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I have a fairly straightforward question regarding the use of funds obligated against an IDIQ contract at time of award when no order was issued concurrently with the contract.

If, for example, I establish a minimum ordering amount of $1,000 on the base IDIQ contract, how do I use those funds when I finally award a task order? Do we deobligate the $1,000 from the base and obligate $1,000 on the task order? Or do we simply leave the funds on the base and find new money for the task order? I ask because I don't think I can pay an invoice for an order using funds obligated against the base without first "moving" the funds from the base to the order.

If the proper method is to deobligate the funds from the base and then obligate an equal amount of funds on the task order, what happens if the funds used on the base were part of an annual appropriation that is no longer available for obligation? In other words, suppose the base IDIQ is awarded on September 1 FY'13 and funded with an FY'13 annual appropriation, then a new order is awarded on October 15th, FY'14. Although the funds on the base are good until September FY'14, one would not be able to use those funds once they're deobligated for the purpose of "moving" them to the task order. Once deobligated in FY'14 the funds are no longer available for use. Is the money "stuck" or "lost" on the base?

One last consideration; how is this reflected in FPDS?

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There may be a number of ways you can approach this, but in this day and age you are a hostage to your automated systems and to the processes of your agency.

Will your automated systems or agency processes allow you to deobligate money from the parent IDIQ contract and re-obligate the same funds on the task order?

Will your automated systems or agency processes allow you to issue a $10,000 task order using $1,000 from the parent contract and $9,000 from the instant task order?

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Will your automated systems or agency processes allow you to deobligate money from the parent IDIQ contract and re-obligate the same funds on the task order?

Will your automated systems or agency processes allow you to issue a $10,000 task order using $1,000 from the parent contract and $9,000 from the instant task order?

You seem to be asking two different things, is this correct? Does the system I use allow me to deobligate funds from the base IDIQ and re-obligate the same funds, or does my system allow me to issue a $10k task order and pull $1,000 from the base IDIQ contract for funding purposes, without the need to actually deobligate the funds from the base?

Either way, I do not have the answer to this question, but I will look into it. We use a system called C.Award.

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You need an answer that will fit with your automated systems. Even if you get a textbook-correct answer to your question, it will only work for you if you can make it work with your automated systems.

For example, everyone in the federal contracting universe knows that a contract can have CLINs and sub-CLINs, and that funding can reside either at the CLIN level or the sub-CLIN level. HOWEVER, we can't use sub-CLINs at all in my agency because our automated sytem and the systems it feeds cannot handle sub-CLINs.

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Guest Vern Edwards

It's interesting how data "automation" has made simple things complicated. Once upon a time you could have handled this with a memo or an administrative change. Now, the problem is how to make it work through an "automated" system whose designers did not foresee the problem and thus did not code a routine to handle it.

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napolik, the problem isn't with computers, per se. The biggest problem problem seems to be with the tail waggfing the dog - the standardized contracting software systems and those deciding how much or how little flexibility to allow. They didnt think of every scenario or they seem to have little hands on contract administration experience. Such systems should have effective "criteria change request" procedures.

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I have found that biggest "change agent" in both DoD and civilian agency contracting software sytems is finance divisions and managers. The automated contracting systems are dumbed down to fit the accounting system to fit whatever the finance managers want.

I am currently dealing with a finance system that cannot figure out that contract payments need to be deducted from contract clins and not accounting lines right now. Frequently a contract has the same line of accounting for different clins. When the invoice is received, finance deducts the funding by line of accounting, and often the wrong clin in the process.

The finance division is impervious from any instructions, requests, prayers or management directives to stop doing that. So far all our communication is being ignored and just today I found another case where an invoice payment taken from the wrong clin. In this case, an invoice from one option year was paid from the funding from the following option year, meaning there is a surplus of funding from the elapsed option and a deficit in the current option year.

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napolik, the problem isn't with computers, per se. The biggest problem problem seems to be with the tail waggfing the dog - the standardized contracting software systems and those deciding how much or how little flexibility to allow. They didnt think of every scenario or they seem to have little hands on contract administration experience. Such systems should have effective "criteria change request" procedures.

But they don't have effective criteria change requests. Too many times, one has to go to extraordinary lengths to make your contracts reflect the regulations and common sense.

Perhaps it is time for contracting types to adopt / adapt a phrase identified with the late Charlton Heston: "I'll give you my fountain pen when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands".

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