPTC, at 4, n. 5. 6. On August 19, 1994, after the contract expired, the Appellant wrote to Contracting Officer Atkins, asking for "reasonable compensation for the lack of performance" on Program 2052-S; i.e., an equitable adjustment (R4 File, Tab D). The Contractor thought that 10 percent of the contract price ($3,630.33), as well as $4,740.00 for "machine payments," or $8,370.33 all told, would be "reasonable compensation" under the circumstances (R4 File, Tab D). 7. On October 18, 1994, Contracting Officer Atkins issued his final decision rejecting the Appellant's claim because, inter alia, the "Requirements" clause of the contract expressly states that the Government's work estimates do not constitute the basis for an equitable price adjustment under the contract (R4 File, Tab E). 8. The Contractor timely appealed the Contracting Officer's final decision on December 5, 1994 (R4 File, Tab F). III. ISSUES PRESENTED 1. Were the Government's workload estimates for Program 2052-S negligently prepared because it failed to foresee that the quantity of copying forecast for the term of the agreement might never materialize? Stated otherwise, did the Government neglect to use all relevant information that was reasonably available to it in establishing the estimates in the solicitation? 2. Assuming arguendo that the Government estimates were negligently prepared, has the Appellant proved its claim in the amount of $8,370.33, or is it entitled to compensation of some lesser amount? IV. SUMMARY POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES6 A. Appellant The Appellant essentially argues that it was promised a large volume of work as an inducement for accepting Program 2052-S, indeed, as much as 200,000 copies within a few days of award, but the work never materialized. See App. Brf., at 1; SRPTC, at 4. Furthermore, the Contractor states that it constantly checked with the Forest Service about placing more orders, but was told the small copy order of 35,000 pages was all the reproduction work the customer agency had.7 Id. The Appellant contends that in its experience, contracts such as Program 2052-S are usually fulfilled to within 80 or 90 percent of the estimated workload, and that it is not unreasonable to expect the Government to order 10 percent of the work, as a "bare minimum." See SRPTC, at 5; Kuntz Affidavit, ¶5. Accordingly, the Contractor submits that it is entitled to additional compensation to the extent of its claim; i.e., $8,370.30.8 Id. B. Respondent In response, the Respondent states that the claim should be denied for two reasons. First, GPO contends that under the express language of the "Requirements" clause, the Government merely promises to purchase all of its requirements from the Contractor, but does not guarantee a specific dollar amount of work under the contract.9 See Res. Brf., at 4-5; SRPTC, at 5. Furthermore, GPO relies on the clause's disclaimer, which provides that failure to order the estimated items or quantities will not form the basis for an equitable adjustment, as the basis for excusing the Government from any liability in this case.10 Id. Indeed, the Respondent asserts even if there is a significant variation between the contract estimates and the amount of its actual purchases, the Government is protected from any liability. See Res. Brf., at 5 (citing Clearwater Forest Industries, Inc. v. United States, 227 Ct. Cl. 386, 650 F.2d 233 (1981); Womack v. United States, 182 Ct. Cl. 399, 389 F.2d 793 (1968) (hereinafter Womack)). In so many words, the only obligation assumed by the Government under a "requirements" contract is to allow the contractor to satisfy all of its actual needs at the contract rate-it is not liable for unordered supplies, and indeed, it may not even have any requirements at all during the contract term.11 Id. (citing Folge & Co. v. United States, 135 F.2d 117 (4th Cir. 1943); National Laundry Co. v. United States, 63 Ct. Cl. 626 (1927); AGS-Genesys Corp., ASBCA No. 35302, 89-2 BCA ¶ 21,702; Alamo Automotive Service, Inc., ASBCA No. 8815, 63 BCA ¶ 3830; Metro Industrial Painting Corp., ASBCA No. 6328, 62 BCA ¶ 3343). Moreover, GPO observes that in the past the Board itself has relied on these principles in denying equitable adjustment claims by contractors. See Res. Brf., at 6 (citing Shepard Printing, supra; B & W Press, GPOCAB 9-83 (March 8, 1984), 1984 WL 148109; Central Data Processing, GPOCAB 74-14 (January 7, 1975), 1975 WL 22179); SRPTC, at 5.12 Therefore, the Government says that since it met its contractual commitments by purchasing all copying work from the Appellant during the contract term, no equitable adjustment is warranted. See Res. Brf., at 6-7 (citing Torncello v. United States, 231 Ct. Cl. 20, 681 F.2d 756 (1982); Media Press, Inc. v. United States, 215 Ct. Cl. 985 (1977)); SRPTC, at 5. Second, the Respondent states that while it had a duty under the "Requirements" clause to exercise due care in developing its estimates, see Res. Brf., at 7 (citing Crown Laundry and Dry Cleaners, Inc. v. United States, 29 Fed. Cl. 506 (1993) (hereinafter Crown Laundry); Dynamic Science, Inc., ASBCA No. 29510, 85-1 BCA ¶ 17,710; Huff's Janitorial Service, ASBCA No. 26860, 83-1 CA ¶ 16,518), it disagrees that the "negligent estimates" issue is before the Board,13 id., at 8 (citing cf. Shepard Printing, supra; Dynamic Science, Inc., supra). Nonetheless, GPO argues that the work estimates in this case were not negligently prepared because they were based on the Forest Service's experience under the first contract. See Res. Brf., at 8-9; SRPTC, at 5. However, because the Forest Service was not involved in as many law suits under this contract, there was a decrease in the amount of actual copying work. Id. Besides, as a rule, a change in the Government's needs does not entitle a contractor to relief. See Res. Brf., at 9-10 (citing Shepard Printing, supra; Tennessee Valley Authority v. Imperial Professional Coatings, 599 F.Supp. 436 (E.D. Tenn. 1984); Henry Barracks Housing Corp. v. United States, 281 F.2d 196 (Ct. Cl. 1960); AGS-Genesys Corp., supra; East Bay Auto Supply, Inc., ASBCA No. 25542, 81-2 BCA ¶15,204; Solano Aircraft Service, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 20677, 20941, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,584; Gulf Coast Aviation, ASBCA Nos. 10189, 10380, 65-2 BCA ¶ 4928; Metro Industrial Painting Corp., supra). Accordingly, GPO believes that under these circumstances, the Contractor is not entitled to any extra compensation under the contract, and urges the Board to affirm the Contracting Officer's final decision.14 See Res. Brf., at 10, 13; SRPTC, at 5. IV. DECISION This appeal raises for only the third time in the combined annals of the Board and the ad hoc panels which preceded it, a direct challenge to the workload estimates of a "requirements" contract- the other two cases being Graphicdata, Inc., supra, and Datagraphics