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    Question: Can I place the order today to be effective 9/9/13?


    Answer

    Since we do not have all of the facts pertaining to your requirement, solicitation/contract or contractor(s), the following answer is based solely on the background and question provided.  As we do not have access to the contract folder or particulars that apply to this situation, we highly recommend you consult the Contracting Officer and possibly the Legal Office.
     
    It must be assumed that your concern is whether or not you would be violating the bona fide need rule (also known as the "time" statute).  The answer would determine on the facts of your case.  It is impossible to give you a direct answer without knowing more about you specific situation.  Generally, services are a bona fide need of the fiscal year in which the services are performed. Thus, service contracts have not normally been permitted to cover a period which involves two different fiscal years. However, two important exceptions exist to this general rule:
     
    - Nonseverable services exception. If the services produce a single or unified outcome, product or report, the services are nonseverable and the government may fund the entire effort with dollars available for obligation at the time the contract is awarded and the contract execution may cross fiscal years. A nonseverable contract is essentially a single undertaking that cannot feasibly be subdivided (Comp. Gen. Decision B-259274, 22 May 1996). The basic concept is that the government does not receive value from the service rendered until that service is completed.
     
    - Statutory exceptions: The FY98 Defense Authorization Act amended Title 10 of the U.S. Code (Section 2410a) to permit authorized DoD agencies to obligate funds available at the time of contract award to finance a severable service contract with a period of performance not to exceed 12 months. For example, the DoD agency may obligate FY 08 funds for a 12 month severable service contract that begins anytime during FY 08 and continues into FY 09. This provision of the statutes provides greater flexibility to DoD agencies and also allows for a better distribution across the year for the workload of the contracting offices supporting buying organizations. However, a Service or Defense Agency has the discretion to limit application of this exception and require subordinate activities to budget for and execute this type contract on a strictly fiscal year basis or a period less than the 12 months.
     
    It is, therefore, recommended that you take the specifics of your case to resident competent contracting and legal authorities, as well as  your local financial management experts, to analyze your specific requirement.  After reviewing the details of your situation, they will be best able to determine you best path forward.
     

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