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TGLJ

realigning old one year funds on multiple year task order

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Hi all, first time commenter but have been following for a while. I could really use your assistance on the below issue/question as it's starting to come up more and more at our agency. I'm not sure why it's just now coming up but regardless...I've searched long and hard to see if this particular issue has been addressed and couldn't find anything that seemed to fit, so here goes a new topic posting:

Issue: in FY15, an agency awarded a GSA FSS task order for travel management/logistics services. The task order is a mix of T&M and FFP CLINs, and the period of performance was set for a base period of 5 years, with 2 five-year options that aligned with the firm's GSA Schedule performance period. The order was initially funded with 1-year (FY15) money and, other than a smattering of no-year funds, there have been no additional funds added to the task order to-date. The program office has requested to realign/move funds b/w two CLINs, both of which are in the current 5 year base period, but they’re requesting to realign existing funds (from FY15) to cover costs. There is no ceiling increase or scope change associated with this request to realign funds. 

Question: Does the CO have the contractual authority to realign/transfer funds from one CLIN to another within the five year base period, even though the funding obligated on the order is all from FY15? Remember, for the purposes of this argument they're still paying for services using funds they applied in FY15 at the time of task order award.

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance. This forum has been vital to my growth as a CO!

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When you say "realign," do you mean move FY15 funds from one CLIN to another? Realign means the same as transfer? You would reduce the funding on one CLIN and increase the funding on another? And you want to know if you need the contractor's agreement to do that?

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Yes, Vern. I do mean moving funds between line items in the same performance period. It's just that the base performance period is 5 years while the funds being utlized is one year money. I'm not sure if that makes a difference but it seems like it should. 

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If you are buying a service, and if the service is "severable," then you cannot use one-year FY15 funds for work to be done in FY18, even if the order period of performance is stipulated to be five years. If the service is "entire," then you can use FY15 funds for work that commences in FY15 (or soon thereafter) and that will be completed in FY18 (or whenever). That's basic. See the GAO Red Book, Vol. 1, Ch. 5.

Does that answer your question?

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Yes it does. I figured that was the answer based on my research but wanted some verification from the community. Thanks Vern!

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TGLJ:

One other thing. The funds on a CLIN reflect specific contractual obligations of the parties. Presumably, "realigning" (moving) funds from one CLIN to another will reflect some change in the parties' obligations under those CLINs.  Presumably, it's not just an accounting transaction. I hope you understand that you may need the contractor's assent to such a transaction. It may have to be done bilaterally.

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