Press, Inc., (GPOCAB, June 23, 1978), 1978 WL 22342. The adjudicatory history of this agency, which the Board supposes mirrors the experience of its Executive Branch counterparts, discloses that in most "requirements" contract disputes, the validity of the estimates is a tangential matter, since the typical complaint is that either too few orders were placed according to the estimates, see e.g., Shepard Printing, supra; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra; Information Systems, Inc., supra; Central Data Processing, supra, or too many, see e.g., Graphicdata, Inc., supra; R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Co., GPO BCA 31-90 (February 6, 1992), 1992 WL 487874; Tamms Lithography, Inc., GPO BCA 14-89 (July 13, 1990), 1990 WL 454986; B & W Press, supra. Accord Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra (less work); Perini Corp. v. United States, 180 Ct. Cl. 768, 381 F.2d 403 (1967) (excess orders); LB & M Associates, Inc., DOTBCA No. 2905, 96-1 BCA ¶ 28,173 (less work); Independent Manufacturing and Service Companies of America, Inc., ASBCA No. 47199, 95-1 BCA ¶ 27,56 (excess work); California Bus Lines, Inc., ASBCA No. 42181, 91-3 BCA ¶ 24,341 (less work); Command Tech Corp., ASBCA No. 40318, 90-3 BCA ¶ 23,215 (less work) (cited in McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 16); The Tommy Nobis Center, Inc., GSBCA Nos. 8988-TD, 9420-TD, 89-3 BCA ¶ 22,112 (excess orders); Robert H. O'Hair and O'Hair Construction Co., a joint venture, AGBCA No. 82-115-1, 89-1 BCA ¶ 21,384 (excess orders); LFS, Inc., LBCA No. 82-BCA-10, 84-2 BCA ¶ 17,306 (excess orders); Miltex Industries, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 19449, 20886, 77-2 BCA ¶ 12,768 (excess orders); Sponge Fishing Co., GSBCA No. 1386, 65-1 BCA ¶ 4627 (excess orders). This appeal falls into the "too few" category. As previously noted, although the Appellant is demanding an equitable adjustment because there was less work under the contract than the Government's estimates showed, it also acknowledges that "yearly contracts do not have to guarantee the contractor anything."15 Therefore, the scope and meaning of GPO's "Requirements" clause is not at issue in this appeal. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 55; Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 20-23; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 11-14. Both the Appellant and the Respondent also agree that Program 2052-S is a "requirements" contract, and fully understand the legal consequences such an arrangement with respect to the rights and obligations of the contracting parties. With specific regard to the "negligent estimates" issue, however, the Government's liability, if any, is tied to its pre- solicitation conduct which wound up planting contractual land mines for the innocent and unsuspecting contractor. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 55. Therefore, the Board needs to take a moment to clarify its jurisdiction in this case, because the source of its remedial powers is quite different from those exercised by its Executive Branch counterparts operating under the auspices of the Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq. (hereinafter CDA). For years, whenever they have had to described the parties' rights and obligations under a "requirements" contract, the Board and the ad hoc panels usually repeated, in almost mantra-like fashion, the accepted principle that the Government's obligation is merely to exercise due care in preparing its estimates, see Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 23-24; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 15; Datagraphics Press, Inc., supra, slip op. at 7 (". . . the Government is only required to produce as accurate an estimate as possible." Citing Womack, supra), and thus no equitable price adjustment is available to the contractor in the absence of evidence that the Government has been negligent in the preparation of its estimates, see Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 56; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 19. However, as explained by the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Contract Appeals (VABCA): The rationale for holding the Government liable for a contractor's damages resulting from negligently prepared estimates in its requirements contracts is that the contractor has reasonably relied upon such estimates in the preparation of its unit price(s) to the Government for such services. Since the contractor then agrees to be bound to provide such services to the Government at the price(s) bid, the Government is equally bound to use its best information in preparing the quantity estimates upon which the contractor has relied. Womack v. United States [12 CCF ¶ 81,795], 182 Ct. Cl. 399, 412-13, 389 F.2d 793, 800-01 (1968). It thus follows that failure to exercise due care in preparing estimates, coupled with a contractor's financial losses directly attributable to reasonable reliance on such estimates, subjects the Government to liability. Since there is no remedy-granting clause in the contract itself, the negligent misrepresentation can be pursued as a common law breach of contract. Alert Care Ambulance Service, VABCA No. 2844, 90-3 BCA ¶ 22,945; Atlantic Garages, Inc., GSBCA No. 5891, 82-1 BCA ¶ 15,479, at 76,711. See Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, VABCA Nos. 3485, 3486, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,729, at 133,005. [Emphasis added.] See also Everett Plywood & Door Corp. v. United States, 190 Ct. Cl. 80. 90-91. 419 F.2d 425, 430-31 (1969). Unlike the VABCA, the Board is not a creature of statute, but rather derives all of its powers from the "Disputes" clause of the contract itself, and thus its jurisdiction is narrowly defined. See e.g., R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Co., GPO BCA 15-90 (March 6, 1992), slip op. at 26-27, 1992 WL 382924; The Wessel Co., Inc., supra, slip op. at 32; Automated Datatron, Inc., GPO BCA 20-87 (March 31, 1989), slip op. at 4-5, 1989 WL 384973; Bay Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 16-85 (January 30, 1987), slip op. at 9, 1987 WL 228967; Peak Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 12-85 (November 12, 1986), slip op. at 6, 1986 WL 181453. See generally, Matthew S. Foss, U.S. Government Printing Office: The First Decade, 24 PUB. CONT. L.J. 579, 584-85 (ABA 1995) (hereinafter Foss, The First Decade). Specifically, as the Board interprets GPO Instruction 110.10C-its "enabling statute"-and the jurisdictional provisions of its rules of practice and procedure, see Board Rules, Preface to Rules, ¶ I (Jurisdiction), it sees its authority as purely derivative and contractual, and has consistently confined the exercise of its remedial powers to the contract before it. