U.S. Off the Hook for TekPortal Software Costs

     (CN) – The federal government is not required to help foot the bill for a new software program, because the developer failed to show how the program benefits the government, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.

     In 1999, Teknowledge began developing the TekPortal software program, described as a “customer information aggregation service for the finance services industry,” for commercial and governmental use.
     Teknowledge allocated 31 percent of its $885,430 in development costs to the government, claiming the new software keeps the company afloat and allows it to absorb expenses that it would have charged to the government.
     The government countered that it never bought the TekPortal software, and any potential benefits are “merely speculative.”
     The claims court determined that the company can’t charge the government $285,656, because the government never benefited from the software. Teknowledge had misconstrued the definition of “benefit” and failed to show any connection between the TekPortal program and a current government contract, the court ruled.
     “Therefore, the court finds that any benefit to the government resulting from the TekPortal development costs would be too remote and insubstantial to deem allocable,” Judge Wheeler wrote.

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