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    We have clear guidance on the process of resolution and curative measures for the Ratification Process..... However, I cannot find anything for Delinquent Obligations. Is there anywhere we can reference to find guidnace or can the local Purchase Card program Managers (PCMs / APCs) institute a local policy for guidance?


    Answer

     FAR Subpart 32.7 -- Contract Funding 
     
    FAR 32.702 – Policy: No officer or employee of the Government may create or authorize an obligation in excess of the funds available, or in advance of appropriations ( Anti-Deficiency Act , 31 U.S.C. 1341), unless otherwise authorized by law. Before executing any contract, the contracting officer shall -- (a) Obtain written assurance from responsible fiscal authority that adequate funds are available or (b) Expressly condition the contract upon availability of funds in accordance with FAR 32.703-2 [Contracts Conditioned Upon Availability of Funds].
     
     2. The following definition, taken from paragraph 4 of VHA Handbook 1730.01 dated August 27, 2008 issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs – Veterans Health Administration, is also applicable to this response [the above reference is relevant to the requester’s contracting organization]:
     
     m. Delinquent Obligation. A delinquent obligation is a commitment made to procure services, supplies or equipment by a person with purchasing authority for which an obligation has not been recorded by Fiscal Service. In other words, funds that have not been obligated by signature of a purchasing agent for a regular order or by signature of a purchase cardholder for a purchase card order. A delinquent obligation is also when a person with purchasing authority commits the Government with no funds available for the purchase. A person with purchasing authority has 24 hours (1 workday) to enter or finish the regular purchase order or the purchase card order before the order is considered delinquent.
     
     3. In response to the first two parts of this inquiry, the definition of a delinquent obligation as used by the VA is described under paragraph 2 above. Regarding the third part of this question (i.e., the difference between a delinquent obligation and an Anti-Deficiency Act violation), it should be noted that a delinquent obligation also includes a situation when a person with purchasing authority commits the Government with no funds available for the procurement.  As stated in FAR 32.702, it is a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act for any officer or employee of the Government to obligate the Government in advance of appropriations. Therefore, under such circumstances as described above, we believe that there would be no difference between a delinquent obligation and an Anti-Deficiency Act violation.
     

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