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 57; Shepard Printing, Inc., supra, slip op. at 9, fn. 8; R.D. Printing Associates, Inc., GPO BCA 2-92 (December 16, 1992), slip op. at 9, 13, ns. 9, 15, 1992 WL 516088; Peak Printers, Inc., supra, slip op. at 6. See also Automated Datatron, Inc.,supra, slip op. at 4-5 ("The Public Printer has not under the provision of paragraph 5 of GPO Instruction 110.10C delegated authority to this Board to consider legal questions existing outside the contract itself."). Accord Wehran Engineering Corp., GSBCA No. 6055-NAFC, 84-3 BCA ¶ 17,614. See generally, Foss, The First Decade, at 585-86. Consequently, the Board has followed the trail blazed by the ad hoc panels and steadfastly refused to entertain "pure" breach of contract claims, that is claims for damages not redressable under a specific contract provision, on the twin grounds that because of its limited jurisdiction it can only mine for remedies in the contract clauses themselves, and that any breach decision it might render would be no better than an advisory opinion. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 58; R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Co., supra, slip op. at 30-35; The Wessel Co., Inc., supra, slip op. at 27, fn. 29, 33-41 (citing United States v. Utah Construction and Mining Co., supra, 384 U.S. at 407-11; Blake Construction Co., Inc., GSBCA No. 2205, 67-1 BCA ¶ 6,311, at 29,197-98); Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., supra, slip op. at 11; Microform Data System, Inc., GPOCAB 3-79 (February 1, 1980), slip op. at 10-12, 1980 WL 81258; Information Systems, Inc., supra, slip op. at 5-6. See also H.L. Eikenberg Co., GPOCAB 76-13 (May 9, 1979), slip op. at 35, fn. 21 ("The Board can only grant relief in situations where an administrative remedy is provided under some remedy or relief clause in the contracts." Quoting Federal Food Marketers Co., AGBCA Nos. 447, 448, 76-1 BCA ¶ 11,709, at 55,82. (Citations omitted.)). See generally, Foss, The First Decade, at 587. Therefore, the Appellant's "negligent estimates" claim would seem to be beyond the reach of the Board since it has no access to the traditional means for rectifying such Government nonfeasance. However, the Court of Federal Claims has provided the solution to this conundrum. In Crown Laundry, the Court said: In Womack v. United States, 182 Ct. Cl. 399, 401, 389 F.2d, 801 (1968), the Court of Claims pointed out that the government was obligated to base solicitation estimates on "all relevant information that is reasonably available to it." If the critical element in this summary judgment matter is what relevant information was available to Redstone Arsenal procurement personnel relative to the estimate formulation utilized in the solicitation at issue in this case, then the case is not ripe for decision at this time. Indeed, the other areas were plaintiff is critical of the government's estimate formulation practice and procedure likewise needs to be ventilated at trial. On the other hand, if the issue is confined to the question of reasonableness of the government's estimate formulation and attendant circumstances, then summary judgment is appropriate. See Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 522. [Emphasis added.] Reviewing the reasonableness of actions by GPO Contracting Officers is within the inherent authority of the Board, and is accomplished by applying the so-called "abuse of discretion" test. See Asa L. Shipman's Sons, Ltd., GPO BCA 6-95 (August 29, 1995), slip op. at 18, 1995 WL 818784, reconsid. denied, 1996 WL_____(February 13, 1996); Univex International, supra, slip op. at 19; Graphic Image, Inc., GPO BCA 13-92 (August 31, 1992), slip op. at 25, 1992 WL 487875; Atlantic Research Corp., GPO BCA 22-87 (July 10, 1989), slip op. at 5-6, 1989 WL 384985. Accord Darwin Construction Co. v. United States, 811 F.2d 593 (Fed. Cir. 1987); Quality Environment Systems v. United States, 7 Cl. Ct. 428 (1985); Jamco Constructors, Inc., VABCA Nos. 3271, 3515T, 94-1 BCA ¶ 26,405, reconsid. denied, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,792; Walsky Construction Co., ASBCA No. 41541, 94-1 BCA ¶ 26,264, reconsid. denied, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,698. It is on that basis that the Board assumes jurisdiction over the "negligent estimates" issue. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 59. The Board's analysis begins with three observations. First, only the Appellant and GPO were the parties to the contract in question. See GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 1 (Contractual Authority).16 See also Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op., at 60; B & B Reproductions, supra, slip op. at 37-38 (citing PPR, Chap. I, Sec. 2 (Definition of "Contracting Officer), Sec. 3, ¶ 2(d) (Procurement Authority-Contracting Officers); RD Printing Associates, Inc., supra, slip op. at 10, fn. 11. Thus, while the Forest Service was certainly an active "participant" in the contract by virtue of its "direct-deal" authority, it was not a party. Second, there is no disagreement about the standard of care in these sorts of cases-the Government's estimates should be realistic, and based on "all relevant information that is reasonably available to it;" i.e., the most current information available. See Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 522 (citing Womack, supra); Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra, 967 F.2d at 582; Contract Management, Inc., ASBCA No. 44885, 95-2 BCA ¶ 27,886, at 139,107 (citing FAR § 16.503(a) (1));17 Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, ASBCA No. 45248, 94-3 BCA ¶ 27,197, at 135,554; Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra, 94-2 BCA at 133,005. See also Integrity Management International, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 34802, 35412, 36149, 37140, 89-3 BCA ¶ 21,996; Crown Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Inc., ASBCA No. 28889, 85-2 BCA ¶ 18,003. In simple terms, the Government is not free to carelessly guess at its needs. See Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 520; Medart v. Austin, 967 F.2d at 581. Therefore, if the contractor can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Government's estimates are unreasonably inaccurate because it failed to exercise due care, and that it relied on those faulty estimates to its detriment in bidding, then the risk of any shortfall, which is normally the contractor's under a "requirements" contract, shifts to the Government and it will be held liable. See Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 519-20; Timber Investors, Inc. v. United States, supra, 587 F.2d at 478; Womack, supra, 389 F.2d at 801-02; Contract Management, Inc., supra, 95-2 BCA at 139,107-08 (citing Chemical Technology, Inc. v. United States, supra, 645 F.2d at 947-48); Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, supra, 94-3 BCA at 135,554 (citing Apex International Management