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  • Question

    An old CFR says that you can place a subscription (recommends for up to three years) with this years money "if agency receives a reasonable discount, or to core titles that your agency is sure to need" advantageous for purpose of economy or otherwise. This was a Comp Gen 326 (1943). I found no updates on this. 31USC 3324(d)(2) is the CFR. Do we still do this cross FYs and multiple years for subscriptions? Is there special authority we need? above the agency?


    Answer

    1. The references quoted below in pertinent part are applicable to this response.

    31 U.S.C. § 3324 – Advances
    (d) The head of an agency may pay in advance from appropriations available for the purpose—
      (2) charges for a publication printed or recorded in any way for the auditory or visual use of the agency. 
      (Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 950.)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/3324

    DoD Financial Management Regulation Volume 10, Chapter 4 (July 2010)
    0403 Advance Payments
    040302. Subscriptions to Periodicals. Advance payment is authorized for subscriptions or other charges for newspapers, magazines, periodicals, microfilm libraries, and other publications for official use. The total cost of the subscription is a valid charge to the appropriation for the fiscal year (FY) current at the time the subscription is ordered. Subscriptions may extend beyond current FY, begin in a subsequent FY, or extend for more than 1 FY.

    2. As indicated in this inquiry and as quoted above, 31 U.S.C. § 3324 is still current law and authorizes advance payments for printed publications. As stated in DoD FMR 040302, the total cost of the subscription is a valid charge to the appropriation for the fiscal year (FY) current at the time the subscription is ordered. Subscriptions may extend beyond current FY, begin in a subsequent FY, or extend for more than 1 FY.

    3. Based on the above, provided that the publication is for official use, we believe that a 15-month subscription may be ordered prior to 1 Oct 2012 using FY12 funds that have been appropriated for this purpose and that no other special authority within DoD would be required.


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