I have a question regarding multiple-year appropriations. With the end of the fiscal year coming, I’m getting requests to spend money, do extensions, etc. I’m not comfortable with one particular request. Unfortunately, I have no access to an appropriations attorney or another individual that can help out. So here I am.
I have a severable services contract that was awarded last September using FY16/17 funds. It’s set to expire before the end of the month and we need an extension for a short period pending a re-compete. The existing T-M contract has funds remaining (no delays etc.- the work has just gone easier than anticipated). Program is asking to use the funds remaining on the contract to fund the extension into FY18. My Finance Office indicates the money can be used to fund performance into FY18 (though I have been given no specific reason why).
I took a look at the Red Book and at GAO cases. I found one GAO opinion (B-317636, Subject: Severable Services Contracts) that seems on-point. It indicates “severable services are considered a bona fide need of the appropriation current at the time rendered. Consequently, an agency using a multiple year appropriation would not violate the bona fide needs rule if it enters into a severable services contract for more than 1 year as long as the period of contract performance does not exceed the period of availability of the multiple year appropriation.” That seems straight-forward to me that these FY16/17 funds cannot fund performance beyond September 30, 2017.
I’d appreciate comments in the event I’m taking these few sentences out of context.