Services, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 37813, 38178, 38224, 38278, 38297, 38354, 38514, 94-1 BCA ¶ 26,299); Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra, 94-2 BCA at 133,005; Alert Care Ambulance Service, supra, 90-3 BCA at 115,179. Unless this were the rule, then Government- furnished data in a bidding invitation, whether an estimate, "historical" material, or empirical data, which was not developed from relevant, current and available information, would be "surplusage at best or deception at worst." See Womack, supra, 389 F.2d at 801. See also Emerald Maintenance, Inc., ASBCA No. 42908, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,904, at 133,970. Finally, the "all relevant and reasonably available information" rule concerns matters of time, or more properly timing. Perhaps the most quoted phrase from the Womack decision is the Court of Claims' statement that the Government "is not required to be clairvoyant . . .". Womack, supra, 389 F.2d at 801. See also Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 62; Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 20-23; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 11-14; Datagraphics Press, Inc., supra, slip op. at 7. Accord Contract Management, Inc., supra, 95-2 BCA at 139,108; Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, supra, 94-3 BCA at 135,554; Integrity Management International, Inc., supra, 89-3 BCA at 110,605. Accordingly, as the Board said in Graphicdata, Inc., "to paraphrase a famous question from the Watergate era, the central issue in this case boils down to-'What did the Contracting Officer know, and when did he know it?'" See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 62. There is no dispute that the Appellant relied on the work estimates in the contract in formulating its bid. Therefore, if the Contractor is to prevail on its "negligent estimates" claim it must prove, by a preponderance of the undisputed material evidence, that the inaccuracy of those workload figures was a direct consequence of the Respondent's failure to exercise due care in preparing them. In other words, its evidence must show that before the award of the contract, GPO was aware of, but failed to take into account, all relevant and reasonably available information when developing the contract work estimates. See e.g., Crown Laundry, supra (by not checking out or verifying the estimates provided by the user activities which the contracting officer felt were "exaggerated" as a hedge against the possibility of increased needs in the future- estimates which were nothing more than wild guesses and which were admittedly inaccurate-before the solicitation containing them was put out for bids, the Government failed to exercise reasonable care and was liable to the contractor for damages); Contract Management, Inc., supra (Government contractual estimates of custodial requirements which were based on the prior year's fixed-price contract, were negligent because they were not revised to account for a projected funding shortfall which was known before award-the most current financial information available-so that the subsequent reduction of work for budgetary reasons warranted an equitable adjustment in favor of a janitorial contractor that was misled by the unadjusted original estimate); Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, supra (Government estimates were negligent under a contract for floor sanding and sealing work in unoccupied Army housing units where the contracting officer awarded the contract using the original estimates, which predicted certain dates of unoccupancy, without considering a so-called "stop loss" order, which he received before award, that kept the troops in place and made the dates that the units would become vacant uncertain, or without revising the estimates or making the uncertain occupancy dates known the contractor); Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra (although the Government contended that its estimates under two "requirements" contracts for ambulance services were prepared in good faith using the best available historical data combined with anticipated future needs, the board found that it had not properly assessed the information in its possession regarding past usage and projected needs in developing the estimates or considered all of the relevant, available information; thus, the Government failed to exercise due care and was liable to the contractor for damages resulting from the contractor's reasonable reliance on those negligently prepared estimates); Alert Care Ambulance Service, supra (Government failed to exercise due care in preparing its quantity estimates for each type of trip it required in its solicitation for ambulance services, because neglected to use historical data and also relied estimates for earlier contracts which had proven to be inaccurate; i.e., there was no rational basis for the projected ambulance usage which was significantly overstated). See also Pruitt Energy Sources, Inc., supra (Government's estimates of work under a "requirements" contract for computer services were grossly and unreasonably inadequate because it: (a) applied, without adjustment, a year's worth of historical data on service calls to the contract base period of less than seven months; (b) inflated the estimate for a one-year option period by proportionally increasing the already inflated seven-month base period estimate; (c) accounted for a 300 percent increase in its computer equipment inventory by multiplying the estimate by three to take care of the overlap between the period during which the inventory increased and the period during which the government had gathered its historical service call data, thus engaging in double counting; and (d) guessed at the average travel time per service call, without regard to available information as to where most of the equipment was located and where most service calls had occurred in the past). Similarly, the parties agree that, performance-wise, the Government's estimates were inaccurate, perhaps whoppingly so, since the actual amount of work placed under the contract was substantially less than anticipated. On the other hand, while the size of the discrepancy looks suspicious, much like a telltale column of smoke in the distance, that fact alone is insufficient to prove that the Government failed to exercise due care when it prepared its work estimates for Program 2052-S. See Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra, 967 F.2d at 581; Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 520; Clearwater Forest Industries, Inc. v. United States, 227 Ct. Cl. 386, 650 F.2d 233, 240 (1981); Womack, supra, 389 F.2d at 802; Pruitt Energy Sources, Inc., supra, 95-2 BCA at 138,828; Alert Care Ambulance Service supra, 90-3 BCA at 115,180. See also Emerald Maintenance, Inc.,supra, 94-2 BCA at 133,970 (fact that actual experience varies significantly from