§103D-703 Authority to resolve contract and breach of contract controversies. (a) This section applies to controversies between a governmental body and a contractor which arise under, or by virtue of, a contract between them, including, without limitation, controversies based upon breach of contract, mistake, misrepresentation, or other cause for contract modification or rescission.
(b) The chief procurement officer or a designee is authorized, prior to commencement of an action in a court brought pursuant to section 103D-711, to settle and resolve a controversy described in subsection (a). This authority shall be exercised in accordance with rules adopted by the policy board.
(c) If such a controversy is not resolved by mutual agreement, the chief procurement officer or a designee shall promptly issue a decision in writing. The decision shall:
(1) State the reasons for the action taken; and
(2) Inform the contractor of the contractor's right to initiate a judicial action as provided in this part.
(d) A copy of the decision under subsection (c) shall be mailed or otherwise furnished immediately to the contractor.
(e) The decision under subsection (c) shall be final and conclusive unless the contractor commences a judicial action in accordance with section 103D-711.
(f) If the chief procurement officer or a designee does not issue the written decision required under subsection (c) within ninety days after written request for a final decision, or within such longer period as may be agreed upon by the parties, then the contractor may proceed as if an adverse decision had been received. [L Sp 1993, c 8, pt of §2; am L 1997, c 352, §23; am L 1999, c 162, §3]
Where it appeared that the procedure established in this section was the exclusive means available for plaintiff to resolve the retainage controversy based on a breach of contract, and plaintiff did not avail itself of these exclusive means, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to decide plaintiff's claim for retainage. 122 H. 60, 222 P.3d 979.