The law is not a trend-setter. It doesn’t readily change or adapt to tech. So, a commonplace practice in business became a dispute when a claimant digitally certified a claim under the Contract Disputes Act.
Construction project professionals routinely send e-mails with “signatures,” which typically include the sender’s typewritten name, title, contact information, and/or company logo. But, this sort of e-mail “signature” is not enough to certify a claim to the Government.
Without a valid contract, a Virginia public entity has no duty to to pay for any of your work.
Rely at your own risk upon a Contracting Officer’s statements when statutes or contract provisions may conflict.
Good Idea: Include a choice of law clause in your contract to promote consistency and predictability (while reducing potential costs and risk).
A mentor of mine once said that process and procedures can be more important than substance and results. Like solving a math problem, how you solve it is often more important than the answer itself. The same is true in resolving construction contract disputes with public owners.