data furnished in a Government solicitation does not, standing alone, create liability nor shift to the Government the burden of proving the reasonableness of its data); Gulf Construction Group, Inc., ENG BCA No. 5964, 94-1 BCA ¶ 26,524 (disparity with estimates alone do not show that estimates are prepared without due care). What it does mean, however, is that the magnitude of the forecasting error, when considered in light of other factors, might be the final link in a chain of evidence presented by the Appellant to show that the Government's estimates were negligently prepared. See Pruitt Energy Sources, Inc., supra, 95-2 BCA at 138,828 (citing Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra). Compare Crown Laundry, supra (failure to verify estimates plus 45 percent shortfall was evidence of negligent preparation); Pruitt Energy Sources, Inc., supra (estimates based on faulty computation methods which resulted in an 84 percent shortfall were negligent); Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, supra (Government negligence found in a failure to revise original estimates in light of a "stop loss" order received before award of the contract that changed vacancy dates of housing units and led to a 90 percent shortfall); Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra (shortfalls of 46 percent and 72 percent, respectively, on two contracts for transportation services were the result of the Government's failure to account for past shortfalls and future projections of decreased hospital usage in preparing its estimates); and Alert Care Ambulance Service supra (Government's estimates were significantly overstated by 41 percent because it failed to use historic data and relied on inaccurate estimates in earlier contracts), with Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra (Government estimates based the previous year's demand for metal storage cabinets were reasonable notwithstanding a shortfall in actual orders of between 24 percent and 70 percent for the four types of cabinets covered by the contract); Gulf Construction Group, Inc., supra (no showing of basis for estimates so overrun of 115 percent not proof of negligent preparation); Integrity Management International, Inc., supra (using the historical workload under the predecessor contract and adjusting for certain foreseeable factors such as the level of troop strength, was a rational approach for developing estimates for laundry services even though there were shortfalls of 10.7 percent and 44.6 percent, respectively, in actual work ordered under the two parts of the contract); Datagraphics Press, Inc., supra (GPO estimates based on the status of United States Postal Service postal rate proceedings were not negligently prepared despite an 18 percent shortfall in actual orders). Consequently, in a case like this the spotlight is trained on how the Government arrived at the estimates relied on by the bidding contractor, rather than on the contractor's subsequent financial position stemming from the failure of the actual level of work to represent some reasonable relationship to the Government's projections. In this case, the Government's estimates were prepared by Donna Crahay, a Printing Specialist in the SRPPO. As Crahay describes the process: . . . [I] developed the basis of award estimates that are contained in the Program 2052-S (June 1, 1993-May 31, 1994) IFB by reviewing the Print Orders and determining actual quantities ordered the previous year. I estimated the frequency of orders by adding the total number of orders placed and dividing the number of months (and ultimately reducing that total by two orders). I estimated the number of volumes and the number of orders from the previous year's print orders. . . . Based on the actual volume of work performed on Program 2052[-S] for the period June 1, 1992-May 31, 1993, which exceeded our original estimates for that contract, I believed that the amount of copying that could be expected for the June 1, 1993-May 31, 1994, contract period would be higher. I had no reason to believe that the copying requirements would decrease from the previous year's actual requirements. See Crahay Declaration, ¶¶ 5, 6. Furthermore, Antonich confirms that: In February 1993, the [SRPPO] sent me a draft of the IFB and asked for my review. I did so, and after making certain modifications, returned the specification to GPO. * * * * * * * * * * At the time of my review of the Program 2052-S specifications, I had no reason to believe that the requirements of the Region 1 Office of General Counsel would vary significantly from the previous year's requirements. See Antonich Declaration, ¶¶ 3, 5. As a rule, a customer-agency's historical data with respect to a particular contract is the logical place to start when calculating the work estimates for the follow-on agreement. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 73. Accord Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra; Alert Care Ambulance Service, supra; Integrity Management International, Inc., supra. However, since the Forest Service in this case is not a party to the contract in question, in order to succeed on its "negligent estimates" claim, the Appellant has to show that the Program 2052-S estimates were unrealistic because the GPO Contracting Officer's agent, Crahay, did not consider the most current information reasonably available to her before the contract was awarded. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 77. Accord Crown Laundry, supra; Medart, Inc. v. Austin, supra; Contract Management, Inc., supra; Ambulance Service & Transport of Marlin, supra; Fa. Kammerdiener GmbH & Co., KG, supra. Specifically, the Appellant must prove that Crahay herself knew, or had reason to know, at the time of the solicitation, that there would be a marked decline in the number of court actions, and a concomitant decrease in the requirements for photocopying, during the contract term. This record is devoid of any such evidence. Indeed, the Contractor has made no effort to introduce such proof. Moreover, assuming arguendo, that the Forest Service's Office of the General Counsel knew prior to award that its need for photocopying would be considerably less than the previous year because there was less litigation, there is absolutely no evidence that Antonich was so advised or was otherwise aware of that fact. Therefore, this is not the type of case which might justify application of the "imputed knowledge" rule.18 See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 78-79. Accepted legal fictions such as "imputed knowledge" have their purposes, see New South Press & Assoc., Inc., supra, slip op. at 39 (conventional wisdom that a fixed-price contract terminated for convenience is converted into a cost reimbursement contract is an accepted legal fiction and not completely true. Citing Graphic Litho Co., Inc., GPO BCA 17-85 (February 23, 1988), slip op. at 9-10, 1988 WL 363329), but they should not be allowed to overcome clear, unmistakable and uncontroverted facts. