What Is a Ratification in Government Contract Law

When it comes to government contracts, there are a lot of technical terms that can be confusing to the average person. One such term is “ratification.” So, what exactly is a ratification in government contract law?

In simple terms, a ratification is when an entity acknowledges and agrees to be bound by a contract that was not authorized or approved beforehand. This can happen when an individual or department within a government agency enters into a contract without proper authorization, such as exceeding their spending limit or signing without proper approval from higher-ups.

Once the unauthorized contract is discovered, the agency can choose to either void the contract or ratify it. Ratification means that the agency accepts the terms of the contract and agrees to be bound by it, as if it had been authorized from the beginning.

It`s important to note that not all contracts can be ratified. The contract must be one that the agency had the authority to enter into in the first place. For example, if an agency that is only authorized to purchase goods enters into a contract to provide a service, the contract cannot be ratified.

Ratification can have serious legal implications. By agreeing to the terms of an unauthorized contract, the agency may be waiving its right to challenge the contract`s validity or pursue legal action against the other party. It`s important for government agencies to have strict protocols in place to ensure that contracts are properly authorized and approved before they are entered into.

In conclusion, a ratification is the process by which a government agency acknowledges and agrees to be bound by a contract that was not properly authorized beforehand. It`s important for agencies to have procedures in place to prevent unauthorized contracts and to carefully consider the legal implications before ratifying any such contracts.