The consolidation of panels that hear construction contract appeals has made them more likely to favor contractors in their rulings, says a new study by Chicago-based Navigant Consulting. The firm says its analysis is the first to statistically compare decision-making by the two boards that now hear appeals on contract decisions by all civilian and military government agencies. In reviewing 2,000 rulings since the consolidations began in 2001, Navigant says the military panel issued decisions that are 6% more favorable to contractors, while the new civilian board ruled in favor of government agencies nearly 7% less. “Up until now, the predictability of these boards has rested almost solely on the experience of individual attorneys,” says Jim Zack, executive director of the Navigant Construction Forum. The consultant will issue next year two more analyses of construction contract claims and legal rulings.