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 80. More importantly, using "imputed knowledge" as the basis for finding GPO negligent in its preparation of the estimates for Program 2052-S would violate one of the principal teachings of Womack, namely, that the exercise of due care is not synonymous with clairvoyancy. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 81 (citing Womack, supra, 389 F.2d at 801). Obviously, the rules should protect against careless guesswork by the Government as to its requirements in formulating its estimates, see Medart v. Austin, 967 F.2d at 581, but unlike the situation in Crown Laundry, supra, where the contracting officer proceeded with the solicitation and award without verifying the estimates of the user activities, even though he thought they were "exaggerated," there is nothing in this record about the numbers given to Crahay by the Forest Service for the solicitation, and on which the contract award was based, that would have raised a "red flag" in her mind or led her to suspect that the estimates might be seriously flawed, see Crown Laundry, supra, 29 Fed. Cl. at 523. In any event, GPO's contracting officers have many important responsibilities, but trying to predict future litigation activity in another agency and the potential impact with respect to its contracts is not one of them, and it would be foolish for them to try to do so. The Womack court would not impose a requirement on contracting officers to be clairvoyant. Neither will the Board. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 83. When all is said an done, the Appellant's position in this case is essentially an unverified assertion that the Government's estimates were negligent and misleading. Such a contention is little more than argument, which standing alone cannot substitute for proof. See Swanson Printing Co., supra, slip op. at 32; Univex International, supra, slip op. at 31. Cf. Reese Manufacturing, Inc., ASBCA No. 35144, 88-1 BCA ¶ 20,358. Indeed, the Board has never allowed such unsubstantiated contentions to form the basis of recovery. See Swanson Printing Co., supra, slip op. at 32; Univex International, supra, slip op. at 31-32; B & B Reproductions, supra, slip op. at 39; Stephenson, Inc., supra, slip op. at 57. Accord Singleton Contracting Corp., GSBCA No. 8548, 90-2 BCA ¶ 22,748; Tri-State Services of Texas, Inc., ASBCA No. 38019, 89-3 BCA ¶ 22,604; Gemini Services, Inc., ASBCA No. 30247, 86-1 BCA ¶ 18,736. Accordingly, the Board concludes that under the circumstances, the plain and accepted meaning of the "Requirements" clause shields the Respondent from any financial liability to the Appellant for the lack of orders under the contract in dispute. Therefore, the Contractor's request for an equitable adjustment in this case is without merit and is denied.19 ORDER Considering the record as a whole, the Board finds and concludes that the Appellant has not proved that the Government negligently prepared its estimates of the Forest Service's photocopying needs under its "requirements" contract identified as Program 2052-S, Purchase Order R-0298. Therefore, the Contractor is not entitled to an equitable adjustment. ACCORDINGLY, the Contracting Officer's final decision is hereby AFFIRMED, and the appeal is DENIED. It is so Ordered. September 24, 1997 STUART M. FOSS Administrative Judge _______________ 1 The Contracting Officer's appeal file was assembled pursuant to Rule 4 of the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure, and delivered to the Board on January 31, 1995. See 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 hereafter as the R4 File, with an appropriate tab number also indicated. The R4 File contains six (6) documents, identified as Tabs A-F. See Summary Report of Prehearing Telephone Conference, dated August 11, 1997, at 2, n. 2 (SRPTC). 2 The Contractor's original appeal sought review of the Contracting Officer's actions with respect to three (3) contracts; i.e., Programs 2011-S, 2091-S, and 2052-S. See SRPTC, at 1, n. 1. Program 2011-S was a termination for convenience claim which the parties subsequently settled. A copy of Contract Modification No. 1, dated January 13, 1995, which incorporates the terms of their settlement was furnished to the Board on January 31, 1995, and was placed in the appeal file. The Appellant's claim with respect to Program 2091-S involved its protest against the award of the contract to another contractor. In its docketing letter, the Board indicated that it had no jurisdiction to entertain award protests, but rather was confined to determining appeals arising from or relating to contracts between an appellant and the Government. See letter to Mr. Donald W. Kuntz, RIM Advertising, from Sallie M. Johnson, Clerk of the Board, dated December 21, 1994, at 1, n.1 (citing GPO Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Supplement Specifications, and Contract Clauses, GPO Pub. 310.2, effective December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88), ¶ 5 (Disputes) (hereinafter GPO Contract Terms); Board Rules, Preface to Rules, ¶ I (Jurisdiction for Considering Appeals). Instead, under the relevant rules and regulations, the established forums for considering protests against award are "the contracting officer, the General Accounting Office (GAO) under GAO regulations (4 C.F.R. 21), or other board or court having jurisdiction). Id. (citing GPO Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, ¶ 16; Printing Procurement Regulation, GPO Pub. 305.3 (Rev. 10-90), Chap. X, Sec. 2, ¶¶ 2, 3) (hereinafter PPR). Consequently, on December 6, 1994, the Board telephoned both parties and informed them that it lacked jurisdiction over the Appellant's protest of the award of Program 2091-S. Id. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a protest with GAO, but the Comptroller General dismissed it on the ground that it was untimely. See RIM Advertising, GAO No. B-259695 (February 27, 1995). A copy of the GAO decision is also in the appeal file. Therefore, the only contract pending before the Board is Program 2052-S. See SRPTC, at 1, n. 1. 3 The "Requirements" clause's stipulation that the contract's "estimated" orders is not a guarantee of work, and hence not a basis for an equitable price adjustment, is reenforced in the "Determination of Award" section which states, in pertinent part: ". . . the following units of production . . . do not constitute, nor are they to be construed as, a guarantee of the volume of work which may be ordered for the term of this contract." See R4 File, Tab A, at 8. 4 The contract anticipated that orders for work could be issued to the contractor directly by the Forest Service. Under GPO's regulations, this sort of arrangement is called a "direct-deal term contract." See PPR, Chap. XII, Sec. 1, ¶ 2. As defined in the regulations, a "direct-deal term contract" is one which: ". . . allow[s] the customer agency to place print orders (GPO Form 2511) directly with contractors rather than routing them through the GPO for placement." See GPO Agency Procedural Handbook, GPO Publication 305.1, dated March 1987, Sec. IV, ¶ 1, at 8 (hereinafter GPO Handbook). The purpose of this method of contract administration is: ". . . to ensure that agency printing needs are met in the most effective and efficient manner possible." Id. It should be noted, however, that an agency's direct-deal authority: ". . . extends only to the placement of print orders and to the transmission of copy and proofs. . . . All other authority rests with GPO's Contracting Officers." See GPO Handbook, Sec. IV, ¶ 2, at 9. [Emphasis added.] See also Swanson Printing Co., GPO BCA 27-94 and 27A-94 (November 18, 1996), slip op. at 4, n. 9, 1996 WL _____; Graphicdata, Inc., GPO BCA 35-94 (June 14, 1996), slip op. at 60-61, n. 54, 1996 GPOBCA LEXIS 28; B & B Reproductions, GPO BCA 09-89 (June 30, 1995), slip op. at 3, n. 5, 1995 WL 488447; McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 40-92 (January 31, 1994), slip op. at 3, n. 4, 1994 WL 275096; Shepard Printing, GPO BCA 37-92 (January 28, 1994), slip op. at 2, n. 4, 1994 WL 275077. 5 Antonich indicates that because of the nature of the contract- copying voluminous records for court cases involving the Forest Service-the amount of work is heavily dependent on the number of lawsuits brought against the Government. See Antonich Declaration, ¶ 4. 6 Both parties filed briefs. The Appellant's brief, dated August 18, 1995, shall be referred to as "App. Brf.." The Respondent's brief was also submitted on August 18, 1995, and shall be cited as "Res. Brf." Neither party filed a reply brief. 7 The Appellant says that there was some discussion with the Forest Service concerning the production of some manuals, but they disagreed about whether the work was for copying or printing, and whether it could be ordered under the contract. In any event, the Contractor did not receive the job. See SRPTC, at 4, n. 6. Furthermore, the Appellant alleges that he had a conversation with the Forest Service's representative, Antonich, about a month after award, and was told that the customer-agency had no work to place under Program 2052-S. See Affidavit of Donald W. Kuntz, dated July 18, 1995, ¶ 3 (hereinafter Kuntz Affidavit). Antonich, on the other hand, asserts that the Contractor misunderstood him, and that he actually said he "did not have any orders to place under Program 2052-S at that point in time." See Antonich Declaration, ¶ 6. [Emphasis added.] Kuntz also stated in his affidavit that he had a conversation with Antonich after the appeal was filed, and was told that "the volume of contract #2052-S was highly questionable." See Kuntz Affidavit, ¶ 4. Antonich denies making such a statement, but rather says he told Kuntz that "there was no way to guarantee or predict with any great certainty the amount of work a contractor might receive under this requirements contract." See Antonich Declaration, ¶ 7. Subsequently, Kuntz admitted that the statement concerning the "questionable volume of work" was not an exact quote, but instead was meant to be "a summary of the many comments that were made to me by Mr. Antonich." See App. Brf., at 2. However, this verbal jousting is immaterial to the issues in this case, because, inter alia, a valid "requirements" contract can exist without any orders being placed, see Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 20, and besides the Appellant acknowledges that "yearly contracts do not have to guarantee the contractor anything," see Letter, dated March 17, 1995, from Donald W. Kuntz, Owner, RIM Advertising, to Ved Gulati (Special Assistant), Board of Contract Appeals, at 2. 8 At the prehearing conference, the Appellant alleged that it was later denied another contract (Program 2091-S) because the Respondent thought that the Contractor lacked sufficient capacity to perform Program 2052-S as well as additional contract work. See SRPTC, at 4-5. However, this assertion is directed at the Contracting Officer's "responsibility" determination, which, if made in good faith and reasonable, is beyond the Board's power to review. See Rose Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 32-95 (December 16, 1996), slip op. at 22, 1996 GPOBCA LEXIS 34; Big Red Enterprises, GPO BCA 07-93 (August 30, 1996), slip op. at 37-39, 1996 GPOBCA LEXIS 26. Accord Wright Industries, Inc., ASBCA No. 18282, 78-2 BCA ¶ 13,396, at 65,492 (citing Warren Brothers Roads Co. v. United States, 173 Ct. Cl. 714 (1965); Coastal Cargo Co., Inc. v. United States, 173 Ct. Cl. 259 (1965); Brown & Son Electric Co. v. United States, 163 Ct. Cl. 465 (1963)). The Appellant has not made any allegation of bad faith on the part of the Government in this appeal. Moreover, during the conference the Contracting Officer disputed the Contractor's allegation that it was not awarded Program 2091-S because of the amount of work forecast for Program 2052-S. Regardless, the Board has already ruled that Program 2091-S is not before it, see note 2 supra, and its lack of jurisdiction to review "responsibility" determinations made by GPO contracting officers constitutes an additional reason for that decision. 9 The Respondent states that the "Requirements" clause in Program 2052-S is "almost identical to the provisions contained in other Government contracts which have been construed by the courts and boards of contract appeals." See Res. Brf., at 4. Actually, for all practical purposes, the clause is a verbatim republication of the "Requirements" clause found in Executive Branch contracts prior to 1984. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 55, n. 49; Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 21; McDonald and Eudy Printers, Inc.; supra, slip op. at 11-12. 10 As GPO notes, a "requirements" contract is formed when the Government promises to fill all of its actual needs during the contract period with purchases from the contractor, and the latter commits to meeting those needs at the agreed contract price. See Res. Brf., at 4-5 (citing Shader Contractors, Inc. v. United States, 276 F.2d 1, 4 (Ct. Cl. 1960). A key characteristic of "requirements" contacts is the very uncertainty about actual purchases over the contract term, since this type of arrangement is used when the Government anticipates future recurring needs but cannot tell precisely what they will be at the time the contract is awarded. Id., at 5 (citing Medart, Inc., v. Austin, 967 F.2d 579 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Another feature is the allocation of the risks associated with the difference between the contract estimates and actual purchase to the contractor, not the Government; i.e., contract estimates alone, will not change a "requirements" contract to one for a definite quantity. Id (citing Medart, Inc., supra; Lone Star Energy Co., VACAB No. 1163, 76-1 BCA ¶ 111,650). It is this risk allocation element which is at the heart of this dispute. 11 Thus, GPO says that the Government's failure to order any services whatsoever under a "requirements" contract does not entitle the contractor to compensation. See Res. Brf., at 5, SRPTC, at 5. 12 B & W Press and Central Data Processing were decided by ad hoc contract appeals panels which considered appeals from final 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 Appeal, dated September 17, 1984 (hereinafter GPO Instruction 110.10C). Decisions of these ad hoc panels are cited by the Board in its decisions as "GPOCAB." While the Board is not bound by the decisions of the ad hoc panels, its policy is to follow their rulings where applicable and appropriate. See e.g. Custom Printing Co., GPO BCA 28-94 (March 12, 1997), slip op. at 24, n. 38, 1997 WL _____; Big Red Enterprises, supra, slip op. at 22, n. 22; The George Marr Co., GPO BCA 31-94 (April 23, 1996), slip op. at 50, n. 40, 1996 WL 273662; New South Press & Assoc., Inc., GPO BCA 14-92 (January 31, 1996), slip op. at 32, n. 45, 1996 WL 112555; Univex International, GPO BCA 23-90 (July 31, 1995), slip op. at 23, fn. 24, 1995 WL 488438, reconsid. denied, February 7, 1996, 1996 WL 112554; Universal Printing Co., GPO BCA 9-90 (June 22, 1994), slip op. at 11, fn. 9, 1994 WL 377586; Shepard Printing, GPO BCA 23-92 (April 29, 1993), slip op. at 14, fn. 19, 1993 WL 526848; Stephenson, Inc., GPO BCA 2-88 (December 20, 1991), slip op. at 18, n. 20, 1991 WL 439274; Chavis and Chavis Printing, GPO BCA 20-90 (February 6, 1991), slip op. at 9, n. 9, 1991 WL 439270. 13 However, the Board, to the contrary, sees the "estimates" question as the only issue in this appeal. See SRPTC, at 6. Moreover, it is well-settled that a board of contract appeals, in deciding a case, is not limited by the theories, positions, or contentions of the parties. See Bart Associates, Inc., EBCA Nos. C-9211144, C-9312163, 96-2 BCA ¶ 28,479, at 142,235-3, n. 14 (citing Harvey C. Jones, Inc., IBCA Nos. 2070, 2150, 2151, 2152, 2153, 2467, 90-2 BCA ¶ 22,762, at 114,250, n. 5; Wilner Construction Co., ASBCA No. 32499, 88-3 BCA ¶ 21,101, at 106,526). 14 The Respondent also reads the Appellant's pleadings as alleging that not all of the Forest Service's photocopying work was placed under Program 2052-S, and thus the Government breached the contract. See Res. Brf., at 10 (Kuntz Affidavit, ¶ 3). However, the Board does not see the pleadings as raising a "breach of contract" issue for its consideration. See note 7 supra. Furthermore, as GPO indicates, the Board has no jurisdiction over "pure" breaches of contract. See Res. Brf., at 10-11 (citing The Wessel Co., Inc., GPO BCA 8-90 (February 28, 1992), 1992 WL 487877; Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., (GPOCAB, May 9, 1980), 1980 WL 81267; Information Systems, Inc., GPOCAB 78-11 (January 18, 1979), 1979 WL 28889; Harbor Printing & Copy Service, Inc., (GPOCAB, November 4, 1977), 1977 WL 24257). See also United States v. Utah Construction and Mining Co., 384 U.S. 394 (1966). The reasons why are explained infra. 15 See note 7 supra. 16 As made clear in the "Contractual Responsibility" provision of GPO Contract Terms: "Awards by GPO for printing, binding, and related services are the sole responsibility of GPO and not of its customer agencies. Modifications shall have no force or effect unless addressed before the fact to and subsequently confirmed in writing by the Contracting Officer. Failure to comply with this article may be cause for nonpayment of additional costs incurred or rejection of the order." 17 The Board is unaware of any requirement in the PPR comparable to FAR § 16.503(a)(1). However, the PPR does state that a term contract, such as here, is appropriate "[w]hen requirements can be forecast with relative accuracy, . . .". PPR, Chap. VII, Section 1, ¶ 2. In any event, the Board's cases have generally assumed that the GPO Contracting Officers are bound to the same standard of care as their Executive Branch counterparts. See e.g., Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 61, n. 55; Shepard Printing, supra, slip op. at 23-24; McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, slip op. at 15. 18 Imputing the knowledge or conduct of one Federal agency to another one is not automatic. See Cryo-Sonics, Inc., ASBCA No. 11483, 66-2 BCA ¶ 5,890, at 27,331. Indeed, there are relatively few cases on the books involving imputed knowledge or conduct. Where it is applied, the usual rule is that imputation is appropriate if there is a "significant bond" between the two agencies and their projects. See Weaver Construction Co., DOT BCA No. 2034, 91-2 BCA¶ 23,800, at 119,184 (Forest Service's tortious interference with contract work performed in a national forest which it supervised and regulated and which caused a delay was imputed to the contracting agency, Federal Highway Administration, because there was "a significant bond" between the two agencies; i.e., coordination between them concerning the contract was undoubtedly essential. Citing Lewis-Nicholson, Inc. v. United States, 213 Ct. Cl. 192 (1977); L.W. Foster Sportswear Co. v. United States, 186 Ct. Cl. 499 (1969); J.A. Jones Construction Co. v. United States, 182 Ct. Cl. 615 (1968)). But cf. Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co., ASBCA No. 25594, 84-2 BCA ¶ 17,290, aff'd, 776 F.2d 1063 (Fed. Cir. 1985) (Board refused to impute knowledge of the plans of the Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to change the regulations covering the use of alien workers on Guam to the procuring agency, the Navy, which was as unaware of Labor's plans as the contractor); Unitec, Inc., ASBCA No. 22025, 79-2 BCA ¶ 13,923 (Board refused to impute knowledge of Corps of Engineers personnel to Army's Fort Stewart personnel because there was no "meaningful connection."). Similarly, the rule may be applied to impute the knowledge of one organization within an agency to another. See Cryo-Sonics, Inc., supra, 66-2 BCA at 27,331-32 (knowledge of engineer in the Air Force command that did the developmental work on a project was charged to the Air Force command which negotiated and administered the contract since the engineer's report was referenced by the contractor's proposal). However, as the Board has observed, there appears to be no case which, in effect, combines the principles expressed in Weaver Construction Co. and Cryo-Sonics, Inc.; i.e., one where a contracting agency with "a significant bond" to another agency has been charged with knowledge possessed by an organization within the latter agency with which has no connection whatsoever. See Graphicdata, Inc., supra, slip op. at 79. 19 In light of the Board's decision on the "negligent estimates" question, the second issue stated above is moot.